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Backing Up Your Files

If you save business-critical files on your PC, it is highly recommended that you back up your data regularly.  Data can be lost from your PC for various reasons ranging from hardware failure to a power outage.  In some cases, Automation staff may be able to recover data from a failing PC.  In more severe cases, your data could be irrecoverable without the assistance of an expensive data recovery service.1569708

You have some options when it comes to choosing a backup device.  The 3.5" floppy disk is no longer practical for most users.  They generally have a storage capacity of only 1.44MB and they are not very reliable.  Automation doesn't even require a floppy disk drive now for new PC purchases.  Here are some more practical backup options:

  1. Writable CD/DVD:  Many LINK staff stations have a CD or DVD burner.  Blank CDs and DVDs are fairly inexpensive and can hold up to 700MB and 4.7GB of data respectively.  This is probably the cheapest option if you want to make several backups of the same data.  Microsoft has some simple instructions for copying files to a CD.
  2. USB Thumb Drive:  These are fast, cheap, portable and usually don't require any extra software to be loaded on the PC.  4GB thumb drives cost less than $20 these days.  The biggest problems with thumb drives are that they break easily and they are easy to misplace.  This is probably not the best option for backing up important/confidential data.
  3. USB Hard Drive:  They have a much greater storage capacity than the thumb drive.  The Western Digital Passport holds 250GB and costs $80.  Many USB hard drives, like this one, are portable because they do not require an external power supply.
  4. File Share:  A file share should be hosted by a newer PC that is almost always powered on.  They can only be set up by Automation staff.  One PC hosts the share and desktop shortcuts to the share are created on the PCs that need access.  It is important that someone backs up the file share regularly.

Backup Suggestions on the Automation site lists some of the common files and folders that you should consider backing up regularly.


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