This month, as a part of spring cleaning, I thought we would revisit cleaning your computer inside and out. Even if you cleaned your computer back in October when we originally posted these tips, it may be time to clean again. Here are the tips that would be most useful:
Cleaning out the inbox:
Cleaning the computer inside and out:
Save it Before You Need it:
Defragment and Computer Cleanup:
Ok, this week we are continuing with House Cleaning for the Not So Geek. Our topic today is Save It Before You Need It. I dont know about you, but I have my daughters life chronicled on my home computer. She is six years old, and I have thousands of pictures of her. Everything from the baby showers, birthdays, vacations, to playing around with the camera. If my computer were wiped out for any reason, I would be devastated.
There are different options out there for the home user, we will discuss a few.
1.CD/DVD ROMs most computers have a DVD-ROM drive that can write large amounts of information rather quickly to either a DVD-R or CD-R disc. The discs are relatively inexpensive and they are a good form of back up data, as long as they are labeled and tested for consistency. You dont want to find out too late, that it didnt copy over. Also, with these, you may want to swap out with a friends back up, so that it is off-site, just in case of fire.
2.Flash drives/USB thumb drives of you dont have a lot of data to back up, the flash drive is an option for you. Flash drives are usually hard to break, reliable, and usually hold 1 to 6 GB of information. Again, you may want to store off-site.
3.External Hard Drives They are reliable and simple for the home user. They are increasing in size and now come with software that can be used to backup your data regularly. With the software, you can set up a nightly back up to take place. As with the others, it is important to check the backups regularly for accuracy.
4.Remote Data Storage via the Internet Many companies, like Kotori Technologies, http://kotoritechnologies.com are offering an offsite data storage for a small monthly fee. Your data is encrypted so that it is safe. And since it is off-site, often in two different states, your files are fine and no matter what happens, youre never far away from recovering your data.
Now that you have decided on which method, you are probably asking how to go about it, so here you go:
1.Choose a backup program. For personal computers, there are many options. If you are using Microsoft Windows, there is a back-up program built in (Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Backup). You can also use third party back-up managers, ranging from small programs to full online backup services. If you use a flavor of Linux, there are many open source options available in repositories for all of the major distributions.
2.Prepare your back-up device of choice. If you are using a hard drive, it's best to use it just for back-up purposes. Make sure whatever you are using is ready to accept the back-up.
3.Open your choice of programs, select the files you wish to keep, select the media where you will be saving the back-up, and start it up. Make sure that you verify your backups. This typically takes longer to backup, but the verification insures that what you wanted to backup actually got backed up.
Just remember, even backup is not 100%. Keeping multiple copies of your backups will help insure recoverability. So now, you have a clean computer and your data is safe, next week we will discuss defragging your computer.