Too many times people have brought their computers to me after losing all their photos, documents, etc., due to a crashed hard drive.. You cannot have too many backups!
The ultimate backup is creating full system images, for which I use Macrium Reflect: http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx. Or you can use the Windows backup:
- Windows 7: Go to Control Panel > Backup and Restore then click Create a system image (on the left hand side). While you’re at it you can also create a system repair disk by clicking Create a system repair disc.
- Windows 8.1: Go to Control Panel > File History and click System Image Backup (bottom left)
- Further information here: How to create a Windows 7 system image (the process is pretty much the same for both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1)
Why are system images the ultimate backup? Because they encompass everything contained on the imaged hard drive; including installed programs, settings, and any personal data.
- Backup vs Imaging – what’s the difference?
- How To: Implement a comprehensive backup strategy
- Backups – Ideas and Opinions
More Backup Options to Consider
Activation information can become corrupted – back it up with: http://joshcellsoftwares.com/products/advancedtokensmanager/
Router settings: Most routers will allow you to back up their configuration. Look for the option in the settings of your router configuration utility. Search online for how to do it with your brand and model of router.
- More information here: How To Change your Router’s Default Password
Facebook Data: Did you know you can back up your Facebook account? Log into Facebook, click on the little downward pointing arrow toward the top right hand corner of your screen (until Facebook changes it again), click on Settings and in your settings look for Download a copy of your Facebook data at the bottom of the General Account Settings.
At the very least you should always backup your personal data – photos, documents, music, videos, etc. – on a regular basis. And, remember to always save backups to external media – flash drive, external drive, or CD/DVD discs.