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I have written many times here about backing up your data. There are several options available. You can backup to a flash drive, an external drive, a CD/DVD or even an online service. You can read everything I have ever written about backups if you go to http://preactiveit.com/computercorner and search for the word backup.
Lots of people have heeded my words and setup some sort of backup method. They may use an automated system to backup to a flash drive or use an online service, but many ignore the most critical step in the backup process. That most critical step is to actually check the backups. If you backup to another drive every night, then look at it once in a while and be sure it's working. Try to restore a file from it and make sure it has no issues.
I once had a client bring a server into our shop because it wouldn't boot up. This server had four hard drives. Those drives were all dead. A power surge or some internal electrical malfuntion had killed them all. So of course we asked for the backup drive. The backups were corrupted and unreadable. Thousands of dollars in data recovery expenses because no one ever checked to be sure the backups were working.
If you are a home user, think of all the photos and documents you have on your computer. If you are a small business owner, think about QuickBooks, Peachtree, Outlook, Act. What if you lost all or part of that data? How devastating could that be? Make backups a priority. Understand how you are backing up your data, what data are you backing up and how often. Understand how to check your backups to be sure they are working and that you can recover data from them.
If you need help backing up your data or you are not sure you are doing it the best way, give us a call and we can help.