The Importance of Data Back Ups & How to Do It

Data back ups have become essential, because these days almost all our data is saved on our computers, from work files to personal media documents. And with things like load shedding, and hard drive failures, there is always the risk of that data being lost. That’s why it is important to always make sure your data is backed up so that in the event of that data being lost, you don’t need to worry about losing important information. Luckily there are several ways to back up your data, none of which are difficult to do.

1. USB Flash Drive

If your data doesn’t take up much space, flash drives are a great and affordable option for backups. Useful for small documents such as PDF files or Word documents, simply copy your data and paste it to the flash drive. They’re easily portable and very cheap, however their size can make them easy to lose.

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2. External Hard Drive

When you have more data to transfer, such as movies, images or music, external hard drives are the way to go. You can use Windows to create a system image or backup through Windows if you want to back up all your Windows documents as well.

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To backup through windows,

  1. Select the Start  button, then select Control Panel System and Maintenance > Backup and Restore.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If you’ve never used Windows Backup before, or recently upgraded your version of Windows, select Set up backup, and then follow the steps in the wizard.
    • If you’ve created a backup before, you can wait for your regularly scheduled backup to occur, or you can manually create a new backup by selecting Back up now.

    • If you’ve created a backup before, but want to make a new, full backup rather than updating the old one, select Create newfull backup, and then follow the steps in the wizard.

To create a system image,

  1. Right-click the Start  button, then select Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Backup and Restore.
  2. In the left pane, choose Create a system image, and then follow the steps in the wizard. Administrator permission required If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Note: To create a system image of a drive, it must be formatted to use the NTFS file system. If you save the system image on a hard drive or USB flash drive, it must be formatted to use the NTFS file system.

3. Network Attached Storage

A network attached storage, or NAS, is a device that has hard drives that can be accessed through your network. They are commonly used in business environments, but are still viable options to use at home. You can schedule automatic backups so you don’t have to worry about doing your backups. The downside is that they can be expensive and difficult to set up.

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4. Cloud Storage

Where a NAS is like a personal cloud storage, there are plenty of online cloud services available. With both paid and free options, iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive are the more popular services.

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5. Windows Restore Points

You can use a restore point to restore your computer’s system files to an earlier point in time. Restore points are automatically created each week by System Restore and when your PC detects change, like when you install an app or driver.

Here’s how to create a restore point.

  1. Right-click the Start button, then select Control Panel > System and Maintenance > System.
  2. In the left pane, select System protection.
  3. Select the System Protection tab, and then select Create.
  4. In the System Protection dialog box, type a description, and then select Create.


  1. Right-click the Start  button, then select Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Backup and Restore.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • To restore your files, choose Restore my files.
    • To restore the files of all users, choose Restore all users’ files.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • To look through the contents of the backup, select Browse for files or Browse for folders. When you’re browsing for folders, you won’t be able to see the individual files in a folder. To view individual files, use the Browse for files option.
    • To search the contents of the backup, select Search, type all or part of a file name, and then select Search.


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