Backup Questions

Dear Computer Lady,

I have never backed up my computer; what method do you recommend on how to do this? And once done, what is a good way (If hard drive crashes) to reinstate what has been backed up?

Also, how often do you recommend backing up ones hard drive?

Thanks for all you do to help us, Jean

Dear Jean,

If you are using Windows 7 or newer, your computer actually comes with a fairly good backup program. You can access it in the control panel.

To access the backup program, right-click on the start button, and click on “Control Panel”.

In the Control Panel, click on “System and Security” then click on “Backup and Restore”.

From there, you can click “Create a system image” to create a complete backup of your entire system at this moment.

You can Create a system repair disk which will allow you to start the computer in the event you need to use your system image.

Or, you can setup a backup plan for your data files. When you click “Set up backup” it will walk you through setting up that plan.

To answer the question of how often to backup, you should create a system image and repair disk once every 6 to 12 months. You should backup your data as often as you need to. If you only add or edit files once a month, then backup once a month. If you create or edit files every week, then set your data backup to run once a week. If you spend long hours working on your computer every day, then backup at the end of each day.

How to reinstate your backup depends on what went wrong with the computer, and you might need the help of a professional. The important thing is that you have a backup for them to use to put your information back on the computer.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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