Backing up the files you personally value…

A pointed question to my readers:

“Do you backup the files on your computer?”.

I find that the common answer is “NO”. Many will say that the files they created or saved (e.g. documents, photos, videos) are not that important anyway. What I have found is that when users create or save files, whether it be their internet favorites, email, a document, photo, video, etc; the human element of ownership and personal value enters the picture, whether they know it or not. I know that to be the case; especially when their computer crashes and that look of despair and helplessness appears. I find that most people do not know how to backup their PC; let alone files they have saved. I am a major advocate of backing up files and have already posted one article “Backup or Cry…” , which provides a software option. If you have anything on your PC that you hold close to you, I suggest you explore the many backup options that are available.

Usually my blog is focused on software options that are free, but due to the importance of this topic I started exploring other options for users that are looking for that “easy button”. Well, I found just that… The solution is a device called “Clickfree Transformer”… This solution is not designed to backup the entire computer (such as system files); but is designed to backup the files that you have created or saved; the files you value the most (i.e. photos, documents, videos, etc…).

Clickfree Transformer

You will need an external hard drive to make this work or you can purchase one of the combo packages from Clickfree that includes the drive. Cost may be a hindrance, but the thought of knowing that your personal files are backed up will outweigh the cost. Just remember, when backing up your personal data files to an external hard drive, it is a good idea to purchase a drive that is at least twice the size of your internal hard drive. In this case where you are backing up personal data files you should be able to get by with less; however, this is something that you should analyze and/or consult with an IT person. There is no software to install or setup with the Clickfree Transormer. You plug the Clickfree Transformer into an USB port on your computer, then plug any external USB drive into the other end of the Clickfree Transformer. The Clickfree Transformer will automatically locate your data files and back them up to the drive. You can even do multiple computers with one Clickfree Transformer.  There is an automated software option included with the Clickfree Transformer that will allow you to modify the automated backup strategy.  I also found numerous news reviews, from credible sources, supporting Clickfree [ click here ]

Clickfree Automated Backup

This backup strategy may not be the “textbook” strategy that is supported by professional IT managers; but, it is better than nothing at all and is a great concept for home based users. You can learn more about this product by clicking on any of the “Clickfree Transformer” links in this article.

Addendum (March 11,2009) – As an enhancement to this article and to further emphasize the importance of performing routine backups of your files; I encourage you to read this “Computer Tip of the Day”  by  [ Tech for-Everyone].  TechPaul, author of the “Computer Tip of the Day” enumerates backup options that are freely available to the end user.

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9 thoughts on “Backing up the files you personally value…

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  1. Interesting one for novice users that want to skip setup part. Power users are more than fine with software solutions. 🙂

    It may be actually hard to predict what needs backup. I had my desktop recently fry (MB) and even when my docs are mirrored to cloud (Dropbox) and portable software to external hard drive there still were holes. Had to rethink and improve backup routine after that.

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    1. Rarst,

      You are so right about the “holes”, even when we think we have a good backup strategy; however, in your situation (example) you had a stategy and you did not lose the whole bank….

      Thanks for your excellent comments.

      Rick

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  2. When you posted your previous article on making backup copies, I just had to chime in. I will probably do so every time you post such an article. Why? Because I’m a computer tech.

    I’m in the trenches, cleaning virus infections, and trying to get “dead” computers working again.

    I’m the guy who gets to say, “we need to reformat your hard drive, and reinstall Windows.”

    This is really NBD (no big deal) if, IF (repeat: IF) my client has a recent backup.

    So far, one person has had said backup.

    Recovering 200 GB’s of data from a failed hard drive can cost $1,500.

    * Rick has kindly provided a plug-it-in-simple solution.
    * Quite a few of the external USB/Firewire storage drives include “one touch” backup software.
    * DVD’s and CD’s are cheap!
    * Windows has a built-in Backup Utility, found in Programs> Accessories> System Tools and my how-to for using it is here, http://techpaul.wordpress.com/2007/07/02/automate-your-backup-and-get-some-peace-of-mind/
    Apple has a built-in Disk Imaging ability that is just great, but often overlooked: http://techpaul.wordpress.com/2008/04/03/how-to-use-apples-disk-imaging-tool/.

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    1. TechPaul,

      Thank you for reflecting on the “real life” example of the importance of having backups… As always, I personally value your expertise on these matters.

      Rick

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  3. @Rick

    Well, it wasn’t data loss situation, I only lost access to data until I replaced failed hardware. But it sure pointed out I have things to polish.

    Decent Internet connection and online storage services sure make life easier, comparing to what it was few years ago.

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  4. Rarst,

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I’ve had that experience as well. Glad it was not a “data loss” situation. You may have had a data access situation, but at least you still had your data (and actually had a good strategy, since your data files were off site). Point is to readers, have a strategy in place to backup or shelf your data. You have to look at the whole picture… For example, I’m backing up to external drives, but if the house burns, my data burns.

    Rick

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