“In the unlikely event of a water landing” is what you are told during the safety briefing when you fly. When it comes to installing new software – especially new Operating System – the same safety rule applies “in the unlikely event of something going wrong BACKUP your data”. Yes. I know its admin and time consuming and the least sexy thing about getting ready for Windows 10 but this is just one of those things that you must do.
There are plenty of backup tools that a simple Google Search will find for you. These tools range from FREE to ridiculously expensive. They offer various services from Anti-virus, to data encryption, to password protection, to compression, to cloud storage, to everything else. For me, my data and my computer are too critical to simply trust any solution as you only discover just how crap “solutions” can be when you need them most – after a crash ! I would recommend spending some time looking at options to choose the right one for you and not simply choose the cheapest/ free one. You wouldn’t trust your airbags in your car to protect you if you bought them from the local flee-market. Data crashes are just not pretty and downtime can be days. Professional Data recovery services that will retrieve data from your hard drive after a crash can cost R30 000. Been there. Done That. Sobbed my eyes out.
Here are 3 tools that you can use to back up your data and your computer. I have used all three and have only had good experiences with them. Again I stress, I am not endorsing them, its just my experience and I have no affiliation/ rebates/ deals with any of these vendors. #justsaying
Symantec Backup Exec
We know that Backup Exec is software that corporates use to backup their big servers, however what you might not be aware of is that Symantec has Backup software for Desktop and Laptops too. The software can not only backup your data but can also make an entire copy of your hard drive including your operating system, applications, settings and of course your data. In the event that your computer crashes or your replace your computer with new hardware, you can use the Backup software to essentially reproduce your old computer to the exact point of the backup. No need to reinstall applications and set up your accounts – it will all just be there.
You can download a 30 day free trial of the product too.
Acronis PC Backup
Acronis PC Backup clones your entire computer as they believe that saving just your data “is like trying to save water in the desert without a canteen.” With this software you can create True Image of your computer and restore it to full working order regardless of which new hardware you purchase.
There is a free trial version of the software too.
In preparation for Windows 10, they have a True Image Cloud Backup option (including 25% off) : http://www.acronis.com/en-eu/promotion/win10/
SyncBackFree from 2BrightSparks
This is great FREE software that I often use. It does not create an image of your computer but I use it to keep my data backed up. The software allows you to not only back up your data but also allows you to synchronise your data. This means that if you have data on your laptop and some on your office computer and some on your external hard drive and some on your USB memory stick, the software can be instructed to make sure a copy of the same file is copied everywhere or the software can be instructed to keep only the latest version of the file.
You can schedule backups to run at specific time and create profiles for different items such as choosing to always synchronise your work files but only backup your photos at night.
Download the software here
*headline image from Shutterstock.com