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How to Backup Computer files to disc or external drive

How to backup your computer

Computer technology is a wonderful thing until the day that you lose all your files and you do not have a back up. You might think that this scenario may never happen to you, but it only takes your PC to overheat or a Trojan to stop normal functioning of your machine to totally destroy sometimes years of files and documents. Thankfully learning how to backup computer files to disc or external drive is easy, even for the computer novice.

As much as you may take your computer granted, you need to be vigilant with your important documents, as you just never know when the day you go to turn your laptop on and nothing happens will arise. If however you periodically back up your system, either onto CDs, DVDs or and external USB memory port, then if the day arises when your PC fails you, you will not have lost all your important data.

These days an external hard drive that plugs into your PC via an external USB port is by far the most popular way of backing up your files, CDs being rather impractical as apart from the expensive versions they cannot be rewritten and you will also need multiple discs in order to store all your files. DVDs are a good alternative if you do not own a backup drive, although they can become misplaced or even scratched.

To back up computer files to an external drive or discs is actually remarkably easy and whether you have Windows or Mac running on your machine, it takes only minutes to get started. Firstly make sure you have enough discs to make the back up or preferably an external drive of twice the memory capacity you have stored in files on your PC.

As soon as you plug in an external drive to your PC via a USB port, your machine will recognise the external drive. Your PC will actually ask you if you wish to use the drive you have plugged in to back up your files and data; if you are not asked this question, simply type backup into the dialog box and select back up and restore.

If you manually chose the drive to where you will make the back up, then you can select either your external drive “E”, or alternatively “D” for DVDs or CDs. After selecting the appropriate drive, simply hit next. Do not change any of the default settings when you are prompted, and simply move onto the next screen.

Your PC will guide you through all the stages of creating your backup and it really could not be any easier. Each screen will give you step by step instructions that will allow even the total novice to complete the task with no foreseeable problems or hiccups. If you are happy with how your PC is performing, resist the temptation to tweak the default setting for Windows or Mac; it is totally unnecessary.

Once you are guided through to the last screen, you simply need to hit the button for saving settings and create backup. Windows will make its first backup of your drive, and can be programmed to periodically make new backups also. During the backup process it is important that you do not turn your machine off, and best that you do touch or use your PC until it is finished.

If you are tuning your PC on Mac or Linux, then the process for backup is remarkably similar and just as easy to complete. Once again, when you plug in your external drive you will generally be asked if you wish to use it to make a back up; if not, simply type in backup and restore and manually chose the drive and follow the step by step instructions given.

If you lose files in the future, retrieving them from your backup could not be any simpler; just type backup and restore in the dialog box and click on “restore my files”. Having a back up of all your important files is crucial, not just for businesses but for all home PCs; it is not until you lose your files that you realize just how many you had stored on your machine. Learning how to backup computer files really is that easy, so you never have an excuse to lose a file ever again.

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