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Avoiding and dealing with duplicate files

Recently I discovered an issue where I had duplicate files on my computer. These were mainly document files. Somewhere in the confusion I was updating the wrong documents. This caused me to lose some very important documentation.

I had noticed that there were three different locations I was storing backups of the original documents. At some point while editing these documents I had opened a secondary location. In my confusion I had updated a backup file which was later deleted as I thought it was an older back up file. This caused a huge problem.

I had to re-write several articles(mostly from memory) which was very time consuming. My energies would have been better focused somewhere else to say the least.

I was determined this would not happen again. I attempted to locate all the duplicate files myself at first. If you have ever attempted doing this then you understand how time consuming this operation can be.

This process entails searching for all .doc files. Once the files are located they have to be reviewed for which contains the most recent data. Once you know which article is the most recent you then have to delete the older file. Once you have a current copy of the file if it is not located in “my documents” or your specified folder it then has to be moved to this location.

When dealing with approximately one hundred documents you can imagine how much time was spent on this project. I was determined to find a better way of removing these duplicate files.

I resolved this issue mainly by changing the default save in location for documents in the word processing software I used. This helped in a big way.

The second option I implemented was to use a good backup software which can do incremental backups. This means it only backups files to your designated backup location that have changed since your last backup.

lets hope you never have to experience this, but if you do I hope my resolution might help. It would be better used as a preventative measure if implemented prior to this happening on your own system.

Be sure when using a back up that you save your data to a remote location such as a removable drive. Implementing this backup strategy is better in the sense if you have a computer failure you will still have access to your backup data.

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