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Chapter 31. Backing Up for the Inevitabl... > Shopping for Practical Backup Option... - Pg. 296

Backing Up for the Inevitable Crash 296 Back up your files regularly. Using a backup program, you can create backup copies of all the files on your hard disk. If you ever destroy a file by mistake, or lose one or more files for any reason, you simply restore the file from your backups. Backup Strategies for the Real World Backups are worthless if you don't have a backup strategy--a plan that ensures the backup copies are up to date. If you restore your files from old backups, you get old files losing any changes you've made since the last backup. Like most strategies, back-up strategies vary depending on how you work and how you organize your files. The following is a list of common strategies that might help you to develop your own plan: · The data only, hope nothing happens strategy--Create a DATA folder and save all the files that you create in folders under the DATA folder. Don't worry about backing up Windows or your programs; you can reinstall them. The trouble with this strategy is that you lose all your Windows and program settings if your hard drive dies, including your Internet connection settings, e-mail messages, address book, network settings, desktop enhancements, and plenty else. (By the way, this is my strategy.) · The I feel lucky today strategy--This consists of backing up when you feel like it. People who follow this strategy rarely back up and are at a high risk of losing data. · The standard strategy--Back up your entire system monthly and back up only those files that have changed daily. This is the best strategy for making sure that you can recover everything. To do this, you perform a full backup monthly. On a daily basis you perform an incremental backup, which backs up only those files that have changed since the last backup.