If you've been using computers for any length of time, you should know that one of the most important parts of a PC is the hard drive.Now, it is critical that you understand this - the hard drive is one of the most delicate components in a PC and it can fail.
The worst thing is, when that happens, you could lose your favorite data as well. So it is important to do regular backups of your data to ensure no problems occure.
This article will look into some reasons why hard drives fail and what you can do to protect your stuff.
1. Why Hard Drives Fail
What are the primary causes of hard drive failures? Here's a list to ponder over:
* Age - hard drives will grow old and get bad sectors. It is a fact of computer life.
* Viruses are dangerous programs which can infect your hard drive and make them unreadable. You'd be wise to invest in a good anti-virus program like McAfee VirusScan.
* Physical damage. If you happen to drop a hard drive, the disk can be severely damaged.
2. How to Protect Your Data
Since hard drives can fail, what do you do? Well, the wisest thing to do is to regularly back up your data. I think that backup needs to be stored outside of the hard drive. Here are some backup ideas:
Using a second hard driveicon. You can buy a second hard drive, install it and use it as a quick backup tool. Of course, it will cost you money.
CD-R/CD-RW or DVD-R/DVD-RWicon. This is the method I'd use. I currently use a lot of DVDs for backing up my own data. A CD can hold up to 650 MB and a DVD up to 4.7 GB. That's plenty, plenty of room.
* Online Storage. Another thing to consider is online storage. It is also very convenient but you probably only want to choose this route if you have a fast, broadband connection.
3. What Data Do I Back Up?
It's important to create a standard list of items that you need to backup. Here is my list:
Important Documents (e.g. Word, PowerPoint, Excel)
Internet Explorer or Firefox bookmarks