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Welcome To The Hard Disk Drive Reference Section
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The Importance Of Hard Disk Drive Backups

It is necessary for PC users and large corporations to back up their data on a daily basis. As data is crucial to any PC user or large corporation, it is recommended for data to be backed up periodically, allowing for an easy restoration of the data in case of any hard drive failures.. Power surges can quickly erase data from a hard disk drive, so backing up the data on a hard disk is strongly encouraged. This section will outline the various steps a user would take in making a proper backup of their data.

1. The first step in backing up data on a hard disk drive, is selecting the appropriate mass storage device to back the data up on. Floppy drives, are typically inadequate for this procedure as they do not have the capacity to back up data on more modern drives. It would probably take at least 40 or 50 3.5" floppy disks and hours of time to back up 500 MB of data (refer back to the section on the capacities of floppy diskettes in Chapter three.) However, on older drives, such as those being run on a 486 or earlier machines, you may be able to get away with using floppy drives to backup your data.

Common mass storage devices include CD-R Drives, CD-Re-writeable Drives, and Tape Drives such as Iomega's 100MB Zip drive. This devices provide the easiest and quickest method for backing up your data.

The next step in the backup procedure is choosing a software package to back up your hard drive. You could possibly back up your data manually (meaning copying each file or subdirectory on the drive to the storage medium) but this is a tedious procedure and can be easily simplified through the use of back up software. Microsoft Windows 95 comes with a utility called Backup, available in the system tools folder in the accessories folder on the start menu if you are running Windows 95. Backup allows you to choose a method of backup, either selecting each file or subdirectory individually, or choosing the a letter representing the drive you wish to back up. The figure to the right shows a screen shot of Microsoft Backup.

Once you've obtained and decided which software you want to back up your hard drive with, the next obvious step would be to start the back up procedure. Depending on the size of your hard drive, the time it takes for this process to complete will vary.

One general note about backing up data is that it should be done periodically. It is recommended by most PC specialists that a backup should occur at least once per month, that way you can assure your data is kept current.

 
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