You read about it, hear about it, but do you really think a computer crash can happen to you? You bet. It's easy to become complacent – after all, you take precautions. You're smart. No matter how long you've been using a computer, you know that it's absolutely necessary to back up your files just in case your computer crashes – right? Of course you do.
I've been using computers at home since 1993 – a long time. And, I've upgraded computers at least 8 times since then. Each new upgrade gets faster with bigger hard drives. Each upgrade in hard drives leads to more and more new software programs with more and more files being stored. In all this time, I've never experienced a computer crash – until now. I took some additional precautions so I would not lose any of my files.
I made sure that I backed up the majority of my programs and my files. But, what happens if my hard drive crashes and after several hours of trying different things, I find there is no fix? Do I have back up files – sure I do. But, there is not a day that goes by that I'm not creating more files, or web revisions. Do I have the most recent changes saved – no. I guess like a lot of us who are busy running work from home businesses (both online and offline) we do not always follow our back up schedules religiously. I'm guilty of doing just that.
How often should you back up programs and files? That depends on how many changes you make on a daily / weekly basis. For some, once a month would be good enough – for others, once a day. You have to decide how much effort it will take if your system crashes, and if it can not be reclaimed, how much effort it will be to re-install your programs and files on a new hard drive.
How are you going to back up critical information? Your choice will depend on how large your programs are, how many, and how many files you have. If you have the CDs to all your software programs, it's just a matter of relating them all. But, what if you've purchased some over the Internet and downloaded them? If your smart, you'll keep them all (most of them come 'zipped') in a separate file folder on your hard drive and ensure that you back up this folder every time you download a new software program.
If you need Serial Numbers to load some of these software programs, and you received instructions and serial numbers by email, print them and keep them in a separate hard copy folder so you can retrieve them as needed. A paperless office is not necessarily good especially for this situation.
And, if you're really prepared, you have an older computer around (one you kept when you purchased a new model) so you can continue, in a temporary mode at least, to do business until you've resolved your computer. Be prepared – a computer crash can happen to you too!