So you backup every once in a while. But when was the last time? You have some of the passwords, serial keys and disks for those expensive programs you bought. Or do you? If you’re beginning to sweat, don’t worry. It’s easy to become lulled into a sense of security when your PC boots up every morning without fail. You become lax. You’re living in a fantasy world where unicorns prance through the daisy fields with sparkling rainbows overhead, a place where emergency data recovery isn’t needed and PCs never fail to boot when you press the power button.
Okay, that’s better. Now that you’re back to reality, you KNOW computers fail and having a file recovery plan in place is a dirty necessity we all need to live with. Otherwise, you could find your computer–along with all of your expensive programs and baby pictures dead–unresponsive when you press the power button. Follow the steps below to make sure you have a data recovery system in place, so WHEN your computer fails, you can be back up and running within an hour.
Emergency Data Recovery Plan
A good data recovery plan means you have everything you need to get your computer back to the condition it was when it failed in a timely manner. The best way to do this is to have a separate hard drive with a bootable disk image ready to go. You can find recovery software programs to do this on our free software downloads site, PCTechBytesfiles.com. The Easeus ToDo Backup Home program is a great option for this recovery method. Or you can do it the hard way with the steps below:
- Backup and Organize
- Do you even know how to launch the recovery partition on your hard drive? Do you press F8 at boot? Or is it F11? Find out.
- Have a Windows Disk ready or create a set of recovery disks for your computer if you do not already have them. You cannot rely on that recovery partition on your hard drive, as that hard drive will eventually fail.
- If you plan on reinstalling using a Windows disk, make sure you also have drivers for the hardware installed in your computer. Burn those drivers to a separate disk.
- Backup your documents, pictures, movies, Internet favorites and email.
We highly recommend an off-site backup scheme such as Carbonite. If your computer fails, you can reinstall your programs from their servers in a few mouse clicks. Or if you do not like the off-site option, we really love the Clickfree Automatic Backup 250 GB because all you need to do is attach it to your computer and forget about it.
In addition to having a complete backup to your data, you should have the disks for any programs you have installed on your PC. If you downloaded them, confirm you have the emails with those download links and serial numbers so you can quickly reinstall those programs once you reinstall the Operating System.
A while back we created a handy computer information form for writing down all of the important information about your computer. You should download it and fill it out. Gather all of your disks, the backups and the completed form and put it in a shoebox at the top of your closet. We cannot guarantee unicorns exist, but we can guarantee you will need to perform data recovery sooner or later, so be prepared and have a file recovery plan in place.