If you are a Mac user, I will give you some tips I recommend you do before you upgrade to High Sierra, which I will detail in next week’s Apple Tech Guru article. If you are a PC user, this article is about routine data management, which you should do periodically.
We are preparing ourselves in the event we experience a hard drive failure or other potentially devastating computer-related event. Our preparation includes the capability of accessing our data from an external backup.
If you want a simple backup performed, copy your personal files, those from your documents, pictures, movies and videos, and music folders and any other folders that may contain files you want to save, and then paste them to your external drive. What I like to do is create a new folder on my external drive and I name it the current date and then I paste everything into that folder. It helps me to keep my backups organized.
For those of you who want a backup of your entire system including programs, apps and personal data, Mac users should perform a Time Machine backup and PC users should create a system image. In both these cases, be certain to save your backup to an external drive.
You should also make certain that if you need to reinstall any programs or applications, that you have the disks or the download sources readily available with your product keys.
What else could we possibly lose if our hard drive gives up? You should review your user names and passwords, especially for any streaming movie websites you belong to, as well as any government or medical websites where you need to log in. When your home has a wireless network, knowing your log in credentials will get you reconnected to the Internet in a snap.
Whether you are preparing to upgrade your operating system or you just want peace of mind, keeping these items available and handy will make it a seamless process to regain access to your personal data should you need to.
For more than 15 years, Scott Lindsay has helped tens of thousands of people better their skills, publishing more than 400 articles about Apple and Microsoft software, the computer and the Internet. You can reach Scott for comments or questions at ScottLindsay@live.com