Data Recovery and Backup – How to Perform for Best Results

Recovering data and backing up data both are the most important tasks that anyone can perform on a computer if the data that is stored is very important or valuable to the person. A backup is an extra copy of data or software files that you can use if the originals become destroyed or damaged; however a backup can also include a full system backup. Data and system files can be corrupted or lost due to a virus, system failure, file corruption or other problems; if you lose data or system files for any reason, you will soon come to appreciate and see the importance of having backups.

Types of Media Involved in Data Recovery and Backup

There are many types of computer backup systems; you can backup your data and/or system files to media, have a backup PC, perform an online PC backup or perform a system backup. Many people write data to a hard drive. When data is stored on other media such as an external hard drive, a CD or a flash drive, it is also important that you keep a copy of the data on some other kind of media. You should never trust your data to just one type of media.

You should first decide on the backup media that you will use, whether it will be tape, CD, DVD, flash drive, another hard drive or other media. For additional safety, store the backup media at a different location from your computer completely.

Types of Backup for Data Recovery and Backup

Most all backup programs give you a choice to perform a full backup, copy backup, incremental backup, differential backup, or daily backup. A full backup is one in which all files selected for backup are copied to the media you are using to backup. Each file gets marked that it has been backed up and something called an archive attribute is cleared. After the backup, when a file has any modifications, the archive attribute is turned back on to indicate that the file will need to be backed up again next time since changes were made. If you use the full backup method each time, the media you back up to is the only media you will need if you have to perform a restore; however, this can be very time consuming and expensive.

An incremental backup is one in which all files that have been created or changed since the last backup are backed up and all files get marked as being backed up. this means the file archive attributes get cleared. Using this method, if you need to recover data, you would need the last full backup and all the incremental backups since you performed the last full backup.

A differential backup is a backup in which all files that have been created or changed since the last full or incremental backup are backed up and the files are not marked as backed up. If you need to restore data at a later time, you will need the last full backup and the last differential backup.

Windows XP – Data Recovery and Backup

Windows XP offers the Ntbackup program that backs up files and folder; Vista and Windows 7 offer similar utilities. You can also purchase third part backup software that offers many nice features and is easier to use. Backing up data takes time and some backup media can be expensive; therefore, you can use a selective backup plan in which you only backup data that changes regularly.

Windows Vista/7 – Data Recovery and Backup

Windows Vista and 7 have a backup utility called the Backup and Restore Center, but decisions about which user files and folders can be backed up are limited. For this reason, many people choose to use a third-party backup program. You use the Backup and Restore Center by connecting your backup device to the computer. In the System and Maintenance menu, click on Back up your computer. The rest of the wizard is easy and self-explanatory.

Data Recovery and Backup – Restoring Your Backup

Data recovery and backup involves disaster recovery planning; you should prepare for a disaster before it happens. What if the hard drive on your computer stops working and you lost all of your data? What would be the impact?

A good rule of thumb when it comes to data recovery and backup is that data should be backed up every 4 to 10 hours of data entry; this plan might mean that you back up once a day, once a week or even once a month. When you backup data for the first time or schedule an initial backup, you should verify that you can use the backup tape or disks to perform a successful restore. You could do this by creating a backup, erasing a file and using the recovery features to make sure you can recover the data. Keep your backup media in a safe place where no one can steal it or where fire cannot damage it.

To restore files using the Backup and Restore Center, you go to the Backup Status and Configuration windows, click Restore Files and follow the on-screen instructions. You will be allowed to select a specific backup and also files and folders to restore.

Data recovery and backup is essential for most everyone, but especially businesses that depend on their data and computers for income.