Over the years, it’s become evident that many students aren’t storing their files very well, forcing them to have to rebuild some that they can’t locate all files or links for. Here’s the low down on backing-up and archiving:
At this point, I’ve stopped trusting external hard drives. I’ve had more than one fail on me, and I can’t take the stress of it anymore. So I’ve moved on to backing up remotely using an online service. I use Mozy. There are tons of other services. I’ve heard many people like Carbonite and Dropbox (which offers the first 2GB free!). Have a look and see which one works best for you. Eventually, you’ll have to pay a little to back up (2GB go fast!), but it’s WORTH it. Trust me.
But what about archiving? What’s the difference? Your back-up drive is used to make sure you have the most recent work saved on a separate drive should your computer’s hard drive fail. But for long term storage, I like to burn on to DVDs. I print a list of the folders for easy searching down the line and include it with the disk. Trust me, you’re going to want to go back to old files and this saves time and heartache. I usually burn 2 discs as they tend to fail in the ripping process pretty often. If you want to go even one step further—burn a copy to take off site—in other words store it somewhere else in case of fire/theft etc. That’s going the extra mile for sure, but not all that crazy when you think about it.
If any of this doesn’t make sense, let me know!