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Why Backup?

All those backups seemed a waste of pay.
Now my database has gone away.
Oh I believe in yesterday.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 90% of businesses that lose their vital media records are out of business within one year.

Backup can be considered as an insurance for your data. Not having a backup software is a big mistake. Unfortunately many people recognize the importance of backups when it's too late and their important files are already lost...

You can easily loose your data due to something that is totally out of your control. Your hard drive can suddenly break down, or a virus can wipe out everything on your computer and so on (fire, water flood, theft.). Don't forget about a simple human error, one of the leading causes of data loss: you can accidentally delete your important files.

As a result, your entire business could be gone forever. Only when you have a backup, it is not a tragedy, as if you have a recent copy of your data, it is a simple matter of restoring, and you are back in business.

But it is not only for emergencies that is important to have a backup. If you buy a new computer, with a backup software you can easily restore all the documents that you backed up on your old computer. Having a backup is also important if you decide to add a new hardware on your PC.

The majority of backup programs perform incremental backup that suit many people's need. First you will need to perform a full backup, and then, at regular intervals, only new and changed files are backed up. It is up to you to decide how often that regular interval is. The shorter the backup interval is, the lower is the amount of work you loose when a disaster strikes.

Full backup is possible only if your medium (USB drive, flash drive, NAS, CD/DVD etc) can contain all the data, or if your backup program lets you split the data over several media. Obviously, it is reasonable to start to back up your most important files first. The highest priority is to back up your crucial documents, including Word and Excel files, spreadsheets, scanned photographs, music files etc. Storing these documents in one place on your hard drive makes it easier to back them up.
For instance, if all of your most important documents are in the My Documents folder (and distributed in subfolders), you can back up the entire folder, and easily recover it afterwards.

A backup is useless until you can restore it after losing your data. That is why it makes sense to test your backups from time to time. E.g. you can try restoring data to a temporary directory of your PC. Ideally, it is necessary to back up the data to more than a single media.
It is also important to store your backups in a different location to your computer.

Back up your data on a regular basis before you experience the pain of losing it!