Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

You’ll Thank Me One Day*

Baby’s first steps. Graduations. Birthday parties. Wedding ceremonies. Today’s topic came from a recent conversation with a friend of mine– “That’s what life is; an accumulation of memories”–   and it got me onto to thinking about Deep Things.. and yes, I took a little stroll down my own Memory Lane…

But this is, after all, a tech site, and I am a World Renown Tech Journalist, and so I will not get all nostalgic on you, nor ‘share’ some of my favorite recollections. No, I won’t. But I will point out to you that more and more frequently, we are coming to rely on our computers to help us ‘remember’.

What do I mean by that? Well, now that we have digital photography, the odds are pretty good that the pictures you take — of baby’s first steps, graduation, B-Day parties, etc. –are not in a shoebox, or photo album, but are on your hard drive. Your “home movies” too.
Perhaps your computer is the only place you have those pictures/memories.

Tip of the day: Loyal Friends and True to this series know that once a month I remind my readers to make a backup copy of their important files (Ahem), and to store those copies someplace else. That’s because hard drives fail. (Not all that often, I grant you that, but they do die.. and not just from old age.) They can also get corrupted by malware, or erased by a virus or hacker, or…

If — for some bizarre and mysterious reason — your computer (or, just the hard drive) croaked and started pushing up daisies, would you lose the only pictures you have of Junior’s birth? Of your hard-earned graduation? Of your Grandmother?

Well, don’t let your heart get broken because you just “never got around” to making backup copies. Make copies today! Burn some CD’s/DVD’s and one other form of storage– another (external, maybe) hard drive, or perhaps online.

To help you, I refer you to two prior articles–
1) Windows has a built-in Backup Utility, found in Programs> Accessories> System Tools and my advice for using it is here,
Apple has a built-in Disk Imaging ability that is just great, but often overlooked:

2) Instead of buying an external drive, you might prefer to take advantage of an online storage service.. of which there are many. My article on selecting one is here,

Folks.. there are many, many reasons to make backup copies, and one reason not to (can you guess what it is?). Almost everyday in my real job I get calls from desperate people in a panic.. they’re panicked because they only have the one copy of their important stuff: don’t be one of them!

Today’s free download(s): Perhaps you would like a backup tool other than Windows’ own.. SyncBack is worth taking a look at. From C/Net Editor review, “This straightforward backup utility makes it a snap to safeguard and synchronize your files, and its freeware price just sweetens the deal. Surprisingly flexible for a free program, SyncBack can save your files anywhere: on external hard drives, in ZIP archives, on network drives, on CDs (using UDF), or transfer them via FTP. Recovering from a drive loss is also cinch, with a convenient restore tool that replicates folder trees along with the files in them.”
Also, I remind you of a prior posting here– the free Windows disk imaging utility DriveImageXML. Read an excellent review and get the download link here.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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September 17, 2008 - Posted by | advice, Apple, Backups, computers, file system, PC, software, tech, Windows | , , , ,


  1. Hey Paul,

    I hope this article gets wide play – you’re advice to your readers is so important.

    If a Hard Drive goes down (mechanically), data can, in many cases, still be recovered, but the current average cost to recover such a damaged drive approaches $7,000.

    So does backing up save? You bet; in real money!

    Bill Mullins


    Comment by Bill Mullins | September 17, 2008 | Reply

  2. […] you think backing up has limited value checkout “You’ll Thank Me One Day” by […]


    Pingback by Backup Image Hard Drives/Partitions with Free DriveImage XML « Bill Mullins’ Weblog - Tech Thoughts | September 17, 2008 | Reply

  3. Paul –
    You’re right about the backups. No data storage is foolproof, so two copies of archive data like photos is a must. CD’s are relatively cheap these days, no reason not to use them early & often. Backups should be checked too! We get a lot of business from people who never checked their backups until they needed them and found out they weren’t any good.
    Not sure where Bill is getting his numbers though. Professional data recovery services from an experienced company are not inexpensive, but no one I know of charges anything like that much for recovering a single drive.


    Comment by KP Williams | September 17, 2008 | Reply

  4. Hi!
    Thanks for the info. My HDD crashed. i think mirroring is good. don’t know how to mirror any software recommendation?


    Comment by Visit Enjoy! | September 18, 2008 | Reply

  5. Visit–
    “Mirroring” is accomplished throught the use of multiple hard-drives (at least two)configured for RAID (Redundant Array of Independendent Disks). Most modern motherboards come with RAID controllers as part of their chipset, and you’ll find the RAID configuration software on the motherboard’s driver CD.
    For an overview on RAID, see


    Comment by techpaul | September 18, 2008 | Reply

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