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Data Backup

The term �data backup� seems pretty self-explanatory, but just to cover all the bases, I�ll break it down. For the purposes of this article, please assume that I�m strictly referring to the computing or information technology (IT) definitions of words like �data�.

What is Data?

�Data� can be simply defined as �all your files and information�. Just to get it out there, the technical definition is �Numerical or other information represented in a form suitable for processing by computer�. Although, the latter definition isn�t as personal as mine (�your� files ), they are essentially the same thing. It is important to note that your data can be stored in more places than just the hard drive inside your computer. I will get into this later in the article.

What is Data Backup?

�Backup� is defined as �a copy of computer data (as a file or the contents of a hard drive)�. But even the non-IT definition applies on a more grand scale; �one that serves as a substitute or support (a backup plan)�. It is essentially implying that if something happens to the original idea, you can always move onto and use the additional idea that you�ve created; the �Backup�. For the sake of this article, we�ll be assuming the �idea� is �data�.

What is Data Backup and why is it Important?

When combining the two words, we have our focal idea �data backup� or �the backing up of data�. The idea behind data backup is to have it stored in more than one place. This is beneficial in the event that the original location is lost, corrupted, or damaged. While you or your IT people/person work to remedy whatever the original problem was, all your important data will be waiting for you on the secondary location (the backup) ready to be used the way it once was in the original location. This is the benefit of data backup; simple retrieval of your important information once you overcome a technical problem.

Imagine this anecdote; you are beginning to get into photography and are taking a few classes on it. As you can probably assume, there�s more to a photography class than simply taking pictures and handing them in. There are typically reports, papers, and written exams just like any other class. So what you do is make a folder on your computer called �Photography�. This is where you store all your photos for the class as well as any and all documentation relating to the class. Also, during the process of moving your images from your camera to your computer, you do not keep the images on the storage card in the camera. This is simply because you take so many pictures for the class that the card does not have enough space. Anyway, now think of what would happen if the hard drive in the computer broke or all the data became corrupted and unrecoverable. Microsoft Windows and all your software can be reinstalled from the respective CDs; usually without issue. But, if you never set up a means of backing your data (or at least the photography folder) then everything you�ve been working on for this class is gone. In many cases, professionals cannot even retrieve data from your hard drive. At Tech to Us, sadly, we see this happen far too often to our customers.