Jun 26

Are you backing up your data?

I often come across customers who have lost their importantĀ  documents to a computer disaster. Most times they didn’t have a backup strategy in place, or they did, but they weren’t implementing it. I always stress this to my customers. Backup your data. Set up a backup strategy and stick to it. One key aspect of a successful backup strategy is keeping your data in as many places as possible.

Most operating systems include some sort of backup feature that allows you to set up a backup schedule. There are also services that backup your important documents online (services such as Mozy Backup or Carbonite for instance). You can always purchase an inexpensive external hard drive and copy your files manually or with a backup utility. Anything you choose to do is better than not doing anything.

If you are running any flavor of Windows 7 on your computer, you have access to an easy to use and reliable backup utility. It takes a few minutes to set up, and you just need to plug in an external hard drive. Getting two external hard drives and alternating between the two is not a bad idea either. As I said, keeping your data in as many places as possible is a key part of a successful backup strategy.

If you run a business, it is a good idea to hire a professional to help you come up with a reliable backup strategy that fits your business needs and policies. You can always give us a call. I may post something related to business backup strategies in the future.

On your personal computer, a backup strategy is something simple to set up.You just need to use a backup utility to set up a schedule and make sure the backup runs.

You can always use a third party utility or copy the files your self, but, if you are running any version of Windows 7, you can set up the backup schedule in a few easy steps.

Click on the start menu and type “Backup” in the search box. One of the items you will find is called “Backup and Restore” – click on it. This will open the Backup and Restore center. In this window you can check the status of your existing backup schedule if you already have it set up. You can also modify the backup settings or set up up a new backup schedule.

Plug in your external hard drive or thumb drive (make sure there is enough space to hold your data or complete system drive). Click on “Setup Backup.” This will open the Setup Backup Wizard. The wizard is pretty straight forward. Just select the destination on the first section (the external hard drive.) Select what you want to back up (you can let Windows choose for you or select the option to choose yourself if you want to add locations outside of your libraries – documents, pictures, videos, etc). Modify the schedule on the next window. Then click save settings and run backup. That’s pretty much it. Now you just have to make sure the computer is on and the hard drive is plugged in whenever the backup will run.

Mar 05

Microsoft will end support for some versions of Windows in 2010.

Support will end for Windows Vista with no service packs on April 13th 2010 and for Windows XP with Service PackĀ  2 on July 13th 2010. If you are running any of these versions, you should consider updating to the latest service pack.

What does this mean? This means that after these dates these products won’t be able to receive the latest security patches from the Microsoft Update website. If you want to stay protected, you should upgrade to the latest Service Pack.

Windows XP 64 bit is an exception. If you are running Windows XP 64 bit SP2, you have the latest version of the Operating System, and you will continue to receive security updates.

How do you find out what version of the operating system you are running? The easiest way to do this is to click on your Start Menu, right-click My Computer (or Computer for Windows Vista), and click Properties.

How do you install the latest service pack? The easiest way to do this is to turn on Windows Update and select a time to install the updates automatically.

To turn on Automatic Updates in Windows XP click on the start menu and click run, type sysdm.cpl and press the enter key, click on the Automatic Updates tab, select Automatic (recommended) Automatically download recommended updates for my computer and install them, and finally select a time to install the updates. Windows will connect to the internet for you and check for the latest updates and install them on the schedule you specified.

To turn on Automatic Updates in Windows Vista click on the start menu, click all programs, select Windows Update, in the left pane – click change settings, and choose the option you want. In this case we want to select the option to install the updates automatically.

Another option is to check for updates manually and install the latest service pack.

To do this in Windows XP open up Internet Explorer and go to the following site – windowsupdate.microsoft.com. Once you are on the site click the “Express” button to check for updates.

In Windows Vista click on the start menu and type Windows Update on the search bar, select Windows Update from the items on the search results, select check for updates in the left hand pane, and select install updates to install any found updates.

It is always good to keep your computer up to date with the latest security updates. This will protect your PC from attackers and viruses that may exploit any security holes on the operating system.

If you need any assistance with any of this don’t hesitate to contact us, and we will gladly help you.

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