While working as a Mac Genius at the Apple Store, one of my most depressed tasks was to say customers that we were unable to rescue any important data from their dying hard drive. Some customers received this news with bashful acceptance, while others became very upset that their vacation photos were lost, or that thousands of dollar’s worth of iTunes downloads were gone. These customers learned the hard way that backups are necessary to maintaining the gigantic amounts of data that even novice computer users accumulate. As we move more and more of our lives onto our computers, data backups have become as important as maintaining homeowner’s insurance, and performing regular maintenance on our cars. If our data is so important, why do so many of us fail to perform regular backups? It is a fact that EVERY hard drive will eventually fail. Failure could occur 1 week after you take your new computer out of the bin, or it may not happen for 2 or 3 years. This is why regular backs are so necessary.
Data backups can take many forms. Just about all computer sold today has a CD burner installed. Many also have optical drives capable of writing data to DVDs. A standard CD can keep about 700 megabytes of data while a standard DVD can hold up to 4.7 gigabytes. In recent years, the dual layer DVD has proven useful for data backups. They provide about 8.5 gigabytes of data storage. CDs and DVDs can be very useful for archiving data for storage off of your computer’s hard drive. The disadvantages of using CDs and DVDs for data backups are that it is often hard to append more data onto them, and backups are not automatic. They require that the end user insert a disk into the drive, choose data to be backed up, and wait through the burn process to complete. Many of us (myself included) have so much important data that it would take several DVDs to backup anything. This can be very time absorbing. As a result, backups become a tedious endeavor, and will often be put off. Over time, CD/DVD backups can also prove to be more costly than other methods.
- Do I need to backup individual files if I use Time Machine? (discussions.apple.com)
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