Quick Tip:
Back Up and Sleep Soundly, Part 1

There's only one 100% safe way to protect your valuable work files from being lost in a hard drive or system crash: Back up your data.

There are two practical approaches to backing up files. The first is to copy your files to an external hard drive connected to your computer. The second is to use an online storage provider.

Today, we'll talk about using an external hard drive. Next issue, we'll delve into Web-mail and online storage providers. We actually recommend that you use both approaches – and you'll understand why after reading both Quick Tips.

The biggest advantage of backing up to an external drive connected to your computer is that you can use software to do it automatically.

The two best-known backup utilities are Data Backup by ProSoft Engineering (for Mac only, around $50) and Retrospect (for both Mac and PC, around $100). Both of these applications work automatically after you set up a schedule. Then, you don't have to do a thing. The software does it all.

The first time you run the software, you specify which folders you want backed up and where you want them saved. The “where” should be to your external drive. After the first save, the “which” should be any files that have changed.

You can purchase a USB or Firewire drive with enough storage capacity (80 to 250 Gigabytes) for between $90 and $160 online.

While it's possible to use CDs for backing up your files, it's slow and inefficient. Soon, you put off doing it … and, eventually, it just stops happening.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


Click to Rate:
Average: 5.0
Published: October 6, 2005

Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)


This name will appear next to your comment.


Your email is required but will not be displayed.


Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters


Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)