In this article, we are going to show you how to backup your computer’s hard drive. Why backup a hard drive? There are a number of reasons.
Sometimes hard drives fail and you might need computer repair. This is simply because your hard drive is made of moving parts, and all moving parts eventually fail.
You might want to backup your hard drive so that you can do a simple recovery. We aren’t perfect – you might open an email virus on accident or mistakenly delete an important file. Taking frequent backups can give you peace of mind. You can restore your computer before the virus happened. Or you can recover that important document.
If your hard drive does fail, you might find yourself losing important work that you were in the middle of. Nobody likes extra work, so you if suffer from data loss, you might end up having to re-do all of the important work you have done!
How to Backup Windows
If you want to backup your Windows computer, you’re going to need an external hard drive where you can store the backup. Connect the hard drive to your computer by using one of your USB ports.
Keep in mind:
- The external hard drive needs to be formatted to use with a Windows computer to work.
- You may also utilize a high-capacity flash drive.
- Open start, by clicking the Windows logo in the left-hand bottom corner of the screen.
- Open settings by choosing the gear-shaped icon in the bottom left-hand side of the start window.
- Choose Update and Security.
- Click on Backup. You’ll find it on the top left side of the Update and Security page
- Choose to add a drive. This will be at the top of your page, and a drop-down menu will appear.
- Choose your external hard drive. This will set your hard drive as your computer’s backup drive.
- Select more options, located near the “on” switch close to the top of the page.
- Choose to Backup now. You’ll find this option in the top left corner of the page.
- This will tell Windows to put together the backup and begin to load it on your external drive.
- Wait for your backup to finish.
- You’ll see a “Backup completed” confirmation on the bottom of your screen to the right once your backup is finished.
- You can now eject and remove the external hard drive.
How to Backup Mac
- Connect your external hard drive to your Mac computer, by using one of the USB-C ports.
- If your external hard drive utilizes a USB 3.0 connection, you’re going to need a USB 3.0 to USB-C adapter to be able to connect the drive to your computer.
- Open the Apple menu by clicking the Apple logo located near the top of the screen in the left corner.
- A drop-down menu will appear.
- Select System preferences, close to the top of the drop-down menu.
- Choose Time Machine, an icon that looks like a green clock dial.
- Time Machine will open.
- Choose Select Backup disk, near the top of the page.
- A window will open and you will be allowed to select your external hard drive.
- Click on Use Disk, at the bottom of the window.
- This will set your external hard drive as your Mac’s backup drive.
- Select the Time Machine icon in the top right corner of the screen.
- You’ll see a drop-down menu.
- Select Backup now, near the top of the menu.
- This will tell Time Machine to start backing up your Mac to your hard drive.
- Wait for your backup to finish.
- You’ll see a confirmation message when the backup finishes.
- Eject, and then remove your external hard drive.
How to Backup Your Windows Laptop
Backing up files on your laptop is also important. Laptops are portable, so they are easy to lose. Hard drives also fail. A backup on your laptop will give you a copy of all of your files. Here is the process to backup files that are not too large that never change.
- Insert a blank DVD into your laptop’s CD/DVD reader
- Open your DVD burning application, any type of program will do.
- Choose Data DVD as your disc type.
- A window will pop up.
- Drag any important files, like pictures, work documents, ebooks, etc, onto the disc until the disc is full.
- You might need more than once disc to fit all of your files into your backup.
- Title your backup something memorable with the date and select burn.
- Repeat the process until all of the files you want have been backed up to your DVD.
- Label the discs.
It’s important to store your external hard drive and your DVD backups somewhere safe. You don’t want to lose all of your data, or see it fall into the wrong hands. You can encrypt the backup on your external hard drive for extra security if you are worried about snoops or hackers.
Now that you know how to backup your computer, you can rest assured that in the event of hard drive failure, human error, or loss or theft, you’ll still have access to all of your important data. Make sure you perform regular backups, and you’ll have peace of mind.
On a side note, if your hard drive is making clicking noises or you find it is getting hard to retrieve files, it might be on its way out. Consider upgrading to an SSD, which has a much longer lifespan and will considerably speed up your computer.
To do so, check out your local third party repair shop, or if you are brave, look up directions and attempt to do it yourself.