tech tips for writers / writers tips

End-of-year tech tips: Back up Your Computer

This week, I’m providing tips for end-of-year technology maintenance. Sure, you should do it once a month if you’re active on your computer, but AT LEAST do it yearly. Like today.

Tech Tips for Writers is an occasional post on overcoming Tech Dread. I cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about questions. I’ll cover it in a future Tip. Today: How to prepare for the new year:

Q: I’ve had some virus problems and it reminds me that I need to back-up my computer for the new year. I have all of my writing on there–what if I lost it? What’s the easiest way?

A: There are many ways–and I use all of them because I am truly paranoid about losing my work. Here are some ideas:

  • use a back-up service like Carbonite. They automatically and continuously backup to the cloud so even if you forget to do this, they don’t. Even better, you can access your work from anywhere with an internet connection. I love that.
  • email copies of your most important writing to yourself. For WIP, I do it constantly. Every day. If you use Gmail, you can email up to 20 mb. If your file is larger than that (which some of mine are–and my RTFs definitely are) just upload them to the Google Drive associated with your Gmail.
  • Use Windows Backup function. Here’s what you do:
  • Click the start button.
  • Go to Control Panel
  • Select ‘Backup and Restore
  • Select ‘Backup Now’

From there, you’ll select a drive with sufficient space and start. Be forewarned: If you have a lot of data, it takes a while. You can work on your computer while it’s backing up; it’ll just be slower.

A note: This is the same location you’ll go to restore from back-up if you have a problem.

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, a freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a monthly contributor to Today’s Author. In her free time, she is  editor of a K-8 technology curriculum and technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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19 thoughts on “End-of-year tech tips: Back up Your Computer

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  3. Jacqui-again you are so helpful. Thank you for this. I usually backup to an external drive, but what if that fails? So-I think your suggestion of backing up to Google drive is a good one.
    Some people back up to z thumb drive-what’s your opinion on that?


    • I’m with you, Kate. I’m paranoid and use every tool out there to back up. I have a massive thumb drive–128 MB!–so I can grab it and run if need be. In case the cloud fail me. This is too stressful!


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