Backing Up Your Computer with a CD-ROM

By: Teahupoo
Computers today are used in every part of life. They are used for communication, work, play and even to buy food. Therefore, when you lose a computer or even just a file from your computer, it is like losing your best friend. You can't back up or replace a best friend, but you can backup files, or your entire computer if desired.

Several back up methods exist. Some computers will automatically back themselves up; you just need to find the folder where the back up is stored. If your computer does not have this function, or you are not sure if the function exists or is working, manually back up your files. For example, after creating an important Microsoft Word document, save it at least twice in at least two different locations.

If however, you lose your entire hard drive, it won't matter how many times you have saved the same document. To avoid this dilemma, save your files on something other than the computer's hard drive. Floppy disks are not commonly used, but they will work for small files. Be ware that floppy disks can be unreliable and often crash just as your computer did.

USB Drives are becoming more popular as a back up tool. A USB drive is a small device that holds large amounts of information. It works like a floppy disk in that you can place files, delete files or move files around within the USB. All recent computers have USB ports that should be able to read any USB device.

CD ROMs are also a popular way to back up your files. A CD ROM looks just like a music CD you would buy in a store, but can hold up to 700 MB of information. This allows for large files or a large amount of small files to be stored on this disk. Once you put information onto a CD ROM, you can not add files or change the files on the disk. This can be one way of ensuring nobody else tampers with your work, but can also be frustrating when you would like to back up a newer version of your work. In this case, a CD RW disk may suit you better. RW stands for re writable disk. On this kind of disk you can add, delete and rewrite files until the disk is full. When using the rewrite option, be sure you do not accidentally rewrite something you wanted to keep the back up of.

Both CD options can be done on most home computers. You will need a CD (possibly two in case the first one ends up as practice!), and a CD burner. Almost all computers sold today, or sold recently, are equipped with a basic CD burner and burning software that is generally simple to use. If your computer is not equipped with these devices, you may purchase a basic CD burner and software for a relatively inexpensive price. Once you have created your back up CD, take care to keep it in a cool dry place where it will be safe from damage.
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