At some point in our technologically inclined lifestyle, we have experienced a situation or several situations where we end up losing files that were either important to us, our jobs, a project or someone close to us.
While lost files such as a Miley Cyrus mp3 track can simply be bought again online, downloaded, and be enjoyed, originally written documents and created files such as your degree assignments, work assignments, original web templates, original graphic art and your computerize accounting records are usually not easy to re-create or often cannot be recreated as ideal as the original content.
Generally, most people would rush to get a file recovery tool or use internal system recovery methods in a bid to regain access to their lost or deleted file. But file recovery systems only works in 50 percent of these cases and can only work if the PC’s Operating System was not reloaded over existing files or the hard drive was not wiped.
In other instances, the recovered files are either too corrupted or most of its contents are non-recoverable, thus making the file recovery method an often questionable exercise.
Technically, when you save your documents or create a file on your PC, it is stored at a pre-assigned point on the C: section of your hard drive. The C: section is also the default re-writable area of the hard disk that hosts the Operating System (such as Windows 7, Windows 8 etc), in addition to almost all program files and other documents.
Generally, if the Operating System crashes or becomes damage beyond repair, reinstalling it may mean wiping the C: section of the hard drive and, technically, deleting all of your files. However, even though Windows usually creates a back-up folder of old files when reinstalling the operating system, not all files, especially those stored on your desktop, are recoverable.
Therefore, in order to save yourself from the dilemma of losing important files, it is simply best to employ the old adage that says “prevention is better than cure.”
In other words, it would be best to use methods aimed at preventing your files from being lost in the first place, rather than trying to painstakingly recover them.
So if you are not the technical type, then here are three simple tricks that you can effortlessly employ to save your files from a potential deathbed.
1 – Cloud storage
You can use a free cloud storage option such as Drop Box, Google Drive, Sky Drive, Box, Copy, and Sugar Sync
There are so many cloud storage options out there these days that it would be an insult to PC file safety common sense if you do not have a cloud storage account somewhere.
With cloud storage, you can simultaneously create back-up copies of your files online or a back-up copy of your entire PC file system online, thus making it easy for you to regain access to all of your PC contents that was on the C: drive (desktop etc) if your equipment is damaged, lost, or stolen.
With cloud storage, you can simply dump the files back onto a new PC and easily continue with your work again.
It would also be good advise to use as least two cloud storage options at the same time, thus creating a duplicate cloud back-up of your files, (just in case).
The only minor requirement for cloud storage is that you must have internet access in order to back-up or to recover your files.
2 – Back-up flash storage
Since your PC stores its files on a vulnerable hard disk by default, and can potentially cause you to lose your created files if there is a system crash, then it would be a good idea to consider using an automated backup software such as Second Backup – Free File Backup or SmartSync Pro to make duplicates of your files on a flash drive or external memory card.
Both tools would automatically back up your PC files to your flash drive or external storage device, without requiring you to be tech savvy. However, if you have the patience for manual syncing or wants to monitor the storage space on your flash, then you can simply copy and paste your desired files and folders over to the flash drive.
The only disadvantage to flash back-up, is that if you loose the flash drive or the flash drive becomes damage or corrupted, then your files are gone. But on the positive side, it is worth the effort
3 – Partition storage
Generally, on every PC, there is a partition (or two) that is automatically or manually created during the Operating System’s installation and which would lists a free partition (or additional drive partition) as either the D or E drive, which is different from the main C partition. That area is generally used for automatic system backup of your files or as a buffer zone for the system memory to relieve itself.
However, if the Operating System on your C: drive is damaged or has crashed, the D and E partitions are usually left untouched. And even if the computer is reloaded again, the installation disk recognizes the existing D and E drive, and usually does not interfere with it.
In other words, if you manually back-up or store your files in that section (D or E) of the hard drive, chances are that you would be able to easily access those files again, even if the PC was reloaded with a new Operating System.
Therefore, as a third option you would want to try storing selected important files on the D or E partitions of your PC hard drive.
However, do not try to overload your partitions with more than half of its size with back-up files, because this can later cause intermittent system freezing.
While there are other additional options such as drive cloning and imaging, those were not listed here because it would require users with at least an intermediate level of technical PC knowledge to effectively use them.
But if you are not a tech savvy person or don’t have a clue about the technical aspects of your PC, the above methodologies would be ideal enough for you.
In essence, if you chooses to use all three of the back-up methods to archive your files, then losing them would almost be an impossibility.
Hence, I am sure that it would worth giving all three methods a shot.