Saturday, September 12, 2009

Preserving your files

This is part of a larger project but an important step.

This is really about backing up your data so you could follow these steps and burn your music, pictures etc. to cd or dvd, transfer them to an external hard drive or even a key-chain or flash drive. The main areas of concern are: pictures, music, documents, things you've created, game saves, email and favorites or bookmarks. It helps to try to stay organized before it's time to back up your stuff but this can be your organizing event.

Pictures, music etc. :
Most people have their files scattered all over their computer and the first task is to gather them and store them somewhere. I have multiple hard drives and I've created a folder (DFI documents, named for the motherboard in the computer) on F:\ to keep them in. Within this folder are subfolders named: music, firefox, desktop and so forth. I have a limited as well as a administrative account and have cleaned off my desktops in both, putting the files in, you guessed it, the folder named desktop. I followed this same patttern with music.

Firefox (version 3.5) has a feature that allows you to export your bookmarks in one fell swoop. Click bookmarks then click on "organize bookmarks". At the top you'll see "import and backup". Click that and on the drop down menu click "export HTML". You'll get a dialog box where you can save all your bookmarks as a web page. This is what I did. As for Internet Explorer, I looked but didn't see anything fun to use for this purpose but there is a way. In Firefox, again click on bookmarks, then "organize bookmarks", then "import and backup" and finally click on "import HTML". In the box that appears you can see how to import from I.E. and also import your bookmark file when you're done reinstalling or whatever.

Most people get their email through web based accounts (I do) so this shouldn't be a concern and if you're using Outlook Express just look for a option to export files or get G mail and send them to yourself.

One other way to preserve your data would be free online storge. Create an account and upload your most important stuff in case of a catastrophe. On this note, there is no predictor as to when your computer will fail, just that at some point your data will be in danger. One of the best ways to keep it safe is to have at least one duplicate or more. If you burn to optical media(cd's and dvd's) test them to make sure they can be read.

Reasons vary, but mine for doing all this is part of a larger project that involves:

  1. Preserving files from a computer.
  2. Obtaining drivers for hardware.
  3. Installing a new motherboard, video card, cpu and ram in this computer.
  4. Reinstalling windows xp.
  5. Restoring the preserved files.
  6. Preserving files on a second computer.
  7. Obtaining drivers for hardware.
  8. Installing the old motherboard, video card, cpu and ram in the second computer.
  9. Reinstalling windows xp.
  10. Restoring the preserved files.

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