Computer 101 – DANGER – Back up your computer this week!

Janis Weber

I would shout out “do it today” but no one I have met does it the same day. I know you are busy this month, but what would you do if you lost all your files and photos? I have had two people call me this week whose hard drive has crashed. Gone is their data. They have a 25 percent chance, if they take the computer to a reputable shop, that they can retrieve the information and even fix the computer with a replacement drive. This isn’t free. They will spend hundreds to get the job done.

You ask how long does it take to back up everything on my computer? In most cases it will take maybe a half an hour, but you do not have to watch the process, merely start it. Walk away while it copies your stuff to an external source.

How big of a flash drive or external drive do you need for a backup? My suggestion is most people have between 500 GB and double that at 1 TB hard drive. I bet it is far from full. Get a drive that is at least 500 GB. You will never have to buy another external. This way all your files are in one place. All external devices use USB so it you can just plug it in to any USB port on your computer. It will show up in the File Explorer (yellow folder icon) as the next available letter. All computers come with C drive. You may have a D drive etc. The external will be the last one on the list and will probably be named with the manufacturer’s info.

Here are some Amazon prices you can use to compare. I put in a search for 500 to 1,000 GB and I found 170 drives for between $23 and $45 with a capacity of an average of 750 Gigabytes. Now, let me explain that a small flash drive with this storage will cost more mainly because little flash drives in the discount stores are just that, little. They only hold maybe 16 to 32 GB at $10-15 per unit. You may have some of these laying around but you must use multiple units to get the job done. Yuck. In the long run you are spending more and have a bunch of separate drives to store.

How to back up your computer. Put in one hefty external hard drive (about the size of your cell phone) to any USB port. Open the yellow folder icon at the bottom of your monitor. Identify the new drive. You have 5 main locations to back up. These are Desktop, Documents, Music, Videos and Downloads. Right click on the main folder for each one. A drop-down list will appear. Choose “SEND TO” then “EXTERNAL DRIVE NAME”. That file is on its way but don’t wait for it to finish. Go ahead and right click on the next subject listed above. Do the same thing. Choose to send to external drive. Again, do the same on each of the 5 topics. They will all load at the same time. Eventually, they will all close when the backup is complete. Some external drives have built in automatic backup capacity. It works most of the time but don’t trust it. Check the last back update.

As always, if you need help with your computer, I am happy to back up your files. While I am there, I will clean up your operating system and check for issues like slowness and efficiency.

I Make House Calls (I am fully vaccinated and masked if requested)

I will come to your home or office and help you with almost any predicament including repairs, upgrades, and personal software tutoring. I can be your resident “Geek.” I have an endless amount of patience and knowledge with years of experience. Send me a text or call at 419-290-3570.

Definition of The Day

A NETWORK is defined as data communication system that interconnects computer systems. Internet is a worldwide network of computer networks. The Internet was born because of technological advancements that have enabled virtually all computers to be networked together. Around 1980, the Advanced Research Project Agency, part of the Department of Defense, setup the first part of what the world today knows as the Internet.

Janis Weber, B.A., owner of Ohio Computer Training & Support, is a professional computer adjunct instructor. E-mail any specific questions or comments to or contact her for assistance at 419-290-3570. Private tutoring and repairs are just a phone call, text, or email away.

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