Image of angry man at computer that has just crashed

When was the last time you experienced that Blue Screen of Death? March 31st is World Backup Day and is a reminder that anything that can go wrong with your computer, will go wrong, and backing up is an important step in protecting your precious files. There are many ways to backup your files, from hard drive to CD/DVDs and cloud storage online.

Hard Drive: if you have room on your hard drive, create a copy folder of your essential data. This not only gives you a second copy but is what you can use to copy out to CDs, DVDs or other media.

CDs and DVDs: if your computer has a CD/DVD burner, you can create your own CDs and DVDs to store data.

External Hard Drive: an external hard drive can connect to your computer via a USB connection and they can hold 1 TB at a relatively cheap price (some under $100). What's also nice is the size: some can fit in the palm of your hand.

Online Backup Services: there are a variety of sites that allow you to backup your data some even for free!If you are a video editor, backing up your files is even more crucial than the average user because video files take up a lot of space, editing is labor-intensive and not only will you lose your files but all the hard work spent creating your masterpiece. Videomaker has several stories on backing up your system , they are worth re-visiting. Here area few tips to keeping your system safe as possible: Kill Your Background Aps: Things that are running in the background all the time that don't need to be there like instant messaging.

Dedicate your System to be for Editing only: I know, it's hard to have one computer dedicated only for editing that neither you nor anyone else can touch, but if that computer is your livelihood it needs to be untouchable. If you can keep it 'pure', you're going to help prevent malware and other creepies from getting into your system. Don't let the kids play online games on your system and try to never even hook it up to the internet except when you need to update your editing aps or operating system. The goal is to keep the computer from acquiring all of the random junk it tends to acquire when people aren't paying attention to keeping it error-free. It is possible to run a healthy computer for both video editing and other purposes, but it requires more forethought and care.

Get a RAID for Your System: Consider getting a RAID for your video editing computer and storing video files there and not on your main drive. A separate video drive gives you the luxury of of cleaning up the drives between projects, and backing up to another for an added measure of security.

Stick to a Regular System Maintenance Program: A good maintenance program will help keep your system running smoothly. Defrag your drives between projects. Check online for critical software and driver patches and updates. According to the World Backup Day site your computer's hard drive "is the component that has the highest likelihood of breaking expectantly, and it is the component that causes the most damage when it fails! If the processor fails, a new one can be switched out and the computer will be exactly the same as when you started." the site adds that "if the hard drives breaks, the data will most likely be unrecoverable, unless you're willing to spend an exorbitant amount of money on data recovery." LaCie, makers of hard drives and storage solutions, is partnering with the World Backup Day folks to continue to spread the backup message with contests and prizes, make sure to check them out. If you're looking to buy a new system, here's a preview of our upcoming May issue feature for the Workstation Buyer's Guide.

Just like the reminders to change the batteries in your smoke alarm every time you set your clocks backwards or forwards for Standard or Daylight Saving Time, World Backup Day is just an annual reminder to back up files. The best way to remember to back them up is to set a daily, weekly or monthly schedule and follow it every time.

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