Proper file storage and backup is critical in order to ensure the integrity and longevity of your digital media. While automatic backup software is fully capable of transferring your data to a secondary source, the truth is that most applications are backing up way too much data then you actually need.
Centralize Your Files
If you have a series of hard drives within your system, or even a lot of directories, subdirectories and folders, then you may want to consider moving them all into a centralized location prior to backup. This greatly reduces hard drive access, thereby speeding up the amount of time it takes to perform the backup. The reduced amount of hard drive access can also increase the lifespan of your drive.
Delete Unnecessary Files
Although automatic backup software is usually able to distinguish between your personal files and system files, the algorithms these programs use are not foolproof. This may cause your software to backup files that are unnecessary, including temporary installation files, Internet cookies, and your network cache. Removing such files prior to initiating the backup process will ensure that only the most important files will be archived. Not only does this help to save precious hard drive space, it also quickens the entire file backup process once it has started.
Only Backup Personal Files
Keep in mind that it is not necessary to backup every single file on your hard drive. Obviously you'll want to backup your important files on a regular basis, such as your documents, list of contacts, personal data files, pictures and maybe even your online bookmarks, but other files, including those that are installed from a floppy disk, CD or DVD, can be left out of such archives. In this case, the disk, CD, or DVD itself serves as the master archive. You can free up a lot of storage space in your system by eliminating such files from your current archives and by making sure to exclude them in any future backups.
Create an Automatic Backup Schedule
While some users prefer to backup files manually, there are plenty of automated solutions available on the consumer market for archiving or backing up your files. In fact, many of today's most popular operating systems include the option of scheduling an automatic backup right from the desktop. This lets you set a specific date and time, ideally during the computer's downtime, to perform the backup without interrupting your daily productivity.
Backing up your files is the only way to guarantee the longevity of your digital files. Because all electronic devices and components are prone to failure, and since hard drives typically see a lot of use, it truly is only a matter of time before your hard disk drives begin to fail. By taking advantage of the techniques outlined in this article, however, you can reduce that risk through the organization of files, making sure to archive only your important files, and scheduling automatic backups when you are away from your computer.
Optimizing Your System for Efficient File Storage and Backup
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