If your laptop failed right now, could you restore all of your important files and information on your new laptop within an hour? It is absolutely essential that you back up important information from your laptop to External Hard Drive, a Flash Drive, and/or Cloud Storage. Your laptop can be lost, stolen, dropped, spilled on, or otherwise rendered unusable at any time. Its hard drive can fail without warning, making it impossible to access any of its data. If the only copy of your important intellectual property, hard work, and creative effort is on your laptop, you are running a terrible risk of losing it all forever. This prospect is disturbing enough for students, who risk losing semesters of academic work, but it is of critical importance for Winona State University employees who risk losing tremendous professional and institutional investments. Backing up your laptop data is an easy thing to do, there are a number of good, relatively inexpensive storage solutions available, and there is plenty of help available for both students and employees who have questions.
- Students - Contact the Digital Learning Center (457-5240 Option 1; firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Faculty and Staff - Contact TLT in the Professional Resource Center (457-5240 Option 3; email@example.com)
Your path to backup enlightenment
Laptop hard drives fail all the time and the files stored on them are often unrecoverable. If this happens to you, would you be back in action without any significant interruption or data loss as soon as you get a new laptop? To achieve this state of technological enlightenment, follow the principles below:
- Think of your laptop as a desk, not a file cabinet. Your files should be stored on network, cloud, or external drives where you can access them from multiple devices and copy them to your laptop as needed.
- Backing up should not be an event. Managing your digital assets should be a continuous process that is as habitual and automated as possible.
- Use network and cloud storage. You should never have an important file on your laptop that isn't copied to network, cloud, or external storage.
- Know where your files are. Develop a folder structure that works for you, revisit it regularly to refine it as needed, and stick to it.
- Keep your laptop beautiful. Don't leave your files strewn about and make a point to tidy up your laptop at least once a week.