File backup (Students)

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File backup refers to the act of copying information on one device to another location so that, in the event of data loss or damage, you can restore that information with a minimum amount of time, effort, and rework. There are multiple methods for backing up your files. If you are reading this to figure out how to backup read this page first to figure out what method is best for you and then see the How To Backup section.

Methods of File Backup

Manual (Drag and Drop)

Manual backup commonly involves the user dragging and dropping from the original location onto the backup location to make the copies. This can be used on both the PC and Mac platforms. This requires some sort of external drive, be it a Flash Drive, External Hard Drive, or even cloud storage space.


Media for file backup

CDs and DVDs

Slow, Small, Cheap, "Non-Reusable" File Backup

If you have a larger amount of files to back up you can use a CD-R or a DVD-R to burn your data too. This method is slow as your computer has to literally burn the data into the disc with a laser but is also probably the cheapest. CD's and DVD's can cost as little as a few pennies when bought in bulk and can store from 700mb to 10gig on a single disc.

Although most CD's/DVD's are a one time use there are CD-RW's and DVD-RW that are re-writable. These discs however can sometimes have issues being rewritten if there are scratches or other blemishes on the disc surface.

Flash Drives

Fast, Small, Cheap, Reusable File Backup

If you have a small number of files you want to backup, try using a Flash Drive. These methods are only good for a smaller number of files due to storage limits on these devices. One thing to note is that flash drives have been increasing in storage capacity, but when you reach the high end the prices greatly increase.

External Hard Drive

Fast, Large, Expensive, Reusable File Backup

Although this is probably one of the more expensive options available it is probably the best for regular and large backups of files. Drives in this category typically range from 500GB to 3TB. These are fast, and connect to your computer through USB most often. Other drives may include eSATA or Thunderbolt connections which provides for an even faster data transfer.

Cloud Storage

Reliable, Cheap, Reusable File Backup

If you are looking for an easy way to save data, cloud storage is a decent alternative. Cloud Storage is a form of file backup where your data is saved on a company's server. The benefit to this is that if your hard drive were to fail, your information would still be safe, and could be accessed from anywhere around the world.

Winona State provides OneDrive for Business for you.

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