Make your OS better the easy way
Some people complain that Windows Vista is so loaded with features it hogs their PC's resources. Even worse not all such features work as they should. Here's how to banish the Windows Vista's biggest blunders, because good ideas seldom survive bad execution.
Backing up your data is far more important than backing up your system, and you should do it every day. The lack of a system backup could cost you a couple of hours reinstalling Windows and your applications. Having no up-to-date data backup could cost you your family photos, your bank account information, or even your job.
Microsoft has a long tradition of bundling lousy backup programs with Windows. Vista's backup program improves on older versions, but not by much; for instance, you can back up files by type, but not by location.
Here are some solutions.
1. Use bundled software: Since an external hard drive is the best medium to back your files up to, and since most such drives come with backup software, use the backup program that came with your drive. It's almost certainly better than Vista's.
2. Do it online: Uploading your data over the Internet is slow, but it's easy and adds protection by putting hundreds of miles between your hard drive and your backup. I recommend Mozy Home. It's free for a 2GB backup, or $5 a month for unlimited storage from a single PC.
3. Use the best software: For my money, that's the same Genie Backup Manager I recommended in the last tip. Amazingly simple to use considering its versatility, it handles scheduled and manual backups with ease, and can even purge your backup media of old backups on a regular schedule. But the home version costs $50, and the Professional one is $70.
4. Find a bargain: The $25 Argentum Backup doesn't do a full system backup, but it does make data backups very straightforward. Since it either simply copies your files or compresses them into .zip archives, you don't actually need Argentum Backup to restore them.
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