Proactively preventing data loss
Recovering files is our aim here, but all of this can be avoided with a sensible computing regime. If you care about your data, build in a backup routine. The prevailing wisdom states that you should follow the rule of three (three copies of your data, stored on at least two kinds of media, at least one of which is kept offsite), and it makes sense to get as close to this as you can. Start duplicating your critical files to a cloud backup service such as CrashPlan, and using external media to keep secondary copies of the most important items. Copying them to another partition on the same drive — or another physical drive in the same machine — is not adequate. Move your backup away from your main machine — to a different floor of your house, perhaps, or even off-site. If you’re hit by a flood or a fire, your insurance might buy you a new PC, but it won’t cover your files.
An automated process is best — again, something that CrashPlan and its ilk offer — because it pulls vital files when you’re not using your machine, ensuring they’re duplicated when disaster strikes. If you don’t want to pay for a subscription, it’s plausible to back up small pockets of files on free services such as Google Drive or Microsoft’s OneDrive, but unless you’re organised with your local and mirrored folders, you’re one step away from a forgetful accident. If you want to take it further and customise your own backup solution, check out Linux app rsync ( linux.die.net/man/1/rsync), which has a Windows wrapper in the form of DeltaCopy ( www.aboutmyip.com/ AboutMyXApp/DeltaCopy.jsp) — you won’t find a more versatile app when it comes to cloning data.
DeltaCopy makes scheduling backups quick and easy.