Sunday, October 5, 2008

Computer Preps

Every month, round about the last week/first week or whenever I have wrapped up my work for the month (which means all of the 'favorites' in the favorites files have been processed and most of the files that have been downloaded over the past month have been processed), I have a little system I go through in order to keep my computer organized, backed up, and running well. Here's what I do:
  1. Transfer any files that I have created/updated on my travel computer onto my desktop (which is actually a laptop) computer. I try to transfer these files via email as soon as I am done with them so I don't forget which I have worked on.
  2. Export all of my contact information from my email account into a folder on my desktop computer. Having this file is an excellent back up in case my email program decides to go "toes up".
  3. Organize all of the documents on my desktop by putting any electronic files that are in the "My Documents" folder into the appropriate folder so when you look in "My Documents" all you see is neatly organized files.
  4. Delete all of the documents (except music files) from my travel laptop.
  5. Copy all of the files (except music files) from my desktop onto an 8g thumb drive then transfer all of these files onto the travel laptop.
  6. Put the 8g thumb drive into a safe location away from my home.
  7. Set the two computers side by side and do the following: empty the recycle bins, go to Internet Options and delete all browsing history, click on 'windows update' and update any needed files, go to 'Accessories' then 'System Tools' and run the disk cleanup and disc defragment programs, run an anti-virus scan, run an Ad-Aware scan.
That's about it--pretty basic stuff. My main goal is to not have to panic if my computer implodes for some reason--the blue screen of death should be an inconvenience instead of a major life crisis. Also, every so often I will go through and change all passwords (to access my computers, to access email, to access online accounts, etc). Of course any time you are working with very sensitive information, I highly recommend doing this on a second hard drive which can be totally disassociated from your computer and stored in a secure location.

1 comment:

  1. The backup measures seem definitely insufficient to me (if there aren't any additional, undescribed backups). USB-Sticks are notoriously unreliable, and having only *one* copy of the data away from home on a not all too trustworthy medium would make me feel very uneasy.