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101 - Backing Up Your Valuable Computer Files

How do you backup your data files in a practical way? By "Practical", we mean:

1. At a reasonable price.
2. Running fast enough to do your backup during a normal lifetime.
3. No supervision or manual intervention during backup (as with tapes or CDs).
4. Not requiring a long time to locate and restore a file (as with tape backups).

A Practical Solution Is Finally Available:
There is finally a practical way to back up today's massive hard disks. The solution is to backup to one of the newly affordable external hard disk drives. And, here's the good news. In Sunday's Denver Post, there was an insert advertisement from Office Depot. On page 6, they offered a 40 gigabyte external hard drive at a price (after a $60 rebate) of $119.99. This is an excellent price. Neither CSG nor any of its employees has any interest in Office Depot and we provide this information purely as a service to our customers. I believe that all of you current machines already have USB, meaning this external disk should just plug in. It . . .

- Is manufactured by Maxtor, a major disk manufacturer.
- Is connected via USB (either version 2.0 (newer and faster) or 1.1 (the older version)).
- Does not require removing the cabinet of the PC. Just plug it in, turn it on, and boot.
- Is automatically configured by Windows.
- Is usable on your next computer too.
- Is big enough for backing up all but the very largest machines.

I am strongly suggesting that you consider purchasing one of these external disks, if not during this sale, then as soon as your budget will permit. This is the right solution to a significant problem which I hope you never have to experience first-hand. If you would like to read further about this, I have included a background section below.

Additional Background:
Today's personal computers are extremely powerful and offer a dazzling array of application software, well beyond word processing, email, and spreadsheets. Images and sound files are routinely integrated into both personal and business documents. The Internet is used for shopping, checking movie schedules, reading the news, and music downloads. We can now research virtually any subject you can imagine. This translates to dramatically increased demand for data storage.

How big is this change? It wasn't that long ago that the standard disk drive offered to new computer buyers was 40 MB (megabytes). That capacity was thought to be more than enough. In order to support all the bells and whistles offered in today's computers, the Windows operating system dramatically exceeds that all by itself. It is not uncommon for new machines to come with 40 GB (gigabytes) of storage. That size represents a 1,000,000% increase in disk capacity - ONE MILLION times the storage requirement we had just 15 short years ago, and this is a problem.

Why is this a problem? In a word, BACKUP. As we began to do more and more things on our computers, we became more and more dependent on uninterrupted access to the data we store there. Ask yourself these questions. How painful would it be to lose all your email addresses? Do you have family pictures you would not be able to replace if you lost them? How about your business records? Could they be replaced quickly enough? How long would it take to get your folders set up again, just the way you like them?

Backing your computer files up has become a serious problem, but the computer industry has virtually ignored it. Why? Because in truth, they have had no practical solution for backing up, until now. I can assure you that the day your hard disk dies, or becomes inoperable from a virus or a messed-up install program, the realities of having no backup will hit home with a thud. A BIG thud. Please think about this. I am available for questions.

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