Setting up your new laptop: Part 3

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In the increasingly digital world that we live in, a lot of things that we hold dear are now in digital format – documents, photos, videos, art work, source code etc. Take a moment to think about it right now, what are the digital artifacts on your desktop/laptop/phone that you don’t want to lose? Make sure you have a backup copy!

Backup is so important that Windows 7 has it as a built-in feature. A notification appears in the “Action Center” if you haven’t done so. In fact, you can backup the entire Operating System as a System Image, plus other folders that you so desire. This allows you to get back not just your personal files but also your environment, in case your harddisk crashes, or if your laptop gets stolen (though in the latter case, additional steps are required before doing the backup, since you will probably be restoring to a new and completely different machine). There’s no excuse not to schedule a regular backup when it’s made so easy. The suggested backup destination is an external hard drive, which makes sense. However, if you don’t get into the habit of plugging in the external hard drive at the scheduled timing for backup, your backup regiment basically becomes reduced to nothing.

Now, if you want to do backup more regularly without worrying about attaching an external hard drive, check out SugarSync. It functions not only as a cloud storage backup service, but also as a way to sync files across devices. Once the manager program is installed, you can mark folders that you want to backup, and any change in the files inside a marked folder is detected and backed up. Such “instant” backing up is obviously quite resource intensive, and you might want to turn it off when you’re running on battery. As you might have guessed, such a feature is not yet available in the manager program. You have to do it by brute force – via a taskkill command, like so “taskkill /IM SugarSyncManager.exe /F”.