How to Backup and Image Your Computer

This week, I’ll post updated suggestions to get your computers and technology ready for the blitz of projects you’ll swear to accomplish in New Year resolutions. Here’s what you’ll get (links won’t be active until the post goes live):

  1. 8+ Ways to Speed Up Your Computer — December 13th
  2. 9 Ways to Update Your Online Presence — December 14th
  3. Backup and Image your computer — December 15th

Regular readers of Ask a Tech Teacher know these are updated each December. New readers: Consider these body armor in the tech battle so you can jubilantly overcome rather than dramatically succumb.

Today: Image and Backup Your Computer

Two maintenance tasks lots of people skip are:

    • back up your documents
    • image your computer

Backup Data Files

backup via email

Every teacher I know has lost critical work because they didn’t back up on a regular basis. There’s no reason for that. Backing up is easy, fairly quick, and usually free. For details on backing up your computer, check out LifeHackerPC World, and Windows online help.

A reminder from Janet over at Focused on Story:

“…check your external hard drive to make sure it actually has the computer backed up files on it. Unfortunately we backed up to it, but all of the files weren’t getting backed up. We’d had the back-up a long time, so when the tech checked it, he heard something rattling inside. It was broken! sigh.”

Yep–I had that happen once, too!

Another suggestion from Andrew over at Andrew’s View of the Week:

“On a Mac, use an external USB drive and time machine to backup and consider using iCloud for remote backups.”

Image your computer

When you image your computer, you take a picture of what your hard drive looks like, including all the programs and extras, and save in a secure backup area. If malware blows up your computer or ransomware locks you out, all you have to do is re-install from the image.

I use @acronis. It creates an image on the schedule I set up. It’ll even image drives that are plugged in (like my USB drive).

Here’s the sign-up link if the image above doesn’t work:

Copyright ©2022 – All rights reserved.

–image credit: Deposit Photos

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Author: Jacqui
Welcome to my virtual classroom. I've been a tech teacher for 15 years, but modern technology offers more to get my ideas across to students than at any time in my career. Drop in to my class wikis, classroom blog, our internet start pages. I'll answer your questions about how to teach tech, what to teach when, where the best virtual sites are. Need more--let's chat about issues of importance in tech ed. Want to see what I'm doing today? Click the gravatar and select the grade.

4 thoughts on “How to Backup and Image Your Computer

  1. For those with Mac’s, Andrew’s advice works AND it can save writer’s days of work. The “Time Machine” gives you a visual interface for reviewing the backup history saved by the hour. In case you lose or overwrite something, you can roll back the clock and restore a single file plucked from a specific point in time.

    When the worst of the worst happens, it’s like the warden getting the call from the governor moments before lights out — a life saver!

  2. Backing up our files is drummed into our heads and yet how many people are still neglectful? I wonder why that is. I suppose it’s because we get so used to everything working (and lazy) and think it won’t ever happen to us.

    I’m pretty naive about technology in general (hence, this is why I’m here), but I didn’t know about imaging. That seems like a no-brainer now that I know it exists. How expensive is @acronis? Does it periodically take pictures or is it ongoing?

    1. I bet your school imaged the lab computers (if you had them). It makes overcoming the crazy stuff students do (like delete system files) so much easier to recover from.

      Acronis–it’s about $40 a year for three computers. Having the image right at your fingertips–I don’t worry about ransomeware anymore.

Comments are closed.