Most computer users tend to think of data recovery as a last-minute approach to retrieving documents, pictures, music, and files in general — when the files become inaccessible due to malfunctioning devices the files are installed on, i.e. phones, laptops, desktops, tablets, etc. Many times, however, data is not recoverable, or economically so, after a computer has malfunctioned. Preemptive approaches to data recovery are recommended although utilizing these techniques lacking a smart approach can render data permanently lost. Unless a computer is merely being used for casual internet surfing, solid data back-up (copying) precautions should be taken — under the wing of experienced professionals — so when the time has come to restore inaccessible data it’s a feasible task.
Among common methods of creating copies of data, including for those with strict budgets, are manual and automatic. Within each of these categories, one could opt for offline and online (internet) options. An example of manual offline data back-up is merely copying the desired files to a flash/thumb drive — or other devices that can be connected to the computer — at regularly scheduled intervals or when a change is made such as an added file or file edit. An example of a manual online data back-up is, when subscribed to an internet storage service, manual executions are done to copy data to that service on the internet.
An automatic offline example is configuring a program to automatically back-up to a device attached to a computer, such as a thumb/flash drive or USB hard drive. Likewise, an automatic online back-up is done when subscribed to an internet back-up service, and files are automatically copied off a computer to the internet at regularly scheduled intervals. When opting for automatic back-up, a certain folder or directories can be included in the criteria of data needing to be backed up.