Do you know where you save your files?
Having recently spent quite a few hours recovering data from my daughter’s laptop, it reminded me that most people save files without the slightest clue as to where. It’s easy, type a long document, click “save”, type a name and job done. Well, not quite. Obviously you saved it because you want to keep it. But where is it? By default, Microsoft saves to the local hard disk on your computer. Unless you have some backup policy, that means just the one copy of the document. Did you know hard disk drives fail without any warning? When they fail, everything on them is lost (unless you want to spend thousands of pounds on recovery). Also, Windows does a pretty good job of committing suicide and will not allow the system to boot which means you can’t access your files. Although in the boot failure scenario the files can often be recovered (very time consuming and not always possible), it means you are without them for quite a while.
So, what do you need to do?
First, you need to know where your files are. Once you know where they are, you can make copies to an external device, like a USB memory stick.
Server or OneDrive?
By far the easiest way to protect your files, is to save to OneDrive. OneDrive is part of the Microsoft Office package and will replicate the OneDrive folder on your local hard drive to a cloud server. Not only does this mean you have a backup of your files, but also that you can access them from another location and any changes you make to them will be updated to your local drive (see https://i.pku.org.uk/faq/?dir=6&p=14). Your Office Licence allows you to install on your own computer (see https://i.pku.org.uk/faq/?dir=6&p=39) - this means you can use the full Office package at home or on your laptop, including OneDrive.
Alternatively, you can request a share on the campus server and map that as a drive letter on your computer (see https://i.pku.org.uk/faq/?dir=1&p=18). Files saved to the server are backed up overnight. The disadvantage of this method for you is that you can’t get direct access to backups and will need to request that they are restored. However, if you delete a file by accident and don’t realise for a month or two, it will still be on the backups – this is an advantage over OneDrive because if you delete a file on OneDrive, it replicates the deletion on all devices.
So, save to OneDrive or the server and you’ve done as much as you can or save to some other place and create your own backup policy – the choice is yours.