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Backing Up Your Data

While backups might seem like an unnecessary or boring task, having a current backup is the best preventative measure you can take against any computer disaster. If a file is accidentally deleted or your computer suffers a hardware problem or is stolen, your data is safe and can be restored.

System software and software applications can be re-installed from their original disks so they do not need to be backed up. It is the documents that you have created or acquired that would be difficult and time consuming (or in some cases, impossible) to recreate or re-acquire.

Dartmouth offers students 10 GB of free storage space on our servers via a system called DartFiles. Mapping a connection to your personal DartFiles space and saving your important work there may save you heartache in the event something happens to your computer.

How to Back Up Your Documents

In addition to Dartfiles, you have the following options for backups:


  • Burning CDs or DVDs
  • Copying files to a USB drive
  • Mirroring or synching files to an external hard drive
  • Using a Zip drive
  • Backing up on a tape drive

Points to Consider

  • Using CDs, DVDs, Zip drives, or an external hard drive to back up files requires consistent effort and a detailed labeling system.
  • Using backup software helps to automate the process by allowing scheduling; the program keeps track of what needs to be backed up.

Options for external hard drives and USB Flash drives are available from The Computer Store.

Last Updated: 3/27/13