Preventative Maintenance and Data Recovery

Face it: some sort of data loss is inevitable. Whether it’s a single lost file or a dead hard disk—whether it’s tomorrow or 12 years from now—it will happen. On that happy note, there is plenty you can do about it.

First and foremost, there’s no better method of disaster recovery than having a good backup copy of all your data. Any stolen or damaged hardware is easily replaced, but the data stored on your hard disk is not. Unfortunately, hindsight is 20/20, and if you didn’t back up, there’s not much you can do about it after the fact; even if your computer equipment is insured with Lloyd’s of London, once your data is gone, it’s gone. Thus, a little preventative maintenance is in order.

Manage Windows Updates

If software manufacturers waited until their products were completely bug-free before releasing them, then this book would’ve been called Typewriter Annoyances.

Windows 7 has a fairly automated update system, wherein patches to the operating system that Microsoft considers important are made available on its website, and, by default, automatically downloaded and installed on your PC.

Just open Windows Update in Control Panel, and click the Check for updates link on the left to compile a list of the updates you haven’t yet installed. This is a fairly straightforward procedure, but largely unnecessary because Windows does it for you. Or is it necessary after all?

Right out of the box, Windows asks you how you’d like to handle updates. Microsoft ...

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