IT: Data Backup

Just finished that really important assignment and ready to print it in the morning? Just thought of doing a bit of surfing before going to bed... what’s that... a horrible destructive virus has just been downloaded to your PC and wiped everything ‘OR’ your laptop just went fizz as your celebratory red wine flooded it? Thought about external backup?

Ok, it happens, PCs, laptops and even Macs(!) can have problems, we’ve met the students who’ve lost major parts of dissertations and reports due in the following week. So what’s the solution? From the title of this article you’ve probably guessed. Backup. Make sure you always have a backup of your data. Your PC’s operating system can nearly always be recovered (unless the Operating System backup is on the hard drive- please make sure you burn them to DVD when asked), programs reinstalled, but data... well that’s a lot harder and very costly unless you know what you are doing. The University provides you 2GB of data storage on the PWF and you can access that from the web via There are also other free, cloud based storage options that are available to backup your data:

Microsofts Windows Live Onedrive (Free to Cambridge University students)

OneDrive is Microsoft's cloud-based file hosting service, and it's available to people who are eligible for a University Microsoft account.

Whereas Personal Microsoft accounts give you 5GB of filespace, your University OneDrive file store is a OneDrive for Business account, so you get 1TB of storage space. It gives you a simple way to store, sync and share all kind of files with other people and devices on the web.

Want an alternative? Get a large USB memory stick or USB external hard drive and backup to these. Just be aware that if anything happened to your room then you may lose both copies and external hard drives and USB sticks are still liable to die without any notice. Netstorage/cloud is more resiliant and netstorage is backed up by the university. So backup that data to netstorage and sleep soundly.