Files You Must Backup to Survive a Hard Drive Crash


Files You Must Backup to Survive a Hard Drive Crash

I am fairly sure every single user has experienced hard drive failure at one time or other. That is why backup software is very popular with users. Backing up allows you to be able to recover and get yourself back into the swing of things smoothly and quickly. The key question is – which files, other than our personal data, should we back up to recover from a hard drive crash? This article goes through which files we should back up in Windows 7 and 8 (should also apply to Vista, but XP is a little different when it comes to user folder locations).

Back Up Your Personal Files

The most obvious files that should be backed up on a regular basis are personal files; the ones that are irreplaceable or will make you spend countless hours recovering. These files are mainly found in “C:\Users\[Username]“.

‘My’ Folders

This includes Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos – e.g. your office work or that novel you are writing, family photos and home movies and your entire music collection.


Your Desktop

Many people save files to their desktop instead of My Documents, but it’s just as important to back these up. They are located at “C:\Users\[username]\Desktop”

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4 thoughts on “Files You Must Backup to Survive a Hard Drive Crash”

  1. My opinion is you can have all the backups in the world on your computer and even on an external drive but if you don’t keep at least one off site like at your bank’s safety deposit box you may one day find yourself in a pretty big pickle. Theft, fire, flood, lightning and whatever makes having an off site backup important. I have one and get it about once a month or to do a backup. My wife would kill me if I ever lost our grandkid’s pictures.

  2. Usama, I agree but I go one step further. I have two drives in my computer; I clone one to the other periodically and do a daily backup as you say. I always have a bootable drive. If one drive fails I can switch to the other and still have all of the other docs backed up. At most (with my system) a day’s work is lost. Adding your sytem to mine means no work is lost.

  3. The better way is that never save your files in MyDocumens, My Pictures, My Music, Desktop or even in the windows drive. Because when windows crashes and you need to reinstall windows, sometimes it is necessary to format the drive. In that case your files can be lost. Instead, files must be saved in another drive.

    1. You should back up your files as you say to an external but back them up as well to your local machine as extra backup.

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