It is a good idea to back up important files on a regular basis, although it is often easy to forget with our hectic schedules. Many HBS students already have wisely purchased portable hard drives, thumb drives and DVD burners along with their computers. I suggest using those devices at least once a week to back up critical data. At a minimum, critical data refers to one’s personal files in the file titled My Documents, as well as the Outlook personal folder files (.pst), Windows Address Book files (.dab), and anything else one would miss if gone.
Furthermore, consider downloading and installing Microsoft’s free Outlook Personal Folders Backup tool (which provides an automated and easy way to back up Outlook information) at //office.mircosoft.com/en-us/assistance/HA010875321033.aspx. If backup software was provided with purchase of a laptop (e.g. IBM Rescue and Recovery), I suggest using it in accordance with the provided directions.
As a supplement, I also recommend creating a free online e-mail account. For example, MSN Hotmail provides 250MB of online storage space, Yahoo! Mail provides 1GB, and Gmail provides over 2.5GB. To quickly backup a set of files, simply zip them up and e-mail (or carbon copy) the file to an online e-mail account. Make sure the total e-mail message size does not exceed 10MB (with attachment). Once in your online account, use folders to organize messages and leave them online for archival. The files will then be accessible from anywhere with Internet access. However, don’t simply rely on this method alone for backup: Make sure you also back up other media or a personal storage device!
Finally, if you need help or have questions about backing up personal files, please contact your section’s Technology Representative. ‘Tech Reps’ are a gateway to the SA Technology Committee, a vast network of student and administrative resources, which is here to help with any and all technical issues. Additionally, please forward along any suggestions for technical resource improvement as well.