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CTS reminds you to keep at least one copy of your data in a place other than your computer.

Why should I backup my data, my computer works fine?!

The hard drive of a computer is where your data is stored and is one of the few moving parts in a computer. Like any moving part, it is subject to failure - it can be working fine one day and not operate the next. This is commonly referred to as a "hard drive crash." Even newer computers that use SSDs with no moving parts can have data loss.  In many cases is it much more difficult, often impossible, to recover data from these types of drives.  Further complicating matters is that many computer manufacturers are building their computers with storage directly on the "motherboard" which means any failure of the computer puts your data at risk. If this happens, the chances of recovering your information are slim to none!

Another reason is to backup is if you've unintentionally thrown away an important folder containing many files or overwrite a single important file with another. In years gone by when computers were simpler, it was possible to recover a deleted file or folder. Due to the directory structure and the optimization routines written into modern operating systems, this rarely works.

How do I backup my data?

SUNY Potsdam's solution is Microsoft's OneDrive. OneDrive provides 5TB of storage. Items can be dragged and dropped onto the OneDrive interface or you can use the OneDrive client software to sync entire folders of files on your computer automatically to the cloud. Cloud backups are safe and secure with OneDrive and allow easy recovery.

Further, you can access of your files from any device you login to and changes are synchronized across all devices and the cloud. OneDrive is much more than just a backup given that your documents and files can be utilized in more than one place and even with O356 office apps on the web.

Going forward on new/reimaged computers, CTS will also be enabling the "backup important folders" feature of OneDrive which will automatically sync your campus computer Documents, Desktop, and Pictures (Windows only) folders to OneDrive.  Because of changes to Operating Systems, it will be much more difficult if not impossible in some cases for CTS to move your files from an old computer to a new computer.  OneDrive is the best option to ensure you have a backup and a way to get your files to a replacement computer.