My main computing laptop, which I use exclusively to communicate with the world, is operated by Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit with the new service pack number one installed. This system is tweaked to my liking with multiple tweaks, extensions, add-ons, themes, visual enhancements, and gadgets that suit my computing lifestyle. I am a stickler for a clean desktop and it drives me insane when I see a laptop or desktop system with a desktop loaded with icons of any sort. Another of my pet peeves are fingerprints on the monitor screen or what appears on some systems to be leftovers from a recently consumed peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

For anyone who has suffered a catastrophic system failure, no matter what your operating system is, you know how devastating this can be. You awoke one morning only to find a black screen, maybe with some white cryptic text, that basically indicated you were in deep trouble. There are a multitude of reasons this can happen including but not limited to a hardware failure, virus or malware attacks, or corruption of your operating system. No operating system is 100% immune to any of the failures described above, so the “buy a Mac” or “use Linux” crowd can slither away.

Over the past few decades of using personal computer, I have either experienced a failure myself, or have read the horror stories of others who have been the victims of a failure for various reasons. I have also either experienced or have read about those who have had their backups fail as well. I recall an incident many moons ago when I was using tape to back up my entire hard disk. After an issue with my system, I don’t recall the exact nature of the problem, my backup tape failed to repair my system. I also remember that I had multiple backup tapes that all failed to do anything to fix my system. The memory of that incident still stings and I will forever recall the frustration that I felt. Here I was religiously making backup tapes only to have them all not work.

I don’t trust any one type of software to meet all of my backup needs. I use multiple lines of defense just in the rare event that my system fails. My main line of defense is Acronis Backup software. I also make a disc image using the built-in software provided by Microsoft on Windows 7 Ultimate. The external hard disk I purchased came with backup and restore software from Seagate and I use the free version of Paragon backup and restore software as well. All of these backups are made to an external hard drive and also to DVD disks.

Oh, did I mention I also make a manual backup of my personal files as well to DVDs?

Am I paranoid?

What is your backup strategy?

Comments welcome.