Archive backup files using compressed zip files

It is very important to keep backup of files that you use regularly whether it is for work or personal files. You never know the files may get corrupted. Files in your PC are easier to backup while those in your web site of course it becomes more complicated. However many people do not seem to know how to use the build in function in Windows to make simple archival backup files.

Take for instance in my office, I request a colleague of mine to regularly make backup of her Microsoft Access database files on a weekly basis. Unfortunately she didn’t heed my advice or it could be she didn’t know how to use the Compress Zip function of Windows (even after showing it to her). So recently her Microsoft Access database files became corrupted and she lost a full two months worth of data that she keyed in.

After I restored the Access database from an old file (only one backup copy! My Goodness!) Fortunately she didn’t have to rekey a lot of data due to the current economic slowdown . Whether this was fortunate or not will depend on your point of view.

I think one must border a bit on being paranoid when it comes to making backup copies. Have at least two sets of backup copies stored in different location. Not just in your PC, but in other storage media like DVD disc, USB drives or external drive like the WD MyBook external hard drive. And if you are very serious and perhaps over the edge in paranoia for very important data that is crucial to your work or personal sentimentality like photos that can never be restored once it is lost, than have another backup copy off site. i.e. like keep a copy in your house, and one in your office, or perhaps in your safe deposit box. Perhaps use a paid backup service to store your files online, but make sure that company is stable and have strict privacy terms.

For simple backup using Windows’ Compressed Zip utility, this is how to do it (for those who didn’t know about this feature).

How to use Windows to compress files into zip files
How to use Windows to compress files into zip files

i) highlight the files you want to compress into zip file
ii) right click the highlighted files
iii) hover your mouse on the “send to” menu
iv) from the new sub-menu list, click the “Compressed (zipped) Folder”
v) a new file will appear in your folder, retype a new name for it.

How to extract compressed zip files
How to extract compressed zip files

To extract the files:
i) select the compress/zip file
ii) right click on it and from the menu choose “Extract All…”
iii) from the new pop up dialog, click extract. You may want to specify the folder or leave it as is. Also you may specify to open the new folder upon completion of extraction.

Select your destination where you might want to extract your files
Select your destination where you might want to extract your files

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