Backup Your Files

Tips&Tricks

Where are the majority of your files saved? For SCC students who log into campus computers using their student username (usually firstname.lastname), the default save location directs to their profile. These files are stored on a server, which has backups should anything bad happen to the server. For staff, the primary save location should be on a network drive. These files also live on a server that has periodic backups made.


The one place that files should not be saved is the physical hard drive, commonly referred to as the C-drive or C:/. This disk is not backed up, so if something bad happens to the computer, these files could be completely lost.

My personal experience has taught me to also back up my personal/school files just in case I have to access them outside of my usual environment. For this, there are two options:
1. Save files to an online storage location, like Google Drive, DropBox, Evernote, SkyDrive, etc.

  • Benefit: Access files anywhere you have an internet connection.
  • Benefit: Works on a variety of platforms, including phones.
  • Con: Storage limits are typically smaller, and there might be a charge to get a larger storage capacity.

2. Save files to an external drive, like a USB drive or a larger external hard drive.

  • Benefit: You can pick the storage capacity when you buy the device. The storage of USB capacity is constantly increasing and larger storage becomes less expensive.
  • Benefit/Con: The device goes with you where ever you take it. Forgetful types might find this difficult.
  • Con: Things can happen to these physical devices–a magnet could corrupt the files (this can happen if a USB drive is attached to keys!), rain/water could cause damage, and the device could get lost.
Everyone has their personal preference on file management. Just be sure you have a back up system in place when you don’t save to a protected server.

Trouble accessing something saved to a campus server? Contact TSS for help! 

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