It is your responsibility to take ownership of your data and to keep it safe, using any of the options available that let you keep copies of your files outside of your computer in a secure location. The best time to get started is when your computer is running normally, as you never know when something will go wrong with your computer.
This article from Review Geek outlines the "3-2-1 Method" for backups. Basically, have your data in 3 places, at least two different types of places, with one backup offsite.
The University Technology Helpdesk will NOT accept your computer for repair unless you have your data saved somewhere other than on your computer's hard drive.
University Technology has offered a workshop on organizing your files which you may find useful. The slideshow presentation, with links, can be viewed here.
Your F: Drive
Your F: Drive is a network drive that Drew has provided for you to use as storage space for academic documents and data. You start out with 100 MB. More space can be added by request, but students can only have a maximum of 200 MB of space; staff and faculty can have up to 1000 MB.
Drew PC Access
If you have a Drew PC on campus, you only need to be logged in with the Windows Log on and your network drives will automatically appear.
- You simply have to open Computer or This PC and you will see your F: drive there.
Drew Mac Access
- If you have a Drew Mac, you must be logged in on campus as well to directly access the F: Drive.
- Open the Finder and go to your Applications Folder.
- Open Self Service.
- Click on the Drew Network link in the Categories menu on the left hand side of the screen to gain access to the drive.
- Click on the Connect button underneath Personal "F" Drive.
- You will be asked to enter your Drew uLogin credentials. Make sure that Registered User is selected, enter your password, and click Connect.
- A new window will appear connecting you to your F: drive and the files and folders it contains.
You may also access your other network drives using the instructions here.
Off Campus and Non-Drew Device Access
The F: Drive is accessible off campus and from non-Drew computers/devices as well. Using a web browser, go the https://myfiles.drew.edu/, log in with your Drew username and password, and you will see all of your network drives. Learn more at MyFiles.
Departmental Drives (Fac/Staff Only)
Faculty and Staff also have access to the O: drive, commonly referred to as the G: drive (this is your shortcut directly to your departmental folder), for their storage needs. It can be accessed like the F: drive. Your G: drive will be shared with everyone in your department. DO NOT save personal or private data there.
Google offers a desktop application that can be used to sync files between your Google Drive and your computer. We have more information about this at Google Drive Desktop Application.
You can also learn more about Google Drive and its storage options at the Google Workspace Learning Center for Drive.
Flash Drives are small, portable storage devices. These can hold anywhere from 1 GB - 50 GB (some even more). While they are getting less expensive as time and technology advances, the more storage it offers, the more expensive the device typically is. These are helpful for transporting important files around with you, but are not intended for long-term storage or backup.
External Hard Drives
External Hard Drives are exactly what they sound like. They are large storage devices, many having 1 TB or more for storage. These are the best options for backing up your computer's files since they typically have the most storage space. Some come with programs installed to help you back up your files, but most are just plug-in then drag and drop.
Backup and Restore or Time Machine
You can find instructions on creating backups for the following computer operating systems at the sites below.
We would be remiss if we didn't remind you to also back up any files - we're looking at you, photographs! - saved to your phone. Both iPhones and Androids will offer to save your content to the cloud automatically. Consider looking over what set up you are using to make sure you continue to have access to everything important to you.
But what should I buy?
If anyone ever answers this question directly, they're making money off their answer.
You will need to do some research to know what solution will be the best one for you.
- 5 Cheap Ways to Back up Your Precious Data - This article is a nice place to start. It lists some of the current options, as well as some of the things you will want to consider when choosing your plan.
- How to Back Up Your Computer - An article from Wirecutter with recommendations for specific items to use as part of your backup plan.