avoid data loss


If hardware gets destroyed by fire, theft (500000 notebooks are stolen each year!, use cable locks), (electro)magnetic fields, or simply if the hard disk crashes, then data is usually lost as well. 


You may involuntarily erase some documents, But then you can retrieve them from the recycle bin. Overwriting files is worse.


is usually only necessary for your data and your settings, not for your programs. (This is one of the reasons why you should keep your data and your programs apart on the hard disk). You should backup your data regularly and systematically!

fulleverything together, easy to findexpensive (time and storage)
incremential: Save only the recently changed filesless time and storage neededmore time necessary to restore a file
differential: Save only files that have been changed since last full backup.betweenbetween

In Windows, use Start-Programs-Accessories-System Tools-Backup.

Recovery Plans

In companies, you need recovery plans, and you should store them at different locations outside of the IT area. According to a survey of the PR firm Stautner&Stautner, the most common reasons (in Austrian companies) for IT problems were

Erich Prisner, August 2003