<operating system> ("back up" when used as a verb) A spare copy of a
file, file system, or other resource for use in the event of failure or loss of
The term commonly refers to a copy of the files on a computer's disks, made
periodically and kept on magnetic tape or other removable medium (also called a
This essential precaution is neglected by most new computer users until the
first time they experience a disk crash or accidentally delete the only copy of
the file they have been working on for the last six months. Ideally the backup
copies should be kept at a different site or in a fire safe since, though your
hardware may be insured against fire, the data on it is almost certainly neither
insured nor easily replaced.
See also backup software, differential backup, incremental backup, full backup.
Compare archive, source code management.
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