How not to lose your work

usb stick photoA new year has dawned and the Library is getting busy, which suggests many of you might be starting to record results, write literature reviews and generally start writing up projects you have been working on.  With a continuous stream of students arriving at the Support Services Desk and asking whether USB memory sticks have been handed in it seems like time for a reminder about how not to lose your work.

Here are a few tips to ensure that your assignments or dissertation do not disappear days before hand-in!

Join the pursuit of happiness

Think N-drive – Back up your work regularly (at least once at the end of each session you spend working on something) to your N-drive.

Save more than once – Save vital documents up to three separate places, including your University N-drive.   Saving the latest version of anything  to your laptop, N-drive and Google Drive means it is very unlikely ever to be lost.  Lots of copies keep stuff safe!

Keep older versions – File corruption is a terrible thing.  Minimise its impact by keeping the last few versions of anything you are working on.  If your most recent version becomes unreadable, you still only lose the changes since the previous version.

Only disconnect – Yanking a working memory stick out of a computer begs it to corrupt your files.  Always eject your USB by right-clicking on the bottom-right toolbar icon and selecting Eject | USB memory stick.  Wait for the confirmation message and then pull out the memory stick.  If you have problems, it is usually safe to remove the memory stick after you have logged out.

Check your pockets – Make sure you have your USB memory stick securely on your person before you leave a computer suite.

Include a name tag – If you include a Notepad or Word document on your memory stick and make the filename your name or “This belongs to” and include your name and email in the file so the IT Helpers can email you if it is handed in to lost property.

Photo by domanske

Assistant Librarian (Promotions) at the University Library. An enthusiastic advocate of libraries, diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice for all, inside and outside the workplace.

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