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Extension Technology and
Computer Services


University of Missouri-Columbia   Extension Technology and Computer Services—ETCS

  April 2002
Vol. 19, No. 2

A Technology Newsletter for Extension Specialists



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Data Files – Proper Storage
by Ethan Froese

I’d like to take some time and thank everyone on campus for saving your work files on your server drives, affectionately known as your R or Q drive. This has saved me many hours when upgrading or replacing computers and more than once, has saved valuable data information.

The November 1998 issue of Inner Circuits included an article, Are Your Data Files Save?, which I wrote about this same issue when I first started with Extension. At that time, most people were saving their important work files on their local computer drives. This made computer replacement a real hassle and unnecessarily placed data at risk. I would have to sit down with each person and figure out just where his or her important data files were lurking. Sometimes the data would be scattered amongst the hard drive. The old computer had to be resurrected many times before all the data was transferred properly. A real hassle!

Now, when someone gets a new computer, I simply install the software (i.e. – Word, Excel, Access, etc…) and point these software applications to the person’s R or Q drive.

For those of you who are new, let me rehash the two most important reasons why it is beneficial to save your data files to the R, Q, and S drive.

1. Computer setup time is greatly reduced. When you get a new computer or a replacement computer, I know exactly where your files are. Your files will be located on a server most likely right there in your office and not on your local hard drive. I don’t have to worry about where your last Excel spreadsheet is located or if your Word documents are in c:\mydocuments or c:\data. I just plug your new PC in and, with some minor adjustments, you are off and working again.

2. Your data is backed up. This has to be the most important reason to keep your data on the server. We do nightly backups of all the server files. If you delete that spread sheet you spent all day slaving over a couple days ago, we can restore it for you. If you kept things on your hard drive, restoration of an accidentally deleted file would be unlikely.

The appropriate type of data to be stored on the server would be any data you create in applications such as Word, Excel, Access, etc. The latest Felix the Cat screen saver or Weather Bug is better stored on your local computer.



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