5 Best Ways to Backup Data

This morning I just lost all the my pictures in my camera. It was all the pictures I took for the entire week. They weren't just any pictures, they were awesome picture of my kids, my wife and me. Part of it was my fault. It was a new camera and I haven't had time to get used to it yet. I accidentally erased all those wonderful pictures. It was a feeling of absolute loss. All my precious captured moments were now gone. Poof! Just like that. I felt so stupid because on that same day I was just thinking of uploading them to my personal blogs and to my facebook account. Now there's nothing I could do. I wanted to throw my stupid camera away (Good thing I didn't). My point is, if I felt that so badly about losing pictures in my camera, I bet you'll feel even worse if you lost all you important files, document, pictures, or music that are stored in your computer. That's happened to me once or twice before but I'd like to help you to avoid all that. What you can do to avoid this. You can try out some or all of them.

External Hard drive
This is one of the most recommended types on backup. One that I'd recommend to anyone myself.. Having an external hard drive is cheap. $75 for a 250GB USB external drive. You can carry it anywhere and use it with any computer. It can store so much information. Some actually have an automatic backup software that allows you to schedule backup on regular basis ensuring that you are always up to date. The down side to external hard drives is that a lot of people think it's a bit pricey. There are other options though.

USB Flash Drive
Also known as a thumb drive, this small device is a whole lot cheaper and easier to carry around than an external Hard Drive. Many people find it stylish to use it as keychains or pendants. It's even become a necessity for a lot of students because of its portability. The USB flash drive is the best option if your looking for a smaller cheaper storage device. 16GB is the biggest you can get for a device like this. This should be enough for a few pictures and music.

Optical drive
I've been saving my files to CD's and DVD's since the turn of the century and for most people they find it more convenient to save files on a disc. The problem with writing to discs though is that CD's and DVD's are so fragile and have so little space for backup. Burning information also takes a while. A standard CD has a diameter of 120 mm and can hold up to 80 minutes of uncompressed audio (700 MB of data). A DVD-R typically has a storage capacity of 4.71 GB.

Online Backup
I actually wrote about this before. An online data backup like Dell Datasafe is for people who don't want to spend to much and don't want to carry around a bulky hard drive, a tiny Flash Drive, or don't want the clutter of discs. Online backup is perfect for a purely electronic way of backing up data. This is actually the last thing I'd recommend to anyone because you would have no access to your files if you don't have internet connection.

Separate Partition
It's a bit advanced, but creating a separate partition in your internal hard drive for backup has been a technique done by my ancestors even before I knew what a computer was. But creating a separate partition is easy once you learn it. This allows you to have a backup inside your own computer. When the time comes that there's a need for a re-format or a Windows Re-installation, all your files will be safe in your other partition.

So the next time you get in front of your computer, ask your self if you already have backup for your files. You never know when you'll need it.

Computers Packed in Bamboo

Dell is going green with it's packaging. Back in November Dell announced it's shipping its Dell Inspiron Mini 10 and 10v netbooks in packaging made from bamboo, a highly renewable material that serves as a great alternative to molded paper pulp, foams and corrugate often used in packaging. Dell is First in the PC Industry to Introduce Packaging Made from Bamboo; Bamboo is Sustainable Alternative to Paper, Foams and Corrugate Packaging. LINK

What's good about Bamboo Packaging?

"It's an exciting, sustainable alternative. It grows super fast (up to two feet a day), promotes healthy soil and has a tensile strength greater than steel (!), making it great for protecting our cute little Inspiron Mini 10s in transit." - Michelle m.

1.) So it Grows fast..
2.) It's Strong..
3.) And Easy on the environment.
Dell plans to increase this type of packaging not only for the inspirons systems but for the other laptop lines as well.

What do you think of Bamboo packaging?

Studio XPS 16 Throttling

I've been following this issue with STUDIO XPS 16's since it was posted in a few months back and I'm happy to announce that Dell already has a solution for it. Mr. Todd S. from the">Direct2Dell blogs has posted the solutions.

The Symptoms
Symptoms usually occur during gaming or other stressful applications. Can be in the form of extremely large stuttering under certain conditions. Even if these slow downs do not occur it is very likely you could see a performance boost by allowing the laptop to run properly, given a modern game. A quick test is to run on battery, giving the system a few min's to settle, and see if performance is improved.(as per atlstang)

The Cause
This Studio XPS 1645 throttling issue is a limitation related to the 90-watt adapter. (as per
DELL-Todd S)

The Solution
The resolution is to update the system BIOS, and for some, replacing the 90-watt adapter with a 130-watt adapter.
We released BIOS update A07 for the Studio XPS 1645 system and began shipping 130-watt replacement adapters to affected customers on February 12.(as per DELL-Todd S)

So if you're having some problems playing games or running applications with your STUDIO XPS 16 when your AC adapter is plugged in, you might just be experiencing this same issue.

Dell Aero Smartphone

When the I-phone came out I began to wonder if the other computer manufacturers, like Dell, would follow suit. Now it looks like Dell's finally entering the modern US smartphone market. Formerly known as Mini 3, Dell and AT&T introduces the DELL AERO.

*5 MP camera
*3.5" nHD display
*The lightest Android smartphone
*Flash Lite support
*Can connect to 20,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots
*Hands-free onboard GPS system
*Find out more

I was a bit skeptic about it at first but after finally confirming it the DELL AERO is real!
Unlike the Alienware Android Phone which is still non-exsitent as of the moment.

Adamo XPS gets it's own website

The world's thinnest laptop gets get's it's own website. That's right. Instead of going through the all the mess of we can just go directly to and view everything we want to know about the ADAMO XPS. This was to make Adamo XPS more accessible and well, better marketing for Dell I guess.

What's so Great about the Adamo XPS?
*The laptop is only 9.99mm thick
*13.4-inch wide HD display.
*the keyboard seemingly dissapears in the display
*One-touch capacitive touch release....
*Just watch this video and see how Cool it is!

STUDIO XPS 435T/9000 UPS issues

An uninterruptible power supply, also uninterruptible power source, UPS or battery backup, is an electrical apparatus that provides emergency power to a load when the input power source fails.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We found out that STUDIO XPS 435T/9000 has challenges when connecting to majority of UPS because of certain sine wave compatibilities. Luckily we also found some answers online


Some XPS desktop systems connected to a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply), may turn off or drop power when the UPS is running on its internal battery. This issue is noticed with line interactive UPS units that output a squared, stepped approximated, or quasi sine AC waveform while on battery power. Dell recommends to use UPS that output a true sine waveform while on battery power. Some models are suggested below:

*APC Smart-UPS 750VA USB & Serial 120V, Part number SUA750
*APC Smart-UPS 1000VA USB & Serial 120V, Part number SUA1000US
*Dell 2200VA - 120 Volt UPS, Part number GU085
*Dell 1500VA - 120 Volt UPS, Part number 2K481
*Dell 750VA - 120 Volt UPS, Part numbers U6829
*TrippLite SmartPro 750SLT - UPS - 500 Watt - 750 VA 60Hz AC 120V, Part number SMART750SLT

also a similar answer from APC Forum.


"...Yes, the BackUPS line of products output a psuedo-sine wave, which is somewhere between a sine wave and a square wave. Lately, power supplies have been incorporating PFC technology to meet European regulatory requirements and they don't always work with the psuedo-sine wave. In particular, the XPS 9000 does not seem to like it. You would be better served with a SmartUPS."

So there you have it. If you plan to buy a UPS for your system purchase a SmartUPS just to be sure.

Dell XPS : SSD vs HDD : solid state drive

Have you ever thought what's the difference in performance between a Solid State Hard drive and a regular Hard Drive? This Video says it all. The laptop on the left is the one with a Solid State.

Alienware to Replace XPS

There's been rumors going around that the XPS line is soon to be phased out and that DELL intends to make Alienware it's primary gaming line. We even hear stories of XPS users who wanted their computer replaced because of repeated hardware issues, and got an Alienware model for a replacement instead of an XPS. And in the DELL website, STUDIO and STUDIO XPS are already put in the same category. This is really troubling, but before we make anymore speculations, what is Alienware anyway?

Here's an old Alienware TV ad. Featuring no other Superman!

Established in 1996, Alienware assembles high performance desktops, notebooks, and workstations. According to employees, the Alienware name was chosen because of the founders' fondness for the hit television series The X-Files, hence the theme to their products, with names such as Area-51, Hangar18, m15x, and Aurora.

Alienware was originally established to tap a niche in the high performance game market, which back then was not on the radar of the major PC manufacturers such as Dell. Since high-end hardware was not widely distributed, the company's founders formed an OEM which sold personal computers with the highest performing hardware and settings according to benchmarks. The company products are also differentiated by their science-fiction based designs.

Dell considered buying Alienware since the year 2002, but did not take any action until March 22, 2006, when it agreed to purchase the company...
On June 2, 2009, The M17x was introduced as the First Alienware/Dell branded system. Alienware now represents the premium performance space in Dell’s consumer family of products.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As of now we can't say for sure what fate DELL has for Alienware and XPS. It's either they phase out one or the other just like they did with the good 'ol DIMENSION systems or they might just decide to put them both into one category and one support department for both lines. We can only wait and hope they don't make it more difficult to get technical support than it already is.

Would you prefer an XPS or an Alienware?

9-Cell battery

If you bought a laptop from dell, the default battery for it is usually just a 6-cell battery. A 6-cell will only last for around 2-4 hours depending on use, but a 9-cell can last up to 4-6 hours. Aside from that, there are several advantages that a 9-cell battery has over a 6-cell.

Advantages of a 9-cell battery:

1. More usage time
It can store more power which will result in more usage time. This comes in handy especially if you're using your computer for travel.

2. Cooler system
Since it's a bigger battery, the laptop will be raised a few degrees, giving space underneath the laptop for more airflow and a cooler system

3. It's Ergonomic
Raising the backside of the laptop a few degrees, people who type on their portables won't have to worry about that flat awkward position anymore.

There are other advantages but then getting a 9-cell is better for the usage of the system than a 6-cell. The only disadvantage I could think of is that it's a bit heavier and it might not look good on the laptop since it's bulkier. But choosing over use-ability and good looks, I'd go for a better performance system than a good-looking one.

Hardware Diagnostics for Dell Laptops

I spoke to an I.T. guy the other day, we were trying to fix an XPS laptop for a client. He was at a loss but he thinks the computer was having a problem with the Hard Drive. I asked him if he'd already done a Hardware Diagnostics. It turned out that this guy, who's been working with computer for ten years, had no idea that DELL LAPTOPS had it's own diagnostics feature which is called the PRE-BOOT SYTEM ASSESSMENT (PSA). After running it, we proved that it was really the HDD. We got the error code 2000-0143. Fortunately the owner of the computer has backup for his files and the laptop was still under warranty. Dell agreed to replace the hard drive immediately right after we gave the error code. That saved us a lot of time on the phone. This is how we did it. How to run the PRE-BOOT SYTEM ASSESSMENT (PSA) 1. The computer must be turned off first. If you can't turn it off, just hold down the power button for a few seconds, the laptop is sure to turn off. 2. Now that it's off, hold down the FN KEY and Press the POWER BUTTON. Just Press the POWER BUTTON once while still holding down the FN KEY.
3. Let go of the buttons when you see the PRE-BOOT SYTEM ASSESSMENT (PSA) on the screen is already running. 4. Just wait for the diagnostics to finish. Answer the questions being asked on the screen, then write down any error message that comes up, then proceed with the remaining test. 5. If there is an error, that particular part that failed may need to be replaced. If all test passed, the issue your computer is having may not be a hardware issue. Consider doing an Operating System Re-installation if all test passed.

The 'World's Fastest' Graphics Card

The Sapphire Radeon HD 5970 4GB OC carries the torch of the HD 5870, naming itself as the fastest graphics card ever, but will it work with your DELL XPS computer?

Well according to discussions from the DELL FORUM It's available for several Alienware models but no mention of XPS. It seems Dell is on its was to making Alienware its only Gaming System line, and leaving the XPS brand as a purely luxury line of systems. Nonetheless, this video card looks monstrous. One person even said It looks like it could fly!

Dell Datasafe Online: Backup your files

As a gamer, for me the #1 rule of gaming is "Always Save Your Game". Rule #2 is "Save as often as you can!". Hahaha! But seriously, one of most painful thing that can happen to you and your computer is for the computer to crash without you having any backup. Tsk tsk.. Your files in the computer are not covered by any insurance nor is it covered by your regular Hardware Warranty. This article from PC911 explains it better:

Backing up data - why you need to do it
This is one of the most important, yet also one of the most neglected areas of computing. Backing up your data should be at the top of your computer maintenance list, right next to Virus Protection. Without data backup or virus protection, you are running the risk of losing your data. And it will happen, don't think that you don't have to worry about it.

Why should you back up?
Data loss can happen in many ways. One of the most common causes is physical failure of the media the data is stored on. You probably have everything saved on your PCs hard drive. That hard drive will not live forever. To quote a friend of mine, "there are only two types of hard drives - the ones that have failed and the ones that will fail." Yes, normally hard drives will live for years without incident. But eventually they will die. It might happen gradually, by more and more bad clusters accumulating until most of the drive is unusable. Or it might happen suddenly, the hard drive just dies without warning.

Another bad storage media are floppy disks. They are good for temporary storage and maybe transporting information, but not for permanent data storage. I've lost count of how many floppies I've tossed because they were bad. And I have talked to countless people who saved valuable data to a floppy only to find out when they needed to access it that the floppy was bad and the data inaccessible.

Another possible cause for data loss is power failure or spikes. It can result in loss of the document you are currently working on because you did not save it before the power failed and your PC shut down, or in loss of your entire hard drive because a power surge fried your motherboard and destroyed the file allocation table of your hard drive.

Also worth mentioning is data loss through virus attacks. There are plenty of nasty computer viruses out there that will delete files on an infected machine. That's why Virus Protection is just as important.


What is DataSafe Online?

Dell DataSafe Online helps protect your music, photos and other important files by placing backup copies on a secure storage site using your internet connection.

You can restore your data with Dell DataSafe Online if you lose your original files as a result of Virus attack, Accidental file deletion, Hardware failure, Natural Disaster, Fire, Theft, Etc.

What's great about DELL DATASAFE ONLINE is that you can trust DELL since it's a big company, and you'll know who to go after if important files in your backup account gets leaked. But there's been no incident like that as far as I know.

Another thing I like about it is that right now you get a FREE 1 year trial of 2GB storage space!

But as for myself I'd rather save my stuff in an EXTERNAL HDD, or a THUMB DRIVE. Atleast knowing about DELL DATASAFE ONLINE gives us more options to secure those files that are important to us.

DELL XPS: 3D experience

I watched Alice in Wonderland on 3D I-Max theater yesterday with my wife. It was awesome! When I got home and got in front of my computer I started wondering, what if I can have the 3D experience in my home. I started searching and what do you know, it's actually possible! 

Tired of living in a 2D world? Give your eyes something to talk about with the complete 3D solution from Dell XPS and Alienware!

Dell and Alienware systems with Samsung SyncMaster 2233RZ LCD and NVIDIA® 3D Vision™ kit delivers the complete solution for the most immersive gaming experience. Transform hundreds of PC games, 3D movies, and digital photographs into an eye popping, interactive experience. Just slip on the stylish glasses and see characters and environments come to life on the screen. Don’t just watch the action, be a part of it in full stereoscopic 3D.

Everything you need to know about having 3D on your Dell Computer.

Subwoofer: XPS notebook

Blending power with elegance, the Dell Studio XPS 16 delivers the ultimate multimedia laptop experience, providing superb performance and design.. plus it has an integrated SUBWOOFER!

The subwoofer is located around this area..

Cinematic Sound
For extraordinary sound quality, the Dell Studio XPS 16 has premium speakers with an integrated subwoofer and 5.1 Dolby Digital output.


Dell Recycling : Save The Planet

Electronic waste is an underestimated environmental problem. Every day a vast number of electronic and electronic devices end up as waste; some of them ready for scrap, others just obsolete. All this is gradually mounting up to a serious environmental problem, which has so far failed to attract the public interest.

What is e-waste?
E-waste is a term used to cover almost all types of electrical and electronic equipment that has or could enter the waste stream. Although e-waste is a general term, it can be often considered to cover TV’s, computers, mobile phones, white goods (fridges, washing machines, dryers etc.), home entertainment and stereo systems, toys, toasters, kettles – almost any household or business item with circuitry or electrical components with power or battery supply.

Why is e-waste growing?
E-waste is growing exponentially simply because the market in which these products are produced is also growing rapidly as many parts of the world cross the so called ‘digital divide’. For example, between 2000 and 2005, the Organisation of Economic and Cooperative Development (OECD) notes a 22% growth in Information Communication Technology (ICT) in China1. Furthermore, China was the 6th largest ICT market in 2006, after the US, Japan, Germany, UK and France.2 This is astounding when one considers that just ten years ago, under 1% of China’s population owned a computer3. Computers are only one part of the e-waste stream though, as we see that in the EU in 2005, fridges and other cooling and freezing appliances, combined with large household appliances, accounted for 44% of total e-waste, according to UNU’s Study supporting the 2008 Review of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive.4 Rapid product innovations and replacement, especially in ICT and office equipment, combined with the migration from analogue to digital technologies and to flat-screen TVs and monitors, for example, are fuelling the increase. Economies of scale have given way to lower prices for many electrical goods, which has increased global demand for many products that eventually end up as e-waste.

How much e-waste is there?
Because so much of the planet’s e-waste is unaccounted for, it is difficult to know exactly how much e-waste there is. Moreover the types of e-waste included in government-initiated analyses and collection programs is different across the world: the EU has 10 distinct product categories, whereas in Northern America it is typically limited to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) products and televisions, and in Japan to 4 product categories including TVs, air conditioners, refrigerators, and washing machines. Nevertheless reasonable estimates are in the order of 40 million tons p.a., which is enough to fill a line of dump-trucks stretching half way around the globe. A recent review of European legislation on e-waste, known as the “Waste Electrical Electronic Equipment (WEEE)” Directive (mentioned earlier), highlights that in Europe alone in 2005, there was between 8.3 and 9.1 million tons of e-waste, tendency rising. In Australia, with an average of 22 electrical items per household, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has estimated that in the next 2 years, most of the 9 million computers, 5 million printers and 2 million scanners in Australian homes will be replaced9. In the US, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reported that the US generated 1.9 to 2.2 million tons of e-waste in 2005, with only 12.5% collected for recycling

StEP = Solve the E-waste Problem
As personal computers have become common in most homes, there is a growing concern about the environmental impact of old computers, computer parts and other electronic products. When you are ready to dispose of your old PC and computer-related devices, just visit DELL RECYCLING

Also visit for more information on how to recycle other electronic devices.

In summary, we can see that e-waste is a global concern because of the nature of production and disposal of waste in a globalized world. We can also see that although it is difficult to know exactly how much e-waste there is, we do know that large amounts end up in places where processing occurs at a very rudimentary level. This raises concerns about resource efficiency and also the immediate concerns of the dangers to humans and the environment. There is a long and sometimes complicated chain of events in the e-waste problem, beginning from an idea that someone has for a new product and then its production, ending in its purchase and eventual disposal by the end user. By engaging with various stakeholders and relevant scientific wisdom within this chain of events, we are on the way to Solve the E-waste Problem (StEP).

Microsoft Office 2010

Yes, the next installment to the Microsoft Office series is due to be out sometime JUNE. It's supposed to change the way we use our office applications.

Hmmm.. What if Microsoft Office... was a summer blockbuster action movie?

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But seriously, If you want to know more about MS Office 2010 Click Here to go to the official Microsoft Office site. It's still on Beta Version though.

Adding Hard Drive to your XPS Desktop

Okay, so this video from actually shows a dimension desktop, but you see installing a hard drive to XPS computer is basically the same thing. If you look inside your dell computer you'll see the same basic elements.