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*How Do I Backup Computer?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Onceabum, Jun 12, 2009.

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  1. Onceabum

    Onceabum TS Member

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    Want to back up the data in our computer in case it ever crashes. What is best way to do that? Thanks.

    BB
     
  2. bird_buster

    bird_buster TS Member

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    be sure and look in the rear view mirror before you start backing up.
     
  3. Unsingle

    Unsingle Member

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    Go to the Carbonite service listed below. By far the easiest way to backup your computer and it is stored safe away from your home. Here is the location:

    http://www.carbonite.com/default.aspx
     
  4. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    Put the lever in "R" and hit the other button.
     
  5. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    Booger, If you didn't fit so well into one of the profiles at the above link, you might get some serious answers. I'll let you look through the slideshow and select one for yourself.

    If you really do need help, I doubt many here would think you were serious. If you really need help on this, tell us the particulars of your system, especially the OS and if it's a desktop/laptop and what size drive you have and how full it is. Knowing if you have a dvd writable drive and an external hard drive would be usefull as well.
     
  6. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

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    I have two home fixes for this. First, when I had this computer built, I put two hard drives in it and back up all my work and personal "stuff" to the second hard drive on a several times a week basis. Then, I also have a Zip drive in the computer and at least monthly save all the personal stuff saved on a Zip disk after monthly deposits and check writing. The Zip disk gets put in a different place for safe keeping.....breakemall.....Bob Dodd
     
  7. Didreckson

    Didreckson Active Member

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    Several good suggestions. I like the web based services, but you need a really great high speed connection, preferable one of the new really hot cable or fiber optic connections.

    I use an external hard drive that is firewire. You can use usb 2.0 that is not bad either. If you get backup software, and schedule it, it is very painless and you just need to insure things are happening. Most packages put out a log file. Or you can simply put a empty file on your desktop and make sure it shows up in the morning on your backup drive. I use file mirroring, so the backup is visible on the backup drive with directory structure and all. If I had hardware failure, I would reload the OS and software from scratch anyway, I really only want to insure I don't lose any work. And Windows by default will scatter it to the 4 winds if you are not very careful.

    I would consider if your data storage is modest, check into a high capacity memory key (called thumb drives often). You can score one of those in 8-16 and I think even 32 gig capacity now. They simply plug into a usb 2.0 slot, and then you can carry your backup with you. I have several and they work great.
     
  8. bobdog

    bobdog Active Member

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    Best solution I've found so far is Norton Ghost, and it's cheap - about $150.00. You can download Ghost from Symantec for about $55.00 if you can find the discount coupons all over the web. Google "Ghost coupon".

    Then buy a 500GB Western Digital MyBook external USB hard drive for about $85.00 and just plug it into a USB port and give it power. Unless you have an enormous music collection or a huge hard drive, that should be all you need. MyBooks are available all the way up to 2TB if you're special. All you need is the MyBook Basic Edition; you don't need the fancier models.

    Configure Ghost to do a full backup on Sunday nights, and document backups on the other six nights, avoiding the time slot you use for antivirus scanning. Configure Ghost to automatically recycle drive space when the drive is full, and you're done. The icon in the sytem tray will tell you if a backup is missed.

    Best part about this is that you normally never have to touch it again, and it keeps many generations of backups. You can recover individual files or whole subdirectories easily. You never have to manually launch a backup and wait for an hour for it to run; it runs in the middle of the night.

    I've got about 20 clients using this approach, and that's what I use on my main desktop (although I do a document dump to my Windows server as well).

    The only issue, and it's rare, is if you run anything that is based on MS SQL Express, like the newest versions of Act! contact manager. Still runs, but you have to manually stop the SQL server before the backup to release the database files in use and then restart them in the morning. Not many people use Act! any more.
     
  9. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

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    Since you have already received several suggestions that relate to PC's but you never mentioned if you are running a PC or a Mac, I will tell you about the easiest way to backup a Mac. This works with their current operating system Leopard (OS 10,5).

    It is called Time Machine. All you need do is plug in an external hard drive. I use the USB 2 port. The Mac will then lead you through the entire process. It will automatically provide a backup of changed and new files every hour, and then it will back up the previous day. For best performance the external HD should be three times or larger than the size of your internal HD. Also please note that the first backup created backs up EVERYTHING on your computer and thus may take a LONG time if you have several Gigs on your HD.
     
  10. Lead Man

    Lead Man TS Member

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    Something to think about??? If you use a net based back up how safe is it?? If you use an external hard drive will the virus that kills your primary also infect your secondary???? Windows is funny about transferring viruses with triggers. Let's look at safety and security.

    If you have info you want to protect have 2 computers, one that plays on the internet and one that is never and I mean never attached to anything outside your home. Then a backup is truly a back up. In case of a system failure you will need a digital or other backup so use a external or dvd rw what ever you like.

    My point is if it absolutely has to be protected never hook it up to the outside lines. A new computer with no exposure can be had at tiger direct for as little as $250.
     
  11. Leo

    Leo Well-Known Member

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    I go a lot simpler (and cheaper)route. Since every computer I use is one flavor of Windows or another, and the next one will probably be windows based, I just store files. I use USB port "thumb drives" You can get a 2 Gig stick for about $25.00 on sale. I just copy all my documents, all my pictures, and other things I want to save to a thumb drive. I actually use two, and I alternate them every month or so. I even keep them in different places. If I do loose a hard drive, my data is not a month old. If I loose the Hard Drive and the newest back up at the same time, I still have stuff that is not over 2 months old. If I were to loose all three, it would be an inconvenience, but my life would go on. I had a home burn down once, and you would be surprised at how easy it is to recover.
     
  12. bobdog

    bobdog Active Member

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    Flash drives are an alternative, but flash drives are like light bulbs. They work until they don't. I've been burned by thumb drives that failed suddenly. I use them to carry client files and common utilities I need onsite, and I make a point of copying off the client stuff periodically to my hard drive (which gets backed up with Ghost - see above). I can send you two dead flash drives if you want them.

    If you do use flash drives, I'd add to be sure to use more than one and rotate them each week, not each month. The first rule of computers is "Never trust a single copy of nuthin'".

    Second, get in the habit of using the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon in your system tray before you remove them - this flushes the delayed write buffer and you won't have a damaged file.
     
  13. Hauxfan

    Hauxfan Well-Known Member

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    Bobdog,I hear what you say about flash drives.

    But two weeks ago I ran mine through the washing machine.

    I let it sit and dry out for a week and it still worked and had all my stuff on it.

    But you are right on one thing. Always keep a backup on your computer just in case you ever need it. Might not hurt to back it up to a CD too.

    Hauxfan!
     
  14. Carol Lister

    Carol Lister TS Member

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    Buy yourself a copy of "Acronis Home" and a 100+ Gb external hard drive. Since the contents of your files will change periodically, configure Acronis to make full backups of your system weekly to a secure partition on the external hard drive. (This can be done at night or while you're away from the system during the day,

    One of the features that stands Acronis above other backup apps is that the disk that delivers Acronis is bootable. That means that if your computer will not boot into Windows (or whatever OS you use), you can insert the Acronis disk, wipe the system drive and boot directly from the backups in the secure partition. Storing backups within the system on separate hard drives leaves you in the position of not being able to access them if you are unable to boot the operating system.

    On-line backups are only as secure as the company owners wish them to be and will be available only as long as the company is.

    Carol Lister
     
  15. bobdog

    bobdog Active Member

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    Acronis is a good product too, Carol. Ghost is just the one I'm most familiar with and recommend to my home and small business consulting clients. With the exception of SQL server database apps, it's worked well for me.

    Ghost includes an .iso file that lets you burn a post-disater recovery disk, which gives you the same protection.
     
  16. jimsw

    jimsw Member

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    Forget all the extra drives, special software etc. Most of us don't have the self discipline to control the backup process. Sign up with Carbonite and stop worrying and fooling around with all that other stuff. Carbonite is simple, inexpensive and works.
     
  17. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    There is a program call Carbon Copy Cloner - it is free for the asking, but sadly only works on Macs.

    It will either do an incremental back-up, or a total clone of you hard drive.

    The clone is exceptional in that the machine will boot and run from this external drive as if it were the native drive - this can be used on any Mac - so you don't even need your computer with you - just the drive and a 'loaner' machine to run this on.

    I carry a spare HD with a back-up of my laptop on it - that way if my HD fails in the laptop (more likely due to all the airport X-ray machines it meets) I can boot right from the external drive and be up and running in about two minutes.

    Wish someone made a similar product for PC's, but the BIOS/registry issues make this impractical.
     
  18. bobdog

    bobdog Active Member

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    Nothing wrong with Carbonite either, and anything is better than no backup at all. Kim Komando and Rush both speak highly of it Carbonite as willing advertisers. Plus, your files are offsite, so you can survive nuclear winter if necessary.

    A lot depends on your connection speed and how much data you have to store. If you have a slick cable connection, it would be a useful choice. But if you have a lame DSL connection with slow upload speed, it may not be the best choice for you. If you have 300 gigs of data, photos and music, it's going to take a while to get that first backup if you're capped at 128KB upload speeds. Once your docs are backed up, though, it backs up in the background as you make changes to your files.

    Note that Carbonite does not purport to back up anything more than documents, photos, music and other directories you specify, such as your Quicken or Quickbooks data. It can't rebuild a cratered machine as you can with Ghost or Acronis. Windows and all of your programs will have to be reinstalled manually if you lose your drive. Acronis and Ghost give you a drive recovery process that you or your tech support guy can rebuild your system from scratch. I never worry about Windows or Office. I worry about all the little programs, drivers and updates you accumulate and have to install one at a time. Last time I had to rebuild my own system because of accumulated crud in Windows, it cost me two days and a lot of aggravation. I started using Ghost right after that. I also use Ghost and Acronis Enterprise on a boot disk to clone drives once or twice a month, which saves me a great deal of time and saves my clients a bunch of money.

    If you do use Carbonite, Google "carbonite offer code" and save 20% off the $55.00 a year cost. It's not much, but it's good for a couple of rounds of trap.

    Anyway, $.02.
     
  19. Carol Lister

    Carol Lister TS Member

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    From jimsw:
    <blockquote>"Forget all the extra drives, special software etc. Most of us don't have the self discipline to control the backup process."</blockquote>
    That's why regularly scheduled backups were invented... and home many "most of us" are you speaking for?

    <blockquote>Sign up with Carbonite and stop worrying and fooling around with all that other stuff. Carbonite is simple, inexpensive and works."</blockquote>
    You're missing the point of backing up a computer system. Carbonite is among the new wave of "feel-good" services that have sprouted up in the past 4 or 5 years to take advantage of the growing hype for system security. Carbonite backs up only the contents of the "Docs and Settings" folder. Very few people ever lose those except through accidental deletion. Those files can be easily backed up to a series of disks. Carbonite is only of value if the user can rebuild the operating system first in a full crash, and many people who buy computers from makers like Dell, Gateway, HP, Acer, Compaq and others never receive the original system installation disks necessary to replace their operating system if it's lost.

    Carol Lister
     
  20. X Trap 2

    X Trap 2 TS Member

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    Jump Drive....Put a copy of your documents and pictures there.

    External hard drive ....Copy your complete C drive so you have all downloads and software you previously added. (If you need this)

    I have an external 80 gig hard drive using the USB connection and the Retrospect back up software. I use this only every three to six months if I think about it. I should do it more often but I have nothing real important on the computer.

    In the mean time, like others above have said, I have several jump drives and I just take my documents and pictures and copy them to the jump drives.

    I favor the Corsair jump drive as it has a 10 year warranty and can survive a washing and a car running over it. I do have many other brands also.

    I also have a legal pad showing all my desktop icons with their order and URL address beside it. I should do this in Word and also keep it in My Documents but just have never taken the time to do it. Ray
     
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