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  1. #1

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    backing up my files? how?

    I had a computer die on me recently, and it was loaded with pics and such. I decided on my new computer I better learn to back up everything I want to keep. Can someone tell me simply how to do it? do you use CDs, do you use an external hard drive, zip files? how about those little things that go into the usb port that hold info? I want to backup all my stuff, just need to know the simple easy ways to do it. thanks.

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    Re: backing up my files? how?

    Your best bets are going to be CDs, DVDs and external harddrives. Jump drives (those little USB things) are not recommended. Zip files are merely a means of compressing a file and will not back them up. A Zip drive (similar to a floppy disk) is not recommended either as it is antiquated technology. You could place files online, but is less secure than CDs, DVDs, or external harddrives. The simple fact is though, there is no 100% back-up solution.

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    Re: backing up my files? how?

    what happens if I go out and buy a external hard drive? if my computer goes bonkers I can just plug the external hard drive to my new computer ?

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    Re: backing up my files? how?

    The external harddrive will most likely connect via USB cable to the computer. You could set it up to be a full back up in case of a complete files loss. This would include moving the entire contents of the harddrive, including the OS.

    What caused your computer to die?

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    Re: backing up my files? how?

    Quote Originally Posted by lazyboy97O View Post
    The external harddrive will most likely connect via USB cable to the computer. You could set it up to be a full back up in case of a complete files loss. This would include moving the entire contents of the harddrive, including the OS.

    What caused your computer to die?
    I was told the mother board. all the icons were huge, they would not let me set them back to normal, weird really. I took it to a neighbor guy who works on computers, he said to throw it away.

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    Re: backing up my files? how?

    Sounds like it was running in Safe Mode. If your motherboard was shot, you should only need to replace. Your files are stored on your harddrive, not your mother board. One big advantage of PCs is that parts can be replaced. I'd recommend holding onto at least that harddrive. You may be able to plug it into another computer, as in not boot from it, and pull the files off of it.

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    Re: backing up my files? how?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hakuna Makarla View Post
    what happens if I go out and buy a external hard drive? if my computer goes bonkers I can just plug the external hard drive to my new computer ?
    Copying to an external HD is easy.. but basically what you are doing is saying 'have 2 copies of everything in case one fails'. Doesn't work well for long term saving.

    Depending on what kind of stuff you save (and how big it is).. the easiest thing to do is to simply drag everything to a DVD or CD every so often. A CD can hold 800megs, so for most people, sans video or audio, that will hold all their personal info. Just keep all your data in one place on the computer and burn that off every so often.

    For photos, you can simply burn them off when you import them, or do it batch jobs when you get enough.

    Burning to DVD will do over 4gigs of data.. but the media costs more.

    Copying to external HD is the best for people with LOTS of data, for redundancy.

    For a home user, I'd recommend getting used to burning to CD or DVD regularlly.

  8. #8

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    Re: backing up my files? how?

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    Copying to an external HD is easy.. but basically what you are doing is saying 'have 2 copies of everything in case one fails'. Doesn't work well for long term saving.

    Depending on what kind of stuff you save (and how big it is).. the easiest thing to do is to simply drag everything to a DVD or CD every so often. A CD can hold 800megs, so for most people, sans video or audio, that will hold all their personal info. Just keep all your data in one place on the computer and burn that off every so often.

    For photos, you can simply burn them off when you import them, or do it batch jobs when you get enough.

    Burning to DVD will do over 4gigs of data.. but the media costs more.

    Copying to external HD is the best for people with LOTS of data, for redundancy.

    For a home user, I'd recommend getting used to burning to CD or DVD regularlly.
    Maybe I'm over careful, but here's what I do:

    I have 3 external firewire harddrives that I use for backup. I make a full image of the entire disk, so if something goes bust, after the computer is repaired or replaced I can just move the info to the new set-up and I'm up and running. Why 3 drives? I use a rotation, an do a full backup to one of the drives once a week (more often if I make significant data changes)

    I also have 3 CD-RW's that I use for current projects and on those CD-RWs I only put info related to that project

    1. My household finances
    2. My class I teach online
    3. Special internet projects.

    I backup to these CDs when ever I do work on the realted data, that way I am covered from my last weekly backup.

    I once heard the answer to a backup question...

    Do I have to back-up all my data?

    No, only that you don't want to lose?

    I have a very rigerous backup process, as I realize that ALL computers are just electronic "gadgets" that can and do fail, and I don't want to be down any longer than absolutely necessary nor do I want to lose any data that I keep and any data important enough to be on my computer is important enough for me to not want to lose.

    The CD or DVD backup procedure described by flynnibus is usually adaquate for many, but if you have a large music or photo library (my music library is 11++ GB and growing and my photo library is almost 25 GB and growing) so the DVD and CD procedure is just a lot of work for libraries like that.

    I'm even trying to think of a "reasonable" way to make a better archive of my music and photos in addition to my other backup process. Call me paranoid, but I'v been burned once too often, well once that cost me many, many hours of work to reconstruct my HD and I don't ever want to do that again.

    Just MHO, YMMV

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  9. #9

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    Re: backing up my files? how?

    My other computer is doing the same thing. The fan burned out. What should i do?

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    Re: backing up my files? how?

    I am also paranoid about backups. I do two each week for my law files, keeping one at the work office and one at the home office, just in case of fire/flood/etc.

    My regular files (pictures/music/Ipod files) I do about once a month.

    Personally I use a CD/DVD drive and Backup Now software.
    ďAny sequel three or higher..... around number five they get a new cast, thatís when the magic really happens": Modern Family

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    Re: backing up my files? how?

    Quote Originally Posted by barfownz View Post
    My other computer is doing the same thing. The fan burned out. What should i do?
    If you're using a PC, you can probably just replace it.

  12. #12

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    Re: backing up my files? how?

    For my work data.. we have online backup now. I have an agent on my computer that does backups and differential backups to a data center automatically daily.

    For my media data (photos/music.. 200+gigs) I use the multiple HD method.

    For my personal data (taxes/documents/etc) I use multiple HDs and burning off to CD/DVD for real storage.

    200+gigs is really just impractical to backup regularlly. Tape backup is too expensive and HD backup is annoying and takes up alot of desk space (junk lying around).

    I also only backup real data. The entire HD doesn't concern me because I can rebuild the computer in an evening if necessary. I keep a 'keeper software' directory which is backed up which keeps electronic copies of stuff I don't have on disk, and txt holder files to remind me which to download to install.

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    Re: backing up my files? how?

    Yep, as we're seeing there ar lots of good backup procedures. No right, no worng, just what is most suitable for each of us.

    I take that back, there is one (IMHO) wrong backup process, that is to...

    Not backup!

    Outside of that, we each find our own level of backup and start from there and consider the amount of downtime we are willing to accept.

    I believe any backup process that saves the data one finds worth saving is the correct one.

    Just MHO, YMMV

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  14. #14

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    Re: backing up my files? how?

    contracted online backup is pretty powerful. hopefully that will be the wave of the future as long as privacy concerns are kept up and the providers can keep up with the storage demands and remain price effective.

    Using differential backups, differential file transfers, and compression really shrinks down what needs to be transmitted. My laptop has about 6gigs that is covered by the backup and typically only about 2-10megs is transmitted per backup job

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    Re: backing up my files? how?

    to someone like me who is very computer iliterat all this talk is confusing. I do not even know how to back up my ipod music, and my addres book etc. I know from past experience when the computer goes so do my files I have got to really learn some things I know. first how to get my address book into a cd. then my music, then my pictures.

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