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Old 03-07-2014, 07:18 AM
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Sunny Sunny is offline
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Backing Up Your Computer

Backing up your computer should be part of your regular maintenance schedule. It has been reported that 9 out of 10 people do not regularly backup their data. Data loss can happen for a number of reasons. One of the most common is hard drive failure. A hard drive just like any other piece of hardware can and eventually will fail. When a hard drive fails all of some of your data may be lost. Other causes of data loss are power failures, system and file corruption, virus infections, accidental deletion and failure to save files correctly.

Once you have made the decision to backup your data the next step is deciding what to backup. You can back up your entire hard drive or just certain files and settings. Most people will want to backup the items I have listed below. Each user is different. What you backup depends on what programs you have installed and what files you have created.

Documents folder: When you use your computer to create files it is important to understand the file system and how to use it correctly. On a Windows computer the default location to save the files you create is the Documents folder. It is a good idea to save all of your important data in that folder. The reason being is that if you save all or most of the files and folders you create in your Documents folder it makes backing up very simple. Everything you need to backup is in that one location. Saving your data in your Documents folder also makes it very easy to find what you are looking for. You want to think of the filing system on your computer like a filing cabinet you have in your office. Your hard drive is the filing cabinet. Your Documents folder is like a drawer in the filing cabinet, the additional folders you create in your Documents folder are like the file folders in the drawer and the files you create are the documents inside of the folder. If you organize your computer the same way you would a filing cabinet it will be easy to find and backup your documents.
Favorites, Bookmarks and Email: Backup your favorites and bookmarks in your browser.
If you use an online email mail program the information is stored online, but if you use a local email client like Outlook, Windows Live Mail or Thunderbird your mail and other information is stored locally, on your hard drive. Backup that information. You can backup your email messages, mail account and your address book.
Downloads: If you download and save programs that folder can be included in the backup.
Desktop items: Instead of saving files directly to your desktop, create shortcuts to the documents you want to see there.
Settings: Many programs allow you to export and save settings.
Pictures, music and video: Pictures, music and video files can take up a lot of room. The files are generally very large so depending on how many you have you may need a large external hard drive or several DVD’s to backup that data. Never store your only copy of the pictures you take on your smart phone, tablet or camera. Those devices are also prone to data loss. Always copy the pictures you take to your computer so that they are included in your backup.
If you have been working on your computer, creating files, receiving important email messages, scheduling appointments on your calendar and so on it would be a good idea to run a backup that day. Any time you make important or major changes to your computer backup your data. It is also a good idea to backup your data before installing or uninstalling programs or before you download and install Windows Updates.
Understanding how to backup is important. There are many different ways to backup your computer. You can do it manually or use a program to automate the process. You can back up the entire operating system, your data and settings or just certain files or folders. A few things you want to keep in mind.
Never backup your data to your main hard drive. You want to have copies of all of your important files, folders and other data in at least two separate physical locations. Three copies is even better. Remember that a partition on your hard drive is still part of the same hard drive so if the drive were to fail all partitions would be lost.
Disaster recovery. It is a good idea to keep a backup in a separate physical location, away from your home. You can store a backup at a trusted relative’s home or in a safety deposit box at your bank or credit union.
Size of backup. You need to calculate the total size of your backup. Then buy media that will allow for that size with space left over. As you use your computer the size of your backup will grow.
You can backup to a separate internal hard drive, an external hard drive a CD or DVD or if you have a home network setup you can use another computer on the network as a backup location. USB flash drives are sometimes used for backups. They are great for moving files between computers or storing portable applications and documents but I would not feel safe depending on a USB flash drive for backing up my important data. There are also web sites that offer free storage. I would not recommend using these sites as your only location for backing up your data. The sites can go down at any time or the owner of the web site can close the site without notice. Never put any confidential information on a file hosting site. File hosting sites are great for music, pictures, video files, bookmarks and favorites, downloads and other data that is not confidential. There are many web sites available that offer free online storage. Some are for graphic files, some music and others just files in general. You simply go to the web site and sign up for a free account.

Microsoft OneDrive: Free account, host, backup and share files on any device.

Google Drive: When you sign up for a Google account you have access to Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive and more. Google Drive offers 15 GB of storage space.

Dropbox: Dropbox is a file hosting & file sharing site. Dropbox offers 2GB of free storage. You can get 500MB of additional storage space for each referral you make.

PhotoBucket: Offers 1 GB of free storage. Photobucket is a media-sharing and hosting site that also allows users to upload video clips, edit them using Adobe Remix, and create profiles and portfolios to share.
See the PhotoBucket video tutorial here.

Once you decide where you are going to backup you can do it manually or use a backup program to automate the process.
Cobian Backup is another free backup utility. It is very simple to use and gets excellent reviews.
Cobian Backup
Cobian Backup tutorial
Cobian Backup user forum

There are programs available that will allow you to clone your entire hard drive. Cloning will make an exact image of everything on your hard drive. You save that image to another location. If you hard drive were to fail you would have an exact backup of your operating system with all of the programs, updates and files intact.
Paragon Backup:
Easeus Backup:
Macrium Reflect:

Using Windows Backup Utility
Windows 7
Click start > control panel > backup and restore. Or click start, in the search window type backup and restore.
The backup and restore window will open.
Click setup backup.
Windows will scan for any available hard drives and display the results. You also have the option to backup to a network location.
Choose the drive or network location you want to use to store the backup.
You will have the option to let Windows choose or let me choose. I recommend choosing the option “let me choose” that option allows you to choose exactly what you would like to backup and gives you more control over the backup. Note: If you choose the option “let windows choose”, the program files folder will not be included in the backup. Anything formatted with the FAT file system will not be backed up or temp files that are larger than 1GB.
Select let me choose. Click next.
In the next window select the items you want to backup. You will also have the option to create an image of your local drive. Click next.
In the next window review the backup to be sure it is correct.
Click the schedule link to specify the time and day the backup should occur. You can change the schedule later.
Click save settings and run backup.
The backup process will begin. The progress window will allow you to monitor the backup and see when it is complete.
When the backup is complete you will have 2 items in the folder you chose to save the backup. One will be the image file (If you chose that option) the other will be the folder containing the files you included in the backup.
The backup will run automatically on the schedule you chose.

Restore Windows 7 Backup
Click start > control panel > backup and restore. Or click start, in the search window type backup and restore.
The backup and restore window will open.
Click restore my files.
In the next window click browse for files or browse for folders.
In the next window you can choose to restore the files to the original location or choose another location on your computer to restore the files to.
Click restore.
Manage Backup Size
Click start > control panel > backup and restore. Or click start, in the search window type backup and restore.
Click options > manage backup disk space.
You will see a summary of the backup locations and how much space is being used for each backup.
Click the view backup’s button to view each dated backup. You will have the option to delete any backups you no longer need.
To delete a backup select the backup in the list. Click the delete button.
You will also have the option to manage system image backups. Click the change settings button in the system image area.
Choose the option you want and apply the setting.

Windows 8 & Windows 8.1
Windows 8 & Windows 8.1 offer several backup and restore options. You can refresh Windows without losing your personal data. You can also start over by resetting your computer to factory settings. You can use File History to back up the files on your PC in the Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, and Desktop folders. You can use System Image Backup like you did in previous version of Windows.
Read more about Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 backup options here.

Windows 10 backup

Working with and backing up Internet Explorer favorites

Backup and restore Firefox bookmarks and profile information

Backup and restore Windows Live Mail data

Import and export Outlook data

Backup Thunderbird

Backup iTunes Library

Backup Yahoo Online Mail Messages
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Last edited by Sunny; 01-25-2017 at 02:43 AM.
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