I do not know how to back up my computer

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letsgobobby
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I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by letsgobobby » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:12 am

:oops:

Embarrassing, but there it is.

Please tell me what to do, or link to a site that provides clear English directions.

Most critical to backup some ms office files, photos, iTunes music.

I have a backup drive I can use which is about 3 years old. My computer is about 5 years old, Gateway.

Thank you!

b42
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by b42 » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:23 am

One option would be to buy a USB drive and manually copy over important files, and set reminders to check this periodically. This is usually the cheapest option, but it requires a lot of planning in order to keep files current.

Another option is to use a cloud-based solution, which is usually set to back up files automatically in the background. I have used CrashPlan for the last 3-4 years and have been very happy with the service. I pay a yearly fee to backup my entire family's computers (mix of PCs and Macs), and the services makes it much easier for me in case any one of them breaks down. There are many different services available, some of which are free. The Wirecutter has a good review on some other online backup services.

As I always tell people who have outdated (or no) backups: What if you accidentally dropped or spilled water on your computer today and it stops working. Think of everything you could lose and the inordinate amount of time you would have to spend to get everything back (if possible), and then a monthly or yearly fee sounds very reasonable.

EDIT: I did not include links due to the fact I'm not 100% sure of the forum's external link policy, but google should lead you straight to the sites I mentioned above.

Ybsybs
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by Ybsybs » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:31 am

letsgobobby wrote:I have a backup drive I can use which is about 3 years old. My computer is about 5 years old, Gateway.
How To Backup Your Computer Manually:
- Make a file on your backup drive labelled with today's date.
- Make a copy of everything on your computer and place that copy in the folder. (Depending on how much data you have compared to how fast your computer is, this can take less than a minute of your time followed by several hours of the computer working. Plan accordingly.)
- Set up a reminder for yourself to periodically backup any new or changed files.

Here's instructions for having the computer do it for you: http://lifehacker.com/5816453/how-to-ba ... r-computer

livesoft
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by livesoft » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:43 am

Click on Help. Type in "Backup". Read.
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BigFoot48
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by BigFoot48 » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:10 am

I use the free version of SyncBack to automatically back up important folders and files once a day to a network drive, or an attached USB drive on a seldom used computer. http://www.2brightsparks.com/syncback/syncback-hub.html I also use DropBox for non-private files I want backed up immediately when changed, such as genealogy research I do and the Retiree Portfolio Model.
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by jebmke » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:37 am

BigFoot48 wrote:I use the free version of SyncBack to automatically back up important folders and files once a day to a network drive, or an attached USB drive on a seldom used computer. http://www.2brightsparks.com/syncback/syncback-hub.html I also use DropBox for non-private files I want backed up immediately when changed, such as genealogy research I do and the Retiree Portfolio Model.
I used Syncback for a while - can't recall why I changed. I use FreeFileSync now; I configure it to keep old versions rather than overwrite/delete. If you don't do this, all you really have is a mirror, not a backup.
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by coffeehubcap » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:39 am

Put gear shift into "R" and etc......Sorry I couldn't resist.

an_asker
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by an_asker » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:56 am

letsgobobby wrote::oops:

Embarrassing, but there it is.

Please tell me what to do, or link to a site that provides clear English directions.

Most critical to backup some ms office files, photos, iTunes music.

I have a backup drive I can use which is about 3 years old. My computer is about 5 years old, Gateway.

Thank you!
I might be in the minority, but I backup my files manually and still control exactly what I backup. I have separate directories in my laptop for each year, and write/save files to that specific directory. Often (once a month at least), I connect my backup hard drive to the laptop and copy/move (depending on space left on laptop) all files saved since the last date I performed the backup. Done!

I don't backup software (unless they are executables that I downloaded and installed).

PS: The above is a bit simplistic, as I have separate directories within each year for photos, financials, etc.

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Tortuga
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by Tortuga » Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:02 pm

Always Sync 'n Go http://allwaysync.com/ works well for us copying to an attached local drive. There is a free manual version which we run a couple of times a week or a subscription gets automatic synchronization instantaneously. For nightly automatic off-site backup we use Jungle Disk https://www.jungledisk.com/ which provides Amazon cloud storage for a few dollars a month.

So we have a local duplicate and a cloud duplicate of every file we create, but not software. This also makes copying user files to a new computer a breeze.

Tortuga

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Toons
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by Toons » Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:02 pm

letsgobobby wrote::oops:

Embarrassing, but there it is.

Please tell me what to do, or link to a site that provides clear English directions.

Most critical to backup some ms office files, photos, iTunes music.

I have a backup drive I can use which is about 3 years old. My computer is about 5 years old, Gateway.

Thank you!
I think the simplest way to do this as has been suggested is to get a usb drive or use your existing backup drive,
Simply find the files or folders that you want to backup.
Put your mouse cursor over the file and "opposite click" on the file or folder.
You should see an option to "copy".
Click copy.
Go to your external drive or usb drive .
once there "opposite click " on the mouse and click on "paste"
That should copy your files from computer.
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

rjm_cali
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by rjm_cali » Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:05 pm

It is worthwhile taking the time to understand what you are going to backup in the first place. Some backups are not what you think they might be.

1) Your data files - the files you save to your computer. These can includes MS Office style files, media such as music, video and images and the files generated by the applications you use. Depending on the type of email system you use this can also include email database files and all your contacts information.

2) Data that you take for granted but which might not be immediately obvious e.g browser bookmarks, saved passwords and add-ons to applications e.g templates in Office, add-ons for browsers and a myriad others stuff which you download , use on a regular basis.

3) Applications - you may well accumulate a lot of these overtime , many may well never have been supplied on CD. Vital you have access to the licences which allow you to re-install.

4) Operating system configurations , hardware drivers, add-on hardware software

Good backup software should guide you through the process and identify *what* you can and should backup.

In an ideal world you can (and should) just mirror your hard drives completely and then test those backups but this is the real world.

The way I do it as follows

a) Keep my data completely separate from the operating system and applications ( all stored on a different drive to the OS/Apps)
b) Keep my passwords/form data in an app like LastPass
c) Sync my bookmarks to an online account (Firefox and/or Google)
d) Store my contacts online (Google)
e) Read all my email using IMAP

I backup my datafiles locally and I also accept that if the main drive or PC dies I will need to do a full install of all apps and hardware again. It's a pain but I look upon it as a refresh.

livesoft
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by livesoft » Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:07 pm

Simply copying files to a backup disk is not really a backup. One will want the capability to restore the files, too. That's why using Backup that came with the computer is easiest.
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Riprap
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by Riprap » Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:30 pm

livesoft wrote:Simply copying files to a backup disk is not really a backup. One will want the capability to restore the files, too. That's why using Backup that came with the computer is easiest.
Ok, I'm going to show how little I know too. What's the difference between a backup where you restore files and simply copying files?

And why is it that Quickbooks doesn't allow backups to a USB drive?

I have an external Seagate hard drive that I backup to, but it just seems so much easier to periodically copy files to a USB drive.

BTW, I do both.

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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by livesoft » Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:34 pm

Riprap wrote:Ok, I'm going to show how little I know too. What's the difference between a backup where you restore files and simply copying files?
Suppose your operating system is fried (damaged on the computer hard disk), then what would you do? How would you restore working software such as MS Office, your internet browser, Explorer, and the works?
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bertilak
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by bertilak » Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:35 pm

"Backup" can mean several things. You need to decide which ones are important to you. The method to accomplish each will be different.
  1. Archive. Are you interested in preserving old data? For example, what did your Quicken file look like in 1995? Even if you no longer have that data on your PC? Maybe you are not even aware you deleted it in 2003 while you were doing some long-forgotten maintenance that you got distracted from before completing.
  2. System recovery. If your laptop gets stolen do you want to be able to recreate your entire system (applications, application settings, data) on a new laptop?
  3. Disaster recovery. If your house burns down do you want to recover all your applications and data? Just like the above, but you can't rely on a localized solution.
  4. Error recovery. If you accidentally delete a file do you want to get it back? If you "mess up" a file do you ant to get back a recent, valid, copy?
Different, but perhaps overlapping, solutions for each of the above.

Some of the attributes of various solutions:
  • Manual backup. For example you occasionally copy your 10 gig of photos to a CD.
  • Automated backup. For example every change is immediately backed up by the system without your intervention.
  • Multiple versions. Automated backup usually allows access to many previous versions with various limitations. For example you want to get back a version of a file from 15 minutes ago.
  • Cloud backup. Over the internet to a remote location.
Automation is pretty much required for any reliable solution. Human's don't have the discipline (reliability) to accomplish all of the above manually. Will you remember EVERY MONTH to carry the backup CD to the bank?
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Riprap
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by Riprap » Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:46 pm

livesoft wrote:Suppose your operating system is fried (damaged on the computer hard disk), then what would you do? How would you restore working software such as MS Office, your internet browser, Explorer, and the works?
Since this has actually happened to me, I was able to re-download working software (Quickbooks) from Amazon at no charge. I have a copy of MS Office on a DVD that I installed. Everything else I needed was either on the new laptop or I could easily download for free.

I typically buy low end laptops from Staples, Office Max etc since they're basically a commodity as far as I'm concerned. Last time I had to buy a new one was due to a coffee spill :oops: and it came with a completely different operating system.

I can see what you're saying makes more sense for power users.

My biggest concern is how to access all the .pdf files I have copied and backed up when that format becomes obsolete in the future. :confused

I will continue to do both and hope for the best.

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Toons
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by Toons » Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:50 pm

I use Windows 10 Operating system.
I have a 2 Terabyte Toshiba External Drive.
I use the windows "back up" option to external drive.
This feature backs up predetermined folders I have chosen.
This is done automatically with windows feature at my pre set intervals that are offered
For System Image backsup I use Macrium reflect software "free" version(tutorial on website)
You can also use Windows built in "system image backup feature :happy

http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx

http://www.howtogeek.com/220986/how-to- ... ery-tools/
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bertilak
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by bertilak » Thu Feb 18, 2016 12:57 pm

Riprap wrote:My biggest concern is how to access all the .pdf files I have copied and backed up when that format becomes obsolete in the future.
I think you are pretty safe with the PDF format. It is an open and well documented standard that is supported by MANY applications.
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Toons
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by Toons » Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:10 pm

livesoft wrote:
Riprap wrote:Ok, I'm going to show how little I know too. What's the difference between a backup where you restore files and simply copying files?
Suppose your operating system is fried (damaged on the computer hard disk), then what would you do? How would you restore working software such as MS Office, your internet browser, Explorer, and the works?
Macrium
http://www.macrium.com/pages/comparisons.aspx
or
Acronis
http://www.acronis.com/en-us/

:happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by FrugalInvestor » Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:11 pm

I like this....a lot! It makes it simple enough to back up a computer that I actually do it, which is what's most important part of backing up......

http://www.amazon.com/Clickfree-Automat ... free+cable

Plug the cable into your computer, plug a portable hard drive into the cable. Done! Everything on your computer is backed up automatically and in a standard (not proprietary) format that you can easily access later if necessary.

It doesn't back up the software on your machine, just the data.
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Christine_NM
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by Christine_NM » Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:19 pm

livesoft wrote:
Riprap wrote:Ok, I'm going to show how little I know too. What's the difference between a backup where you restore files and simply copying files?
Suppose your operating system is fried (damaged on the computer hard disk), then what would you do? How would you restore working software such as MS Office, your internet browser, Explorer, and the works?
I go to the computer store and tell them what I need. They build me a new computer with a new OS using whatever parts are salvageable from the old one like external drives. This is not the same problem as file loss or corruption or my big mistake where it is easier to restore the backup than fix a global error in a file.

ETA - for file backup I use a usb drive and free Google Sheets/Docs/MyDrive. To be clearer than my first paragraph, when I have needed a new computer I have gotten one with all the software the old one had and then restored the files from the usb drive. I have not had to restore from Google yet, but I've tested it.

If you choose, you only need to back up what you can't buy, your own input. You don't have to backup the whole C drive.
Last edited by Christine_NM on Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jeanz
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by Jeanz » Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:25 pm

Windows 7 has backup software, which you reach from the control panel, under the label "system and security". That seems too obvious, so I'll mention that my husband has been using the free version of CrashPlan for some time:

https://store.code42.com/store/

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Abe
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by Abe » Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:28 pm

The guy who built my computer installed 2 identical hard drives. One is the main hard drive and one is the backup hard drive. He set it up so my computer automatically backs up everything from my main hard drive to my backup hard drive once a day. Maybe you could get someone to set yours up that way. I guess if I had a fire, I would lose it all, but I'm willing to take that chance.
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by livesoft » Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:35 pm

Abe wrote:The guy who built my computer installed 2 identical hard drives. ....
We sold computers like that. Then one day someone had a failure on the first drive and found out that the 2nd drive really didn't do what it was supposed to do. :) Have you tested your system to make sure it still provides the safety that you want/need?
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Toons
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by Toons » Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:36 pm

Abe wrote:The guy who built my computer installed 2 identical hard drives. One is the main hard drive and one is the backup hard drive. He set it up so my computer automatically backs up everything from my main hard drive to my backup hard drive once a day. Maybe you could get someone to set yours up that way. I guess if I had a fire, I would lose it all, but I'm willing to take that chance.
Excellent idea :sharebeer
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an_asker
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by an_asker » Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:57 pm

Abe wrote:The guy who built my computer installed 2 identical hard drives. One is the main hard drive and one is the backup hard drive. He set it up so my computer automatically backs up everything from my main hard drive to my backup hard drive once a day. Maybe you could get someone to set yours up that way. I guess if I had a fire, I would lose it all, but I'm willing to take that chance.
What is the size of those hard drives? My data (on backup external hard drives) far exceeds my laptop's hard drive capacity.

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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by rjm_cali » Thu Feb 18, 2016 2:21 pm

Abe wrote:The guy who built my computer installed 2 identical hard drives. One is the main hard drive and one is the backup hard drive. He set it up so my computer automatically backs up everything from my main hard drive to my backup hard drive once a day. Maybe you could get someone to set yours up that way. I guess if I had a fire, I would lose it all, but I'm willing to take that chance.
One of many different levels of security with pros and cons. Personally I'd prefer my first level of backup to be on a different physical device to avoid not uncommon scenario such as PSU/Mobo failures, malware attacks and accidental deletions. I'd prefer my second level to be electronically disconnected from my primary device. Third level is off-premise backup such as cloud.

Downside to all this is management but upside is redundancy.

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Will do good
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by Will do good » Thu Feb 18, 2016 2:26 pm

an_asker wrote:
Abe wrote:The guy who built my computer installed 2 identical hard drives. One is the main hard drive and one is the backup hard drive. He set it up so my computer automatically backs up everything from my main hard drive to my backup hard drive once a day. Maybe you could get someone to set yours up that way. I guess if I had a fire, I would lose it all, but I'm willing to take that chance.
What is the size of those hard drives? My data (on backup external hard drives) far exceeds my laptop's hard drive capacity.
Back up hard drive range from 500GB to 5 TB. You can get a 3-4TB for around $100 from Amazon. Good luck.

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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by scooter » Thu Feb 18, 2016 2:27 pm

I use an external hard drive that I back up important files every month and then unplug it from USB port when done.

If my computer dies, I will have it on hard drive so I unplug it so it will not be damaged.

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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by an_asker » Thu Feb 18, 2016 2:40 pm

Will do good wrote:
an_asker wrote:
Abe wrote:The guy who built my computer installed 2 identical hard drives. One is the main hard drive and one is the backup hard drive. He set it up so my computer automatically backs up everything from my main hard drive to my backup hard drive once a day. Maybe you could get someone to set yours up that way. I guess if I had a fire, I would lose it all, but I'm willing to take that chance.
What is the size of those hard drives? My data (on backup external hard drives) far exceeds my laptop's hard drive capacity.
Back up hard drive range from 500GB to 5 TB. You can get a 3-4TB for around $100 from Amazon. Good luck.
That was not my question (I already have, and use, backup external hard drives of 750 GB to 1.5 TB range)!

Abe said that he had a computer with dual (identical) hard drives. I doubt very much that those dual hard drives are over 500 GB (unless you were to go for higher end laptops/PCs). Mine (lower end) has one hard drive, and that has a capacity of 150 GB.

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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu Feb 18, 2016 2:41 pm

Very first thing I would do is drag and drop all your important files to your external backup hard drive.

Do this right now before you do anything else - it takes about 30 seconds of your time.

With a 5 year old Gateway computer (or any hard drive) it could be a matter of time before the hard drive dies and everything is lost.

After that, you can do a more extensive backup if you feel it's necessary.

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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by Kenkat » Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:24 pm

Toons wrote:
livesoft wrote:
Riprap wrote:Ok, I'm going to show how little I know too. What's the difference between a backup where you restore files and simply copying files?
Suppose your operating system is fried (damaged on the computer hard disk), then what would you do? How would you restore working software such as MS Office, your internet browser, Explorer, and the works?
Macrium
http://www.macrium.com/pages/comparisons.aspx
or
Acronis
http://www.acronis.com/en-us/

:happy
I will also say that in the situation where your OS is fried, I wouldn't necessarily count on Windows Backup / Restore to save you. I have had this situation occur and Windows Backup failed when it was most needed. Luckily, I had a slightly older Acronis image that I was able to fall back to. Having things backed up a couple of different ways is not a bad idea. ThankYouJack's suggestion to start with backing up data files first is a good one though. In Windows, you can just copy everything in Libraries and get most of your data files - Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos. Then supplement with a few other directories as needed for things like Quicken,TurboTax, TaxAct, etc.

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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by letsgobobby » Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:57 pm

Will work on this tonight.

I know how to drag MS Office files, and photos, to my external hard drive. It may be full so I will buy a larger one from Amazon if necessary.

However, I do not know how to drag iTunes - is it just a matter of dragging the iTunes folder?

Beyond this, when you start talking about partitions, ghost drives, clouds... I get a little queasy. I need a dummy proof and automatic back up system so I don't have to think about this.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by FrugalInvestor » Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:57 pm

letsgobobby wrote:Will work on this tonight.

I know how to drag MS Office files, and photos, to my external hard drive. It may be full so I will buy a larger one from Amazon if necessary.

However, I do not know how to drag iTunes - is it just a matter of dragging the iTunes folder?

Beyond this, when you start talking about partitions, ghost drives, clouds... I get a little queasy. I need a dummy proof and automatic back up system so I don't have to think about this.
Check out the Clickfree link that I posted above. It is VERY simple - finds and copies all the relevant data (including music, pics, etc.) files to backup for you without you even having to know what or where they are. All you need to to is remember to plug it into your computer with the portable drive every now and then. It's really as simple as it gets.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

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JaneyLH
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by JaneyLH » Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:17 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:Very first thing I would do is drag and drop all your important files to your external backup hard drive.

Do this right now before you do anything else - it takes about 30 seconds of your time.
Well, this depends on what you believe is important. My pictures are the most important files on my computer and it takes about 4 hours using a USB connection to back them up. :wink: :?

I have two 4 TB backup drives. I copy just my documents, pictures, videos, and music to each of these drives so I have two copies of everything. I use the "copy and paste" method, nothing fancy. I have more pictures than will fit on my laptop's 1 TB drive so they are organized by year and I don't bother copying years prior to 2015 over and over.

I keep the current and one generation previous on these drives. I always open a few files after the backup to make sure of the integrity of the backed up files.

Programs, bookmarks, web browsers, etc. can all be reloaded from the Internet or original program discs. I have had to recover from two laptop failures and this method worked just fine.

I also have a couple of other backups of my pictures, the thing I would hate the most to lose.
At some point I should rent a safe deposit box and use this for offsite storage.

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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by an_asker » Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:48 pm

JaneyLH wrote:
ThankYouJack wrote:Very first thing I would do is drag and drop all your important files to your external backup hard drive.

Do this right now before you do anything else - it takes about 30 seconds of your time.
Well, this depends on what you believe is important. My pictures are the most important files on my computer and it takes about 4 hours using a USB connection to back them up. :wink: :?

I have two 4 TB backup drives. I copy just my documents, pictures, videos, and music to each of these drives so I have two copies of everything. I use the "copy and paste" method, nothing fancy. I have more pictures than will fit on my laptop's 1 TB drive so they are organized by year and I don't bother copying years prior to 2015 over and over.

I keep the current and one generation previous on these drives. I always open a few files after the backup to make sure of the integrity of the backed up files.

Programs, bookmarks, web browsers, etc. can all be reloaded from the Internet or original program discs. I have had to recover from two laptop failures and this method worked just fine.

I also have a couple of other backups of my pictures, the thing I would hate the most to lose.
At some point I should rent a safe deposit box and use this for offsite storage.
Your method is almost the same as mine (previously outlined), and you have files organized like I do as well, by year! :sharebeer

One difference is that I don't check the backed up files each time - I do need to check those once in a while anyway, when - for instance - I need to retrieve a photo from a couple of years ago (not in my 150 MB laptop).

ThankYouJack
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:35 pm

JaneyLH wrote:
ThankYouJack wrote:Very first thing I would do is drag and drop all your important files to your external backup hard drive.

Do this right now before you do anything else - it takes about 30 seconds of your time.
Well, this depends on what you believe is important. My pictures are the most important files on my computer and it takes about 4 hours using a USB connection to back them up. :wink: :?
I assume that's much more than what the OP has. But it still takes about 30 seconds of your time unless you sit there just to watch the file transfer bar for 4 hours :wink:

patrick
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by patrick » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:38 pm

FrugalInvestor wrote:
letsgobobby wrote:Will work on this tonight.

I know how to drag MS Office files, and photos, to my external hard drive. It may be full so I will buy a larger one from Amazon if necessary.

However, I do not know how to drag iTunes - is it just a matter of dragging the iTunes folder?

Beyond this, when you start talking about partitions, ghost drives, clouds... I get a little queasy. I need a dummy proof and automatic back up system so I don't have to think about this.
Check out the Clickfree link that I posted above. It is VERY simple - finds and copies all the relevant data (including music, pics, etc.) files to backup for you without you even having to know what or where they are. All you need to to is remember to plug it into your computer with the portable drive every now and then. It's really as simple as it gets.
If you're going to use something that finds the files that need to be backed up automatically, be sure to verify that it has correctly decided which files to back up. You wouldn't want to find out too late that it had decided one of your important files was not relevant.

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Kenkat
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by Kenkat » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:47 pm

On my PC at least, iTunes is in the Music folder under Libraries, so if you copy the Music folder, you should get the entire iTunes library.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by FrugalInvestor » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:53 pm

patrick wrote:
FrugalInvestor wrote:
letsgobobby wrote:Will work on this tonight.

I know how to drag MS Office files, and photos, to my external hard drive. It may be full so I will buy a larger one from Amazon if necessary.

However, I do not know how to drag iTunes - is it just a matter of dragging the iTunes folder?

Beyond this, when you start talking about partitions, ghost drives, clouds... I get a little queasy. I need a dummy proof and automatic back up system so I don't have to think about this.
Check out the Clickfree link that I posted above. It is VERY simple - finds and copies all the relevant data (including music, pics, etc.) files to backup for you without you even having to know what or where they are. All you need to to is remember to plug it into your computer with the portable drive every now and then. It's really as simple as it gets.
If you're going to use something that finds the files that need to be backed up automatically, be sure to verify that it has correctly decided which files to back up. You wouldn't want to find out too late that it had decided one of your important files was not relevant.
The Clickfree software just looks at file types. Unless you're using some relatively obscure software that generates non-standard file types it should pick up everything. It's very simple to look at the files on the hard drive after the backup is done (using file manager) to see if everything you expect to be there is there.

I would contend that for someone who hasn't been backing up and doesn't know how (or may not want to know how), this is the cat's meow. As a matter of fact, I can hear it in the background meowing now I think! :D
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

inbox788
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by inbox788 » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:55 pm

letsgobobby wrote:Most critical to backup some ms office files, photos, iTunes music.

I have a backup drive I can use which is about 3 years old. My computer is about 5 years old, Gateway.
Do you know the locations of those files? What is the capacity of your backup drive and your laptop drive?

Chances are they're not that big, and the simplest and quickest thing to do is to copy them from their current directories/folders to the backup drive. You might also get a usb drive to use in the same manner. This doesn't solve the longer term backup problem of keeping future items backed up, but if you have several usb drives or backup drives, you can make multiple copies on a regular basis, and at worse only lose a week or two in case of disaster. And only a bit more if your copies are lost or corrupted.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by FrugalInvestor » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:59 pm

inbox788 wrote:
letsgobobby wrote:Most critical to backup some ms office files, photos, iTunes music.

I have a backup drive I can use which is about 3 years old. My computer is about 5 years old, Gateway.
Do you know the locations of those files? What is the capacity of your backup drive and your laptop drive?

Chances are they're not that big, and the simplest and quickest thing to do is to copy them from their current directories/folders to the backup drive. You might also get a usb drive to use in the same manner. This doesn't solve the longer term backup problem of keeping future items backed up, but if you have several usb drives or backup drives, you can make multiple copies on a regular basis, and at worse only lose a week or two in case of disaster. And only a bit more if your copies are lost or corrupted.
Just remember, simplicity is beautiful when it comes to investing and backing up your computer. Complication breeds trouble.

Here's the newest version.....
http://www.amazon.com/Clickfree-Automat ... ickfree+c2

With the above you just need the drive with contains the software to do the automatic backups.

Review....
http://desktop-external-hard-drive-revi ... eview.html
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

daveatca
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Start simple

Post by daveatca » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:46 pm

[quote="letsgobobby]link to a site that provides clear English directions[/quote]
Http://backblaze.com
$5/mo
I really like it. And, I have tested it for restoration.

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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by bhsince87 » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:03 pm

Nothing to be embarrassed about, letsgobobby!

I'm in the same shape, and I'm an electrical engineer...
BH87

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dianna
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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by dianna » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:18 pm

b42 wrote:Another option is to use a cloud-based solution, which is usually set to back up files automatically in the background. I have used CrashPlan for the last 3-4 years and have been very happy with the service. I pay a yearly fee to backup my entire family's computers (mix of PCs and Macs), and the services makes it much easier for me in case any one of them breaks down. There are many different services available, some of which are free. The Wirecutter has a good review on some other online backup services.
+1 for CrashPlan. Happy with service AND have had to use them a few times to either a) restore a drive gone bad or b) remotely look up a current or old file that I needed to send while out of the country and traveling without local files! I've been very happy with their service, their UI, their messaging when a computer hasn't been backedup in awhile, and the convenience of access.

~dianna

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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by whodidntante » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:57 pm

Crashplan can back up to the cloud, to another computer you have access to over the network or the Internet, or to local drive like a removable hard drive. The cloud option costs money (though it's pretty affordable) and the other options are free. It handles deduplication, compression, and encryption for you and it's reasonably easy to set up. You can limit the transmit rate, which will keep the program from saturating your network connection.

Some practical points to be aware of:
- You will need another method to install Windows, like a Windows disk, in the event of total data loss.
- The program uses a lot of RAM if you have a lot of data to back up, and it may be an issue if you have a lot of data and very little RAM. I assume this is to accomplish the deduplication feature and the memory is used to store hashes.

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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by 2comma » Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:08 am

I use Macrium Reflect (a free version) and store an "image" of each of our computers on an external hard drive. On occasion I'll create a new "image" usually after I've made a lot of changes. The thing I like about this method is if my internal drive fails or I get a virus I can restore the whole system back to where it was on the last backup and it only take an hour or two. In the past I've spent days trying to troubleshoot viruses and other problems so for me it's worth it to know I can get it back to where it was fairly easily without much thinking. Reflect allows you to create a bootable CD to get things working so you can restore everything even if you have to buy a replacement drive. You can also browse your images if you need to pull an individual file so you're covered if you accidently delete something. I think Reflect can also do "incremental backups" where only the things that changed get backed up which will save a lot of disk space if you have files that are constantly changing. As external storage gets cheaper it's simple to add a second external drive so you have redundancy and if you wanted you could take it somewhere else off-site.

So the weaknesses are I have no off site backup and I have to remember to run a backup. It's possible my last backup happened when my computer was in a funky state but that's never happened and I could save two backups so if the last had an issue I could always go back to the older original.

At the heart of the matter you at least need a way to backup data files you don't want to ever loose - like pictures and important documents. In the past I've had to reinstall the OS and all applications, either from CD/DVD or downloads, and it's not the end of the world to have to do it - usually I find it is a good way to clean up my computer and I don't miss things I don't use anymore. The harder part is to know what important files you need to backup - I figure I'll forget something so I like my whole computer "image" approach.
If I am stupid I will pay.

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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by Leeraar » Fri Feb 19, 2016 1:49 am

I pay Google a dollar or two a month for essentially unlimited storage for my mail accounts and Google Drive. My files are replicated in the cloud and on the hard drives of both my laptop and desktop.

Sure, I's not an incremental backup, but I feel it is all I need.

L.
You can get what you want, or you can just get old. (Billy Joel, "Vienna")

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Re: I do not know how to back up my computer

Post by mouses » Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:25 am

I haven't had time to read all the replies.

OP, if you have a Windows computer, as I do:

I put a thumb drive in a USB port.
I copy My Documents onto it.
I use thunderbird for email, so I go up to Application Data and copy thunderbird to the thumb drive. You method will differ if you use a different email program.
I also save Mozilla from Application Data as that saves the data for the browser I use. That also will differ if you use another browser.

This is not like saving an image of the disk, but it saves your own files.
My files fit on a 32GB thumb drive. I use several thumb drives in roatation.

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