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backup computer

Boy I hope I don't sound stupid again , but what the hell. Yesterday when I was on the computer there occurred a noise caused by a surge , who knows, but different. It got me thinking about the fact that I haven't backed up my stuff. Having lost my hard drive once and not liking it. I started looking to see how to do that. I see there are many ways. CDs ,DVD, key drive, external hard drive, online backup etc. I kinda like the external hard drive which backs up everything as you use your computer. Is that expensive? Actually, thinking about this, I don't want to try this by myself. Starfire , can you do this and would you still like to trade? I would still like to hear everybodies opinions as I can't be the only one in this position.


Are you on a Mac or PC?

I have a dell with 2002 windows xp

I would go with the external harddrive. They are cheap and getting cheaper all the time.

I’m on a Mac, but I think most of my advice crosses over. Here is my backup plan:

1. Buy an external Hard Drive with lots of memory – and with the fastest port available on your computer (FireWire800 for a Mac… SATA for PC?)

2. Find some decent simple backup software that you can use to make a bootable backup. The first time you run it, it will take forever, but your can just run an “update” for future backups. If your computer dies, you have an exact duplicate with all of your files, email, preferences, etc. AND you won’t have to reinstall all of your software, just copy everything over.

You can set the software to automatically backup on some schedule, or just set an alarm on your computer to remind you to do it.

For Macs, I think SuperDuper! is great, simple and easy to use (shareware, $30). There must be a good PC equivalent out there.

3. If I had more money and motivation, I would actually do this with 2 hard drives, always storing one offsite (just in case your house burns down or Chester Creek floods and washes your house away.)

Because I lack both money and motivation, I periodically burn DVD’s of my most irreplaceable stuff (like personal photos) and store them off site.

Good Luck!

In my (humble) opinion, the most important thing is for you to know where on the hard drive your data is saved. It's a good idea to keep everything you want backed up in a single location. I like to create a D partition - leave Windows and programs and such on C, but save all documents, etc to D. That way, it's easy to back up because you just have to copy from a single location. Then - I agree that an external drive is the way to go - or just burn to CDs or DVDs if you're not dealing with too much data. The important thing is to never have your data on just a single drive. I use an inexpensive synchronizer program, so that backup up is just a matter of synchronizing my D drive to an external drive. The synch program will analyze the source and destination drives (folders) and will make the destination match the source by deleting extra files from the destination, and copying new stuff over from the source. I like this approach because I understand all of the steps. I am not a big fan of the "one touch backup" systems that end up copying way more data than you actually need backed up - I figured I can always reinstall Windows and programs; it's just the actual documents, etc that I care about backing up. The software I use is called "CopyTo Synchronizer" - it costs $15 and can be downloaded from http://download.com. Hope this helps!

You can also upload stuff on mac.com - even if you have a pc. It's $100 a year - a little steep but it may be worth it. When you use a file it automatically uploads it. I'm glad you made this post as I need a system myself other than the occasional use of a memory stick.

For your needs, Frank, I think an external Firewire hard drive would be the most practical option. You can get a good one for under $100.

I appreciate the responses. I looked at some of these ext. hard drives . About capacity. When I checkout my computer I see that I have an Intel Celeron 240 GHz 239 GHz with 512 mb of ram. When I go to where I defrag it shows that I have 112GB with 82 GB free. I don't know why these are different but does this mean that if I got an external hard drive with 500mb or less that would be adequate . Being economically challenged right now a the cheapest is best. Perhaps going to a dvd would be best for now. I went to (help) and tried to find out how to do it but of course where they tell me to go doesn't seem to exist. Doesn't mean it isn't there I'm just at the limit of my experience. But thanks. I like this aspect of pdd of helping other folks. I learned a lot from the search for a house for those folks from the cities. One more thing my daughter got her situation straight and is coming to school on the 18th. She is going to rent from one of the people that responded to my inquiery. Thanks much. She now asked me if I would see if anybody had a queen size bed set at a decnt price so see doesn't have to drag one from Aitkin

The 112GB with 82GB free is what's important for backup... In other words, you have about 30GBs worth of "stuff" on your hard drive.

So - you're not really dealing with very much data - burning to DVD would be cheapest, assuming you already have a DVD-RW drive. A DVD can hold something like 4.5GB of data - and much of the 30GB on your hard drive is probably Windows and programs and stuff that you don't necessarily need to back up. You can get cheap DVDs from http://newegg.com - I just use DVD-R - and get them for under $30 for 100.

Still - you need to decide about the type of backup you want. You could either back up your entire hard drive, bit by bit, or you could choose to back up just the files that you know you want to save.

I like to back up just my files, and not worry about programs and such - but other people who posted here have different approaches...

PS - An external drive with 500GB capacity would be way more than sufficient - not MB, GB...

One other thing... Another person recommended an external Firewire drive. USB would be fine too - USB and Firewire are basically comparable - Firewire is probably better, but USB is much more common, and the difference in transfer speed between USB 2.0 and Firewire is negligible.

How to burn all of the files on your pc. Find where all of your files are (my documents?, desktop?) then note that. Surround your pc with good kindling, birch bark, newspaper. Make sure there is a nice flame then apply a few really dry hardwood logs and Whallaw! Your files are burnt.

Boy, did you folks make me go to school. I know this is simple for many of you, but it's new territory for me . I now understand what dvd-r ( can't record over it), dvd-rw (can), double layer dvd (8mg vs 4mg). So, I have a Literon 16x dvd-r/rw/double layer drive for a burner. My dvd player is a cyber home ch-dvd-300. From what I have found it will burn double layer dvd. I checked out moving from c drive to d drive and it appears that their is room to mess up if you don't do it right so I'm not going to do that but at least now I kinda understand what it is. So I think I'm going to get some double layer dvds. I found all my installation discs for windows and my Roxio 9 program plus my administrative password. Am I right to assume I can reinstall the Roxio without buying a new one. Now I have to figure out how to get this all on the disc. I found a backup program on Roxio, windows says they have one and I'll look more. How to download my e-mails is a mystery actually it all is ,but thank god for the help button. When I get some money i am going to get a good external drive setup. Thanks again for the help. I'm probably not done asking though and I'm not going to buy anything yet in case I'm making a mistake here.

install linux...what was the question?

sorry, had to say it....hehe

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