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#1 Billsotx

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 07:45 PM

If I look for an external hard drive to back-up my files, say from Best Buy, what do I look for? I've looked and after talking to the sales staff I known I don't know nothing about this. I've got an HP w/XP home ed. On the back of my machine is a vacant port labeled serial, there's another that's vacant with a little 3 point tree like symbol (USB or UBS or whatever I guess) and on the front there is a vacant serial port and two vacant SOBs with those same little tree symbols. All three look like they'll be easy to kick and break. Yeah I know move the thing to a more inconvenient place ... lol

#2 CitizenKate

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 07:58 PM

Bill, probably any of the USB drives will work fine for you. Just make sure it's big enough to hold all your data.

To use it, all you do is plug it in, wait a few seconds, and Windows will tell you your device is ready to use. Then go to "My Computer", and you should see the new drive in the list there.

Kate

#3 Billsotx

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 10:07 PM

Hi Kate,

Thanks for the note. So just get a ext. HD that'll plug to a USB and when it boots or whatever it's called, I just drag files over to it and that's it, right?

#4 CitizenKate

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 10:47 PM

Yes. That is usually all there is to it.

Kate

#5 Regis

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 07:15 AM

You could backup to CD's. If you don't have CD writer, you could add in a USB port the same ase Kate was saying.

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#6 nomi

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 08:28 AM

External hard drives are the best way to go. I have two of them on this computer :)

Make sure it is a USB 2.0 drive (by default it probably will be) and buy as much hard drive space as you can afford.

The prices have dropped fast on these drives, you'll be able to buy quite a bit for your money.

I have two Seagate external drives, never had a single problem with either of them. Works fantastic.

- Noel

#7 Johanna

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 12:04 PM

Getting an external hard drive to do back ups is a smart inexpensive option, especially if the thought of losing the info on your computer makes you sick to your stomach. They are easier than ever to use. XP will "find" them and you just copy files (don't move them if you still want to access them from the computer w/o the exteranl hard drive attached) and done!

Hope this info helps a little.

Johanna



What to Back Up

Windows Address Book (Outlook Express)
Default location
C >Doc & Settings> User> Application Data> Microsoft> Address Book> User. WAB

Outlook Express Messages
OE messages are saved in .dbx files, and can be backed up in that format, but not read without importing into a functional OE, where they will overwrite files names the same thing, so be careful. You can buy software like DBXpress to open them outside of OE. OE messages can also be saved individually to the folder of the user’s choice in the .eml format.
Default location:
C> Doc & Settings> User> Local Settings>Application Data> Identities> Long string of variable numbers> Microsoft> OE>

My Favorites- IE bookmarks
Default location
C> Doc & Settings> User>

Downloaded Programs
Keep a folder somewhere for programs you download. Get into the habit of "saving" downloads, and doing your installing from this designated folder, instead of directly from the download. Back up that folder periodically to ensure easy reinstall.

My Docs
XP, by default, puts your albums, e-books, pictures, music and movies into the My Doc folder. You may need to set up other folders outside of "My Docs" of these same file types, don't forget to include them in your back up routine.

Themes & Preferences
If you use a particular skin or theme, screensavers, sounds etc, you will want to back up your settings and preferences, unless you are confident that you can restore them manually. You can even save your cookies.


How to back up an XP computer

You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. - Mark Twain


#8 dsenette

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 01:04 PM

as a personal note bill...make sure (if possible) to get one of the drives that has external power (i.e. plugs into the wall for its' juice)...a USB port doesn't REALLY have the juice to fully power a modern hard drive....especially the front ports....it will work...but the externally powered ones are 10 times more reliable

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#9 Billsotx

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 06:00 PM

Thanks for all your help. Monkey is does plug into the wall and Johanna I caught that copy, not move. I got the thing this morning and I just got done with it. I think I copied all my stuff. In the morning I'll look at it again. I couldn't figure out how to schedule it, it's supposed to be programable so it will back-up on X day at X time etc., etc. but I didn't figure that out yet. There's a tutorial on their web but they charge for it ... duh! I think they got all my money they're gettin'. Gonna go pick on the ol' flattop for awhile. I need a mental enema ... lol

Again, I appreciate it.

#10 Romey

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 12:21 AM

Johanna your a gem :thumbsup:
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#11 Barbed Wire Leather

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 08:33 AM

External.......the way to go

External hard drives are the best way to go. I have two of them on this computer :)

Make sure it is a USB 2.0 drive (by default it probably will be) and buy as much hard drive space as you can afford.

The prices have dropped fast on these drives, you'll be able to buy quite a bit for your money.

I have two Seagate external drives, never had a single problem with either of them. Works fantastic.

- Noel


It's the impresion you leave that counts.

Michael

#12 northmount

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 10:03 AM

There are a lot of back-up programs available out there that can schedule and do incremental back-ups (only adds changed files to the exisiting back-up). Some are very complicated. Some allow you to compress the data, but you have to be able to uncompress to retrieve your files. If you have lots of back-up space, uncompressed files (depending on the software) can just be copied back to where ever you want without having to load the back-up software.

Roxio Creator has a very good back-up system. I tried using Paragon. It took hours to do simple back-ups, never finished, and the files it did back-up were not able to be recovered.

It is most important to back-up files that can not be replaced like your photos, finance, documents, address book, etc. Program files can always be reloaded from CD or the internet (as long as you can find them).

If you are trying to back-up your whole system, including operating system and all program files, then use something like Norton Ghost by Symantec. Make sure you have a recovery disk (usually a CD (now-a-days) to reboot from after a system crash and you need to re-install everything. It can also be used to move to a new computer. (caution about hardware changes)

One word of caution ... system back-ups work fine as long as you don't change a bunch of hardware. A fancy new graphics card screwed up my system and could not reboot, or recover since the back-up was with the old graphics card too. So it was time to install the next OS version anyhow!

Regards,

CTG

#13 particle

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 12:48 PM

If you're only going to have one source for your backup, I'd suggest putting a delay in your backup schedule - like 7 days. If you get a virus on your system that destroys your computer, but don't notice it immediately, it's possible the virus could get backed up to your backup drive too, possibly destroying both sets of data. If you use a 7 day delay, at least you're only missing about 1 week's worth of work/data.

Ideally you want 2 backup sources (or even more). Your primary data is stored on your hard drive (HD#1). Then, your HD#1 gets backed up to Backup #1 nightly. 7 days later, bring Backup #2 home (store it off-site, or in your car) and swap it with Backup #1. You should strive to keep one copy offsite in case your house gets robbed or burned down in a fire, etc. This method should also help protect you from a virus, provided your antivirus software catches it before you swap drives. I you wannna go nuts, get two hard drives so HD#1 is instantly backed up to HD#2 - that way you're protected if your hard drive in your computer crashes.

Depending on how much data you have, this could be accomplished with nothing more than a pair of USB drives, like the Western Digital Passport - I've used them for years, and never had a problem with them. You can get each one for well under $100. Easy to transport, and you don't need a bulky power cord to tote around to power it.

http://www.bestbuy.c...cat186100050006

This is a great page that goes into a lot more detail if you're interested in learning more. There are probably other/better sources for more detailed information, but this guy pretty much sums it up.

http://blog.chasejar...or-photo-video/

#14 BenB

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 02:38 PM

Here are my recommendations for a home storage and backup system.

  • Do not use a regular old internal hard drive for your home computer. Use a small (40-80GB, 160GB if your'e a digital workhorse) solid state drive (SSD). It will make your computer amazingly fast. Store only files on this drive that you will use daily (e.g. your operating system, primary programs, emails, projects currently being worked on, etc...). Move the rest of the files to your primary external hard drive. These SSD's are becoming cheaper by the minute and it's becoming easier to find them pre-installed in new computers. This advice is a little ahead of its time, but it will become increasingly important in 2012 and beyond. Keep this in mind next time you buy a new computer.
  • Use not one, but TWO external hard drives (EHD). Hard drives fail, frequently. They're also exceptionally cheap. But the data stored on them is not.
  • The first EHD can be any ol' cheapy. It will sit next to your computer (or under or behind, wherever) and will never move. I recommend 750GB to 1TB unless you have a ton of video, in which case 1.5TB to 2TB would be more suitable. Speed of the hard drive doesn't matter much since the USB connection isn't fast to begin with.
  • The second EHD must be heavy-duty, but small and made to travel. This is the one you're going to take with you. And yes, sooner or later, you'll want to take it with you. You could use a flash drive for this purpose - they're small and handy but easy to lose and more expensive per GB.
  • Use Window's backup programs to backup all your important files (great list Johanna) to EHD #2 (your travel EHD).
  • Use a free program (I like SynchBack) to backup the entirety of EHD#2 (travel) to EHD#1 (stationary) on a regular basis - at least weekly but preferably daily.
  • VERY IMPORTANT: OFF-SITE STORAGE. The further away, the better. Once every three-to-six months, use your DVD burner to write DVD's from one of your EHD's to disk. Take the backup DVD's and store them at Uncle Joe's or your mother's house or in a safety deposit box, if that's your cup of tea. Doesn't matter where, just get it out of your house! If there is a disaster at your house, your computer could be inoperable and EHD#1 and EHD#2 will likely be fried as well. Where's your data now?


My wife has trusted her life's work to this system. She has terabytes of photography, drawings (scanned), paintings (scanned), and videos protected in this manner. All of our encrypted financial documents are also managed by the same system. After it's setup, it's almost automatic. There would have to be an EMP attack or solar flare to wipe out our data. Any responsible corporation has a similar strategy, and if you have any significant digital assets - so should you.

This entire setup (minus the SSD which is a "bonus", not a necessity) can be implemented for about $150-$250 and about 2-4 hours of your time. Is your data worth that investment?

Some people recommend online backups. I do not. Unequivocally, I don't trust them. I don't trust the transmission of my data to an offsite location, or that the vendor has appropriate redundancy and security, or that the employees of the vendor won't be taking a sneak peak at my data. Thumbs down to "the cloud" for personal backup purposes.








On a related note, a quick side story. Note to some people out there who think like my dear father in law mechanic: unlike some other costly products, you should almost never pay someone to "upgrade" or "restore" your computer if it involves hardware. If you have the skill, it's probably not a bad idea to DIY re-install the operating system or install extra memory in certain situations. But most of the time - Buy a new one for about $500. This has been the correct answer for 90% of the cases I have seen where someone unfamiliar with computers is trying to breathe new life into an old PC. They call me and say things are slow, and I find out they're running a 1998 Gateway that has been through three hard drives, is maxed out on 2GB of RAM (they were charged $200 to install the extra 1GB), and Uncle Joe recommended replacing the mother board. No - buy a new computer.

Edited by BenB, 30 December 2011 - 02:43 PM.

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