Computer Backup Fred Marshall Coastal Computers & Networks
“Back Up” and “Backup” • Back Up: verb e.g. “to back up” • Backup: noun e.g. to create a “backup”
Why Back Up Your Computer? • To preserve your data • To preserve your computer installation • To protect your investment in time • To make reconstruction easier or even possible
Types of Backup • Data file backup - documents / pictures • System configuration backup • Hard drive images • On-line backup (automatic) e.g. Carbonite
Backup Strategies • On-site vs. off-site: what if there is fire or theft? • Frequency: how often to go off site with backup data? • Frequency: how often to back up?
Everything is Preparation • Backup prepares for disaster • Backing up needs preparation too! • Prepare – Implement - Test
Planning the Media • What will be the backup medium: Tape, DVD, another hard drive? • Tape, DVD and portable hard drives are the best candidates for off-site storage. • Hard drives can be good for on-site storage. • On-line backup (e.g. Carbonite) is automatic and convenient and off-site.
Preparing the Data • When you know the medium, you know the size of the individual storage units - CD ~ 650MB - DVD ~ 4.5GB - Tape … 20GB or greater - Portable hard drive … up to 1.5TB • Keep the data: - all in one place on your hard drive
Preparing the Data • Keep the data all in one place • NOT in Windows directory / NOT in Program Files directories • Example for CD backup: C:\Data \My Documents (moved to C:\) \Excel \Word \Outlook Express \Pictures …… etc.
Backup Strategies • Daily backup to a 2nd hard drive (Can run at night) • New backup for each day (becomes 5 or 7 weekly backups) Mon, Tues, Weds,Thurs,Fri • Weekly backup to off-site media Friday backup to CD, DVD or Tape
Data Restoration • Testing the “system” is important! • Make a test file and save it. • Run a backup • Delete the test file from the computer • Restore the test file from the backups
Backup Strategies • Full, Differential or Incremental???? • Compressed or not? • Recommendation: • Remember you have to Restore! • Full backup, not compressed • Best if in recognizable format as the original files – then any computer can read them! • KEEP IT SIMPLE
Backup Strategies • Why do you say: “Don’t Compress”? Doesn’t that save space on the backup media? • Yes, it would save space. • Remember, the compression was done by a program running on your computer. • If the computer crashes, will you have that program available to decompress the backup? • KEEP IT SIMPLE
Backup Tools • Manually Copy the files…. Whew! (native file format) • Built into Windows – add to XP Home • No Hands Backup – download + $19.95 (native file format) • Backup My PC – commercial program (proprietary format) • Windows Scheduler for automatic backups.
Backup Tools • In every case, you need to tell the backup program which files to back up. • That’s why it’s better to have the data all in one place. It’s much easier to “point to it” – the list is shorter.
System Restoration • Before Windows “breaks”: Create emergency boot floppies / emergency repair disks / (various names) Create a restore point in Windows. Create another restore point each time hardware or program install changes. Create a restore point before adding new software (and after).
System Restoration Create emergency boot floppies / emergency repair disks / various names Create restore points in Windows. Do these things even if you don’t know how to use them!
Hard Drive Replacement • Starting from scratch: • Install Windows, all drivers, all programs • Reconfigure dialup and email • Restore Data from backup • Disadvantage: you have to have all the drivers and programs and data. • Easier method: • Replace hard drive image from an image backup. • Disadvantage: if Windows was cluttered, this doesn’t get rid of the clutter.
Hard Drive Replacement • Insurance against catastrophic failure: • Run Norton System Doctor S.M.A.R.T. sensor all the time. or • Run disk manufacturer’s test program from floppies (download from Seagate, Maxtor, etc.) • Often gives time to clone the disk
Hard Drive Replacement • Run Drive Image or Ghost automatically onto a 2nd hard drive. • Provides a disk image ready to go…. • Don’t forget to check S.M.A.R.T. on the 2nd drive!