Protecting your Data Resources – Stop 3 BACKUP!
By Jim Segers, IT Coordinator – Extension AgriLife Information Technology
There is no better way to protect your files than to make a copy. We often call this a backup, but it is really a copy. Although there are many ways to make a backup, in the next few IT Toolbox BLOG posts we will take a look at the 3 most common methods I see and use.
1. Make a simple copy using Windows
2. Use the built in Windows Backup utility
3. Use a backup/file synchronization software
All 3 will get the job done, all 3 have positive and negative points, but chances are one of these will best fit your computing style and help you protect your files.
The First Step
In any backup strategy the first consideration is WHERE to backup, usually called the “destination.” The most common today is an external USB hard drive. Other options are server drives, CD or DVD, USB sticks, another computer on your network or an internet based service.
We discussed using a “Cloud” or Internet based services in an IT Toolbox article: Online Backup and Storage – using the “Cloud”
For these articles will be discussing using a local drive as the destination, either USB Drive or a Shared Server Drive. USB drives are readily available in sizes large enough to hold all your files and inexpensive when considering the cost of recreating lost files.
Today’s Lesson – the Simple Windows Copy
Any backup is a copy of your important files so using Windows Explorer to copy files to an external drive is a very basic and easy to do backup strategy. Chances are you use Windows to copy files to USB sticks or between folders everyday. The only difference here is the copy is made to the backup destination for safe keeping.
The downside of simple copy is you have to manually perform the copy each time you want to make a fresh backup. You need to be organized so you don’t forget or lose track of when you backup and what you backed up.
This method is great for making a quick backup and for files that you may not need to backup frequently but need to safely store long term.
Here’s short video to help you get started:
Be sure to watch for the next IT Toolbox: Using the Windows Backup and Restore Utility