Listed by type and approximate storage:
(to be cont.)
Let's begin, and hopefully, we can generate some discussion and input from meeting attendees (and on the BBS, too) to guide us in developing recommendations that may be useful to our members. And to any others they may want to pass the gospel to.....
So, let's start with what. Conventional wisdom has it that one needs primarily to backup the data files that one creates or acquires as they use their systems. Whether it's that really neat "saved game" or the friendly image or the Y2000 tax return, or whatever. And, in the Commodore and DOS days of some of our members early experience, this was largely true. You backed up the data; so that when complete disaster struck, you could:
Oh yes, and storage has grown from the >1 MB diskette to the 80 GB hard drive, and is still growing.
Think about these suggestions:
[Note: member Layton Fireng uses a C:, D:, E: where C: is for the OS, D: is for the programs and E: if for his data. This keeps the OS partition more compact and easier to back up.]
My main exception in this C:/D: recommendation is for very large programs; such as, many games that benefit by having the contents of one or more CD-ROMs transferred to the hard drive. That stuff is not needed on the C: drive and just complicates backing it up. Some big programs, like suites, if they will allow it, could probably benefit from a similar D: drive installation.
If you have a typical purchased PC, it likely has only a C: drive, even if it has a 40 GB hard drive! If you build one, you can set it up to have two (or more) drives. For the purchased one, you could achieve the desired result with a utility like Partition Magic (this change might be done, for example, after a club meeting, where you could bring in your computer and the work could be done. Note: this is a real time consuming task if you have a large hard drive).
BUT, with this change implemented, you will have taken the first step to disciplined backing up.....
A: It may be a simple question, but the answer isn't, so let's break it up into its components.
What to back up. Consider backing up these:
Files containing documents, letters and any other data you have created, whether with a word processor, a spreadsheet program, a financial program such as Quicken or Money, or a database application.
Digital multimedia files. It is particularly important to backup music files you have bought online. Also, back up photographs you are storing on your hard drive, but have not printed.
E-mail files. Certainly back up your address book, and probably any e-mail messages you want to keep. To back up Outlook Express messages, search for files ending in the .dbx extension. To back up your OE address book, search for a file ending in the .wab extension. To back up Outlook, look for a file ending in .pst. The Help section of other programs should divulge what extensions they use.
(Always write down exactly the complete path to the folders in which those files are stored, because you will have to guide the software you use to back up stuff to those folders. A fictional example: C:\Program Files\Outlook Express\mydbx.files)
Downloaded programs. If you buy programs online, back them up. If a vendor sent you an e-mail with a special code to open the program, back up that message, even if you ignore all your other ones.
Program and driver upgrades. These are especially important if you have to reformat your hard drive and reinstall your programs and hardware.
Favorites or Bookmarks. You do not want to have to find again the 300 Web sites you have come to think of as special. Use Windows Search to look for the Favorites folder. Again, write down the path to that folder.
Where to back up. My favorite medium for receiving backups is a hard drive. As a class, hard drives are highly dependable. Also, you will not have to worry about keeping track of disks or labeling them.
If you are somewhat daring and handy, install an internal drive. If not, and if you have some spare change, buy an external one. These are particularly handy if you want to shuttle data to another computer.
Second-choice medium is the CD-R disc, which is more reliable and less troublesome than a CD-RW disc. Of course, for this, you need a CD drive capable of burning CDs.
Also consider either an external or internal Zip drive.
What to use. If you opt for a hard drive, the best option is a program that automatically and immediately backs up any file you create or change. Iomega's Desktop Hard Drive comes with such a program. But CMS also makes some good hardware-software backup combos.
Another acceptable program, which you can use to back up to hard drives as well as other media, is Backup MyPC from Stomp.
How to prepare. If you have not already done so to organize your hard drive, create special folders to hold your data, photographs, downloaded programs and music, as well as program and driver upgrades.
Move all the relevant files to these folders, and save new files to them. Remember the paths.
When you configure your backup program, have it look in the folders you created, as well as in folders where your e-mail and Favorites are stored.
Some programs - Quicken or Money, for example - can create backups themselves. Those backup files should also go into a special folder and then be backed up a second time from there.
On the Web
Last modified: Sun Jan 18 13:11:34 2004