An Easy Personal Backup Plan

How Is Everybodies Backup Procedure?

Having just brought my second USB storage device. I have decided that it is about time that I update my own personal backup procedure for my home files and www.whooah.biz In the past I have always had great annoyance with backups on to DVD/CD media as you have to spend quite a lot of time setting it up each time and than checking it. Ultimately more time than the backup is really worth.

Project justification:

Ok we know that the question is not will you have a hardware failure but when will you have a hardware failure. If destiny has anything to do it. It will be right when you not made a backup and you need an email address to get in touch with somebody.

What ever it is a backup plan is modern business necessity and probably home computing too.

Hardware needed:

2 portable storage devices or other media. (dvd/server)

Software:

Any software that can provide an incremental backup recognise different medias, and be scheduled. I have chosen Backup4all but there are lots of others just do a search for: incremental backup software.

Files:

It is important in backing up files to insure that you are backing up the right files. One backup strategy is just to make a backup of everything on your computer including the OS. The problem with that in my view is that operating system over time slowly starts to get corrupt. Hence why we do so many clean fresh installs to insure optimum performance of the operating system. I used to make a backup off Windows XP just after I had installed it. This has served me well of over the years enabling me to restore my laptop at a moments notice and be up and running literally in 40 mins. With the advent of Vista one big change has happen in relation to backups: it got big. A basic install now takes up 6 +GB. So I have opted just to backup the first clean install and afterwards the files that I use. Microsoft provides the tools to transfer all the important bits of data and settings from one pc to another if you are looking at installing on several different machines, like a laptop for example.

Frequency:

How often should you back up? This is a tricky one, ultimately every time a file is created or changed. I am sure in reality this does not happen. You can set up a backup so that it will only backup recent file changes. Effectively creating a small job that only does what is necessary. For my home PC I have choose to do a backup once a week. As I am only editing documents and than emailing them I feel this is a risk I am comfortable with. I think that really is the answer to the question. What are you comfortable having backed up after analysing your own situation.

An important point to remember here is that if your hard disk fails in operation is very likely that the data is still on the disk. So if you take the disk to a professional data recovery service. They will be able to recovery data for a price depending on the amount of data. The down side to this is that it will take time. If it contains mission critical data you may well have a problem.

Method:

I have chosen to use two usb storage devices for my backups I will use each one alternate weeks with one device going off site in case of fire. My main reason for using storage devices is that data management is much easier. In the past I have used CD/DVD but the amount time spent cataloguing and organising the date has proven not to be time effective. Fundamentally with usb storage devices the data is accessible up to date and online at time that you require it.

Result

If I was to have a major hardware failure and a hurricane destroyed my house the most date I would lose would be the last 2 weeks of work. Now having reached this point a couple of parting thoughts. Folder share allows you to mirror files on two machines over a network and it is free. If one is concerned about the integrity ands security of their data a good online service such as Idrive will provide a great service in data backup all for a couple of dollars a month and much less of a hastle.

I hope this give you a few ideas for your own backup plan.