I’m always getting asked by friends and family
What’s the best way to backup my files?
As I don’t like to explain things over and over I decided to put the instructions on the web so enjoy and feel free to pass this on to all your friends and family that are asking you the same question.
I don’t know if this is the best way or not. There are lots of programs out there that can backup your files and this is just one way that I have found useful. If you don’t think this is the best way then feel free not to use it. It’s a free world.
First off you are going to need 2 things.
- An External Hard Drive. (Yes you are going to have to spend a little money, and No you can’t use the old stack of AOL disks you’ve been saving up since 1993) I don’t really care what kind of external drive you get, go to amazon and search for the one that has the highest ratting, then drive down to CompUSA and buy it real cheap before they go out of business.
- OK So I do have one requirement for the hard drive. You need one that is big enough to store all your junk. If you have no idea how big that is or even how to find out then just get one that is 250 GB’s (make sure you tell the sales clerk that you need one that is 250 GeeBees) or bigger.
- Some FREE backup software from 2BrightSparks called SyncBack Freeware. Your external hard drive may come with some but I have found that most of the free stuff you get with the external hard drives lacks in one way or another. 2BrightSparks makes a great commercial version of their backup software that can significantly speed up the time it takes to backup your files and it only costs $30. This is what I use personally and I would recommend that you have a look at the difference between the free and commercial versions. Read More about the difference between the two versions.
Let’s Get started.
- Plug in your external hard drive and turn it on. If you don’t know how to do this then you have two choices. Read the manual that came with your hard drive or give up and stop putting crap on your computer that you don’t want to lose.
- Ok your sill reading so I assume you got the hard drive connected. Make a new folder on it called “Backups”.
- Download SyncBack Freeware from here and install it. Again if you don’t know how to install it, see advice above.
- Once the application is installed you can start it by clicking Start -> Programs -> …
- On First run it will ask you to setup a profile. Click Yes
- Then It asks for Profile Type. Keep the default setting and click “OK”.
- Then it asks for a profile name. Call it something descriptive so you know what this profile is backing up. Such as “My Documents”. Then Click “OK”
- After you name the profile you will be shown the profile setup window, where you will select the source folder, the destination folder, and the files to backup. The following screen shot shows the finished window.
- Click on the folders to select the source and destination.
- To Backup your files select the profile in the list and click the “Run” button.
- The first time you run the profile it will ask if you want to run a “Simulation”. This is basically a dry run where Syncback will show you all the files that will get backed up without actually making any changes. This is a safety feature that allows you to make sure the profile is set up correctly before it makes any changes to your files. This can come in very handy as you can setup a profile to add and REMOVE files from backups. You can choose yes if you would like to see what simulation does, or no if you just want to start backing up your files. If you setup the profile correctly, no deletions should occur and you should be able to safely choose NO.
Please feel free to leave comments. I will try to help if I can, but I won’t make any promises.
If you find this helpful please pass it along.