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There's to much information to fit into one newsletter. This is
the third, and final, article of a three part series on the same subject. The first in
the series is how and when to back-up your files. The second is back-up
devices. And the third is how and what to do to restore your files. Click Here
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Back up Part 3
computer after a failure
Is there a way of automating your backup procedures? Yes, and
frankly, you should use an automated backup procedure whenever
possible. We all mean to back up our data regularly, but left to our
own devices we will usually have 101 reasons why we can't or haven't
got the time to backup data right now.
How do you go about restoring your
computer? Most home users do backup their data. However, as we
learned earlier, Windows and application programs cannot be backed
up. Let's look at what would happen if one day your PC won't start
up and you determine that this is because your Hard Drive (Drive
C:\) has failed. You are not too concerned because you have
dutifully backed up all you data yesterday evening.
First, you will need to arrange to have a new replacement Hard Drive
installed. Then you will need to have Windows installed on the new
Hard Drive, using the original Recovery CD that should have been
supplied when you originally purchased your computer. If you cannot
locate the Recovery CD, then you may need to purchase a new copy of
Installing Windows usually takes just over an hour. You will then
need to install software drivers for your computer's hardware, such
as for your Graphics Card, Ethernet port, Keyboard and Mouse. These
software drivers should have been supplied with your computer. If
these cannot be found, they can usually be downloaded from the
computer manufacturer's web site.
You will then need to install the software drivers for any external
devices you have connected to your computer, such as a Monitor,
Printer and Scanner. These drivers should have been supplied by the
device manufacturers. These software drivers would take
approximately 30 minutes to install. Then you will need to install
all application programs that have been installed since you
purchased the PC. This may include Microsoft Office, Accounting
software, Games, Photo Editing software, Anti-virus software, Email
Then all your backed up data files need to be copied from your
backup device onto your new Hard Drive.
As you can imagine, this can be a very time consuming exercise,
which can take several hours, or longer, if you have a large number
of application programs to install. Is there a better way to backup
your computer? Yes.
You can back up the data from your Hard Drive as a single Disk
image. This is like taking a photographic image of the hard disk and
saving it as a single image, rather than backing up each individual
file and folder. The beauty of backing up to a single Hard Drive
image is that when you restore the backed up image onto a new Hard
Drive, everything is restored, including Windows, your software
drivers, application programs, data, Emails, Internet access etc.
The backup can take as little as half an hour, and your PC will then
be returned to the exact same state it was in when you performed the
last image backup.
You can schedule these backups. For example, you could backup a
whole disk image on Friday evenings, and then have incremental
backups (only backing up what has changed since the previous backup)
every evening from Saturday to the following Thursday. You then
create another whole disk image on Friday evening, and repeat during
the following week. You can instruct the backup software to keep a
maximum of two or more whole disk images, so after so many weeks,
the first week's disk image is deleted to make room on the backup
Drive for further backups.
In order to perform this type of backup, you need an appropriate
Backup Application and a Backup Drive that is at least three times
the capacity of your main Hard Drive (Drive C:)
Just imagine how you would feel if your computer Hard Drive suddenly
failed this evening, destroying all your family photographs and
music etc. You were so close to backing it all up, but put it off
until another day. It can, and often does, happen.
Just give us a call and we can setup whatever backup devices and
backup software that are most appropriate for your particular
situation. We can also deliver and set it all up for you, so you can
rest assured everything has been taken care of professionally.
Part One: What files to back-up.
Part Two: Back-up devices.
Part Three: Restore your files.
As always, if you need help with any
computer issue or have a question about your computer,
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