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Welcome to Our Newsletter

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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Feature Article

Back up Part 3


Restoring your 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 Windows.

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 software etc.

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, please call.



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