Back up Question.

  Hiall 11:51 28 Jun 2008

Being no computer expert can someone please tell me the best/easiest way to make a back up for my pc.
I have no back up disk or anything.
Does it save everything you have put on your pc.
Can someone explain in plain English please.

I am on windows xp home edition sp3 and with AOL

  Woolwell 13:39 28 Jun 2008

A back up of your important documents, photos, etc is essential. Having had 2 PC's die in the last month I was very grateful that I had a back up.
The easiest way is probably to an external hard drive but you can also back up to second internal hard drive (snag with that is that it could die with the rest of the computer) or to discs. Some do a full back up of their hard drive using dedicated software like Acronis others just back up what they would really find hard to lose, this includes e-mails. You may well want to back-up e-mail and internet settings.
When I used to use discs (DVD's) I used to alternate from one set to the other so that I knew I had a good set. Doing this to an external harddrive is harder. I found when I did a restore from my external harddrive that I had a few corrupted files.

When you state that you have no back-up disc do you mean that you do not have a Windows disc or recovery disc? If so you should make a recovery disc as soon as possible. Your computer should have come with instructions how to do it.

Hope that this helps.

  Technotiger 13:45 28 Jun 2008

By far the very best way to back up is to use Acronis True Image or similar and save your complete full back ups to an external USB Hard drive. Acronis backs up Everything with a capital EVERY .... your entire System/Programs/Personal Settings - everything, so what could be better?

  palinka 19:45 28 Jun 2008

YOu don't need to back up programs (eg Word; Excel; a paid-for anti-virus, etc) because you have - I imagine - got those on disk already, nor do you need to backup programs that you downloaded from the internet, because you could download them again.
But you DO need to backup anything that you couldn't replace in that way. eg your autobiography written using Word; or letters to your Tax inspector. So (depending on where you keep your stuff)backup everything in My Documents & similar places; also your email address book and (depending on your usage) perhaps your emails as well -eg everything in your Inbox and Sent Box.
HOW you backup depends partly on the amount that needs backing up; you may find the easiest - and cheapest - is just to put all that you need to keep on a re-writable disk, or several disks if necessary. Like woolwell I alternate - this week back up using disk A, next week disk B; then delete Disk A and use it again the following week; then the same with Disk B, and so on.

  palinka 19:48 28 Jun 2008

Having said that I also agree with Technotiger about programs like Acronis; but it depends on how much you have on your PC whether you need the full bells & whistles or whether a cheapie method is adequate.

  woodchip 19:52 28 Jun 2008

As above, If you buy Acronis True Image you can back it all up by creating a Image of Drive or Partition this will put everything back just as at the time you created the Image. Even on a new Drive. So you would not need to buy OS CD or Software that would be lost

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