Backing up. To what extent and how?

  1936 12:04 18 Feb 2006

I started to use computers about 15 years ago just for typing before I retired/got made redundant and there was an IT group who took care of backing up. I got the chop in 1993 but at 57 years of age one does not get another job at the level I was because although one can not discriminate by sex, colour or race one can by age.
I continued to use a computer at home occasionally "Backing up" by putting the text files onto 3.5 discs but really not bothering much. For the first few years I spent all my time writing job applications as I was stupid enough to think that I would get a job. Then when the penny dropped that I would not work again I became absorbed in writing a guide to camping and caravan sites with a sea view keeping a copy of course on disc.
Now I have time to think about backing up and I read a few articles about it and I’m afraid that they left me confused. There were mentions about backing up registry, backing up music files, photograph files, text files, all separately.
That means three separate discs and then there’s the question of where does one keep them for total protection. Is it all right to put them in the garage on the assumption that if the house burns down the garage wont.

I have no music files so that’s no problem so I think that all I need are copies of are my text, and photograph files on the assumption that I have discs for my software but I may be wrong. I also think that the copies need to be kept somewhere other than in the house but I may be wrong. My last question is does a method exist where all I need to do is just bung a disc in or connect to a tape drive, if such things exist, press a button and the whole contents of the computer will copy to a back up medium?

  Belatucadrus 12:55 18 Feb 2006

You're understanding of backup is pretty much on the nail. It means a multitude of things to different people. To some of us it's a copy of all documents made to a separate partition, so that we can reformat the C drive without fear of losing anything important. Others mirror the entire drive contents. Some backup to a partition, some to media like CD-R, others to remote hard drives or tape streamers.
Your concerns about storing copies outside the house are valid, particularly if you work from home and store business critical info like a client list and keeping copy info in whatever format you choose in a suitable fireproof datasafe click here may be worth your while, only you know what the information is worth and how damaging its loss would be.
As to automated backup click here for a posting on backup software, most of it can be set-up to automatically backup whatever you choose to a media of your selection at a set interval.

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