what to 'back up' and where does it go?

  mec13 17:18 03 Jul 2005

Although not an absolute beginner, this is my level on most computer subjects, one being 'back ups'. All the time someone brings up this 'dont forget to 'back up' thing, and thanks to this forum I downloaded it for my xp home system. The trouble is when I've tried doing it, its confusing what to actually 'back up' and what do you do with it when its done! I presume back up is if all is lost on my machine, this 'back up' will get me back online again. That big list which Im supposed to select what to back up, well I presume, I want it all. It definatley wont go on a floppy, so I suppose it needs to be copied onto a cd! Or does it go somewhere else on my computer, which seems a bit silly if its broke down! Err this is the complete beginners section, isn't it! My hard drive is '160 things big' but its about 70% free

  Forum Editor 18:01 03 Jul 2005

perhaps you could tell us that, so we know how to advise you?

If you're backing up data files - letters and images etc., it's sometimes better to back up to a CD, so if something drastic happens to the computer you'll still have your important files.

  Diodorus Siculus 18:06 03 Jul 2005

click here

  mec13 18:38 03 Jul 2005

Thats my piont FE, when I tried 'back up' a list on the left hand side ask's me to tick want I want to back up. I've just got xp home, and all the usual software that comes with most computers. Obviusly some personal stuff also. I might have the wrong end of the stick here, but my idea of 'back up' is, if all failed, this back up(I keep repeating myself) which I'm supposed to do will re install all my damaged software etc, back to working order. Trying to decide what to back up confuses me, because how do I know which part of my computer has or might break down, so I thought back everything up just in case!

Is my lack of computer knowledge, showing itself? Basicly I've never really tried to master this 'Back up' thing because if system restore didnt cure it, a total re install did. Well it got things working again.

  p;3 19:38 03 Jul 2005

(for my postings)

as you say, where do you back them up to and what do you back up
however, I have just backed up a document I have been following elsewhere and only just got access to , and put it on a floppy:)

  Ancient Learner 21:38 03 Jul 2005

You really need some CD/DVD burning software. I use Nero but there are others.

You need to back up 'Your settings' and 'My Documents'. Of course, if you also have photos, they will need backing up as well. Which will mean that a CD is possibly not large enough to cope, so a DVD+ or -RW will be required. You can schedule automatic back ups from this type of software too.

The problem can be that the back up in Windows will only write to CDs.

  shizzy 22:27 03 Jul 2005

Others will be able to instruct mec13 better than me but I think he is wanting to copy his HDD.

  stalion 23:06 03 Jul 2005

if you want to back up your hard drive acronis is usually recommended on this forum
click here

  justme 23:14 03 Jul 2005

I can well understand your problem as I used to have the same trouble when I first started computing. If you want to back up the whole hard disk you need something like Norton Ghost.

However, backups for most people are just to keep copies of the personal data, letters etc.

The programs (even windows) can be reinstalled from the original disks. What the original disks can not restore is any data you may have created and the settings which you may have changed to make the programs work the way that you prefer them to.

Choose the files which contain your letters, database files or spreadsheets etc and make a backup of these to a cd. Then if the worst happens you can use the original disks to replace the programs and use your backups to restore your personal files.

If in doubt whether something is your data or a program then back it up anyway. It is better to have an extra copy of some files than not have a copy of something which is important to you.

  StainlessStan 09:34 04 Jul 2005

Justme has it just about spot on, The important folder is 'My Documents'. The only thing i would add is if you have had your computer a while you may have updated drivers which, if backed up will save you trawling web sites and downloading them again.

  dan11 12:43 04 Jul 2005

I agree. This little free programme from drivers guide will backup all your important drivers to a special folder. click here

You could either put the folder in my documents, when you do a backup, Or on a partition.

So if the worst came to the worst and windows had to be reinstalled. All the drivers would be there ready for you.

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