Help 1st Timer Do Back Up

  Molly_Don 18:09 31 Aug 2008

Sorry if this sounds a stupid question but I've never, ever, ever done a back up before, not sure if I needed to but if I do, how on earth do I do one, and what do I need to back up.

Also, do I need some disc's as I don't have any.

  Diemmess 18:40 31 Aug 2008

As with most Windows instructions there are several ways at many stages so you will receive all sorts of different (but good) advice.

Backing up gives you useable copies of any files you would hate to lose, e.g. pictures tunes letters etc (data).

It is possible, more difficult, but probably more important to keep a recent and restorable copy of your Windows installation.

The methods vary (others again will offer a variety of ways) and equally important is to store these backups in a safe place.
This is where your disks (American spelling) come in. CD or DVD blanks depending on how much space you need.
An external HD is my preference but is only an alternative.

  skidzy 18:41 31 Aug 2008

Ok Molly,this could get a little long winded but please bear with me and do not get put off.

There are several ways to backup and that will depend on what you wish to backup.

The simplest and most effective backup is using Acronis True Image and an external harddrive.

1) Buy Acronis click here check daily as prices change.

2) Buy an External harddrive such as click here (just an idea).

If you can afford these,this will be your best means of backup that will protect your whole system...everything = Pics/Docs/Settings/Email/...everything as this will image your harddrive exactly.

If this sounds ok to you,we can help further once you have the products.

  skidzy 18:42 31 Aug 2008

sorry,didnt mean to cross post you.

  Diemmess 19:01 31 Aug 2008

No worries!

I was about to add a second post asking for details, to make advice fit the situation.

So Molly_Don, please say:
What version of Windows are you using?
Do you have just Drive C: as your hard drive?
What size is that Hard Drive.
Do you have a CD or DVD optical device which can write (burn) as well as read these disks?

  Molly_Don 19:34 31 Aug 2008

Thank you, I'm a bit lost with what you've suggested skidzy, sorry, but computers are my worse nightmare.

Diemmess, here's what I have I think:

I'm using windows xp

Yes, on my computer it says C:/

No idea what size hard drive tho

I have a base unit where I can insert a CD

I'm not ignoring anyone, I have to go out soon, but I'll catch up tomorrow if that's ok, thanks to you.

  Molly_Don 11:11 01 Sep 2008

Can I use a memory stick to back up?

  iscanut 14:47 01 Sep 2008

Memory stick is fine if it has enough memory. Always best to back up "My Docs" if you have data files, photos and music. Programs and operating system can always be reinstalled

  Diemmess 16:05 01 Sep 2008

You must be congratulated on recognising a potential problem and trying to do something about it in good time.

As I said at first, there are so many ways to deal with this problem.
They vary from a beautifully simple way suggested by Nuts, to spending ages and a lot of money making duplicates of virtually everything and doing so very often to keep everything up to date.

Nuts' method may not save everything you want

Thanks for the information you gave, but if you prefer to things like Megabytes can I ask what most scares you if you were to lose it from your computer? Pictures, music, documents?
Some precious files take more space than others and so point to a best method of preservation.

  Diemmess 16:07 01 Sep 2008

I meant to say (5 lines up) "If you prefer to ignore things like Megabytes.."

  Molly_Don 17:32 01 Sep 2008

OK thanks, all my personal mail via post I scan and save withing my documents, if ever I lost any of the information I'd be lost, that what worries me.

Also, I use a hotmail a/c for general use, and OE for personal information, I'm not bothered about my hotmail stuff, but again, I'd be lost if I lost my personal emails.

Sorry to have gone on, and thank you for helping me.

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