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Advice to back up my Laptop

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Old 10-27-2010, 07:37 PM   #1
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Advice to back up my Laptop

Greetings, I have been lazy but I have now stored many pics and other useful stuff on my drive. I am looking for a simple way to store/BU this...stuff.
I have Vista
My first thought is external drive for "mirror" for if I do have to actually restore, it sounds simpler to restore a mirror image?
In addition I would liike to move the pics off my laptop as they take up much space.
If so, is it resident in Vista to accomplish?
Perhaps this is not the way to fly?

Iomega Select 34966 1TB External Desktop HD at CircuitCity.com &cm_mmc=EML-_-Main-_-CCEM451-_-circuit451

I appreciate the advice!
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:55 PM   #2
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Re: Advice to back up my Laptop

External hard drives are a great way to back things up. 1 TB externals can be had for less than $100 all over the place. CircuitCity.com was bought by the people who own TigerDirect, so proceed with caution. If you haven't had any issues with them, good for you, but I've had people tell me mixed things about TigerDirect.

Check this article out: Geek to Live: Automatically back up your hard drive (don't sweat the FTP/Remote options, unless you want to do that)

Backup software will allow you to pick and choose which directories you backup, so as opposed to mirroring, you'll back up only what you truly want backed up.

If you're really feeling saucy, I would first move all the files you want to keep onto the external drive, completely wipe and reload your current hard drive and partition it (one for the OS and apps, 50GB or so; and one for data). Then you can set your backup software to backup the data partition.

I have 2 250GB internal hard drives on my old desktop (I build it in '04), and have a 50 GB C drive (OS/Apps), 200 GB D (data drive) and do a monthly backup of the data drive to my 250 GB E drive (unpartitioned 2nd internal drive). Every 12-18 months, I wipe and reload the OS/Apps drive and the data stays separate.
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Old 10-27-2010, 10:38 PM   #3
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Re: Advice to back up my Laptop

then once you get your exeternal, get always sync. its free and backs stuff up auto son.
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:56 PM   #4
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Re: Advice to back up my Laptop

Backup and Restore Tutorial
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:46 AM   #5
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Re: Advice to back up my Laptop

I second getting an external drive, they're so damn cheap these days. I keep all my music and pictures backed up that way.
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Old 10-28-2010, 10:33 AM   #6
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Re: Advice to back up my Laptop

External Hard Drives are like regular hard drives, except they're portable. Hence, they will suffer the eventual fate of all hard drives: physical failure.

Do get one if you need it, but have some backup for the backup, like DVD+Rs. Burn those discs at the slowest setting possible, and run all the damn tests you can to make sure there aren't any bad sectors. Also, note the "+R". DVD+Rs are better for storage than DVD-Rs.

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Old 10-28-2010, 12:53 PM   #7
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Re: Advice to back up my Laptop

Windows has a backup utility built in. Most consumer security suites also have a built in backup utility, so if you're using something along the lines of Norton 360 or Kaspersky, Trend, etc you should be able to use that fairly easily and back up to an external drive or dvd/blu-ray. That will get your files back.

If you're concerned about keeping a working copy of your system viable, you can image but you'll have to reinstall on mostly identical hardware. Clonezilla is a great freeware resource for this and it allows you to install to a bootable partition on your external hard drive and place the repository on a second partition. Very convenient and fast.

Best solution, imho, is to migrate your machine to a virtual platform (VMware, Virtual PC) and then you can run that off of any system. You'd need to back up the 3 or 4 files that comprise your vm, but that's a very simple process.

Obviously, the level of complexity goes up as you move down that list, but whatever you do, make sure you start backing up. Once it's gone, it's gone.
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Old 10-28-2010, 02:07 PM   #8
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Re: Advice to back up my Laptop

I have a blue Western Digital Passport external backup HD. Connects with USB and is no bigger than a smartphone.

Works flawlessly on my desktop, would be even better for a laptop because of its size. I have one the same size as my internal HD, which is actually overkill since it doesn't back up every single file (no system files, just personal files). Works silently and in the background every time your PC is on, automatically...you don't even know it's there but it's working. Doesn't slow the PC down at all. Has a cool utility to view what's backed up. They make them for Macs too.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this model.


(THE BLUE COLOR I HAVE)




The model I own: My Passport Essential 500 GB USB 3.0/USB 2.0 Hard Drives ( WDBACY5000ABK )

More options: Portable Overview


I got a 350MB on sale for under $40.
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Old 10-28-2010, 02:25 PM   #9
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Re: Advice to back up my Laptop

I've got the 320GB one Buster, works great
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Old 10-28-2010, 02:31 PM   #10
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Re: Advice to back up my Laptop

Yeah, 320GB, that's what I have too. My internal is 350GB. Plenty big enough for me. I also back up photos on DVD-Rs occasionally for extra backup.
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Old 10-28-2010, 02:54 PM   #11
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Re: Advice to back up my Laptop

Awesome stuff guys, and I appreciate it!
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Old 10-28-2010, 04:06 PM   #12
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Re: Advice to back up my Laptop

Good prices on Newegg. Start at $69.99.

Newegg.com - External Hard Drives,passport
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