General Question

mikey7183's avatar

What's the best way to back up my info? Do you back up your entire computer or just certain files, photos, and songs? Online backup versus backup hard drives, and all other options?

Asked by mikey7183 (338points) June 26th, 2008

I have so much data on my computer that I would be lost with if it was to be destroyed by a virus, etc. So what is the best way to back up my info? And should I back up the entire computer or just certain files and folders?

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9 Answers

arnbev959's avatar

I’d go with both online and hard drive. Hard drives don’t do any good if your house gets flooded and both your computer and your backup hard drive get destroyed.

You don’t have to back up everything, just documents, music, pictures…

Dog's avatar

I backup the entire system with time machine onto two drives- one is stored in a firesafe box. I also backup online and also backup just my image files to yet another drive. It may seem excessive but my images are my livlihood.

jrpowell's avatar

I personally back-up my entire hard drive to a external firewire one. And I make it bootable. If the hard drive inside my computer dies I will be up and running off the back-up in a few minutes since I can boot off the external one. I will lose some work but that is usually only a few days worth. Usually every other day I clone my hard drive to the external one.

I clone my external drive too and keep it at my sisters house. She lives a few blocks away. That keeps me safe from fires/theft. I normally back that one up once a week.

mikey7183's avatar

when you back up your entire computer, does it also save things like how you have customized/configured Microsoft Outlook for example?

and lets say you back up your entire computer – when the hard drive goes out, how does the restore process work? do you literally format the hard drive and then install the backup?

mikey7183's avatar

thanks for the answer, very helpful – how do you make it bootable? what program are you usuing to backup your computer?

jrpowell's avatar

I once booted from the external drive and it took about 30 minutes to realize that I wasn’t using the one inside the computer. It made it identical.

I am on a Macintosh and use SuperDuper! to clone my drives. It takes about 4 clicks and two hours and my external drive is a bootable clone of the one inside my computer.

I can’t really help with Windows advice here. Hopefully someone will come along that knows of something similar for Windows.

goorsha's avatar

On the subject of file backup, sharing and storage…

Online backup is becoming common these days. It is estimated that 70–75% of all PC’s will be connected to online backup services with in the next decade.

Thousands of online backup companies exist, from one guy operating in his apartment to fortune 500 companies.

Choosing the best online backup company will be very confusing and difficult. One website I find very helpful in making a decision to pick an online backup company is:

This site lists more than 400 online backup companies in its directory and ranks the top 25 on a monthly basis.

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Gunmetal's avatar

I go with ZenOK Online Backup, it runs continuously in the background so you don’t have to remember to backup your files and are inexpensive.

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