Computer back up - help please

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15 years 2 months ago #17500 by ronnie
Hi all you wonderful computer people.

Last week, whilst the computer was in getting its ram increased, I also bought one of those wee external drive things so I could back up onto it.

So far, I have managed to plug it in. It asked to have the password reset, which I did. Now what do I do with it?????

I just can't seem to get anything to want to copy onto it. Obviously, I am not pressing the right buttons here, so help please. How do I manage to get the My Documents file to copy onto the removable disc?????
When I right click onto my Documents and click on copy, nothing happens.

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15 years 2 months ago #260197 by bridgierapa
Let's hope I understand what you're saying...!

If you right-click on the start menu down the bottom of your screen, and choose "explore" you will go into what on a website would be called a site map. It used to be called 'setup' in the dark ages and I don't know what it's called now lol. Just call it 'explore' I suppse.

Then you will see various places on your hard drive: your c drive, your a drive, and your d drive. THis little do-hicky might be in your e-drive? I don't actually know... Whichever drive it is, if the software is installed it will show you in the explore section. I am guessing it will be d drive which is usually the cd drive but I really don't know: i've only ever backed up to cd and floppy. Anyway, there are two screens in explore: on the left is the file path, on the right is those files which exist in whichever folder you have your mouse clicked on in the left-hand side.

There may be a wizard available: go up to 'file' and see, or perhaps choose 'help' and type in 'copy wizard' or similar. If you have a wizard it will show you step by step what to do.

I'm guessing really, but if you put your cursor on the folder in which your 'my documents' folder sits, and can see 'my documents' on the right hand screen, you would then scroll carefully down on the left-hand side till you can see 'd' (or whichever it is) drive on the left. Then you can drag & drop that folder into it. It will copy, not move, and in fact will copy in a temporary way so that once you've got everything showing in a pale script in the d drive area, you still will have to 'write to cd'. Or as I said, whichever it is.

Sorry for such a suspect answer: I thought you might need a beginning now, and I'm sure someone else will come along shortly and correct me but explore is definitely a good place to look and there's very little damage a person can do unless they hit delete. If you're nervous, you could copy 'my documents' to desktop and then do all of this from desktop, secure in the knowledge that you cannot ruin your master folder. In fact: I highly recommend doing this until you have the hang of it.

Hope that helps - erk. Cheers, Bridgette.

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15 years 2 months ago #260217 by wyseyes
When you click on Copy, something does happen, it's just that you didn't follow through with the next part - the paste.

Copy and Paste are two of the most important functions in a computer, and should be taught early. Mostly used in formatting text documents, but useful for other things. For you it may work the first time, but when you repeat it there may be confusion when it encounters what you did last time.

When you selected Copy you are asking the computer to "Copy all this lot from here..."
Then if you go to your new external drive, and then Paste, you are completing it by saying "..... To here."

It seems you are lacking some basic knowledge on navigating the general computer file system, as there are 14 different ways to do what you want, but you're not familiar with any of them. What you need is an expert to teach you, is there a 10yr old handy?

Otherwise here is a step-by-step on just one of the methods available to you.
www.bc.edu/offices/help/meta-elements/do...-drive-copy.shtml#xp

I see you shiver in anticip......................................................................................ation

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15 years 2 months ago #260230 by beedee
Ohh Ronnie. I am so glad there is someone else who just doesnt get the hang of rams, thingees and clicks.. I have given up and will be taking this machine into the shop today. with the idea of putting all my rubbish onto the memory box thingee and trying to get rid of what ever has slowed it down sooooooooo much it takes over 1/2 hr to get from on to reading the first message, and other funny things. I bought some system that was meant to cure all at xmas, but it only worked for a week or two and now seems to have added to the problems.. so I will be off the circuit from now... can be contacted by txt for those that know me.
why cant microsoft design sumfink simple.?????
hope wot the folks on here tell ya what to do makes sense.. like honkonese to me what they have written

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15 years 2 months ago #260259 by Prim
Replied by Prim on topic Computer back up - help please

beedee;239336 wrote: why cant microsoft design sumfink simple.?????

Apple did, beedee [;)]

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15 years 2 months ago #260310 by ronnie

wyseyes;239323 wrote:
It seems you are lacking some basic knowledge on navigating the general computer file system, as there are 14 different ways to do what you want, but you're not familiar with any of them. What you need is an expert to teach you, is there a 10yr old handy?

Otherwise here is a step-by-step on just one of the methods available to you.
www.bc.edu/offices/help/meta-elements/do...-drive-copy.shtml#xp


Thanks wyseyes - I know very little about computers, except how to use them. We do not have access to children of any age. The computers I have used in a work situation have always had a back up installed and only needed to click on it, insert a cd and press go. This one has nothing pre-installed for a back up.
And if I was confident in knowing what I was doing, I wouldn't need to ask.
I have managed (I hope) to get my files transferred onto the wee drive thing. Needed to do it today as it is the end of our financial year, and in case this worm manages to strike tomorrow, wanted to be covered.

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15 years 2 months ago #260335 by wyseyes
Unless you have an up-to-date antivirus program, you might well be backing up the work as well.

As might the rest of us.

I see you shiver in anticip......................................................................................ation

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15 years 2 months ago #260428 by Inger
There was another Microsoft update out yesterday. Didn't take long to run. Its fairly painless really and well worth clicking on.

If you're still having trouble Ronnie, I can get Grant onto his computer.

45 hectares between Whangarei and Paparoa. Registered Dexter cattle, Wiltshire sheep - black, white & pied.
New Hampshire Red poultry & Dorking poultry. Pilgrim Geese, Appleyard Ducks.
A cat called Pusscat and still looking for another heading dog.

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15 years 2 months ago #260431 by ame
Replied by ame on topic Computer back up - help please
Probably what you want is Microsoft's SyncToy. A quick Google will find it, it's one of Microsoft's PowerToy add-ons, and it's free.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SyncToy

Basically there are two kinds of backup:
1) Full backup
2) Incremental

A full backup means 'copy everything from the working system to the backup device'. This is slow and large, but contains everything. An incremental backup means 'copy everything from the working system that has changed since the last full backup'. This is fast and small, because it only contains the changes (and there may only be a few).

On a large filestore this is a good idea. Maybe you will have three backup sets, and do a full backup on Monday to set A, then incremental backups every day for the rest of the week. Next week use set B, and the following week use set C. If you are cheap you'll only have one backup set, but the problem is that if you delete something by accident and then overwrite the single backup with the current system then the deleted item will not appear on the new backup either, and the copy that was there from last time will be lost. This is why you have several sets and rotate through them (in this example you will always have everything from 3 weeks ago), but in your case you probably don't need to.

The disadvantage of incremental backups is that if you want to restore then you must first restore the full backup, then all of the increments since then. If the cycle is daily for one week then you might have to restore 4 incrementals. If the cycle is hourly for one day, then it's a lot more.

You could just do a full backup every day, and this is effectively what SyncToy does, but after the first run it only needs to check for changes, like an incremental backup. Actually, SyncToy has a bunch of options you can set to make it do different things, but the most useful application here is to make your external drive a 'mirror' of the built-in drive.

Another disadvantage of most backup systems is that they dump all of your files into a giant 'backup file', which you can't do much with, other than to use the supplied backup software to restore the backup to the place it came from. Drive mirroring is better in that respect in that the contents of the backup drive are the same as the built-in drive, so you can just browse the backup files in-situ.

It's also a good idea to periodically copy important files somewhere else for safekeeping. For example, copy them onto a USB stick or a CD and store them at someone else's house. Backup early and backup often, and remember that one day your backup media (hard drive, USB stick, CD, DVD) will fail, so have a few others scattered around. You should probably encrypt everything on a backup device too, but most people don't (but you can add it later- just don't forget the password!!).

So, take a look at SyncToy, and I'd recommend the following steps:

1) Copy the backup files you have already put on the external drive to somewhere else
2) Blank the external drive
3) Set up SyncToy to mirror your hard drive (probably everything in My Documents and below)
4) Let SyncToy do the first backup (will take a while)
5) Run SyncToy every few days to keep the backup drive up-to-date with the working drive (will be quite quick). Every time you do this, look at SyncToy's report *before* you let it do anything. Make sure that SyncToy is only going to delete or change stuff you know about. If you delete something by accident SyncToy will helpfully delete it on the backup drive, and it will be lost (unless it's backed up somewhere else).
6) Buy another drive and do the same thing monthly and store it at another place (in case the house burns down or is burgled).

The main point to remember is to only spend as much effort as you think it's worth. A 'backup' isn't some magical voodoo thing, it's just a plain old copy (much like a photocopy of a document). It's worth thinking about what you would do if something went wrong, but most people stop there when it's not too hard to actually *do* something.

My wife loves SyncToy. She has set it up to sync her USB stick (1Gb) to a directory in My Documents, so she has a backup of the stick on her laptop, then she syncs the laptop to an external USB hard drive, which means that she has a backup of the laptop *and* the stick. And SyncToy works both ways, so she can work on files on the stick at work, and SyncToy will copy the changes back to the copy on the laptop, or she can work on the laptop and SyncToy will copy the changes to the stick. Of course, if you edit the same file on the stick *and* the laptop then SyncToy will ask for help.

Well, that's a long post, but I hope it helps.

A

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15 years 2 months ago #260468 by Istrian
And you do all the above with just one click!!!!!!

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15 years 2 months ago #260864 by George
I use SyncToy all the time for two purposes.

The first is to back up to an external drive (which is what you want it for).

Once you have installed it which is easy. Go here

www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx...d8c52&displaylang=en

scroll down and press the download button. I used the top one of the two. Follow the installation instructions which were simple I think.

Then open up SyncToy and set up a backup pair. This would be your computer as the left folder and the external back up as the right folder.

You can have lots of back up pairs. I have my laptop and external drive and also my work folder and my USB drive (as I update the files at work and need to copy them back to my laptop at home or vice versa).

You can set up the method of copying for each back up pair. For my external hard drive I use "Contribute" which means that everything gets copied from my laptop "My documents" to the external hard drive but things don't get deleted from the external hard drive. What this means is that if I have deleted a file on my laptop and want it at a later date then it will still be on the external drive.

For my laptop and USB drive I use synchronise as I change the files both on my laptop and on the stick so I need to have the latest version in both places.

I run the back up to the external hard drive about once a month and the one for my USB stick sometimes several times a day.

When you have set up each backup pair, choose preview and it will show you what it is going to do in a list. That way you can check if you really want to overwrite the files that are already there and can choose not to do so if you want.

I hope that explains it simply. It is really really easy to use and I am happy to answer more questions about it if you want. I highly recommend it as it does the job of backing up in a really easy way.

Also if you use this, it means that you can plug in your external hard drive and can see the files on it (just like on a cd or floppy or USB drive) as they are not stored in any weird format.

George

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