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Backing up your files


Ok this may be off topic but I feel people just don't learn, as a summed up I.T Engineer being the main bulk of my work on a daily basis I am confronted with people either really annoyed or in tears because they have failed to back up their important photos or work files including essays or accounts etc.

We all think ah well I will back it up later or nothing will happen to my hard drive, Yeah I know sounds stupid but yes it can happen to you and later can be after you have some kind of crypto virus and you have lost everything.

I refuse to let this happen to me now where as I may be classified as OTT I certainly dont expect everyone to be the same, but even if you take just 1 or 2 steps of advice then maybe 1 day you will appreciate reading this.

We all have files we can't afford to loose if it be photos or photoshop projects. I personally do not believe in oh all my photos are on facebook so they are backed up, have you not noticed the downgraded resolution they become once on facebook.

Iam trying not to make this come across as spam but I am going to suggest a free program which I love and it is free.

The program is called SyncToy http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=15155

How I use this program I have a folder on my desktop which I also have on my laptops and PCS so it doesnt matter which 1 computer I am using.

The simple explanation is you create folder pairs in this program and as long as they are on the same network/computer you can then click a button and it will sync any files edited or added/removed from Folder A and update the back up folders as needed.

SO here is what my back up path consists off.

I work on a psd on my laptop, I save it to my WIP (work in progress) folder I open up sync toy and select run all syncs.

the folder pairs I have

Local back up
WIP to WIP in My Documents
WIP to WIP on 2nd laptop Drive
WIP to WIP on 2 USB back up drives
WIP to WIP on a USB pen drive
WIP to WIP dropbox
WIP to WIP Google drive

The last 2 are cloud storage but if you understand how that works then you will know any files added to those folders will then be synced to your cloud storage.

Network Folders
WIP to WIP Nas(network attached storage) yes a device that plugs into your router and can be accessed by any computer on your network some of them will offer different features such as remote access, remote cloud so as long as you have an internet connection you can access it from anywhere in the world. More importantly I have raid on mine so whatever is written to 1 hard drive automatically clones onto a 2nd drive

WIP to WIP WD passbook another form of NAS box but is really just a more basic version

The beauty of the network drives are that if you have synctoy installed on another computer on your network then it will then sync the folders to all your computers, However syncing to dropbox or simlar will do the same thing

I will point out it is not as smooth as it sounds so make sure you have a fail safe. mine is my USB pen drive and 1 of my external hdd I do not connect at time of main sync just incase something goes wrong, I only sync these drives only when I am sure it safe to do so. I mention this because if you delete a file by mistake and then sync you will find you have just lost that 1 important file.

I am sure there are more software that does this even mac or linux users if you use just dropbox etc but I have to say for a microsoft product I really do like it and it is easy to use. Even if you just sync 1 folder to a USB pen drive then it may be worth it but wouldnt save you any time really. This is more for people that like to make multiple back ups and be really protective of their work.

Any way here is a quick tutorial.


Power User
Hoogle, I was one of those people who always thought it would never happen to me.... until it did.

I was using an online site to back up the entire thing and found out that it wouldn't restore properly. Put not your faith...

I lost a lot of things in that hard drive crash, although I was really lucky not to lose anything irreplaceable. Now I back up religiously - I have an external for work in progress and I back up anything I really want to keep on CD in addition. If it's for someone else I also give them a CD or DVD.

I realize that might not be the "new and hip" way to do things, but one you lose your drive you never quite feel that you have enough backups ever again. ;)