Starting the backup procedure
If you are not going to use the stand alone, commercial backup package, everything points to this, that you will have to reach for the Backup program, which is an integral part of Windows. Now that you know your work tool, we will now track the process of making your first backup. First, let me introduce a few restrictions on using Windows Backup.
Windows Backup Limitations
The first characteristic of Windows Backup is this, that it does not allow backups to be written to all types of drives. It is able to create a copy on any recognized drive (type of floppy disk drive, zip drive or hard disk), but cannot write to CD or DVD recording drives. Of course, commercial backup programs do not have this drawback.
You have to take this inconvenience into account when choosing your medium, which Windows Backup will create your backup on. Floppy disks (with a capacity of less than 1.5MB) and Zip disks (100MB to 250MB at best) have a much worse capacity than a hard disk. If your backups are large, you should consider purchasing a commercial package or using a drive imaging program; in both cases you will be able to use CD writer support, and sometimes DVDs as well.
First time use of the Backup program
Although the very name of the program is boring or even dissuasive for some people, in fact, Windows Backup is a wizard-driven tool, that will guide you through the entire backup process. To create a full backup (the most extensive type of copy, as allowed by Windows Backup) all the most important information stored on your computer, do the following:
1. Select Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Backup.
2. In the Backup or Restore Wizard window, click the Next button.
3. Select the Back Up Files and Settings option and click the Next button.
4. In the window: What to back up - Select All information on this computer and click the Next button.
5. In the Backup Type dialog, destination and name, in the Select backup location drop-down list, select the correct drive, where you want to save your backup. Check, whether the selected drive has sufficient free space.
6. In the same window, in the Enter a name for this backup box, enter a filename for your archive. Click on the Next button, and then on Finish.
7. After the backup process is complete, you will be prompted to insert a blank floppy disk into the drive, on which the repair disk will be created. Put it on.
8. Remove the floppy disk, Tag it appropriately and include it in your recovery kit.
CAUTIONARY: COPY THE DATA BEFORE THE STORM ARRIVES
About a year ago, I received an interesting letter: an extremely busy guy wrote to me, who just took over a new distribution company and asked me what he should do, to secure hundreds of new records created every day. He had just read my article on everyday computer failures in the magazine and seemed very excited about it.
“I can't afford to lose a single byte!" – he kept telling me over and over.
For some time we had electronic correspondence with each other and discussed its needs, development plans, current configuration issues, etc. In the last letters we have made a plan together, which provided for an immediate full backup and regular adding of incremental backups ^ every day, because lots of new files were created every day). The man installed a CD-RW burner and special commercial backup software, because he was afraid, that the Backup program will not meet his requirements.
After a few months, he spoke again, and it was around midnight on the holiday weekend.
"Help! It seems to me, that I lost all my data – database with tens of thousands of records, forms, invoices… all."
"But what happened?I asked him, while suggesting restoring data from backups and recovering all records and files.
"I can not. After all, I didn't make those copies, I wanted to wait for some major storm to come or they would turn off my electricity – then I planned to do a full backup. But I didn't make it – my wife was so mad at me, that she had grabbed a garden hose without warning, she put it through the window and flooded my entire office with water. "
I gave him some tips, but none of them helped. The last resort was to report to a specialized data recovery service, but the estimated cost of such an operation was extremely high.
"I can not afford it" – he replied. “But I have to recover this data. What else can I do?"
Unfortunately, he had no choice left. Backups (or drive images) they would certainly spare him this excruciating stress, not to mention the many weeks wasted recovering all those records and files. His ship departed at the moment, when he decided to "wait" for a warning of an impending disaster, delaying the implementation of its contingency plan. And then it turned out, it's too late. In other words, his ship sank.