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External hard drive


LwnmwnMan2

Question

Computer crashed, 13 viruses.

Everything was wiped clean by the local computer store, and I've finally finished reinstalling most of the programs I need.

The question that I have, if I get an external hard drive, I know in my Quickbooks, I can just choose to save the backup to the external hard drive.

However, like the publishing program that I run, do I just make a copy of all my documents and save it on the external?

Is it something as simple as a drag and drop back and forth between the two? Or do I need a program along the lines of Norton Ghost?

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You should be able to drag and drop whatever files/folders you want onto your External HD. Tip: Highlight all you want transfer then Right Click and choose CUT. Then go to your External HD and Right click > Paste. Doing this instead of Copying, actually Cuts your files/folders from where they were to the new location. This is a good way to make sure you copy everything you need to seeing as it actually moves the folder instead of just copying it and making a duplicate.

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I would copy them because an external hard drive has the same chances of crashing as the one on your desktop. The whole purpose is to create a backup in case your desktop does crash. There will probably be some software with the external drive to enable one button backing up of your entire "C" drive. That is what mine does and I try to back it up each week at least.

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If you want to conveniently make backups, as opposed to manually copying files, look at ShadowProtect Desktop.

Some external drives do come with back up programs, but sometimes they're just trial copies.

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You can also use a USB flash drive for your backup, they have up to 16gb right now.

I use Peachtree bookkeeping software, I have my businesses on an external hard drive, it works as a network server since I can tap into it, my wife also can do it at the same time.

I do backups on my computer and USB drive. When I do need to move I can always take it with me if I need.

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If you get one of those Iomega 250GB external drives, they come with some software that will automatically copy the contents of your computer drive onto the Iomega drive daily/weekly/monthly...what ever you set up. Then it is moveable and you can use it with your laptop too.

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Always a good idea to do regular backups of your system to external Hard Drives or Thumb Drives. You should be able to just copy and paste them.

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While it's a good idea to backup your data on a regular basis, you do have to remember that unless you are using a solid state drive (ie flash memory) that external drives are the same mechanical drives as the ones inside your desktop/laptop. That said, all drives that are not solid state operate with motors, bearings, and other mechanical parts. Parts that wear and fail. All drives will fail, its just a matter of when the wear will catch up with them.

Here is the benefit of an external drive: Since they are able to be powered off or on separate from your PC, you can prevent the wear to the external drive by simply not having it powered on. If the motors and bearings are not spinning...they are not wearing out. Just turn it on when you're backing up and your data will around much longer than it would have been any other way.

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Best way is to run real backup software, either one that comes with drive or one you buy or maybe one that comes with OS.

Don't worry about external drive dying. The odds are very high that it won't die at the same time as your internal drive.

I used to do the drag/drop thing but backup software is far more convenient. And it doesn't copy stuff that didn't change.

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Don't depend on the flash/thumb drives either. They fail more often than you would think.

I picked up a Western Digital on Black Friday so that I'd have a second location for all of my data, but only plug it in when I want to use it to maybe minimize wear and tear. It didn't come with any software to do automatic back ups, but I just copy the files I need when I decide it's time.

Don't cut and paste! The purpose of getting another hard drive is to have the data in a second location.

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Windows XP has a tool available called "synctoy" that I used to back stuff up. You have to download it - it was developed by some Microsoft people and it's free.

Windows Vista (at least the ultimate version) has a built in tool located in the "Maintenance" section of the program list called "Backup and Restore center" that I haven't used but should help.

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What I do with the ShadowProtect Desktop is sort of the ultimate backup. I have it set to automatically make incremental images of the whole drive twice per day (at noon and at 6pm) during the weekdays. Then, every Saturday it creates a new base image and then creates the incrementals as the week progresses.

If the computer ever crashes, the option is to go into an image and pull out the files you want, or just restore a complete image to the hard drive and you're back to where you left off at the last incremental image, programs and all, not just data/documents. Basically, worst case in my scenario would be loss of 1/2 day of work material and no loss of programs.

You can do all the functions from a bootable CD so you don't even need a computer with functioning OS to restore an image to a new/different hard drive. The images are hardware independent so you could even restore an image to a different computer.

The really slick part is that it's a transparent process you don't even know is happening once you get it set up. And, it's really easy to set up...a nice bonus.

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To anyone that is doing a copy and paste you can create a batch file(mini program) for to copy your file over. You can also set it to only copy only files that are newer that the date on the destination files.

It would go something like this:

Using notepad create a file similar to this.

xcopy "c:\Documents and settings\scottv\My Documents\My Pictures\*" /D F:\pictures

The "c:\Documents and settings\scottv\My Documents\My Pictures\ is where you have your data you stored. The * tells it to copy everything in that folder. The /D tells it to copy only files that are newer than the destination files date. And the F:\pictures is the destination. F:\ being something like an external drive of some sort. You can lines to the file if you have data stored in other parts of you hard drive, it will process each line one at a time. Remember this a compute and and you have to the syntax(wording/spelling) of the source and destination exactly right or it won't work.

Save the file as copy.bat or something like that. Make sure you know where you saved it then create a short cut to the desktop. When you double click on the file it will copy the contents of the source folder to the destination folder.

If you have the external drive attached all the time or if you have a PC on your network you can schedule this batch file to run whenever you want, daily, weekly or monthly.

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I am looking at purchasing an external drive. Anyone have any recommendation on brands? I will most likely be buying a 1TB drive.

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I am looking at purchasing an external drive. Anyone have any recommendation on brands? I will most likely be buying a 1TB drive.

Western Digital is a good bet. I've had many Externals all WD and have never had one go out.

As for the Cut and Paste comment, I was thinking he was going to take off all the info from his internal HD transfer to his external and reimage the internal. Otherwise Copy/Paste is the way to go.

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No, I just had the hard drive reimaged, 2nd crash I've gone through in a year +/-, so I figured it's time to get a backup plan.

I ended up buying a Seagate 320 gb, comes with the software to set up the auto backups, so we'll see what happens.

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No, I just had the hard drive reimaged, 2nd crash I've gone through in a year +/-, so I figured it's time to get a backup plan.

I ended up buying a Seagate 320 gb, comes with the software to set up the auto backups, so we'll see what happens.

Seagate is another good HD. I couldnt remember the name. Im in the IT field and you would think after all the dead HD's I see I would back my stuff up but I dont. The only thing I have saved is my music collection which just surpassed 335GB. Thats over 24,000 CDs lol!

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let me guess, you didn't pay 99 cents a song on itunes/amazon/walmart..... :-)

Hmmm....lol! Actually I used a friends Hard Drive for the 1st 100GB of music that he already had loaded. Then I added mine, my other friends and so on. I must admit, I haven't bought a new CD in a long time. If any of you are ever looking for that hard to find CD or song let me know. I may be able to help you.

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