Archives for June 2014

Backing Up Data Simplified

There are a lot of ways to backup your stuff. You can backup everything or just what you consider essential.

If you want to backup everything including Windows, there are a number of programs that can do this for you. Acronis is very popular, but I prefer Macrium Reflect, free for home users.

However, a recent system crash convinced me that perhaps that’s not the best option for me. I had a really bad crash, nothing could fix my Windows. I tried everything, but Windows would not load. ‘last known good configuration’ would not work, system recovery gave the message something like ‘Windows couldn’t do it’, it was apparently totally broken. Windows kept trying, but to no avail.

I couldn’t even load the Recovery CD to restore my complete backup. Fortunately I still have the Recovery partition on this computer and Windows gave me the option to do the ‘back to original status’.  This was apparently the only option I had so I got a brand new install of Windows 7.

I guess I could have kept trying, but I was tired of going in circles, so now I had a new install of Windows. I could have done a restore after the new install, but, what if the problem that caused the horrible crash was in the restore?

So since I have all of my data backed up I decided I would just go with the new install. I will admit it took me about two days to get back to where I wanted to be, but I did get rid of all that ‘crud creep’ that happens with Windows.

I use Karen’s Replicator to back up my data. It may not be for everyone, but it works for me. I have it scheduled to run all the jobs every day just before I normally turn my computer off. It generally takes between five and ten minutes to run every job. It backs up my documents, my pictures, my Firefox profile and my Snagit captures all to an external drive. Every two weeks I exchange the external drive and the last used one is taken to my bank box.

To see how to use Karen’s Replicator, see my article on Dave’s Computer Tips.