SHCC WYSIWYG Article from March 2018

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This article was written by Don VanSyckel, the club president, as a part of "The President's Pen".  This article appeared in the March 2018 WYSIWYG newsletter.

Easy Data Backup

by Don VanSyckel

To reinforce the presentation last month about backups, I'd like to touch on that subject again for those of you who were there and to stress backups to those of you who were not there. I've talked to many people over the years about backups and I've gotten many different reasons ('er excuses) why they don't do backups. Many people have stated they have nothing important on their hard drive. Consider this, would you allow me to come over and do a format of your hard drive? This would effectively erase everything on the hard drive. At that point the person always says, "well that wouldn't be good" and start detailing photos and other items on the hard drive they wouldn't want to lose.

It's my opinion that you should be able to lose any disk you have, C: drive in your desktop or laptop, an external USB drive, or an USB thumb drive. All data should be at least two places or maybe three!

I suggest that the computer you use should have either a) a folder on the C: drive with all your data, b) a second hard drive in the PC for all your data, or c) an external hard drive for all your data. Then regardless of which of the three options you do, get two external hard drives for backups. Do your work and storage using one of the options above, then periodically, daily, weekly, or some where in between, do a backup to the external backup drive. When not doing a backup leave the backup drive off or unplugged.

You can do backups with various programs, both pay and free, or you can do your own. For example if your data is all in the folder C:\data and the external USB drive if F: the one line:
robocopy /mir c:\data f:\data
is all you need to backup your data.

Another thing you can do is organize your data into "current" and "archive". This means that "current" will have only some of your total data in it so you can do:
robocopy /mir c:\data\current f:\data\current
often because it will backup quickly. Then occasionally when you move files into "archive", you can do:
robocopy /mir c:\data\archive f:\data\archive
Since you are working in the "current" directory, you can backup "archive" as you work.

At this point, you should only buy USB 3.0 or better external hard drives even if your current PC doesn't support it. USB 3.0, USB 3.1, or better are all backwards compatible, so get the fast drive, you'll eventually grow into it.

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