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Thursday, April 19, 2012

1223. Local computer backups


How do I backup my computer locally?

There's no doubt about it: Your hard drive will die, unexpectedly, some time in the life of your computer. If not this computer, then the next one. You need to be prepared for this to happen.

Mac OS X includes Time Machine, software that can back up your computer to a local or remote hard drive on your network.  Every modern version of Windows also includes some kind of backup software.   The specific name is dependent upon which version of Windows you use.

These applications can backup everything or selected files based on a schedule.

You can also use 3rd party backup solutions, and these might provide more options and flexibility.

For the Mac - ChronoSync, and SuperDuper are two that Ken uses regularly.

For the PC,  we both like Acronis True Image from acronis.com.  One nice thing about the Acronis product is you can combine a local copy along with a remote offsite backup to the Acronis cloud service.  This combines the best of both worlds.

What you backup and how often depends on how you use your computer.  The one thing to remember about backing up your system is the backup is only as good as the ability to restore the information.  If you have not tested the ability to recover what you are backing up,  frankly, you might as well not waste the time running the backup. Make sure you have tested the recovery process.

The first, second, and third rule of backup club is to Backup, backup, and backup more.  The fourth rule is to test the restore.

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