Best flash drives and CDs for backing up?

ginny12February 9, 2011

I have neglected a critical task--backing up. I back up occasionally using Sony CD-Rs, a lengthy process. I used to back up every night with floppies but they are no more.

What is easy and reliable for a non-tech person? I was thinking of getting a flash drive and CDs. What brands are most archival? What is easy to use? What other methods of backing up could you suggest?

I know this is a basic question but I am courting disaster and can't put this off another day.

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azinoh

You could use a flash drive small backups, but for large ones you'd be better off with an external hard drive.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 11:09AM
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zep516

You will probably be better off with an external USB drive, you can back up your Documents folder there.

Or us a program as shown in the link, acronis true image.

I only back up the documents folder using an external usb drive. I don't back up system files. I have an operating system disk with windows on it in case of complete drive failure.

Here is a link that might be useful: acronis true image.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 11:13AM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

These days with all the free image programs available that is what I suggest doing, that way if you have something catastrophic happen you just revert back to that last image you made and everything is replaced even your windows OS.
Some free options, and you can do this to either flash or external drive, I use kingston generally for the flash drive and I have a seagate free agent pro for external.
disk imaging software
8 free software to image/backup/ghost
Step-by-step instruct on creating image: Macrium a tutorial

or Acronis which is a pay version but does come free with certain external hard drives

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 11:37AM
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mike_kaiser_gw

You'd be best off with an external hard drive which start at about $75. For truly critical data you should use, in additional to whatever local backup plan you have, one of the online services. Lots of backups are great but not if they all burn in the same house fire.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 3:47PM
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ginny12

Thanks for these replies. Some basic questions--

Does an external hard drive run automatically as you work or do you have to run it yourself?

Do you trust the security of online services? Not dying to put my financial data etc out there. What online services do you recommend?

I don't understand what an image program is and will have to do some reading. But if your computer dies, how can you recapture an image that was on it?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 5:14PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

that is the whole point you use the image program to capture the image before something happens, then should you have any issues with the pc you simply reload the saved image and you are back to the time the image was taken just like a snapshot so you do want to do the occasional image backup so you have somewhat recent images. That way you are not just backing up your documtents and files you are also backing up your entire windows operating system fully updated and all your settings etc. You never want to wait till it is too late to do any type of backup.
If you had to do a regular re-install that would mean you would need either your windows cd or the recovery cd that will bring it all the way back to how it was when you bought it which means you would need to do a LOT of updating of the operating system, redo all your settings then go through all your files and data and insert them in.

Imaging is the fastest way to go and much easier in the long run.

I use my external drive only when I need it I do not leave it connected. It can be left connected if you choose to do it that way.

I use ADRIVE online storage, they provide 50Gig free storage over that you purchase.
http://www.adrive.com/

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 5:26PM
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