- Worldstart's Tech Tips And Computer Help - http://www.worldstart.com -

Back Up That Hard Drive

Betty from WA writes:

Hi, I have had a hard drive so that I can save material before I lose them, BUT how do I do it?

Hi, Betty.  If I’m reading your question correctly, you’ve bought an external hard drive and are wondering how to back it up.  If that’s not right, please write to us again and let us know so that we can give you a correct answer.

First thing is to make sure that your external drive is at least as large as your computer’s drive.  If your computer has a 500 gig hard drive, then you want at least a 500 gig external drive for backup.  Next, plug your external drive into your computer, and let it do its thing.  Some of them have software built in that will install on your hard drive to communicate with the computer better.

Once that’s all done, it’s time for your backup.  Your new external drive may come with a backup program, but my suggestion is to just skip it (unless it’s one of the Western Digital Mybooks with one-button backup, that’s just too easy to skip) and just use the Windows backup program.  You can even schedule your backup to occur automatically at certain times.  The following example is for Windows 7.

First thing that you do is find your backup program.  I find it easiest to just click on the START button and enter BACKUP into the search box, thus:

You can see from this example that, when I got as far as “BA”, the first and third options were both shortcuts to the backup program, which looks something like this:

Here you will not only perform your backup, but you’ll also set your options for scheduling your backup.  About halfway down, you’ll see MANAGE SPACE.

This option will give you a break down of your backup and allow you to choose if Windows keeps all of your old backups on file, or only the most recent one.  Next down from that, you’ll see your backup schedule and CHANGE SETTINGS.

The CHANGE SETTINGS option will walk you through your backup wizard which will allow you to choose your backup destination, whether you want it to recur or just be a single backup, and if you want it to recur, how often. 

Or, if you want to, just skip all of that jazz, go back to the top and click Back up now.

I would recommend backing up once per month, either manually or setting it up to recur on the same day every month. 

I hope that this answers your question.

~Randal Schaffer