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Now, regardless of whether you are using a separate drive, a partition or just a folder, do following.
Create a subfolder called "Backups". Under that folder create some additional subfolders for things you want to save. You might create "Stationary" for your outlook stationary and "Fonts" for your font files. For example, if you had a folder called "C:My Stuff" you would create following:
C:My StuffBackups C:My StuffBackupsFonts C:My StuffBackupsStationary
Now use a program such as Second Copy to copy files from your system fonts folder (remember it's usually called "C:WindowsFonts") to your own backup copy of Fonts. (If you don't want to purchase a program like Second Copy, you'll do these steps by hand or with some other backup package). Do same for stationary files.
Now, create some additional folders under your main folder. These are completely up to you, and should somehow organize your work. You might wind up with something like example below:
C:My StuffHome C:My StuffHomeDownloads C:My StuffHomeGames C:My StuffHomeScripts C:My StuffWork C:My StuffWorkInventories C:My StuffWorkMemos C:My StuffWorkWork In Progress
Now, as you work, just be sure and save things in proper folders. Oh yes, remember to move your old stuff into new folders as well.
Now comes important part. Use your backup program to create a backup. I personally like to set up Second Copy to back up everything from "C:My Stuff..." onto a writeable CD. I keep same CD in drive for a week or a month or whatever my backup cycle is (the amount of time before I change media).
I then tell Second Copy to do this copy from "C:My Stuff..." onto writeable CD once every day. Second Copy is pretty smart and only makes a copy of files that have changed. Once a month or so, I remove CD and put it on a shelf, then insert and format a new CD. This ensures I can always go back if necessary.
The beauty of this backup method is that once it is set up it almost completely runs itself. Second Copy keeps making backups as long as there is something to write to in writeable CD drive. All you need to do is occasionally remove CD, and insert and format another one.
The disadvantage of this method over a full backup is if you do have a complete disaster you have to completely rebuild your system and reinstall your applications.
To sum it all up:
- Choose a backup media such as writeable CD - Choose a backup product such as Second Copy - Ensure that you can rebuild your system at any time by keeping your original installation materials. - Create a folder for your stuff - Create a subfolder called Backup and subfolders under that for anything that you want to keep from system or applications area. - Set up Second Copy (or a similar program) to create back ups of those files. - Create subfolders in your stuff folder for rest of your stuff - Set up your backup program to back up all of your stuff (including backups of system and application stuff) onto writeable CD or other media. - Remove media occasionally and replace so you have a backup outside of your actual machine.
I know it sounds complicated, but believe me, it's a lot simpler than going through frustration of having no backup of your critical files.
Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at http://www.internet-tips.net - Visit our website any time to read over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.