Backing Up Your Stuff Part 2: A Solution

Written by Richard Lowe

So what do you do when you have so much stuff on your computer that it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to back uprepparttar whole thing on a regular basis? You know that you must perform backups (the world is full of dangers to your computer and it's valuable data), but it's just become technically impracticable simply due torepparttar 132080 volume of data.

Don't believe for a second that this problem is unique torepparttar 132081 home user. At work I manage a staff of computer people which is responsible for about 500 gigabytes of data. In fact, we expect our data size to exceed a terabyte (1,000 gigabytes) before too long! Some of my peers now manage sites which exceed 60 terabytes! Imagine how difficult it is to come up with a backup solution to databases of those sizes!

What I decided to do for my home computer system is simple. I separated my backup tasks into small, manageable pieces. These include: being prepared to recoverrepparttar 132082 entire system inrepparttar 132083 event of a catastrophic failure.

- being able to restore each individual application (program), which is useful not only inrepparttar 132084 event of a system failure, but also ifrepparttar 132085 application itself becomes unusable.

- backing up my own personal data files on a regular basis.

- understandingrepparttar 132086 location of special data such as desktop themes, outlook stationary and ICQ skins so that I can back them up regularly.

- Ensuring that all ofrepparttar 132087 websites that I manage are backed up to my own hard drive regularly.

- keeping copies of this data in a second location inrepparttar 132088 event of a complete loss (such as fire or earthquake).

Before you can start any of these backup procedures, however, you must figure out what device are you going to use as a backup media. You have several choices.

Floppy disks - In days long past, we all used floppy disks as our backup media. This was in ancient times (5 to 20 years ago), whenrepparttar 132089 volume of data was much less. Floppy disks are not a good choice for backups forrepparttar 132090 following reasons:

- They are expensive (when figured on dollars per megabyte)

- They are small (slightly over 1 megabyte)

- They don't last long (I've found five years is aboutrepparttar 132091 maximum amount of time).

ZIP or Jazz disks - You can use a device known as a zip drive to perform your backups. Zip disks were originally 100 megabytes in size, and have since been upgraded to 250 megabytes. Jazz drives went from 1 gigabyte to 2 gigabytes. I am sure that larger sizes will be released asrepparttar 132092 years go by.

At first glance, this seems like a real solution torepparttar 132093 media problem. However, I have found several problems which make it less than desirable.

- I have found thatrepparttar 132094 zip and jazz disks do not last for a long time. I have attempted to restore data from zip disks which are over 2 years old and have discovered an alarming number of data errors.

- There have been may reports inrepparttar 132095 news of problems with these products. In fact, Iomega has beenrepparttar 132096 target of at least one class action suit for drive failures.

- Zip and Jazz drives are extremely slow.

- The media (disks) are extraordinarily expensive.

Personally, I have had so many problems with these products that I would not recommend them to anyone - even my worst enemy. You must be able to depend upon your backups - otherwise, why do them at all?

Magnetic Tape - One ofrepparttar 132097 most difficult choices. Magnetic tape certainly hasrepparttar 132098 ability to back up large amount of data, but it tends to be slow and requires specialized software to access. Out of all ofrepparttar 132099 formats, I would be least likely to recommend magnetic tape.

Backing Up Your Stuff Part 5: Where Is It #1?

Written by Richard Lowe

I don't know about you, but I love to collect cool downloads offrepparttar internet. I've got thousands of stationary files, desktop themes and ICQ skins, as well as more thousands of screen savers and wallpaper files. Most of these special files are stashed in obscure locations which makes them difficult to back up and a pain to restore.

However, if you know whererepparttar 132078 various applications store their data files, you can make copies of those to your hearts content. Programs such as Second Copy and InSync are perfect for this job, although in a pinch you can simply dragrepparttar 132079 files to your writeable CD drive.

Outlook Stationary Files

Something that I love is outlook stationary. I think it great to receive a cool email with a nice background, perhaps a graphic of some kind and some cool sound. I know my wife likes to get an "Love" email from me with, say, a gigantic heart and some gentle romantic music.

In fact, it's very simple to build up a huge collection of stationary files. There are tens of thousands of them available for installation all overrepparttar 132080 internet. The problem is: whererepparttar 132081 heck are these things installed?

The answer is simple:

C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedStationery

Stationary files are always in this location (I have searched very hard and have never found a way to change this directory). I guess thatrepparttar 132082 drive letter could change if you installedrepparttar 132083 operating system somewhere other thanrepparttar 132084 C partition, but I have not tried that out myself.

Each piece of stationary consists of one standard HTML file and a number of additional graphic and sound files. By far most themes consist ofrepparttar 132085 single HTML file, one graphic and perhaps one sound file.

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