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Backup home computers

By August 27, 2013July 17th, 2014IT Support in Toronto

“how to backup home computers for free using our quick guide”

The process in backup home computers is less complicated and less troublesome than backing up computers or servers in an organization. Windows and Mac come with builtin backup tools. For the more technologically inclined, they may not be enough, but for the general user, it’s plenty.

Starting with Windows Vista, an easy to use backup utility was included, which also gave users the ability to make system images. This feature was also included in Windows 7, with refined capabilities. Windows 7 users below the Pro edition can only backup to external hard drives. If users are on a Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate edition pc, they can backup their computers not only to an external hard disk but also to a NAS (Network Access Storage) or a server. Within the Backup and Restore Centre, a user can select to which device they will use to store their backups, set a schedule when the backups will run and the type of backup. The two different types of backups are file backups or image based. A file backup is faster as the application will only copy the folders, which the user has selected. An image-based backup can take a longer time as the application takes a snapshot of the computers main hard drive (multiple hard drives can be backed up, more space will be required).  Then the snapshot is copied to the destination. The benefit to an image-based backup is the ability to run a recovery tool, the tool will then disassemble the image and place the system files and user files back onto the hard drive, thus recovering a failed computer.

In Windows 8 the backup procedure has been slightly changed. It is now called “File History”. It is the same concept to Windows 7’s Backup and Restore Center. The user is able to choose which data to backup and where to backup. One slight change with File History is the ability to backup data throughout the day. The default setting is to backup files every hour, which can be changed.  There is also a setting to keep older versions of files saved on the backup destination. This is great for those who may need access to some older files they worked on, before they made a huge change in their work. Windows 8 can still make backup images just like Windows 7. However Microsoft has decided not to advertise as much. You launch the image-making tool, which is now called “Windows 7 File Recovery”. Go to Control Panel > System and security > File History and now look to the bottom left corner.

The current versions of Mac OS ship with Time Machine, which functions a bit differently.  Time Machine always makes a system image. As the days go by, the Mac OS will continuously track changes within the operating system and will backup those changes when the next backup runs. You can choose which folders you don’t want backed up to conserve space on your backup hard drive. Due to the way Time Machine functions, anyone using it should have a large dedicated backup drive as space can fill up rather quickly. Time Machine does manage space by itself, in terms of deleting older images automatically to save space.

Contact us for more info at Group 4 Networks Toronto at 1 866 413 4467