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 Having decided that I needed to back up all my data I purchased an external iomega hard drive (something 2000)

It didn't come with software and I have no idea how to use it - I can locate it on my PC and thats about it.......

Would I need software in order for it to back up automatically every few days for example ?

I'm feeling very dim about this - I have just had a new processor and hard drive and things are not where they were before.... (thought I'd lost several years of family history at one point, now that was upsetting [:(][:(] )

Any help much appreciated

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I use a program called Acronis True Image with an Iomega external drive. The built-in Windows backup is OK, but in my experience Acronis is quicker and more versatile, and I personally prefer Acronis anyway.

Edit - I see you refer to family history. Can I recommend the free program from www.myheritage.com which automatically stores a copy of your records on a secure remote server each time you exit, as a belt-and-braces job?

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[quote user="Russethouse"]

 Having decided that I needed to back up all my data I purchased an external iomega hard drive (something 2000)

It didn't come with software and I have no idea how to use it - I can locate it on my PC and thats about it.......

Would I need software in order for it to back up automatically every few days for example ?

I'm feeling very dim about this - I have just had a new processor and hard drive and things are not where they were before.... (thought I'd lost several years of family history at one point, now that was upsetting [:(][:(] )

Any help much appreciated

[/quote]

If you're only backing up document files and could live with a manual backup, you wouldn't need any additional software.  You could just copy your "My Documents" file to the iomega drive.  If you're not planning to do incremental backups (as Ernie suggests avoiding), you can put each backup in a different (dated) folder on the iomega drive.

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[quote user="Jane and Danny"]

It is possible to do very reliable backup without spending 40 quid though

[/quote]

I quite agree. If you keep all your program discs, drivers for printers etc, and organise your files suitably, then most people will find it sufficient, from time to time, to copy the contents of the 'my documents' folder to an external hard disc (dead simple), and also back-up e-mail messages and contacts (not quite so simple but not hard). At least, that's it as far as Windows XP goes; Vista is a little different but the principle remains the same.

That has the big advantage that if your computer dies or is nicked - the usual reasons for needing a backup - it's the easiest thing in the world to copy to a new machine. The disadvantage is that it can take ages to do each backup, as each file is copied every time, and that is where programs like Acronis (and, I think to a lesser extent the Windows backup) score because once a full backup is in existence they only copy items that have changed. But restoring can be more difficult, particularly to another machine - this can be done with Acronis, but is not particularly easy.

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I have started transferring my family history file to Ancestry.......I had to re install Legacy and then locate the last back up and import it, now I have made gedcom file and I'll load that on to a separate Ancestry tree

I'm still waiting for the  license key but I really need something that just backs its self up on a regular basis.

I started using CDs etc but it was taking for ever -

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What a nightmare...found the Windows back up and started it (device said it would take 5 hours !!!) But it stopped and said the device was full - the guy who updated this computer said he had started downloading to the external hard drive but it was taking too long so he stopped..........so can I :

a) Just take everything he has loaded onto  the iomega off, using drag and drop and put in the recycle bin, without compromising my system

b) Go back and just save documents and settings rather than 'everything' ?

 

 

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[quote user="Will"][quote user="Jane and Danny"]

It is possible to do very reliable backup without spending 40 quid though

[/quote]

I quite agree. If you keep all your program discs, drivers for printers etc, and organise your files suitably, then most people will find it sufficient, from time to time, to copy the contents of the 'my documents' folder to an external hard disc (dead simple), and also back-up e-mail messages and contacts (not quite so simple but not hard). At least, that's it as far as Windows XP goes; Vista is a little different but the principle remains the same.

That has the big advantage that if your computer dies or is nicked - the usual reasons for needing a backup - it's the easiest thing in the world to copy to a new machine. The disadvantage is that it can take ages to do each backup, as each file is copied every time, and that is where programs like Acronis (and, I think to a lesser extent the Windows backup) score because once a full backup is in existence they only copy items that have changed. But restoring can be more difficult, particularly to another machine - this can be done with Acronis, but is not particularly easy.

[/quote]

I use a simple batch file to copy my back up files. This is run automatically as a scheduled task twice a day and manually when I want to.

This batch file just copies certain files to the back up device and it takes about 1and a half minutes to run.

I back up 3 things

email message folders

my documents

address book

Of course it depends on the size/ amount of files and transfer rates but to me there is no point in backing up anything else. I prefer to reload all software from disc if necessary.

I also run the same back up on the web for free using Mozyhome - very useful solution in case someone nicks the computer....

I figure this method siuts me as it is free and I don't see have any huge files to back up. All photos etc are saved onto lots of discs.

If anyone is interested, I can offer some help with the batch file. It has to have the correct file paths etc

Danny

 

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Wouldn't it be lovely to go back to the days when a whole publication fitted on a 160kB floppy disc? Now I have to work with files that are commonly 10-25MB, and a magazine can contain over 50 of them. That's why some of us need proprietary backup software [:)]
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Now I feel really stupid, I spent half the evening try to import a gedcom file into Ancestry from Legacy with no luck until I noticed Legacy had a special gizmo for this ....[:$][:$]

I couldn't get anywhere with Retrospect or MozyHome and gave up, this morning I logged on and up pops a new Retrospect icon and at last it is working !! (Nobody mentioned rebooting [:(] )

Next time I say I'm going to update my PC I hope some reminds me of all this - what a pain.....

Thanks for everyones help

 

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