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TOPIC: Backing Up Files?

Backing Up Files? 17 Apr 2017 12:45 #1692

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I`m worried that if my laptop throws a wobbly and I need to buy a new one, what is the best way to back up or copy everything on this laptop and transfer it to a new laptop? I don`t have an external hard drive, so I was thinking along the lines of buying a memory stick up to whatever capacity it needs to be and then do a `back up your files` copy. But I`m talking here about saving everything, even the windows 10 operating system my laptop runs on, so I`m a bit stuck in understanding how that can be done? In simple steps, what could I do with this, am I thinking along the correct lines here? I don`t like using those CD-DVD discs as they sometimes need to be formatted and I have no idea what that is, so I thought the memory stick might be the way to go, but I have no idea... :unsure:

All ideas welcome..

Backing Up Files? 17 Apr 2017 12:56 #1693

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An external hard drive. It's a bigger, clunkier version of a memory stick.
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Backing Up Files? 17 Apr 2017 13:34 #1694

You can't back up the OS I'm afraid (also if you had to buy a new one it'd likely have windows 10 preinstalled you could then just dump your files on it and away you go :))

As for file backup flash drives of a sufficient size would be quite expensive. You should be able to pick up a 500gb external drive from marlin or similar for a lot less than a large flash drive which, if you could find one larger than 128gb would be monstrously expensive
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Backing Up Files? 17 Apr 2017 13:36 #1695

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You can download a Windows 10 image file here www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10 which you later can put on any removable storage.

For your personal files, the 3-2-1 backup rule is a good rule to follow.

Essentially, keep three copies of your data. Keep your copies on two different storage types and keep at least one copy of the data outside your home.

The files on your computer is considered the first copy. You are on the right track with buying a memory stick. Uncreased's advice on an external hard drive is even better as they got larger space and almost just as portable. That accounts for the second of the three copies. The third copy should now be somewhere outside your home, let's say in the cloud or at a friend's place. I am using Google Drive as they offering me 15gb of space for free and I already got a Gmail account anyway. There are many other different solutions for off-site backups though.
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Backing Up Files? 17 Apr 2017 13:53 #1696

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Many thanks for your replies everyone. :)

Unwashed, I wasn`t sure I could actually `save` the operating system! :lol: I think I was living in cloud cuckoo when I typed that! But your right, any new laptop would have Windows 10 pre installed. So I`m looking at backing up what`s stored on this system, but apart from my documents and a few photos, I`m not sure what else I`m `backing up`? :dry: So dumb when it comes to these things as it wasn`t something I bothered much about in the past and now I know the importance of saving stuff, I`m wondering how to do that and which tools to use.

Buying an external hard drive seems to be the way to go, but how do I check the capacity of what`s on my system and what the capacity size on the hard drive needs to be to hold everything? Do I go into an area on here like My Computer, or the control panel to view what space is used and what`s free?

Ducray, I was reading about Google Drive yesterday as I have a google email account so could possibly use that too. So does that save what you ask it to and then if you buy a new laptop and go to your `google drive` page, log in and then be able to view and copy back what was saved previously? I`m so confused with all this and it`s probably easy enough to do, I just need to take it one step at a time and understand what I`m actually doing. I can save documents to the :E drive on my memory stick now so that was something I learned about just last year. Some helpful members on the UM told me about buying myself a memory stick to save my documents and I found a seller on ebay and got a 16gb Sandisk Cruzer Blade for under £4.00. It`s been a fantastic little device. Have never used a memory card yet but my laptop has a slot for one as does my phone. But that`s another topic!

Backing Up Files? 17 Apr 2017 14:15 #1697

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With the external hard drive, the capacity is on the hard drive, not on your computer. As you store stuff on the hard drive the capacity decreases. If you get enough memory you shouldn't have any storage problems for a while. You can get a 1TB drive for about £50, 2TB a bit more than that and 5TB a lot more.
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Backing Up Files? 17 Apr 2017 14:53 #1698

comply or die wrote:
I know the importance of saving stuff, I`m wondering how to do that and which tools to use.

Buying an external hard drive seems to be the way to go, but how do I check the capacity of what`s on my system and what the capacity size on the hard drive needs to be to hold everything? Do I go into an area on here like My Computer, or the control panel to view what space is used and what`s free?

If you're wanting to check your drive capacity to give you a notion of the size of external drive you might need you can right click drive c and select properties it will show you the size and how much is in use. Though tbh most mid grade lap pies will be 250-500gb as standard. As far as backing up your files goes it can be fairly straightforward if they're all in a nice easy place like my documents (which windows usually defaults to for normal files) or my pictures (the default for image files) so in theory all you need to do is plug in the drive then select my docs, my pics and possibly my videos if you have any saved righ click and select copy then double click the new drive letter (most likely f (a and b are reserved for floppy drives c is the boot drive d usually a backup partition e your optical drive leaving f or g as your new external. Apologies if that was confusing the easy way to check is to unplug the external and see which drive vanishes) once you have your external selected double click it then right click and select paste. Give it a while and all your docs pics and videos will be copied.

If you do get a new laptop simply repeat the process in reverse to dump the backed up files on the new machine
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Backing Up Files? 17 Apr 2017 14:57 #1699

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£50 quid?!! :blink: Seems a lot to store what may not be all that much, but I don`t know how to check what would be transferred to the hard drive so I would know what storage size the hard drive would need to be before buying one. So apart from saving my documents/photos etc to a memory stick, what would the hard drive be saving? Programs and ?

Backing Up Files? 17 Apr 2017 14:59 #1700

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Posted at the same time unwashed! Thanks for that....I think my brain has taken all that in! Will do the c drive check and see what it has on there in terms of used space and available space.

Backing Up Files? 17 Apr 2017 15:04 #1701

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Here we go. So can anyone make sense of this?


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Backing Up Files? 17 Apr 2017 15:19 #1702

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The first bit is saying you've used 38gb of the available 280gb space/memory, about15%. If you are buying an external hard drive you need to know how much memory to buy. In this case I'd say 1TB would be fine, unless you feel like going crazy and go for 2TB. Below that are the default settings for saving apps and documents to, the arrows next to them giving you the option to change these if you like.
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Backing Up Files? 17 Apr 2017 15:30 #1703

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Great uncreased, thanks. What does the `T` stand for in 1TB? Is it terabyte? Havn`t a clue! Even where mobile phone data is concerned, I can never get my head around the mb minutes and what can actually be done within those data minutes! I got a SIM card from Asda a Christmas and it gives10gb free data. I dare not turn my data on to use it because I`m scared it will go over the 10gb and chew up my credit! :blink:

Backing Up Files? 17 Apr 2017 16:13 #1704

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TB is terabyte. If a 1TB hard drive is too big you can get smaller, a 500gb would be half the storage, but still nearly double your existing capacity.
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Backing Up Files? 17 Apr 2017 16:14 #1705

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Don't forget to back up your browser, or you'll lose your passwords and bookmarks, different browsers have different ways of doing it, but it should be fairly straightforward
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Backing Up Files? 17 Apr 2017 16:33 #1706

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Hey fleshwar, I wasn`t aware of that either. I use Windows 10 with the EDGE browser and thought it backed up automatically, but I`m not really sure what things update automatically and what doesn`t. I check for updates manually but every morning, I run Windows Defender and do manual updates from the same page, although sometimes I get that `you need to shut down your computer for updates to download`, so I follow instruction. I`m sure there are still features running that I am not fully aware of. How do I back up my browser or would that be part of other updates the computer covers when it kicks in?

And thanks uncreased. I think the 500gb would probably be big enough, but if I buy an external hard drive, I would tell the sales person what my C drive stated and take it from there, but not be fooled into buying a larger capacity than I required. Just wish I could use a memory stick it would be so much cheaper and easier!

Backing Up Files? 17 Apr 2017 16:49 #1707

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Something like this would do you CoD 500GB EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE ... my OH bought 4 of them around Christmas (one for films, one for music, one for pics, one for cr@p) and has hardly made a dent in the space ;) xx
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Backing Up Files? 17 Apr 2017 16:57 #1708

comply or die wrote:
Here we go. So can anyone make sense of this?


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If you're only using 32gb remember about 10gb of that is the OS so a 64gb flash drive would do. You could go lower but 64 will give you more flexibility for future backups if you start using more space
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Backing Up Files? 17 Apr 2017 16:58 #1709

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That looks good Kati, many thanks for pointing me in the direction of the kind of drive I need. Nothing too heavy (in gb I mean) as I doubt I would need a large capacity. I went into Control Panel on my laptop and found this about File History. I read about this earlier on when googling and it`s basically telling me to use an external hard drive or an online source. Possibly meaning Cloud or that google drive storage? Not too sure I need any of those but they are all good ways of saving stuff.


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So is this what I think it is? Using an external hard drive, plug it into a spare USB and then open this window to copy files/docs etc...?

Backing Up Files? 17 Apr 2017 16:59 #1710

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comply or die wrote:
And thanks uncreased. I think the 500gb would probably be big enough, but if I buy an external hard drive, I would tell the sales person what my C drive stated and take it from there, but not be fooled into buying a larger capacity than I required. Just wish I could use a memory stick it would be so much cheaper and easier!

You can still use a memory stick. I just had a quick look online and found a 128gb one for £14 and a 256gb one for £20.
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Backing Up Files? 17 Apr 2017 17:04 #1711

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Wow, this is getting better, thanks everyone! B) You are all far more savvy to this than I am, that`s for sure! :blush: unwashed, if I thought I could save everything onto a 64gig flash drive I could try that. AS you can see from the image, that`s what my C drive is showing right now and no doubt some of that might be disposable. But not sure what so I can`t go deleting stuff without knowing whether it`s important or not! But yes, that`s about it really.

All I knowingly need to save are documents, images (not many), favourites list and anything I`ve overlooked as I`m not sure what a flash drive would be backing up/saving when it was running?
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