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Data Backup

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There are two major types of data backup.

  • System Backup: It can take a long time - many hours, even days - to set up an operating system, if one counts the time installing all the programs that you use.If you wish, you can set things up so that if system and programs become damaged, you can repair them all in a jiffy.

  • Data Backup: Your emails, music, photos, movies and all your personal projects can be backed up to floppies, CDs or DVDs. This can have the twin benefits of keeping them safe, and freeing up hard disk space.
Almost all modern backup systems begin by dividing your hard disk into two divisions or ‘partitions’, one, called ’CDrive’, for the operating system and programs, and the other, called ‘DataDrive’, for personal data. This procedure is both and difficult to learn, and only rarely needed, so we suggest you have it done by a technician or an experienced person at a computer club.

System Backup

Having partitioned your hard disk, your next task is to decide whether or not to backup your CDrive, which is where your operating and programs are kept. If you think installing operating systems and programs is fun, and look forward to hard disk failures, then skip to the next section. Otherwise, read on.There are many different ways to backup your operating system and programs, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here we will look briefly at two of the more popular systems. Both require your hard disk to be partitioned into two.

  • The Image Method: Using Acronis True Image (www.acronis.com), you copy CDrive onto some CDs, a DVD, or another part of your hard disk - or all of them. Thereafter, whenever you need or want to, you use this copy to restore it to the way it used to be. There are many advantages to using this method. One is that it is a fairly easy method to use; it allows you to make many versions of your CDrive (for instance, different versions with different software installed); and it is very quick to switch between versions. Furthermore, you can make a whole host of changes experimentally - such as installing many new programs - but easily return to an earlier version saved months before if you don’t like the changes.
  • The Freeze Method: using virtual disk software, you lock CDrive in place. Thereafter, viruses and computer users can make whatever changes they like, and it won’t matter; the very next time the computer is restarted, the changes disappear.
  • Both: you use both methods.

    Data Backup

    To some people, the data on their computer is of very minor importance. “If it were all lost tomorrow”, they say. “Who would care? Not me!” For such people, the failure of a hard disk, or the attack of a virus would be the most minor of inconveniences.Such people rarely bother with data backup.For other people, however, losing data can be a catastrophe. Imagine that you have spent six years writing a book, and just as you are about to type the last full stop onthe last page, the computer crashes. Six years of work disappears … and along with it goes years of music, emails and family photos. The loss can, for some people, be devastating.So the question of whether or not to backup is of highest importance.If you decide to backup, the major part of your task as sysad is to discover what your computer’s users want backed up, and then to learn how to back it up. For instance, do your family members want to their emails backed up? If so, then you need todiscover how to do this. Each computer - or even each user - can require a different method, depending on what email software is used. The best time - sometimes the only time - to do this is before the computer crashes or the virus hits!






    Decide a backup policy for your family computer, then find out about the methods for doing it.


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