Presentation on theme: "Backing up computer files Required for Teachers and Staff moving to new locations/schools for 2008-09 and highly recommended for everyone on a regular."— Presentation transcript:
Backing up computer files Required for Teachers and Staff moving to new locations/schools for 2008-09 and highly recommended for everyone on a regular basis For Laptops and Desktop Computers D. Mack OCS 4/18/08
The Importance of Backing up Your Computer Files The Office of Computing Services is constantly presented with computer users who have lost all of their files due to a hard drive “crash” or file corruption. A hard drive is subject to a “crash” at almost any time because it is simply a mechanical device with a moving arm, similar to an old phonograph arm, that moves across the “platters” where the data is stored. OCS has experienced hard drives failing on practically new computers. If a user has not had a hard drive fail (yet,) he/she should consider himself/herself lucky!
Overview of Backup Procedures Delete any unnecessary files - don’t copy what you don’t need Don’t try to back up personal pictures and music on your data backup – burn them on a CD, DVD, or larger external hard drive Make a new folder on the Desktop and copy everything you really need into that folder Make individual folders inside the main folder to keep everything organized – name them “my docs”, “favs”, “dsktop”, etc Copy your files into those folders inside the main backup folder and then copy the main backup folder to a flash drive or external hard drive View the remainder of this tutorial for more details and hints for locating your Favorites and other copying tips
The Importance of Backing up Your Computer Files The following information explains the steps for backing up files to a flash drive to prevent the loss of important documents and other data in the event of a “crash” or some other unfortunate event. Although each user is provided with some storage space on a network drive (open “My Computer” and look for the drive letter with your name on it), this space is limited and cannot be accessed outside the network (i.e. from home.) It is most important to make regular backups.
The Importance of Backing up Your Computer Files Please note that district email is normally kept on the email/GroupWise server and will not be lost if the hard drive “crashes.” However, if a user archives his/her email, then it will be archived in a folder titled “District email” in the user’s “My Documents” folder. If you archived any email, be sure you see this folder in your “My Documents” folder. Follow the procedures shown below, to backup archived emails as well as other “My Documents” files.
Cleaning up files and Desktop screen One of the best things a computer user can do to make a good backup, is to clean up files by deleting the ones that are no longer needed and organizing the remainder of the files and the Desktop screen into folders. To begin this process, right click on the Desktop or the My Documents window, choose “New” > “Folder,” give it an appropriate title, and drag the related items into the folder. This will save time later when starting a regular backup routine.
Cleaning up files and the Desktop screen To reduce the size of your backup folder, make copies of the items in the “My Pictures” and “My Music” folders (inside the My Documents folder) by burning the contents of these folders onto a CD. All computers used by teachers and staff members should have a CD burning program such as Nero or Roxio. The purpose for burning these items separately is to save time during regular backups and to avoid filling up the flash drive with pictures and music. These types of files are usually much larger than Word documents and other types of files. (Of course, this depends on the individual user and the amount of picture and music files he/she keeps.)
Create a backup folder and subfolders on your Desktop To backup only important files and to save space on your flash drive, make a folder on your desktop to collect files for backup. Give this folder a title (ex: “backup 04_17_08.”) Open the folder and create other (sub)folders with the following titles: my docs favs dsktop prog files (The last folder is only necessary for program files that cannot be restored from a CD or a download. Ask your technician if you are unsure.) Check for any “stray” files by double clicking on “My Computer” (on the Desktop screen) and clicking on the “C:/” drive. Look for any files that need to be copied to the above folders. The instructions for copying files are on the next slides.
Copying “My Documents” files to the backup folder The next step is to copy and paste important files into the backup folder. To create a backup in the “my docs” sub-folder, open the “My Documents” folder on the Desktop screen. Click on the “View” heading at the top of the window and select “List” or “Details” to have a better overall view of the files. This puts files in list form to make them easier to select. Don’t copy the whole “My Documents” folder. Select only the essential items. (Now is the time it is helpful to have already organized and cleaned out files!) Highlight everything to be backed up, release the left mouse button, right click and choose “Copy” from the dialog box that pops up.
Copying “My Documents” files to the backup folder Remember that you can click on one item, then hold the “Shift” key and click on an item further down in the window to select multiple sequential files. Also, you can click on one item, then hold the “CTRL” key to select and deselect items randomly. Once you have highlighted the essential files, release the left mouse button, right click and choose “Copy” from the popup dialog box. Next, left click in the “my docs” folder, then right click and choose “Paste” from the popup dialog box. All of the highlighted documents from the other window will be copied into the “my docs” backup sub-folder.
Copying Desktop icons and files to the “dsktop” backup sub-folder Below is a screen shot of the “normal” desktop icons that will be set up by OCS should your computer need to be reimaged after a hard drive failure or file corruption. If you have icons or files other than these, you may want to save them in the backup sub-folder titled “dsktop.” (see next slide)
Copying Desktop icons and files to the “dsktop” backup folder Use the same basic procedure as before. Right click on the icon or file on the Desktop screen, choose “Copy” from the dialog box that pops up, then open the “dsktop” sub-folder, right click within the sub-folder, and choose “Paste.” To select multiple icons/files, left click on one icon or file, hold the “CTRL” key and left click on the icons/files that you want to copy from the Desktop. Once the icons/files are highlighted, release the “CTRL” key and right click on one of the highlighted icons/files. When the dialog box pops up, click “Copy.” Go to the “dsktop” backup sub-folder, right click within the sub-folder, and choose “Paste” from the popup dialog box.
Copying your “Favorites” to the backup sub-folder Many computer users save internet sites to their “Favorites” folder in Internet Explorer. The following steps demonstrate how to copy these into the “favs” backup sub-folder. Locate the “START” button in the lower left corner of the Desktop screen. Right click on the “START” button; then, left click on “Explore.”
When the Explore folder opens, a window with a list of folder names is displayed. One of these folders has the user’s name on it. Below that folder will be a “Favorites” folder that contains all the Favorites previously saved in Internet Explorer Left click once on the “Favorites” folder to see all of the Favorites in the right pane. Use the same procedure as discussed previously for highlighting, copying and pasting, to copy and then paste these into the “favs” backup folder. Copying your “Favorites” to the backup sub-folder
Copying Program Files to the backup folder Program Files that cannot be reinstalled from an Installation CD or downloaded (ask your technician if you are unsure) from the original source, can be copied into the “prog files” backup sub-folder. It is necessary to know where all of the Program files are installed, since some programs will install files in more than one place. Sometimes all of the program’s files will be located in the “Program Files” folder on the C:/ drive, but this is not always the case. Most users will not have to worry about copying Program files. Contact your OCS person through the Technology Help Desk on the District 50 home page for help with specific questions.
Final steps for making backups The most important part of making backups is to do it often. When the user has files that he/she wants to back up on the computer hard drive, it is a good practice to immediately back them up to the flash drive, to insure that the user has the latest copy in two places. Backing up a flash drive - A Compact Disk (CD) will hold up to 700mb (megabytes), so it is possible to burn a copy of data on a flash drive to a CD. (Keep the CD in another location!) Plus, since flash drives are so small and portable, they have a way of disappearing. The size of the user’s flash drive will determine how many CD’s are needed. (Flash drives are now available in 1gb (1024 megabytes), 2gb, 4gb, etc. This is too much data for one CD.) If the user’s flash drive is too large, the data can be copied to multiple CDs.
Final steps for making backups One of the best values and methods for backing up files is the use of an external, portable hard drive. Many are about the size of a paperback book, connect to the computer via a USB cable, and can hold 100gb, 200gb, on up to 1000gb (1 terabyte) and larger. These are great for a user with numerous pictures and/or music files. Since the external hard drive connects with a USB cable, it is just as portable as a flash drive, but with a much larger capacity. In fact, if a user is interested in creating DVDs from VHS tapes, it is recommended to convert the files to an external hard drive first before burning the DVD. Often, external hard drives are larger than the computer’s internal hard drive. If a user does not need to move files frequently from one computer to another (ex: school to home & back), the external hard drive is going to be a better choice than a flash drive, because it holds so much more than a flash drive. An external hard drive will not be affected if an internal hard drive crashes.
Backing up computer files Remember: If you have any questions or problems when backing up your files, contact your OCS person through the Technology Help Desk on the District 50 home page. http://www.gwd50.orghttp://www.gwd50.org