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  • Backup
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Backing up your files

You've worked really hard on your files - don't lose them! In the event of a computer crash, your hard drive may fail or need to be replaced. Making sure you back up files on a regular basis will prepare you for the worst.

What does backing up mean?

Backing up simply means saving a copy of your files to a physical location somewhere other than on your personal computer. You have many options, including CDs, DVDs, memory sticks (USB thumb drives), your H: drive, Webspace, etc.

What should I back up?

You should back up all files that are important to you. If you would be sad if you lost a file, then you should back it up. You should back up any important Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, or Access files. You should also back up image files, and any music files. Offline email files (.pst files) also need to be backed up. It is important that you close Outlook before backing up an offline email file.

How often should I back up?

This depends on your answer to the question, "If your computer crashed today, how recent does your backup file have to be for you not to worry?"

If you make changes to your documents every day, then you should back up that file every day. If you add new photos to your computer once every few weeks, then back up your photos every few weeks.

In general, it's a good idea to schedule a backup on your calendar or task list for every week. At minimum, you should back up important files every month.

What should I back up to?

You have several backup location options. In chosing the right option, you'll have to take into account the type of data you have, and how secure it needs to be, the size of your files, and what you have available. Faculty and staff must be careful to only store Category I & II data in approved locations.
Your options for places to back up include:

Location

Size

Safe for Category I & II Data?

UTBackup

1 GB

Yes

H: Drive

5 GB for faculty, 2 GB for staff

Yes

External Harddrive

varies, usually 100+ GB

Yes, if kept locked in your office

CD

approx 200 MB

Yes, if kept locked in your office

DVD

approx 4.7 GB or 8.54 GB, depending on type

Yes, if kept locked in your office

USB Drive

varies

No

Security

You should not back up Category I or Category II data to a USB drive (they're too easy to steal or lose), a personal computer, or any online file storage space that is not UT's Web Space.
If you are not sure if your data is Category I or Category II data, then go ahead and treat it like it is.

Backing up to USB drives or your H: drive

  1. Open Computer or My Computer and navigate to the drive where you are going to back up.
  2. Open another Windows Explorer window to My Computer.
  3. Navigate to where you save your files.
  4. Right-click and drag any file you want to back up from the 2nd window to the 1st window.
  5. When you drop the file, select Copy Here.
  6. Continue until you have backed up all your files.

Backing up to a CD

  1. Place a blank CD in your CD drive.
  2. Open Computer or My Computer and navigate to the CD Drive (usually D) .
  3. Open another Windows Explorer window to My Computer.
  4. Navigate to where you save your files.
  5. Right-click and drag any file you want to back up from the 2nd window to the 1st window.
  6. When you drop the file, select Copy Here.
  7. When done dragging files to the CD drive, click Write these files to CD on the left.
  8. Follow the instructions to burn your CD.
  9. When the CD is done burning, eject it and then put it back into your computer.
  10. Check to make sure you can open files from your CD - you want to make sure the burn worked properly!

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