Monday, November 14, 2005

Scheduling Data Backups

We should have all been told how important it is to backup our computer's data to make sure that we won't lose it in some type of system failure. Although most of us don't backup our data on a regular basis, maybe because its time consuming or we just forget about it all together.

Whatever your reason for not backing up your computer, we are going to remove it by showing you how to schedule your backups. If you have a second drive attached to your computer, or an external USB drive this is the most idea configuration.

If you have a second hard drive all you will have to do is setup the process and forget it. Otherwise you will be forced to manage the media (CDs, DVDs, etc.) in which you will be storing the backups on.

This tip leverages the built-in Windows backup software, and task scheduler. Follow the directions below to set this up:
  • Launch the Backup program (Start menu | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Backup)
  • Click on the 'Schedule Jobs' tab.
  • Select the date to start backing up your computer, then press the 'Add Job' button.
  • This will launch the backup wizard, which will ask you to select: the data to backup (i.e. all files, or select file locations), location, backup type (i.e.: normal, copy, incremental, etc.), and other options. Press the Next buttons to move to the next part of the Wizard.
  • When you get to the backup job scheduling part of the Wizard, enter a name for the job, and press the 'Set Schedule' button to set the time to start running the job.
  • When you press the Next button to move to the next part of the Wizard, you will be prompted for an account to run the backup job under. This allows the job to run when you're not logged into your computer. Note: This account needs the access to backup all your files, generally the account will need to have administrator access.
  • From this point you will see a screen describing the option that you selected, then press the Finish button when done.
To edit, or delete any of the schedule backup jobs you created, you will need to manage them in the Schedule Tasks window (Start Menu | Control Panels | Scheduled Tasks).

Note: If your using Windows XP Home edition, and don't have the backup program installed on your computer see the following article.

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