I don't use any programs to "back up" my files, I do it myself.
- I place the original installation files and zip archives of all the software installed on my computer into a designated folder, nothing else goes there.
- I create and edit a text file, which includes descriptions of each program and it's version number, in alphabetical order (just like in the folder itself, so I can quickly compare the contents of text file and folder)
- in said text file, roughly anywhere from 50-100 entires, alphabetized and with version numbers, and I use the asterisk symbol to indicate programs which need to be checked for updates. Since this is Windows Me, I don't have many asterisked programs.
-I have a designated "game folder" for zips and the install programs only. Sub divided into categories for either DOS, Win31, Win95, Puzzles, Arcade, Qbasic, etc.
- I use UnzipThemAll to extract several hundred zips simultaneously, thus creating a simple directory structure. Takes only a minute to unpack several hundred games into folders using the same name as the original zip file.
-I keep all these in "My documents", big surprise. Sub folders are made for resumes, guitar pieces I'm writing, letters, PDF files, recipes, old emails, etc.
-I organize them in folders, they're not scattered everywhere at random. They're all neatly organized (nearly 5,000 family photos that my mom took). Ready to be copied to CD at a moment's notice.
.... then, I just use Deep Burner
* or ImgBurn
* to drag and drop my folders to a data CD. That's it.
After I burn the CD, I format Windows Me, re-install, then copy the stuff from the data CD back onto the computer. Doesn't take more than 100 mintues. And most of that time is spent formatting the hard drive and installing the OS, so I don't have to actually be there while this is going on.
I prefer to do it this way, a clean install I mean. Because it reduces the chance of viruses being passed along, plus it fixes other problems too (registry, corrupted programs, bad system files, removes unwanted files, saves disk space, generally makes the computer faster, etc.)
I will never use any of those "online" backup programs. I'm not going to pay them to do a "service" that requires simply (1) Organizational skills (2) A blank CD (3) A freeware program such as DeepBurner. Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if those online backup companies aren't a CIA or NSA front. Wouldn't be surprised if they mine your personal information and sell your personal data to the highest bidder. So much for privacy.
^ People actually pay money for that crap!
Why? You can buy a pack of CD-R's at K-Mart for $2.99. And they come in a cool assortment of nifty colors. My favorite is pink.
Sure, I might use online backup. Only if my data was encrypted with a 200 character password of random letters and numbers (which i would store on a piece of paper under my mattress). You know, just to slow down their system for the fun of it.
*my recommendations for best backup programs
Edited by ScrewUpgrading, 18 November 2011 - 08:49 AM.