Backing up one's computer files

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by RCGuy, Jul 6, 2007.

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  1. RCGuy

    RCGuy Registered Member

    Aug 7, 2005
    Could someone tell me what is the average amount of space needed to backup one's computer files? I guess I'm a bit confused about what exactly is required for a proper computer "backup." But let me explain a little bit of background first. Recently, I was at an office supply store and one of the salesman recommended that I use a USB Flash Drive to back up my computer files. The one that he recommended to me only stored 512MB of storage space, but that didn't seem like a lot of space to me. However, the salesman assured me that 512MB was enough space for a backup. I also wanted to say that not too long ago, I was using the 90 Free trial of Windows Live OneCare which has a program that automatically setups a means to backup one's computer files, however, at the time, I attempted to use a standard DVD-RW blank disc(which holds 4.7GB), however, that one blank disc didn't provide enough space for the Windows Live OneCare backup. Unfortunately, I allowed the 90 trail period for Windows Live OneCare to expire without purchasing another blank DVD-RW disc, therefore, I'm a bit uncertain as to the amount of space needed for a full computer file backup. Also, I've read before where backing up one's computer files only involved backing up certain files such as one's picture files, certain documents, and one's "Favorites" files. Therefore, perhaps this is what the salesman had in mind when recommending the 512MB USB Flash Drive. Could someone provide me with some clarity as to what actually needs to be backed up when backing up one's computer files? Thank you for your help in advance.
  2. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

    Oct 7, 2004
    It depends on teh files you want to backup.

    For example, my firefox and thunderbird profiles takes up only 10 or 15MB each. OTOH, all the files I download from Unreal Tournament 2004 (game) take up hundreds of megabytes.

    Also I just keep my personal files on a separate drive (and occasioanlly burn them to CD/DVD). Heres some of the things I keep there:

    *Program installers
    *P2P downloads
    *Game downloads
  3. herbalist

    herbalist Guest

    There's different types of backups. The 512mb you mentioned would not hold a backup of a modern operating system, but could hold your personal data files such as financial records, pictures, etc, stuff that can't be replaced. Other files like videos, music, etc would probably take up too much space for a storage device that small.

    One common way is to separate your system files from your data files. You can set up such a system any number of ways. You could use separate hard drives or separate partitions on the same hard drive, one for your operating system and installed software and one for your data and personal files. Separating the 2 has advantages.
    1, The backups are smaller and easier to work with.
    2, They can be scheduled separately.

    Once the initial backups are made, the operating system and installed software wouldn't need to be backed up unless you change something.
    Your data files could be backed up on a regular schedule since thats the stuff that could be hard to replace.

    On my system, the operating system and software are installed on the internal hard drive. My data files are kept on one partition of an external hard drive. The external drive has another partition which stores the backups of the internal hard drive (system backups). I usually back up the data partition of my external drive to CDRWs. I use 2 sets of rewritable disks, erasing and using the older one each time. I could also temporarily install another internal hard drive and backup my data files to it. Use whatever method suits you best. When the data is kept separate from the system files, no special software is needed to back up the data. For backing up the system, you've got a selection of apps to choose from. Which is best depends on who you ask. Lots of threads on that subject here.
  4. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

    Jul 1, 2006
    I do 2 types of backups. One is an image of my basic windows operating system which is usually quite a few gigs in size so i use a large external hard drive for that. The other type of backup i do is valuable data, such as pictures or documents which usually don't take up that much space so for that i use a usb flashdrive similar to yours.
  5. Bio-Hazard

    Bio-Hazard Registered Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    Cornwall, UK

    I have 2 internal harddrives, 80 gb each. First harddrive has my operating system and program files. Second harddrive has my personal data (music,pictures,videos, my documents and so on). Then i have 500 gb (usb) external harddrive that i put my backups on. I use Acronis true image to do my back ups of first harddrive and i use microsoft synctoy to keep my personal data up to date. I also have online stroga space where i can put my very important documents. I also use FDISR, so i have different kinds of snapshot of my system aswell on my external harddrive.

  6. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    May 9, 2005
    It really depends. For example, my file backup is about 75GB, with crucial files about 8GB. My system backup is about 1.8-2GB.
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