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Backing Up Your Stuff Part 7: Where Is It #3?

Written By: Richard Lowe

These items are all stored by the operating system in your system folder. On
Windows 95, 98 and ME, this is generally called “WINDOWS”, while on Windows
2000 and NT it is usually called either “WINNT” or “WINNT40″ or something to
that effect.

When you install your operating system you can actually change the name of
your system folder (that’s the WINNT or Windows folder) as well as the boot
drive. If you did either of these things, just substitute the appropriate
information.

Fonts

Depending upon which version of Windows you are running and where you
installed the operating system, your fonts could be in a number of different
places. Assuming you took the defaults when your system was created (or it
was created for you), you will find fonts in the following places:

Windows 2000, NT – C:WINNTFonts

Windows 95, 98 and ME – C:WindowsFonts

If you still cannot find your fonts, all is not lost. Use the “search”
function form your “Start” menu and look for a folder called “fonts”.

Wallpapers

Believe it or not, wallpapers are stored directly in your systems folder.
They always have a file type of “.BMP”, which means they are large. If you
want to save your wallpapers, just back up everything with a “.BMP” file
type.

Screensavers

These things are a little more complicated, since they usually require more
than one file. These are stored in the system folder, and they can also be
found in different subfolders, including “system32″ and “system”.

There is almost always a file with a file type of “.SCR”, and often there
are “.DLL” files as well. There may be additional files (and they may be in
additional subfolders) depending upon the screen saver.

How do you know what to back up? It’s not easy, and my recommendation is to
save the original files (usually “.EXE” and “.ZIP” files) in a different
directory. There is simply no telling what the screen saver installation has
created (it could even create registry keys!)

Internet Explorer Cookies

You don’t really need to know where Internet Explorer saves it’s cookies,
since you can make a backup of them from the browser whenever you want. To
do so, select the “Import and export” option from the “File” menu.

Internet Explorer Favorites

To save your favorites, just choose “Import and export” option from the
“File” menu. The wizard will guide you through the process.

Putting It All Together

All right, you’ve purchased some hardware, say an writeable CD drive, and
you’ve got some software, let’s say you purchase Second Copy. You also know
where the computer puts things. Now what?

Okay, what you need to do is organize the heck out of your system. What I’ve
done is allocate a whole physical drive to my stuff. This way I know exactly
where my files are … and keeping them separate from the applications and
operating system files means my stuff does not get mixed up with anyone
else’s stuff.

If you cannot afford another hard disk drive, or if you just don’t want to
bother, you can create a separate partition on your system disk. Note that
you can only do this on a new drive (a new system perhaps) or you will have
to completely back up and restore your drive. Unless you are starting from
scratch with a new system or a new disk, this option is usually not worth
the trouble.

The other thing you can do (and what most people do) is simply to create a
folder for your stuff. You could call it “My Stuff” or you could give it a
name (like your own name, for example) or whatever else you want.

Now, regardless of whether you are using a separate drive, a partition or
just a folder, do the following.

Create a subfolder called “Backups”. Under that folder create some
additional subfolders for the things you want to save. You might create
“Stationary” for your outlook stationary and “Fonts” for your font files.
For example, if you had a folder called “C:My Stuff” you would create the
following:

C:My StuffBackups
C:My StuffBackupsFonts
C:My StuffBackupsStationary

Now use a program such as Second Copy to copy the files from your system
fonts folder (remember it’s usually called “C:WindowsFonts”) to your own
backup copy of Fonts. (If you don’t want to purchase a program like Second
Copy, you’ll do these steps by hand or with some other backup package). Do
the same for the stationary files.

Now, create some additional folders under your main folder. These are
completely up to you, and should somehow organize your work. You might wind
up with something like the example below:

C:My StuffHome
C:My StuffHomeDownloads
C:My StuffHomeGames
C:My StuffHomeScripts
C:My StuffWork
C:My StuffWorkInventories
C:My StuffWorkMemos
C:My StuffWorkWork In Progress

Now, as you work, just be sure and save things in the proper folders. Oh
yes, remember to move your old stuff into the new folders as well.

Now comes the important part. Use your backup program to create a backup. I
personally like to set up Second Copy to back up everything from “C:My
Stuff…” onto a writeable CD. I keep the same CD in the drive for a week or
a month or whatever my backup cycle is (the amount of time before I change
media).

I then tell Second Copy to do this copy from “C:My Stuff…” onto the
writeable CD once every day. Second Copy is pretty smart and only makes a
copy of the files that have changed. Once a month or so, I remove the CD and
put it on a shelf, then insert and format a new CD. This ensures I can
always go back if necessary.

The beauty of this backup method is that once it is set up it almost
completely runs itself. Second Copy keeps making backups as long as there is
something to write to in the writeable CD drive. All you need to do is
occasionally remove the CD, and insert and format another one.

The disadvantage of this method over a full backup is if you do have a
complete disaster you have to completely rebuild your system and reinstall
your applications.

To sum it all up:

- Choose a backup media such as writeable CD
- Choose a backup product such as Second Copy
- Ensure that you can rebuild your system at any time by keeping your
original installation materials.
- Create a folder for your stuff
- Create a subfolder called Backup and subfolders under that for anything
that you want to keep from the system or applications area.
- Set up Second Copy (or a similar program) to create back ups of those
files.
- Create subfolders in your stuff folder for the rest of your stuff
- Set up your backup program to back up all of your stuff (including the
backups of the system and application stuff) onto the writeable CD or other
media.
- Remove the media occasionally and replace so you have a backup outside of
your actual machine.

I know it sounds complicated, but believe me, it’s a lot simpler than going
through the frustration of having no backup of your critical files.

About the Author

Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at
http://www.internet-tips.net – Visit our website any time to read
over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your internet
profits, enjoyment and knowledge.

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