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Backup – How to Avoid a Disaster

Written By: Emil Malmberg

Creating backups of important files on a regular basis is probably one of the easiest and cheapest ways to protect hours of work and personal files from all sorts of technical disasters. Still, billions of dollars are lost every year because of technical problems and loss of data. WinBackup is a new backup solution from LI Utilities that makes it easier for home users and small companies to create secure and well-organized data backups.

Organizing Backups by Priority
When running backups on a daily basis it is very important that the backup process does not interfere with the normal tasks performed on your computer. Running a large harddrive backup of all files on your pc can take anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour depending on how fast your computer is and the number of files that need to be copied. Since a backup operation will slow down your system considerably while in progress it is often necessary to split your backups into several backup jobs. By running more important jobs more often and by backing up static files less often you can easily reduce interference caused by backup operations by 90% or more. Not only will splitting and prioritising backups make your system run much smoother, but you will also be able to update important backups of emails and other data much more often.

Scheduling Backups
In order to keep you pc backups up to date you will probably want to schedule backups to run automatically. WinBackup uses a built-in scheduler that makes this task very easy. Since WinBackup also supports any number of Backup Jobs with separate scheduling settings you can make more important jobs, like emails, run more often while large, infrequently updated, files are backed up only every other week or so. Using WinBackup you can even combine-scheduled backups with manual backups to ensure that important changes gets backed up immediately. Since you use the same Backup Jobs for scheduled and manual file backups, running a manual file backup can be done with a single mouse click.

Compressing Data Backups
In most cases, compressing backups can be a very good idea since many files that are commonly included in backups (emails, text documents or images) can often be compressed to 50% of their original size or less. If you are using WinBackup, compression is enabled by default. In WinBackup you can also find out how large the compressed file will be before running the backup by looking at the estimated compressed size value. This value is updated in real-time while you add or remove files to the backup and can be very helpful when determining if the backup will fit on the target harddrive or cd.

Secure Online Backups
After creating a computer backup you will probably store the backup on a CD, a shared file server or maybe even on the Internet. In order to protect you files it is often recommended that you use a password, or if the backup contains sensitive information, you should use some form of encryption. WinBackup supports both password protection and strong encryption using the AES 128 or 256-bit encryption standard. Encrypted backup files will be nearly impossible to open without the correct password can safely be stored on CDs and public servers. If you want to run online backups encryption is often critical to protect your data from unauthorized accesses.

A Network Backup System
Corporate users as well as home users with local networks will often want to backup several computers to a server and then backup the server to a CD, CDRW or DVD. This can be achieved by scheduling the workstations to backup their files to the server first, and then, after waiting for an hour or two, a scheduled bakup job on the server stores all the workstation backups to a CD Writer installed in the server. By layering backups this way you can easily backup entire networks and data can be restored by workstation users at any time since the backup files for individual systems remain on the server. This technique can be very efficient and can save a lot of time for end users as well as IT departments.

Windows Backups and File Sharing Problems
If you have ever tried to delete or rename an exe file that being executed, you probably know that locked files can sometimes cause serious problems. This is even more true when creating backups since many of the files that you backup will probably be locked by other programs when the backup operation is started. If you, for example, are using outlook when a scheduled backup operation starts, the whole operation could fail if the backup software attempts to lock the email database. WinBackup never tries to lock files and will continue a backup operation even if a file could not be read. Any missing files will be added to the log and will be backed up the next time the backup job is executed. Since WinBackup doesn’t lock files it will not prevent you from using your computer for other tasks while a backup operation is in progress. This is very important if you want to run scheduled operations in the background while you are working.

About the Author

Software developer for LIUtilities ( www.liutilities.com )

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