Getting Comfortable With The Basics

Backing Up Your Data – Why You Need To Do It

 Windows 10 Built-In Tools  –  Recommended  –  Google Free Backup  –  Subscription Services 

Data loss can happen in many ways. One of the most common causes is a physical failure of the media the data is stored on, in addition, Malware can infect your system and corrupt or encrypt files. You probably have everything saved on your PCs hard drive. That hard drive will not live forever. To quote one of the tech geeks I follow, “there are only two types of hard drives – the ones that have failed and the ones that will fail.” Normally hard drives will live for years without incident. But eventually, they will die. It might happen gradually, by more and more bad clusters accumulating until most of the drive is unusable. Or it might happen suddenly, the hard drive just dies without warning. 

I don't recommend so-called backup software.  It is often buggy, difficult or confusing to use and most programs make one big glob (large proprietary file) that is hard to verify and requires having the backup program installed in order to read the files or restore them.

It is not necessary or possible to backup programs (applications) or Windows itself.  If our hard drive fails you will install Windows from the Win 10 installation media and any applications like Word, Excel, Quicken…  installing from the disks that came with your computer or more commonly downloading an installation file from the creator's web site and installing.  If you need to install or reinstall Windows 10, you can use the tools on this page to create your own installation media using either a USB flash drive or a DVD. 

Back up and restore your files using Windows 10 built-in backup tools. 

Set up your backup

  • Select the Start button, then select Settings  > Update & security > Backup > Add a drive and choose an external drive or network location for your backups.
  • All set. Every hour, windows will back up everything in your user folder (C:\Users\username). To change which files get backed up or how often backups happen, go to More options.

If you’re missing an important file or folder, here’s how to get it back:

  1. Search for Restore files from the taskbar and select Restore your files with File History.
  2. Look for the file you need and then use the arrows to see all its versions.
  3. When you find the version you want, select the Restore button to save it in its original location. To save it in a different place, right-click (or press and hold) the Restore button, select Restore to, and then choose a new location. 

How to Use Windows’ File History to Back Up Your Data by How-To-Geek

File History is Windows 10’s main backup tool, originally introduced in Windows 8. Despite the name, File History isn’t just a way to restore previous versions of files–it’s a fully-featured backup tool.   

After you set up File History, you can just connect an external drive to your computer and Windows will automatically back up your files…

I Recommend this method for all Windows versions:

Use File Explorer to simply copy files (this is the method I use and prefer). Right click on the Start Flag and select “File Explore”. With File Explorer, you can select files and copy them to an external hard drive or thumb drive.  On the external drive, I create a folder named "backup-ddmmyy" (backup-today date). Keep the past backups and just make a new "backup-today date" folder the next time you do a backup.  Most external hard drives will hold 5 or 10 backup archives.

Unless you have on purpose stored files in different locations the following directories should have everything you have created.

In the left side list under "This PC" copy the following to your backup destination.

  • Documents
  • Music
  • Pictures
  • Videos
    Be sure to "Right Click" and drag Folder… to your backup drive folder and choose "Copy". 
    Note: Left Drag will not copy the files it just created a shortcut, but not copy the files.

In my opinion, this is the simplest and safest way to make a backup.  After you have copied files to your external hard drive or thumb drive it is easy to verify if you have a good backup. Just open some folders and see if the pictures or documents are present. To restore your files or pictures simply reverse the process, copy from external drive to your internal drive. 

Gmail suite of free products keeps your data backed up online.

Store and sync your photos by uploading to Google Photos.

Backup and Sync Automatically back up photos from your Mac or PC, connected cameras and SD cards

Backup photos from your computer

  • Back up photos, videos and documents from your Windows or Mac computer and any time you connect a phone, camera, or storage card using the Google Backup and Sync desktop uploader.
  • When you set up Google Backup and Sync on your computer, you can choose to upload photos and videos from a phone, camera, or storage card.
  • After prompting you the first time, every time you connect that phone, camera, or storage card to your computer, the photos, and videos on it will back up automatically (if you set it to do so).     

Back up photos & videos from a mobile device with Google Photos back up & sync

Google Drive, compared to the attention services like Dropbox and iCloud get, seems to just sit out in the wings hardly looked at. But, much to my surprise, it’s a fantastic service with flexible backup options. 

Subscription Backup Services

  • Get Carbonite, it’s easy to use. It isn’t enough to back up to a hard drive, you have to have an off-site backup as well. – Rules of backup are simple – there’s got to be two copies of everything with a third copy offsite. Francis Ford Copolla had all his scripts, his laptop and his backups stolen! You need an off-site option as well. I use this service! Glenn

Use the built in disk burning software in Win 10. Insert a blank CD or DVD and follow the instructions. How to Copy Files to a CD or DVD in Windows 10

How to Avoid Getting Locked Out When Using Two-Factor Authentication by How-To-Geek

Two-factor authentication secures your accounts with code in addition to your password. You can’t get in without the code sent to your phone. But what happens if you lose or reset your phone? If you don’t plan your recovery method ahead of time, you could permanently lose access to your accounts.

Here’s what you should do right now to make sure you don’t get locked out in the future.

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