Windows back-ups

From Help Wiki

Where and how work is saved on your computer is very important for several reasons. Saving files in an organized fashion makes files easier to find. Saving your work to your H: and/or O: drive is crucial because information stored on the network is backed up nightly. Saving your information remotely on a secure and monitored network drive creates a safer environment for your documents and frees space on your computer resulting in better performance.

Where to save

We ask that all your work be saved in your home directory on the network, your H: Drive. For any work that will need to be shared with your work group, we recommend saving to your O: drive within the appropriate folder.

If you have a laptop that is not connected to the campus network, or you have documents that are expendable, you can save them in your "My Documents" folder. Laptop users that are not connected to the campus network, please see the Back-Up Strategies below to safeguard your work in case of data loss or computer failure.

Helpful Hint: If you need a file that is used often on your desktop, for easy retrieval you can create a shortcut to that file which is different from saving the actual file there. To see how to create a shortcut to your desktop See below:

  1. Find the file that you want to create a shortcut for.
  2. Right click on that file.
  3. Select "Send To", and then "Desktop (create shortcut)"
  4. You should now see a shortcut of your file on your desktop.

How to Save

Within your home directory folder you can create as many folders as you need to keep your files organized. We recommend the "Nesting" technique. That is to save your files in folders within folders going from the more general to the more specific. For example:

Helpful Hint: You can set Microsoft Word to automatically navigate to your home directory when opening or saving a file. Open Word, click on Options in the Tools Menu, click on the File Locations Tab, under File Types highlight Documents, click Modify, Navigate to your home directory, click OK once you've selected your folder, click OK again at the Options menu and you're set!

Back-Up Strategies

You can back-up your data by using removable media such as floppy disks, ZIP disks, or CD-Rs. A floppy disk can only hold around 1.3 MB of data, which can hold about 40 Word Documents. Depending on what type of ZIP drive you have, if you have one, the amount of data that can be stored is 100MB, 250MB, or 700MB. If you have a CD-R/W drive then you can use blank CD's to back up your data. The average amount of data a CD can store is around 650MB although it provides a large amount of storage, it's more complicated to use.

For floppy and ZIP disks, you can copy and paste (or drag and drop) the information and you've got yourself a back-up copy. Unless your work includes a lot of images, you probably won't need to use a CD, but if you're familiar with your CD burning software and you want to save your work via CD feel free to.

Depending on how important you feel your data is we suggest that you make at least two backup copies of your data because sometimes the back-ups fail.

Helpful Hint: To help you decide which media is best for you, you can find out how much space you'll need by highlighting all your files (provided they're in the same folder), right click and go to properties, and there you'll find the collective size of your files.

Helpful Hint: Play leapfrog with your ZIP disks to back up your data! Get two Zip disks. Label one "A" and the other "B." This week use disk A. Next week use disk B. Week 3, use disk A again. Why? Floppies, Zips, and CDs are cheap pieces of plastic that can fail. If you play leapfrog, you will have your second most recent back up should your most recent fail. If you date your folders like I'll mention below, you can keep as many versions as you can fit on a disk. When you run out of space, simply throw a few of the older ones away.

Dating your folders: First, create a folder on the ZIP drive with the date you backed up the data. This will make it easy for you to find the most recent back up after you've done several backups. Then simply drag your My Documents folder into the dated folder.