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How do I backup all folders & files from my Desktop to an external drive?


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15 replies to this topic

#1 Lee42

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 01:16 AM

I'd like to find a way, other than using McAfee, to backup everything from my Desktop to a folder on one of my external hard drives. Could someone please instruct me as to how this is done?

Thanx! :thumbsup:

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#2 zesler

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 12:34 PM

I'd like to find a way, other than using McAfee, to backup everything from my Desktop to a folder on one of my external hard drives. Could someone please instruct me as to how this is done?

Thanx! :thumbsup:

Use Allway Sync. That's what I use and its free.
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#3 andrewww

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 12:36 PM

You could always copy and paste the items you wanted over ;)
Lucy
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#4 zesler

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 01:40 PM

You could always copy and paste the items you wanted over ;)

That's what allway sync does. The only different is that when you run it again, it doesn't copy everything, except for the things that changed. lol
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#5 Samson.Real5

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 02:04 PM

You just copy and paste the folder and how we use in local drives so you copy and paste the files to the external disk.


Martin

Edited by garmanma, 24 July 2009 - 05:06 PM.


#6 Lee42

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 01:47 AM

Wow! I wasn't expecting any responses that quickly... :thumbsup: I'm really beginning to love this site!

Zesler, I do appreciate you telling me about that Allways Sync program! I just downloaded it, have yet to install and use it, but it looks like exactly what I've been looking for for a long time...because you said that when it's run again, it only copies the things that have changed. That feature alone will be a major time saver especially when I go to backup all my pictures.

Andrewww and Samson.Real5 (Martin), thanx for your replies as well. I totally apologize to you guys because I failed to mention that I've been doing the copy & paste backup method for years but it didn't work in the case of trying to backup my desktop.

This is the first time I've ever tried backing up the desktop...mainly cause I never used to create folders and save files in them on my desktop until recently...it used to only have just shortcuts to programs.

How I did it was: I highlighted everything on my desktop, did the copy, brought up my K: drive, created a folder & went into it, then pasted my desktop but the only thing that happened was it created nothing but shortcuts to the folders (and programs of course) on my desktop. It didn't backup anything at all...which didn't make much sense...so I just had to ask for help on this one.

Thanx again,

Lee

P.S. I'm still open to more suggestions.

#7 hamluis

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 06:03 AM

If you want to make a clone of your C: partition (or any others), I would suggest that.

The result would be an identical copy of your partition on a different hard drive...if you have extra drives.

A link to one program that facilitates this, EASEUS Partition Master is a magic partition manager software for Windows 2000-XP-Vista-2003- - http://www.partition-tool.com/

Louis

#8 Lee42

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 10:13 PM

Thanks for your post Louis. I did check out the link/site from your post but I haven't d/l'd or installed the program yet. I've been reluctant to ask questions about partioning for fear of looking like I fool but I'm just gonna throw caution to the wind and ask anyway.

I've never partioned a hard drive before...or cloned my C: drive's partition either. I'm computer literate and used to build systems back in the day...more than ten years ago...but never had a reason to do any partitioning.

So needless to say, I know basically nothing about it. I know that the C: drive on my eMachine is partitioned and the D: drive part of it has important Windows system files on it but I've never fully understood why it was done that way at the factory. I suspect old files and settings are kept there in case I need to do a system restore...(I think anyway).

So, I hate to ask but...why exactly would someone want to clone thier partition onto an external drive? What does that do and what would you do with the cloned partition after it's on the external drive? What are the benefits of doing that?

Any and all information you could provide me on the whole partitioning & cloning thing would be greatly appreciated..:thumbsup:

Thanx in advance!

Lee

#9 hamluis

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 09:37 AM

<<...why exactly would someone want to clone thier partition onto an external drive? What does that do and what would you do with the cloned partition after it's on the external drive? What are the benefits of doing that?>>

Good questions.

The answer to the first part...it's a very easy way of backing up the Windows partition, which is the most important partition that exists...because it contains the operating system. Without the operating system, no programs can be installed, utilized...no files can be accessed.

If the question arises...why should anyone backup their Windows partition...then the answer is a very basic "because we do not know that the system will continue to operate without problems of some type." If problems do occur, it's wise to have some sort of answer for dealing with such. Backing up is the basic technique that home users should employ to achieve this.

There are multiple ways of backing up. One involves cloning the entire partition (which is what I suggest because hard drives are so cheap and large now) and the other primary method would be to use software (such as Acronis True Image) which would take a picture/image of the partitions/files that anyone wanted to backup.

IMO, the biggest limitation of using backup software is that some of it requires that the program run within Windows to be used. In that case, the person still has to install Windows to use the software. By comparison...if I clone a partition to another hard drive (not an external hard drive), all I have to do is remove one drive and put the other in it's place and the system resumes functioning from the time period when I last cloned the contents.

I don't recommend that anyone backup to an external drive, since I believe that external drive usage is way overrated in terms of desireability. By connecting a drive that relies on another connection (USB) to the system...I have put more things in between the drive and system that can go wrong. The power supply for the drive...the connection between the enclosure and the drive...the USB connection itself...IMO, these things compound troubleshooting when things go wrong with the drive. I prefer to directly connect my backup drives to the motherboard, do my backups...and the remove them from connection to the motherboard and just put them back in the protective packaging until I do the next clone of the system drive.

I suppose that external drives are recommended as storage solutions by many...because they don't consider the variety of storage solutions that now exist.
Connecting a hard drive to the motherboard for a backup operation...does not imply that said drive must remain connected to the system. DVDs provide backup opportunities. Home networks provide additional opportunities.

In any case...a person who has a system and who does not backup routinely in some manner...a person who does not have a copy of the operating system to use for repair or install purposes...is just a willing victim waiting for computer suicide to occur.

As to the benefit of cloning to an external drive...no benefit at all, since Windows won't boot from an external drive. I now could be wrong in asserting that, but my understanding is that Microsoft has not created any version of Windows with such in mind. Soooo...in order to be a boot drive, the hard drive must be attached to the motherboard.

If one is using backup software (not cloning the partition), then an external drive will serve. But, once again, Windows must be installed first...then the program...and users have to hope that their USB ports are working properly. Some backup programs do not require installation of Windows first...because they can be run from a bootable CD.

I can't answer any questions about your eMachines system and their partitioning scheme. But I do know that system manufacturers who employ restore/recovery partitions or CDs...are likely to employ a small partition to contain files they would like on the system. Your owner's manual should cover repair and reinstall options and give some idea of how they work.

A bit dated, but useful: Backup Options - http://www.onecomputerguy.com/install/backup.htm

Implementing a backup strategy - http://www.pcug.org.au/boesen/Backups/backups.htm

Windows Backup Does Not Back Up to CD-R, CD-RW, or DVD-R Devices - http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=315255

Using NTBackup in XP - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308422

....and some more links that cover backing up (which is really what I consider the topic).

The simple answer to what is a partition...just a storage cabinet. In the days when hard drives were MUCH smaller than today and systems only had 1 hard drive...partitioning was the way to create storage cabinets on a system. Today, we have multiple-HD systems...so there's really less need to create things like extended partitions or logical partitions...but they remain as our inheritance.

In reading, you may see suggestions to create such...I suggest ignoring those and remembering that once there was a need for that. Today, there's no reason why every partition created should not be a primary partitition, excluding those users who feel like they need to create umpteen storage compartments on one hard drive.

Louis

#10 OldPhil

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 08:24 PM

Question?? Is it files on your desk top that you want to put onto/backup onto your EXD?? If in fact that is all you are trying to do you can do what I did, open explorer find the "Send To" folder and drag that drive letter into the send to fold. Then anything on your desk top can be sent to the drive by right clicking and clicking that drive, at one I did a lot of photo work and would send files back and forth as need be fast and simple.
To back up put a short cut to that drive on your desk top, right click your file and click copy then drop it on that drive. I don't understand the need to backup a desktop, files yes but the DT no!

Phil

Edited by OldPhil, 04 August 2009 - 08:30 PM.

Honesty & Integrity Above All!


#11 Lee42

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 03:47 AM

Thank you Louis! Wow...you really helped me understanding some things. It was really considerate of you to go
out of your way like that to help a guy out and I really appreciate it.... :thumbsup:

I checked out those links and got so involved in reading everything, I lost track of time...especially the http://www.pcug.org.au/boesen/Backups/backups.htm site.

I'm gonna take your advice and get another internal drive, clone my partition, remove it, then if my C: drive fails me (it's going on 3 years old now), I can just swap it out and have a running system again. I like that idea of yours.

And your calling a partition a storage cabinet makes sense. So using that analogy, would it be safe for me to assume that my entire C: drive is a cabinet/partition and that cloning my C: drive makes the other drive contain exactly everything on it like doing a complete backup of every single file & folder on the drive and restoring it all?

Using my own analogy here...a folder is a tool box and the files (tools) are inside the tool box and all the tool boxes are stored in a cabinet and cloning the cabinet means that the newly cloned cabinet contains all the same tool boxes (folders) with all the same tools (files)? I'm sorry if that sounded redundant but it's all I could think of for comparison.

The Wikipedia definition of the Acronis True Image program (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acronis_True_Image) says this (an excerpt from the article): "As a disk imaging solution, True Image can restore the previously captured image to another disk, effectively replicating the structure and contents to the new disk, also allowing partition resizing if the new disk is of different capacity.".

It says it replicates the structure and contents to the new disk. Is that cloning or backing up or is it the same thing?
I just checked out the Acronis True Image site and it says it's a free trial so I think I'm gonna check that out.

Thanx again!

Lee

Edited by Lee42, 05 August 2009 - 03:51 AM.


#12 tekchallenged

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 04:21 AM

With Acronis True Image you can clone or do a backup, it gives you a choice. There's also no problem booting if your system goes down - you don't need to reinstall Windows first or run True Image from within windows. You can make a special boot cd which you can use to boot from, but it also just boots True Image from the installation cd. (I have True Image 10.)
Feel free to assume that I won't know what you are talking about...

#13 hamluis

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 08:02 AM

<<...would it be safe for me to assume that my entire C: drive is a cabinet/partition and that cloning my C: drive makes the other drive contain exactly everything on it like doing a complete backup of every single file & folder on the drive and restoring it all?>>

That's a correct interpretation of what a cloned partition is...an exact copy.

Not to be redundant...but users can also generally manipulate the size of the new partition, so that it does not have to necessarily match the size of the original cloned partition.

Cloning software is a very good thing, in my world :thumbsup:.

Louis

#14 OldPhil

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 08:20 AM

Great info!

Honesty & Integrity Above All!


#15 Lee42

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 12:54 AM

Hi Everyone,

Sorry for the delayed response...had to go out of state and there wasn't a computer at the house I was at.. :flowers:
I should think about getting me a laptop..but if I got one, it'd probably just collect dust most of the time...

Anyhoo, Thanx to everyone for helping me out! :thumbsup:

I learned how to backup (only) the files and folders desktop by doing it manually doing copy & paste on the files and folders only then backing them up on my external drive. And a learned a lot about partitioning which I appreciate.

Again, Thank you all for helping me out!!

Take care,

Lee




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