Monday, July 22, 2013

Ms. Tech-Challenged rescued by "auto-pilot" :)--or not :(

I finally got around to buying the new, higher-capacity external hard drive that I've been meaning to get ever since I realized that there wasn't enough room on my old one to back up last summer's vacation photos and videos.  (We would have lost all of those photos and videos when my hard drive had to be replaced recently if the Punster had deleted the Vacation 2012 Photos and Videos folder from his desktop.)  But I've made it a habit to back up new files as soon as possible, and I had no recollection of how to do a full-computer back-up.  Oy.  So I plugged the new contraption into a USB port and held my breath.  Fortunately, the new drive knew what to do, and started the back-up all by itself.  It even asked me whether I'd like to choose what to back up or whether I would prefer to leave the choice to Windows.  Well, given my track record, I decided I'd best let the drive do the job without my so-called help.  (The Punster is the one who installed the new hard drive, bless him.)  I'm happy to report that, while watching the proceedings on my screen, I did learn (or, perhaps, relearn) something important--the place to find a "Back up your computer" link is the Control Panel (accessed via the Start button).

The back-up was completed at about 2 AM, while yours truly was sound asleep.  I haven't checked the new drive yet, but I certainly hope everything is there.  Thank goodness for hardware that's designed for dummies.  :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 update:  This is not what I had in mind :(
Last night, I took a look at my external drive and got an unpleasant surprise--instead of my files having been saved in the usual folders that could be opened and read, the entire contents of my computer is now copied in an unreadable digital file named OWNER'SNAME--PC.  The problem with that is that it's impossible for me to check to ensure that all of my files were actually copied (which they weren't on previous occasions when I've done a full-computer back-up).  All I know for sure is that roughly one third of my new external hard drive is now full.  I am not a happy camper.  :(  Sigh.  Well, Shira, welcome to the second decade of the twenty-first century, apparently also known as the Digital Decade.

12:31 PM  update:  Auto-pilot, not :(
According to the Physicist (see comment), the back-up probably just imaged my main system drive, rather than backing up my files.  Looks like I'll have to choose which files to back up, after all.  Oh, well, back to the drawing board.

Thursday, July 25, 2013 update
The good news:  I've copied my My Documents, Pictures, and My Videos folders, and our current Quicken file, onto  my external hard drive, and all of the aforementioned are in openable and readable folders and/or files.  The back-up took much less time than anticipated.  I just hope that everything's there.

The bad news:  iTunes "kidnapped" all of my music, making it impossible to back up.  If there's any way to get copies of my music back into the My Music folder, please enlighten me.

To do:  Previous Quicken files still await backing up.

Okay, I think I've bored you enough.  We now return to our regularly-scheduled blogging, which is actually irregularly scheduled between assignments.


Blogger The Physicist said...

That probably just imaged your main system drive, which is not what you want.

Why don't you try googling "free backup schedule utility" with the filter set to this year.

Tue Jul 23, 11:08:00 AM 2013  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"That probably just imaged your main system drive, which is not what you want."

Major bummer. :( So I'll have to do this "manually" after all, choosing the folders to be saved myself.

I intend to continue backing up my files on an external hard drive and avoid saving most of my files in the Internet "cloud," as I'd like to preserve some semblance of privacy and try to avoid identity theft. But I did find this while googling "free backup schedule utility"--Windows Backup and Restore instructions for Windows 7. That could prove useful. And it does seem to confirm that I'll have to choose the files to be backed up myself.

Tue Jul 23, 12:14:00 PM 2013  
Blogger Ruby said...

Oh, digital troubles! Good thing you have this new habit of immediately backing up your files, which actually should be a mandatory (if that isn't too imposing a term) for everyone. Digital files are not permanent. No data file is, anyway. The only thing to keep them existing and available for access is to incessantly clone each. Hope you're doing better with your backups. :) Ruby@Williams Data Management

Wed Aug 21, 04:03:00 PM 2013  

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