The Way a Backup Program Should Work

Backing up personal files (pictures, music, documents, videos, etc…) on our computers is probably the one maintenance function we neglect the most. To prove the reality of it all; I have assisted numerous individuals with their computers and I can not think of one person that was actually performing routine backups of their personal files. As a matter of fact, I have witnessed the look of despair on people’s faces when they are told their data is lost.

I truly believe the reasoning behind this is that the majority of home based computer users’ do not know the “how to’s” when it comes to setting up backup software; using an external drive, etc…  To all the Tech’s out there that assist people, we need to change that. We assist and fix; but, fail to recommend prevention measures such as performing backups and actually showing how it is done.  Let’s face it, backup software is very intimidating and foreign to most computer users.

What software do I use for backup software? Here of late I have been experimenting with and testing several different backup software product options and finally settled with Yadis! Backup.

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Yadis! Backup, in my opinion, is the way a backup program should work.  You install it, select the folder (s) you desire to backup, point it to your external drive and it does the rest.  Yadis! Backup will backup your personal files in “real time” and does not rely on a schedule.  Once it is setup, Yadis! Backup will copy all of your files to the backup destination; after that, you do absolutely nothing. As a matter of fact, you will not even know it is there.  If you add or change a file, Yadis! Backup knows to back it up. If for some reason the destination source or drive is not available, Yadis! Backup knows to hold the backup until the destination drive becomes available again.

What I really like about this application is that it is easy to setup and is a good option for the everyday home user’; plus, it is just downright smart.

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18 thoughts on “The Way a Backup Program Should Work

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    1. Sourish,

      Yadi! Backup is quite different; however, appears to work very well. I’ve been using it for quite some time and I am very pleased. It is an unattended backup process. I often find myself checking the destination directory to see if it is working (and it is).

      Thanks for visiting…

      Rick

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  1. Rick,
    Nice (and informative) article, but I do have a nit to pick… I do, and every tech I know does go out of their way to urge people to create Backups. We are the people who have to say, “I’m sorry Mr. Jones, but ..” and see the despair strike. It is the worst part of our jobs; and worse, we know how easily preventable such heartbreak is.

    Okay. Nitpicking complete. Folks, backup up those important documents, address books, and photos now.
    Please.

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    1. TechPaul,

      Yes I agree; a good tech will urge people to create backups; HOWEVER, do we actually sit down and show the user how to do a backup (and what backup software to recommend). I can remember my first time struggling with backup software. None of it made any sense, then there was the fear, did I set that up correctly or am I going to wipe out all of my data, etc… I also find that most people have very poor file managment skills, which in itself, compromises any chance that they will setup the backup software properly. Just within the past 2 weeks I have had several people (friends/family) contact me for a variety of PC issues; and not one of them had a backup of anything. Not even the recovery disks that would bring the PC back to life. Boiled down to the fact, that they just did not know… Even after I show them, they still didn’t know (and I think they really didn’t care). An app like this, setup by a tech, could save the day. I had thought of at one time of setting up a backup file service and data eradication service for home based users.

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      1. I hope my reply will not detract from the points you make…
        Yes, a good tech will, at the very least, take the 2 minutes to setup the built-in Windows Backup tool.. (I do it as a “value-add”).
        (Folks interested in a How To on that can see How To Use Windows Backup Tool).

        Your story does not surprise me in the least. Sadly. People these days want everything done for them automatically (and free) it sometimes seems to me..

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      2. TechPaul,

        No, your reply is excellent. Whole point of the article is to attract the attention of everyone in this game; techs and users. No doubt in my mind that your reputable status as a tech, that you are on top of the game. I know alot of guys (and gals) that work on PC’s that do not offer such services due that it takes up their time…

        Rick

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  2. Not to nitpick, but given current cloud storage advances – it is a must to make it part of any backup routine (except large media files, unless you are willing to pay the bill).

    Backup to external media is great and much better than no backup at all. But to truly be a backup your files must be duplicated at different location.

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    1. Rarst,

      You are absolutely right; multiple backup (with off site) locations is a must; However, most home users do not know this strategy (or even know what the cloud is). I’m going to be working on a post about some of the cloud backup options I personally use, etc…

      Thanks for visiting…

      Rick

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  3. Rick,

    Your comment “I also find that most people have very poor file management skills, which in itself, compromises any chance that they will setup the backup software properly”, goes to the heart of the matter.

    In my view, you are dead on – most users that I know, and I know lots, can barely navigate using Windows Explorer. In fact, most of them barely know how to navigate within an application, using the program’s toolbar and you can forget about using items such as the right click menu.

    As well, I find that most techs have absolutely no idea of the poor computing skills that most users possess, so their advice and explanations have no value. I occasionally “test” techs, and I find that they are much more interested in showing what they “know”, rather than offering constructive advice.

    Unless a user is prepared to make an effort to learn backup processes including the backup application, or is exposed to a “see Spot run” application, such as this one you suggest, users will continue to neglect backups.

    Like you. I have NEVER met a person who had adequate backups. As operating systems improve, the system itself will be designed to compensate for lack of user experience and create backups automatically, without user action.

    Bill

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    1. G,

      I’ve been using this for a couple of weeks now and seems to be a winner. After I set everything up, I do absolutely nothing. It just watches and waits and when changes occur it goes to work.

      Rick

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  4. Great article Rick 🙂

    I use Macrium Reflect and create a complete ghost image of my main drive and partitions regularly, one copy on a separate partition and two copies on external drives….you never know lol

    Sadly, as many have pointed out, users generally never think about backups and have to be educated into making this a part of their routine. No one knows when disaster will strike and the data is gone.

    The majority have no idea where to start and many who do attempt it make bad choices….all we can do is advise accordingly and hope that they will listen and put into action what they learn.

    It does take time educating users and a lot of patience and I deal with many on a one to one basis and some of what they do is really quite scary!

    Good luck with your move too, hope it all goes smoothly 🙂

    Like

    1. Colin,

      Thank you very much… I need to check out that Macrium Reflect. Is it very dependable? I am current using Acronis for my imaging routines.

      Thank for giving me good luck on our move. Just got a very good contract on my house which is a miracle in itself in todays’ market. I will be posting on and off for awhile; however, I say that and who knows where my obsessive compulsive behavior will cause me to do : )

      Rick

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  5. Rick,

    Macrium I have had no problems with creating a complete ghost image and restoring it onto a new drive.

    You can find more details on Macrium here

    You can even create your backups while using the computer…and I like it’s simplicity and create regular backups…if only other would do the same it would solve a lot of common problems 🙂

    Like

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