Backing Up Locally

 by Allan J. Greenberg

If you have ever lost an important file, you can imagine how painful it would be to loose all your important files. That is exactly what could happen if files become corrupted or your hard drive fails. It is therefore imperative that we backup important files that we save to our hard drive.

If we put the files that we create or save in My Documents, then we need only backup My Documents to another media periodically. Saving the files and folders in My Documents to a writeable CD or DVD disk can be accomplished with a "burner" program or to CDs with Windows Explorer. Annother alternative is to back up folders and files to a USB drive.

Windows XP Pro has a Backup Program in the System Tools group for backing up folders and files. The same program exists for Windows XP Home, but it is not normally installed. (Users of XP Home Edition can install the program from the Windows CD: Look for it in the valueadd\msft\ntbackup folder, right-click the Ntbackup file, and choose Install.)

The are a number of free and fee based backup programs that are useful for backing up your folders and files. And as noted in the "Backing up to the Internet" article in these Technical Notes, one can upload to Internet storage services.

A user-friendly and free program that makes backing up very easy is called LeBackup. The free version is called LeBackup Light. To download this program click here and then click on the download site. Save the downloaded file to your hard drive in a folder you can find later. The file is compressed (ZIP) file which will expand when you click on it in the saved folder. Save the expanded files to a folder and then click on the Setup.exe file to install the program.

Once the program is installed, start it and click on the Add button to create a backup routine. Follow the on-screen instructions to specify the Destination (which device to save the folders and files to) and the Source (My Documents for example) for the folders and files.

LeBackup Light lets the user select a full backup or an incremental backup. If you are backing up your folders and files to a new disk (CD or DVD) you will want to check the box to do a full backup. If you are backing up to a device that you have backed up before, you do not have to check the full backup up box and LeBackup Light will do an incremental backup (will only backup new or modified files and folders).