Networking Reference
In-Depth Information
USB hard drives (both flash drives and actual hard drives) are not the
only devices available for backing up data. Some backup software (not
the Windows Backup utility, however) allow you to back up data directly
to a CD or DVD burner on your computer (the backup software backs
up the data and then burns it directly to the writable CD or DVD). Tape
drives (such as drives that use DAT tape) and large capacity disk drives
such as Zip and Jaz drives from Iomega ( ) are an-
other option. You can remove the tape or disk backup media from the
drive and store it in a safe location. Large companies typically use some
sort of high-speed tape drive to store backup files because the tapes can
then be taken offsite to guard against a fire or natural disaster. In terms
of backing up home computer data, USB drives are probably the most
economical and easy to use. You don't necessarily have to take copies
of your backup files offsite (away from your home), but how you protect
the personal and important data on your computer is up to you.
If your backup needs are minimalmeaning that you really back up only
a few important files in your My Documents folder or you want to back
up just your Windows system state files (the files that control your Win-
dows configuration)you might get by with a USB flash drive (available in
a variety of sizes, typically from 256MB to 2GB or more).
You can forgo using an external device such as a USB hard drive or
flash drive by burning your backup file to a CD or DVD. To do this, you
use the Windows Backup utility to back up your data files to a folder on
your hard drive (yes, you can back up to your own hard drive). You can
then use your CD-burning software to burn the backup file to a CD. This
approach allows you to have the backup file on removable media (the
CD). Obviously, this method requires that you have enough free space
on your hard drive to hold the backup file, and it takes an extra step to
burn the file to a CD or DVD. But this method does get your backup file
onto removable media so that you can restore your computer files if the
hard drive on the current computer ever explodes.
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