Internet Business

Data Backup Organization

by doug on 27 May, 2009

Data backups  will run more smoothly if you organize your hard drive properly and back up accordingly.

Consider the different types of files you have on your hard drive.

There is your operating system.  Don’t touch that!

There are the programs installed on your  computer.  Not worth backing up, you can just reinstall them.

There are program setup files.  These could be worth backing up, but this is difficult.  Each program works in a different way.  They should all save such files in the users directory, but you can’t count on that.  Also, backing up the registry is risky, since improperly restoring this file could totally screw up your computer.

Let’s leave that one alone.

Then there are large and specialized files, such as audio, video and digital photographs.  You’ll certainly want original material backed up, especially if this is your livelihood or of high sentimental value.

There are downloaded files.  Yes, you could down load them again, but think of all the time it took to find them and organize them!  Could you even find some of them again?  It is probably worth having a copy of downloads, but maybe you don’t need the most current backup of such files.

There are the working files you use to run your business and your life: text documents, spreadsheets, databases, the working files that your specialized software generates as part of your work.

These, along with large media files connected with your work are the primary files you need to back up well and back up often.

It makes sense to organize your hard drive in a way that reflects these different types of files.

I have my hard drive organized into sections, with main directories on the C: drive for different categories of files, as outlined above.

Large files like video and audio, the time it takes to compress is large, and many of them are already compressed (e.g. mp3 files), so you don’t get much for all the effort trying to zip them up.

I keep these in separate directories, usually one for each type of file (video, audio and photos).  I then have separate subdirectories under that for files that I am currently  working on, and ones that are in their final state.

The reason for this is so that I can back up the final versions once, and the ones that change every day.  If you were to back up everything, your backup storage media would be very large.

Downloads go in their own directory.  These get copied to a similar directory on my backup hard drive every so often.  One way to do this is to rename the backup folder, copy the originally to the backup drive, then delete the renamed folder.  This way you have your previous backup to revert to if something goes wrong with the current backup process.

Smaller working files are in yet another folder.  This directory gets backed up daily (incremental backup), and monthly (full backup).  Really I should get in the habit of doing full backups on a weekly basis.  That will be the next step.

Different types of files need to be handled a little differently when it comes to backups.  The best way to do this is to create separate folders for each type of file, then further organize those folders according to your needs.

Proper backups are a major internet business accelerator.

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