Date: September 19th, 2002
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The need for backups
Backups – Needed by many, done by few. I’ll never understand it. Some folks seem to think that their hard drive will last forever, and keeping a single copy of valuable data is perfectly ok. Whether it’s important financial data, your master thesis, decades of genealogical research, irreplaceable family photos, years of e-mail archives – almost everybody has data on their hard drive they just don’t want to lose. Think about it for a second: What important data do you store on your hard drive, and what would you do if the data was gone in 1 minute because the hard drive crashed?
Backing up your data is not a difficult process. You simply copy the data to a storage media, remove the storage media from your computer, and store it in a safe place offsite. It is very easy if it’s only a few Megabytes worth of data in one folder that can be easily copied to floppy or Zip disk. However, it gets more complicated if you have large amounts of data, your data is scattered over multiple locations, or backups need to be performed frequently.
The solution to making backups easy is backup software. This can range from simple batch files over free/shareware to enterprise-level industrial strength backup suites. In the consumer market for home users you find two types of backup software: Drive imaging programs that take a snapshot of an entire drive or partition, and backup programs that backup specific files and folders to a variety of storage media.
Enter BackUp MyPC
Backup MyPC falls into the latter category. It offers industrial-strength backup features in an easy-to-use package that is affordable for the home user (USD80 list price, but check link above for current prices). Some of the main features include:
* scheduled backups – create one or more backup jobs and schedule them to run them at certain times
* disaster recovery – create a disaster recovery set with bootable floppies or CDs to quickly restore a computer after a fatal crash
* support for numerous backup media – back up to tape, CD-R/W, DVD-R/RW/+R/+RW, hard drive, to network shares
* ease of use via automation and wizards
On the main screen you can see the three functions of BackUp MyPC in form of tabs, Backup, Restore, and Compare.
In the Backup screen you specify what files and folders to back up, the backup destination, and a few options such as password protection, verification, compression, etc.
In the Restore screen you specify what files and folders to restore, the restore destination, and a few options such as replacement of existing files and reporting.
In the Compare screen you specify what backup to compare against what files and folders.
These screens are pretty simple to navigate as they use a familiar Explorer-style look. For users that are new to backup software or not quite comfortable selecting all options manually, the Tools menu offers a Backup and a Restore wizard that makes the process even easier.
By default, the software starts up with a wizard launch screen.
The Tools menu also offers access to the Disaster Recovery wizard. The Disaster Recovery saves everything from your hard drive, including the operating system, program files, and data in order to be able to restore your computer back to its current state in case of a disaster such as a hard drive crash with the help of bootable floppies or CD.
“In Backup MyPC Veritas”
Noticed the Veritas logo in the screenshot above? Here’s some interesting information about BackUp MyPC. The software is actually nothing but a lite version of the well-known successful Veritas’ Backup Exec enterprise-level backup software suite. It was in the past sold as Backup Exec Desktop. Does the interface look vaguely familiar to you? Very well possible. Microsoft licensed an older and lite version of Backup Exec and incorporated it into their Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems as the Backup tool found under Start / Programs / Accessories / System Tools / Backup. BackUp MyPC is a slightyl newer version with a few more features and better hardware support.
Comments and Conclusion
BackUp MyPC is a solid backup software suite that covers pretty much all backup needs the average computer user has. It is user-friendly, reliable, and feature-rich. The accompanying manual deserves a comment as well. It is well done, detailed, nicely laid out, easy to read, and contains plenty of screenshots. If you don’t have a backup solution for your PC yet, take a look at BackUp MyPC. It is well worth the money, especially considering the horrible alternative without a backup.
Submitted by: Alex “crazygerman” Byron