System backups made easy

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Quick question for all you feds out there: How many of you regularly back up your data files on all your computers, including notebooks and home PCs? The fact is, unless a network administrator does it, most people don't bother to back up anything.

Backing up data is a time consuming and somewhat complex process. You have to find the files you need to back up and determine which ones have changed since your last backup. You could back up your entire drive each night, but that requires another hard drive of equal or larger size, plus a large chunk of computing time.

Alohabob PC Backup from Eisenworld Corp. makes it simple through a series of point-and-click menus. The software even suggests the most common files to back up, such as system settings, e-mail messages, word processor and spreadsheet files, and anything in Windows' My Documents folder.

PC Backup organizes these files into groups. You can then select which groups you want to back up and see how much space your choice will require. It also tells you the space available on your chosen backup medium. That way you know if you are going to need a new CD-R, for example, to complete the process.

Once you've established which files are in need of backup, you can schedule regular incremental backups. Only files that have been added or modified since the last backup will be duplicated during the scheduled backup. You can set the software to run weekly or daily. Because not all files are backed up during an incremental process, it goes fairly quickly.

It's not surprising PC Backup is a good program. The software is based on the popular Alohabob PC Relocator from the same company. PC Relocator is used to move settings and files from one PC to another. Eisenworld used the same engine for PC Backup but put a really nice front end on it so backup routines are no more complicated than keeping your antivirus profiles up to date.

In a perfect world, you'd never need PC Backup. But if something goes wrong, you'll be glad you have it. Given the simplicity of the program, there is really no excuse not to take proper safety procedures. Just be sure to protect your backup'maybe drop it into a fireproof box.

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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