Thursday, December 18, 2008

Quick-Tip: Vista Picture Backups

Backing up files is easy, but it's also one of the last things we remember to do.  Fortunately, the newest operating systems have pretty nice backup features to save you a lot of effort and time.  This particular example shows how to setup a scheduled automatic backup of your digital photos to an external hard drive.

All you need is your computer, running Windows Vista (Home Premium Edition or higher, Home Basic sucks - don't use it), a USB external hard drive, a connector cable, a cup of coffee and a few minutes.  I recommend a 500 GB USB external drive, which typically run between $50 and $80.

  1. Click on the Start button and click on "All Programs"
  2. Click on "Accessories" to expand the items within that
  3. Under Accessories, click on "System Tools"
  4. Click on "Backup Status and Configuration"
  5. Click on "Set up automatic file backup"
  6. Click on the drop-down bar under "On a Hard disk, CD or DVD" and select the drive letter for your attached external hard drive.  Click Next
  7. On the "Which disks do you want to include in the backup?" page, de-select all drives except for your C: drive.  (note: ignore the warning message).  Click Next.
  8. On the "Which file types do you want to back up?" page, de-select all file types except for "Pictures".  Click Next
  9. On the "How often do you want to create a backup?" page, Select an appropriate backup schedule.  Click "Save Settings and Start a Backup" to begin the first backup.
From this point on, each time this backup job runs, it will only backup files which are added or modified since the previous backup.
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