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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

If you're not backing up your hard drive... should be. Pick up an external USB hard drive for $75 from Amazon (or in Canada), for example, the 320GB My Passport (the four-star WDME3200TN, not the two-star WDBAAA3200ABK), or the fast, shock-resistant 160GB Transcend StoreJet (cnet review).

Next, you'll need backup software. Macs have Time Machine; for PCs, there's a good free one called Macrium Free Edition (reviews 1, 2, 3, 4). It took a couple of hours (if I remember correctly) to back up my 80GB hard drive as a 40GB image on the USB drive. After that, you can open the image as its own drive letter—just takes a few seconds to open.

I plan to back up my hard drive weekly. The ability to restore individual files is useful.


  • Weekly isn't enough! Time Machine will do hourly unless you tell it not to, and a good thing too.

    I dropped a glass of water on my laptop the other day, destroying it. I had a complete backup of everything from 54 minutes before. So good!

    By Blogger Thomas David Baker, at 11/25/2009 12:56 p.m.  

  • Hourly sounds great. Do you back up to a USB hard drive? Which model do you have?

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 11/25/2009 2:14 p.m.  

  • Been using DirSync Pro for the past year and am very satisfied. It has a decent GUI and offers most of the features provided by rsync.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/01/2009 5:21 p.m.  

  • Looks great!

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 12/02/2009 8:39 p.m.  

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