Computer Backups - Where to Start?

Everywhere on the web, the advice is "be sure to back up your computer", but what's the best way to get started? In this program we'll look at what needs to be backed up and some of the strategies for backing up a single file, a folder, music, photos, or your entire machine, and what some best options are for backing up to hard drives, thumb drives, CDs and DVDs, or to a cloud location online.

Below you will find links to online resources, free downloads of the handouts we use in our programs, and links to Amazon for books, software, and hardware where appropriate. Using these links to purchase these items benefits Upper Valley Digital and helps us to continue to provide the free information and handouts you can find here.

Links and Online Resources

Backup and Restore - Microsoft Help page
Time Machine - Apple Help Page
Online backup comparisons - PC Magazine
10 hard Drive Disasters - ZDNet
About Dropbox

Program Handout

Computer Backups [pdf]


Sometimes the best reference is a book that you can peruse, mark up, read on the bus, etc. Here are some book references that cover the two most recent operating systems from Microsoft and Apple.

Here is a typical selection of hard drives and thumbdrives. Desktop drives (that need to be plugged into a wall outlet) generally have larger capacities (up to 3 tB); portable hard drives are smaller in size and in capacity.