backing up documents

  Ellen G 15:27 13 Oct 05

I have been backing up documents and the odd programme in case of crashes. I currrently have a USB Iomega Zip drive 100 mb, and a growing pile of discs. I was going to get a 750 Zip but can't find one.

Do the knowledgeable computer users have a better solution? I don't have USB 2 on my laptop.

CDs are great but I find that if I copy Word documents back, they are read-only, and have to be manually changed before I can use them. Do DVDs have the same issue?



  Jackcoms 16:05 13 Oct 05

Several questions spring to mind.

You say you are going to buy a 750 ZIP. If you mean a 750 ZIP disk, make sure first that the ZIP drive in your computer will support 750. My Dell PC is just over 3 years old and the ZIP drive will only support up to 250.

You say you don't have a USB 2 port on your laptop. It doesn't matter.

If you only have a USB 1 port, you can still use USB 2 devices.

I only have USB 1 ports on my PC but I use a USB 2 pen drive to do my backups. No problems at all. It takes about 7 minutes to do a 450MB backup.

  Ellen G 16:33 13 Oct 05

I meant 750 zip drive. Expensive.

450 back up would mean a lot of pen drives. I have 1Gb worth of stuff, I think.

  martjc 16:38 13 Oct 05

...and fairly cheaply too. Check here click here for a good deal on these and other devices.

  Jackcoms 18:15 13 Oct 05

Or here click here

I just bought a Kingston 1GB pen drive from them for £55 including p + p. It was delivered within 24 hours of my placing the order.

  mark2 10:39 15 Oct 05

DVDs will have the same issue of having to reset the read only attributes.

Have you considered an external usb connected hard drive?
several options available at PC world click here data storage > hard disk drives > external hard drives from as little as £52.00.

If you have XP you're unlikely to need any extra software to read/write to the drive

Whilst you won't benefit from the USB 2 speeds now, should you upgrade your system at a later date you will already have the better speed available

  Ellen G 10:49 15 Oct 05

I like the idea of a second hard drive. I have Windows 2000 (not enough memory for XP). So I'll need software as well.

I apologise for my lack of knowledge but if I get a hard drive, which software will allow me to choose the files to back up? I read somewhere that the cheaper software does not and that the more expesnive products require more expertise than I have. And I do not wish to start changing the bios.

I wish to buy a new computer running XP so it would be good to use the back up system to share files. (Not keen to go wireless yet).

Thanks for your advice.

  Southernboy 23:00 15 Oct 05

I had a 6-year old Mesh running W98SE/USB 1.0 with a 750Mb USB 2.0 Zip drive. The Zip worked like a dream. No problems at all. However, when I bought a new PC with XP/SP2, I had problems. I am not sure that even the latest Iomega software has been updated for SP2.

On the other hand, I still believe it is useful to have removable discs, to to be able to have a set that can be used in sequence. I have little faith in RW discs, and it is wasteful to build up a massive collection of read-only CDR/DVDR discs. An external hard drive is useful, but it is inconvenient to take away and, of course, hard drives can fail which would be a problem if it was the only backup source.

The ideal solution to my mind is an external HD, plus a drive using removable discs, which can be stored elsewhere when away on holiday - burglars have been know to steal both the PC and anything related! It is wise to always keep one backup set elsewhere.

Another alternative that has been suggested to me is to have a Card Reader, together with SD cards which I am told are small and reliable, and can easily be carried about. I am checking this out.

  ade.h 23:51 15 Oct 05

Using a USB2.0 flash drive on a 1.1 legacy connection may sound slow, and Windows will bug you about with "helpful" suggestions, but I have to cope with this combination at the moment and it's quite satisfactory. Quicker than even a fast CD-RW at least.

An external HDD is perhaps only worth it if your capacity needs demand it (say, more than one large flash drive) and your budget allows. (Mine doesn't!) You could combine it with imaging software, though, which would be a big plus.

  ade.h 23:54 15 Oct 05

BTW - if you don't have USB2.0, I would guess that you may not have Firewire either. One or the other is pretty essential for the quantity of data that you might wish to transfer to an external HDD, so perhaps keep it to a sensible minimum or run unnattended imaging backups while you make a cuppa.

  Ellen G 09:14 16 Oct 05

Thanks to all of you who responded. It appears that there isn't a perfect back up system yet.

Interesting information about ZIP 750. I'll bear that in mind.

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