I can’t stress this enough: Everyone should make a backup of their files. Everyone. It’s not all that difficult, nor will it cost you anything — thanks to today’s program, BackUp Maker. BackUp Maker creates ZIP archives of your selected files, and can do so at regular intervals. I’ll walk you through the steps to make and restore a backup in the free Standard Edition, with “expert mode” disabled.
First, you must select the files and/or folders to be archived. You may select individual files or folders. If you’re like me, you keep everything in your My Documents folder, so that’s a good place to start. Click Next when you’re done selecting.
Next, you’ll need to set your execution interval. You may specify timed intervals, a specific hour of day or a system event (like Windows logoff), as well as restrict the backup process to certain days of the week or month. Then, click Next.
Now, we come to the backup type. Your first backup should be a full backup. However, subsequent backups can be partial-backups, which will only archive the files that have been changed since a previous backup.
Next, select a directory, CD/DVD or FTP server on which to save your files. Your archive will appear as a single ZIP file at the specified location. In this example, I’m backing up my files onto my SkyDrive via Gladinet.Here’s where you specify an optional name for your archive. You may assign it a group name as well. If you’re making frequent backups, I strongly suggest using the current date as part of the filename. After this point, BackUp Maker will create your ZIP archive.
Restoring the archived files to their original locations is as easy as clicking “Restore” in BackUp Maker. The contents of the ZIP archive will maintain the directory structure leading to your files’ location (i.e.: C:\Documents and Settings\Tim\My Documents\). So if you’ve checked the box next to “Keep directory structure” and you want to replace the files in their original spot, you must select the root of the drive (usually C:\) from which they came. Otherwise, if you drop the archive somewhere else, you’ll have to dig through many folder levels to get to your files.
BackUp Maker offers a quick and simple way to make automated backups of any size; and I highly recommend it. Feel free, however, to give your favorite backup tool some love in the comments.