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So last week’s Make Use Of poll Microsoft Office vs. Open Office? [Poll] Microsoft Office vs. Open Office? [Poll] Read More covered what your favorite office suite was. We offered up either Open Office of Microsoft Office. Open Office came out ahead and some other interesting answers popped up in the comments.

Check them out and if you haven’t voted, feel free to chime in now! So far there are 1,084 votes. 568 for Open Office and 459 for Microsoft Office.

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This week we will be asking you – our loyal MakeUseOf readers if you backup your files and how? We want to know how and if you backup your computer. What software and hardware do you use, if any? You can choose multiple options to facilitate your answer. And if any clarification is needed, that is what the comments are for.

 

  1. data recovery
    May 19, 2010 at 6:36 am

    I also do the same.

  2. joe
    May 17, 2010 at 7:43 am

    dident find what i was looking for
    i wanna no how u back up ur files to a partition. pm me at yahoo if u no what im talking about thanks joe3_hartwig@yahoo.com

  3. 6080
    March 14, 2010 at 4:00 am

    dropbox is very cool!

  4. JackSnyder,
    March 8, 2010 at 8:53 am

    I use Acronis Home 2009 to create a mirror of the system drive(C:) weekly backed up to a 500 Gb external USB drive(WD My Book).

  5. Culprits5
    March 7, 2010 at 7:48 am

    I back up my computers to my MediaSmart Home server. It's automatic and I don't have to think about it. I also back up my Documents and Settings Folder to an external usb drive with SyncToy, a free program from Microsoft. I have files backed up to SkyDrive and my photos are on various photo sharing sites.

  6. DWB
    March 6, 2010 at 7:06 am

    I use Terabyte Image for Windows, and Image for Linux to copy drive images to a Linux Ubuntu home server network.
    (terabyteunlimited.com)

  7. DWB
    March 6, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I use Terabyte Image for Windows, and Image for Linux to copy drive images to a Linux Ubuntu home server network.
    (terabyteunlimited.com)

  8. Phil
    March 6, 2010 at 5:16 am

    I use Back-In-Time (Linux) - it works a treat and does both my Linux and Windows drives for me without a fuss.

  9. Bev
    March 6, 2010 at 12:06 am

    I've just switched to Hinx BackupEasy plus an external hard drive. I just used to copy to the external hard drive. I'm still on a learning curve with backup.

  10. BullDozer
    March 5, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    I like to keep things minimum so I only use a .bat file containing a winrar command which is run automatically by windows scheduler to compress my important files once a day into a secondary HDD, and backup the whole system monthly using Acronis True Image Home

  11. Johnathan
    March 5, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Anyone familiar with Ghost? Cool admin tool to use if you've never heard of it. And it works nicely with BartPE a live CD based off of windows for admin use and other cool functions.

  12. Phylis Sophical
    March 5, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Don't trust online backups for privacy reasons mostly. I b/u to external HD using Karen's Replicator. So simple. I also use Macrium Reflex to make an image of my whole drive. Free edition, and the easiest to understand drive image software ever.

  13. Tom
    March 5, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    I use Time Machine to back up my Mac to an external USB drive which I take off-site each night after work. I also back up my folder of "current projects" to a flash drive at the end of each day using SilverKeeper from LaCie.

  14. g.m.nelson
    March 5, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    I use system backup to a data partition on the internal drive plus complete hard drive backup (4 partitions) to external usb drive using MACRIUM FREE EDITION and a file copy backup of apps partition and user data partition to external usb drive.

  15. jerrymk
    March 5, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Jerry Keller writes:
    I use Time Machine and another USB drive along with SuperDouper. Always have at least two complete media backups
    Jerry

  16. Hipshot
    March 5, 2010 at 11:14 am

    I use Acronis True Image to back up to an external hard drive. This was an attempt to finally perform comprehensive backups after years of just "winging it". I feel safer, but am still fine-tuning the backup schedule. Until I read these comments, I had no idea there were so many backup programs available.

    • Karl L. Gechlik
      March 5, 2010 at 11:20 am

      That is another benefit of reading MakeUseOf's reader comments. Thanks for stopping by HipShot.

  17. Don Parr
    March 5, 2010 at 11:11 am

    To back up my iBook G4 and 24-inch iMac, I use SuperDuper! (version 2.6.2) to an external Maxtor Onetouch firewire / usb 300GB.

  18. Karl Gechlik
    March 4, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Wow 13% of you guys really have no back ups? Remember hard drives are not forever!

  19. Julio
    March 2, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    I have one SATA 2 HDD just for backup.

  20. Bill Olney
    March 2, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Syncback se

  21. Steve
    March 2, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    I use Acronis for complete backups to an external hard drive. I use SugarSync for cloud backups of essential files and work files. I also have all files synced between my desktop and laptop... so, I always have those two copies in two different sites.

  22. DC
    March 2, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    What, no Windows Home Server option? I've found WHS to make a great backup option, whether I need to restore that photo that my mother didn't really mean to delete or if I decide to upgrade my laptop hard drive and need to quickly re-image the new drive.

    I should really be doing at least a weekly offsite backup as well but I don't quite trust the security of the online backup sites and it's a pain to access my safety deposit box every bloody week just to switch out the WD Passport drive that's stored there.

  23. JK III
    March 2, 2010 at 10:13 am

    I have nothing on my computer that I cannot download (except photographs) so I don't care for backing up my files. Though I am planning to backup those photos, but procrastination always gets me.

  24. David levine
    March 2, 2010 at 8:30 am

    I use the free version of Macrium Reflect to backup to an external hard drive that is connected to my desktop via USB twice a week. It is a great program for making an image. You can also mount the image file it produces to look through the individual files. To restore, you can boot from a rescue CD that can be made from within the program. You have the choice of a Linux based rescue CD or BartPE.

  25. Jessica Cam W.
    March 2, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I use Dropbox (2GB) to backup document files, SugarSync (2GB) for music files (since it has this music player on its website so I can listen to my music even though I'm on another computer), and SkyDrive for pictures (25GB), which I upload through Windows Live Photo Gallery.

  26. Tina
    March 2, 2010 at 5:43 am

    The free software I use is Cobian Backup.

    I backup my laptop to several external hard drives. One is at work and only receives work-related backups. The others are usually at home and hold backups of my music, photos, Thunderbird, Firefox, and other personal stuff. I have a netbook that holds an additional backup of my music and photos. Most of my eMails are automatically backed up online (Gmail) and one computer is always traveling with me.

  27. Karl L. Gechlik | AskTheAdmin.
    March 2, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    So you would choose USB Drive and Free Application from the options.

  28. Mark O'Neill
    March 2, 2010 at 5:19 am

    I keep the vast majority of my stuff on a 1 terabyte external hard drive which I picked up for a real bargain last year. Apart from that, I occasionally burn to DVD disks or put smaller stuff on USB sticks.

    Ever since my last hard drive wiped a lot of my files, I have been extremely reluctant ever since to leave everything on the computer. So I try to religiously move everything off onto removable external drives or disks.

  29. Mark O'Neill
    March 2, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    I keep the vast majority of my stuff on a 1 terabyte external hard drive which I picked up for a real bargain last year. Apart from that, I occasionally burn to DVD disks or put smaller stuff on USB sticks.

    Ever since my last hard drive wiped a lot of my files, I have been extremely reluctant ever since to leave everything on the computer. So I try to religiously move everything off onto removable external drives or disks.

  30. stephanie johns
    March 2, 2010 at 12:51 am

    "I backup using my operating systems built in backup."

  31. Daniel
    March 1, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    SyncBack Free

  32. Corey
    March 1, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Because I run Windows (and don't use a Mac with the fantastic TimeMachine!), I use Acronis True Home software. It does a great job at creating "images" of your drive, or backing up "files and folders". Their newest version also lets you do "continuous backup" (like TimeMachine) and also a mode where you can temporarily install a program to test it out, then "uninistall" if you don't like it. This is a great backup program!

  33. Haplo
    March 1, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    I use Carbonite... For about 3 years now. Have about 90gigs up and growing. Almost all my files are photographs.

    The support guys are very attent and when I had a problem (due to their poorly coded update), I ended up with almost a year free of charge, until they got things fixed up. Note: I never lost any file, it was just some problem with their remote access thingy.

  34. Eva
    March 1, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    I have a combined approach and back up data according to its importance and restorability. The important files and documents are on mozy.com with a paid plan, as the free one does not offer enough stroarge space. The most important documents (I'm working on a fairly long-time project for university that I could not ever lose) are also mirrored to my netbook via SugarSync (a dropbox-like service that is free), which gives me another online location on their servers. And for the not-so-important stuff that I could bear to lose if the house burned down, I write a disk image to an USB harddrive once a week with Macrium Reflect.

    Apart from personal documents, I think the most important thing to preserve might be emails, and not only because of the contacts and conversations they contain. If you buy programs online or use oppportunities to get free licenses when they are offered, your email will most likely have the activation codes, and of course the email also helps you keep track of site registrations.

  35. bob
    March 1, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Not enough options.
    I use an external hard disk
    w/ Karen's Replicator (FREE)

  36. Eva
    March 1, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    I have a combined approach and back up data according to its importance and restorability. The important files and documents are on mozy.com with a paid plan, as the free one does not offer enough stroarge space. The most important documents (I'm working on a fairly long-time project for university that I could not ever lose) are also mirrored to my netbook via SugarSync (a dropbox-like service that is free), which gives me another online location on their servers. And for the not-so-important stuff that I could bear to lose if the house burned down, I write a disk image to an USB harddrive once a week with Macrium Reflect.

    Apart from personal documents, I think the most important thing to preserve might be emails, and not only because of the contacts and conversations they contain. If you buy programs online or use oppportunities to get free licenses when they are offered, your email will most likely have the activation codes, and of course the email also helps you keep track of site registrations.

  37. Lynne McCurdy
    March 1, 2010 at 11:54 am

    If your house burns down...that usb thumb drive will only help if it makes it out of the house with you!

    • Jonathan Bennett
      March 2, 2010 at 6:26 am

      Good point, Lynne. That's why I keep mine attached to my keys. :)

      But the best way to ensure fire protection is online backup, IMO.

  38. Lynne McCurdy
    March 1, 2010 at 11:52 am

    I use a variety of solutions. If I'm in a hurry, I tend to just send an email to myself at gmail. The cool thing about that is that I can easily create a google doc from the email. I also directly use google docs, especially now that you can store any kind of file there. I use microsoft office live's SkyDrive for school stuff, it's got 25 gb free! I also back up the really important stuff to a thumb drive that I keep with me at all times. I back up my c drive to an external drive too. I guess my problem is that I've never found that one solution works (for me) for everything. One cautionary note...do not rely on just an external hard drive, or some other solution on your local pc. If your house burns down (yes, i'm speaking with the voice of experience!)you'll have lost all your data! Back up to something off site!

  39. Charles
    March 1, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Google Docs all the way!

  40. Kevin Reynolds
    March 1, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    I use Solway's Plain Backup (http://www.theabsolute.net/swa... It's nothing fancy but it does the job. It was free. It goes to an external hard drive.

  41. Howard
    March 1, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I use the backup included in Windows 7 to an external Drive. It does an awsome job. It creates a VHD for baremetal restore. It also has incremental backup to restore file at any time. It is seamless and works great. If my HD crashes, I just pop in a new one, put in my rescue CD and restore from backup. I've tested it and it works exactly as I hope.

  42. Kevin Reynolds
    March 1, 2010 at 9:42 am

    I use Solway's Plain Backup (http://www.theabsolute.net/sware/). It's nothing fancy but it does the job. It was free. It goes to an external hard drive.

  43. sbutera
    March 1, 2010 at 8:57 am

    I use GFI Backup Home Edition. I backup to an external HD, 500gb of space.

  44. dOgBOi
    March 1, 2010 at 8:41 am

    I use Parachute to backup to a network attached drive (set up as an AFP share on a Linux box). I also just started using Mozy to backup online. If it doesn't exist in 3 places, it doesn't exist. :-)

  45. Konchok
    March 1, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Windows Live Mesh suits all my needs. It's free and available anywhere I can find an Internet connection.

  46. fnds
    March 1, 2010 at 8:06 am

    I backup to and external HD with Areca (http://www.areca-backup.org)

  47. Jonathan Bennett
    March 1, 2010 at 7:56 am

    I keep all important files on three sources MINIMUM - my hard drive and two separate USB thumb drives usually. I don't care about backing up programs since I can just reinstall them, but backing up files is a must.

  48. Lisa
    March 1, 2010 at 7:23 am

    My backup strategy:

    Dropbox for important stuff I work on daily

    Daily backups with JungleDisk (once I figured out how to configure it for automatic backups, it just does its thing every day and I don't even notice!)

    Weekly backup to an external hard drive using the Windows 7 backup tool.

    Cheers!

  49. fnds
    March 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    I backup to and external HD with Areca (http://www.areca-backup.org)

  50. fizzog
    March 1, 2010 at 6:02 am

    I use a LinkStation external hard drive and (free) SyncBackSE

    • mary
      March 2, 2010 at 3:36 pm

      yep, me too

  51. Sheila
    March 1, 2010 at 5:54 am

    I've been using Carbonite (online backup service) for about 2 years, and recently used it for a (nearly) painless transition to a new computer. Cheaper than Mozy, very easy to set up, very friendly & responsive support service.

  52. Guest
    March 1, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    I just use Microsoft's synctoy to echo my drive to an external one. I have it run daily with task scheduler. I like it because it's simple and when I need to find a file, I just search the drive for it. The backup isn't in one big encrypted file.

  53. Justin
    March 1, 2010 at 2:24 am

    You forgot RAID :)
    The primary storage in my computer is an array of four hard drives running in RAID 5. Parity -- or backup -- is built into the system.

    • Karl Gechlik
      March 1, 2010 at 6:10 am

      No I did not forget Raid. Raid is a redundant array of inexpensive disks not a backup solution. Yes it has fault tolerance and redundancy built in but not a backup feature. I might have let raid 1 or a mirrored drive slip through because it has another set of your data on a second hard drive but raid 5 NEEDS to be backed up as I do in my corporate environment.

      DONT WAIT UNTIL IT's TOO LATE BROTHA!

  54. Chris
    March 1, 2010 at 12:30 am

    I use rsync to back my files up to my own online server.

  55. Anonymous
    March 1, 2010 at 12:19 am

    I use Acronis TI Home 2010 to create partition images weekly.

    I use Robocopy to mirror my documents as well as my user profiles daily.

  56. Roy Demmers
    March 1, 2010 at 12:16 am

    I use Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V to get my files on an external hard drive. It's easy and free.

  57. Jack Cola
    February 28, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Where is manually copying data to an external hard drive?

    • Karl Gechlik
      March 1, 2010 at 6:06 am

      I would choose the USB Drive Option for that Jack as you are manually backing up to a USB drive. If you were using the usb drive and software you could choose the usb drive option and one of the applications (either free or paid)

      Sorry If the choices are not clear. What does everyone else think?

      • Tom
        March 1, 2010 at 8:17 am

        I wonder why you didn't mention FireWire backup, more reliable, faster, you can daisy chain your drives, best for video.

  58. Ross Mitton
    February 28, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    Informally and irregularly attach important files to Gmail addressed to me

    • Beth Ritter-Guth
      March 2, 2010 at 5:29 am

      Do you find it easy to search through your G files to find what you need?

    • ash21
      March 2, 2010 at 6:57 am

      Interesting method...
      However I use an external usb hard drive and sync the folders for files that i think are important to me.

  59. George
    March 1, 2010 at 6:42 am

    Microsoft SyncToy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...

  60. omer
    February 28, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    i use fbackup and an externel hard drive

  61. -Pablo-
    February 28, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    I use AllwaySync to sync my files via SFTP with my server. I have lots of space on a VPS I use to run a website and I put them to use by backing everything up there. Of course, I wouldn't pay for it just for the backup. It's a secondary function.

    But it works and I don't have to worry about burning DVDs or buying an external hard drive. And it's also entirely offsite, so I don't have to worry if someone steals my laptop or anything. The data will be there on the server waiting for me.

    And as a bonus, I can access it from anywhere with an internet connection! =)

    I hear that services like Syncplicity or Dropbox let you do something like this. But they sound quite limiting (and expensive) when I have a whole VPS of my own with hundreds of GBs of storage! :)

  62. George
    February 28, 2010 at 9:42 pm
  63. _Pablo_
    March 1, 2010 at 7:04 am

    I use AllwaySync to sync my files via SFTP with my server. I have lots of space on a VPS I use to run a website and I put them to use by backing everything up there. Of course, I wouldn't pay for it just for the backup. It's a secondary function.

    But it works and I don't have to worry about burning DVDs or buying an external hard drive. And it's also entirely offsite, so I don't have to worry if someone steals my laptop or anything. The data will be there on the server waiting for me.

    And as a bonus, I can access it from anywhere with an internet connection! =)

    I hear that services like Syncplicity or Dropbox let you do something like this. But they sound quite limiting (and expensive) when I have a whole VPS of my own with hundreds of GBs of storage! :)

  64. probus
    February 28, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    I use;
    1. FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension)
    2. Xmarks for bookmarks and passwords
    3. Microsoft Sync Toy to backup my music and photos to an external USB hard drive

    All dead simple and FREE

  65. Tamar Weinberg
    February 28, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Hands down, the best online service is CrashPlan. I use an external USB also with SyncBack, but I am more confident having my data stored elsewhere just in case.

    • Karl Gechlik
      March 1, 2010 at 6:13 am

      Thanks for stopping by Tamar! Are those paid or free applications? I will have to check them out!

  66. el7cosmos
    February 28, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    i didnt back up my files on my PC...
    for my files in other computers,,i use a usb drive and sometimes DVD

    • Beth Ritter-Guth
      March 2, 2010 at 5:34 am

      Have you ever tried DropBox? I like that for sharing files between my mac and PC :-)

  67. Abi أب
    March 1, 2010 at 5:24 am

    i didnt back up my files on my PC...
    for my files in other computers,,i use a usb drive and sometimes DVD

  68. Nancy
    February 28, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    I use Time Machine to back up my Mac to a G-Tech external hard drive.

    • Karl Gechlik
      March 1, 2010 at 6:11 am

      Have you ever had to restore from it? How was it? Can you do selective restores or is it just returning your machine to a point in time like Windows Restore?

      • Tom
        March 1, 2010 at 8:15 am

        Time Machine restore works as advertised. You can "pull up" individual files or folders from the past, or do a complete restore of the everything. Or use it to migrate to another mac.

        Also Mobile Me is amazing, 20Gigs of online backup, plus perfect syncing with your iPhone.

    • Daleus
      March 2, 2010 at 4:52 am

      On my PC, I use an external USB drive and Karen's replicator program, from the Karen's Powertool website. She has a lot of fantastic utils there.

      I'm working on a similar setup for my MacBook, using Copy Cloner (I think that name is correct).

      • Beth Ritter-Guth
        March 2, 2010 at 5:33 am

        Do you use TIme Machine on your mac?

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