System Backup

Most people deal with data backups simply by copying valuable files to a separate folder on a different HDD, or by burning them to DVD discs. The problem is that this approach doesn’t let youback up system files while the operating system is running, as they are blocked by it. System backup requires the use of more advanced technologies that are not supported by common DVD burning or data copying software.

The only way to back up system is to use the technology of drive-based backup, where copying doesn’t exploit file system, but queries HDD sectors directly instead. This method allows backing up operating system, all application and documents. While one the one hand it's more complete and enables you to back up hard disk drive entirely, it is inflexible and unfit for selective backups (e.g. when you want to back up a single folder).

Different backup solutions manage system backups in different ways. The most advanced programs are capable of performing "hot" system backup, where a disk image is created from under a working operating system, not imposing any limitations on active users and allowing them to do whatever they want. While this sounds as something extremely powerful, in practice, when people want to make a complete PC backup, it makes no difficulty to use a simpler (and less expensive) program and leave it running for a night when there’s no need to use the computer actively.

When backing up your computer system, it is important to pick a suitable storage. The best solution here is always the same: an external hard drive. External HDDs are reliable, transportable, and also enable you to quickly switch to them if the main drive fails and you can't lose time to recover it. An alternate option is to back up data a networked server or some network storagedevice.

Finally, do remember: your data is protected only when the backups are made regularly. When choosing a software or hardware backup solution for your system, always make sure that it can do everything automatically, either on a schedule, or initiated by certain system events. We welcome you to download and try Handy Backup - a nice simple backup product that we develop.

See Also: Backup Windows Server 2003Windows Server 2008