Essential Digital Skills Level 1

111 videos, 7 hours and 55 minutes

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Backing up data

Video 106 of 111
5 min 17 sec
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With computers, they store all the data on your computer or you may well have secondary copies of it on external drives or on cloud drives. But it is important to back up your computer. Now depending on what type of computer you use, there is different programs that are built into them. Some will automatically back up your data and others you would have to physically do it each time. Now if your computer ever crashed, it broke down or even got stolen, if you have got a good backup file, you can get a new machine and back up all that data so you have not lost any information. Similarly, maybe you are upgrading your computer, so if you are changing from one computer to another computer, you can back up all your data to an external drive or to a cloud drive, then when you connect your new computer up, you can restore that backup from the cloud or the external drive onto the machine, and then your computer is up and running. Works really, really well. I have changed computers often, and from one computer to the other just by having a good backup drive, you can pretty much have a computer running exactly what the old one was but now on a new spec machine.

So what we are going to do is have a look at some different ways of backing up data. Now the first way can be using cloud-based systems. Now, these are not physical drives, but these will be a cloud-based setup, there are lots of them available. And some of them will work automatically and others you can manually do, but it is always a good idea to have your backup happening automatically. So maybe every night or every so many hours that the auto backups will work that they will back up your computer, but they will not slow down your computer. They are often set to run overnight when your computer is not being used or if it is being used then the priority drops down and it does it later on, so it is quite clever in the way they work to avoid slowing down your work if you are using the computer.

So what we are going to do now is have a look through on this Mac computer and how you can back up data. So, along the top here, there is some icons and there is an icon here, which is for backup, it is this circle. So what you can do then is click on it and it opens up this menu, and we will look at into Time Machine later on, but here we will look at open the Time Machine. Time Machine is just what Apple Mac computers call their backup system. So if we click on that, down the bottom here the system preferences has popped up a window. And on this window, it now shows you information that is about the drives and the backup. So the first one is this icon here. This icon will put a tick in the box and it shows the backup on the bar here but if you want to you can take that off, if you want to just tidy up the bar at the top. I find it is always better to have it there because it does remind you to check and make sure everything is backing up okay.

Here, back up automatically by ticking this box, it will automatically back up so you do not need to worry about backing your computer up manually. It is always a good idea to do that. Before you do that, you need to select what drive you want to back it up to. So here we have got two drives connected, and this drive here is an external drive and this lower one is another external drive but it is a cloud-based drive, a Wi-Fi drive. So it is physically a separate drive but it is connected up through Wi-Fi. So the drive itself here is just a small unit, which has quite a large capacity, and it is more than enough to back up a computer. So if I wanted that as the backup drive, I click on it, and then I hit the use the disk and then it is giving me options here that I can... I would need to set the drive ready for the backup.

So, what do I need to do with it, if we were buying a brand new drive you would just need to reset it, format the drive, according to... For this backup. But what I will do here is I will just hit this just to bring it back. So if I wanted to change to a different drive, I can change that along here. Now I will just get out of that because I do not actually want to do a backup now because backups can take quite a long time to process. So the backups, when you are running them, will run, the first one will always take quite a long time to do because there is a lot of data to be backed up, but after that, it will only back up the files that have changed. Now, if you are backing up onto a drive, some of them work in different ways, some will fill up the drive and then it will start deleting older copies of the backup and it will just keep circulating around. So the drive is nearly full, but it is always working on your latest copies of your backups. Others will say, once it is full, it is full, you need to format the drive start again and re-backup it again.

Also down here, you will see there is an options button. When you click on that, it just gives some further information you can put in and selects for backup. Now, I would not worry too much about that when you first start, because that is just getting a little bit more advanced. There are so many different ways of backing up your computer, but the most important thing is you actually do it. It is terrible if you have worked really hard, you have built stuff up, and you have not got a copy of it and something goes wrong with the computer. Having a backup will mean you can download the data again, either as a full system backup, which we have just shown you there, or a secondary backup, which can be where you just literally saved the files on an external drive or on a cloud-based system, so that you have got access to individual files.

Learning Outcomes:
  • EDSQ Unit 5 LO 16.1