The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.One of my favorite topics for this newsletter is backups. I have written about the need for making backups several times. One reason that I continue to do that is because I still receive email messages regularly that say something similar to the following:
"I had a hard drive crash and I lost everything, including my 15 years of genealogy research. What should I do?"
Luckily, making backups is easy to do. You can even have automated backups made on a regular basis without human intervention. Your computer can make periodic backups whether you are seated at the computer or not.
Of course, making simple backups may not suffice. Many backup programs will save THE LATEST version of your files. However, let's say you have a document that you update regularly, be it your genealogy database or your checkbook program or something else you use frequently. Furthermore, let's suppose that you accidentally delete something in that file but do not notice the omission until a week or two later, after new backups have been made. Will your present backup routine allow you to retrieve the TWO WEEK OLD file, even though newer versions exist and were also backed up? Or has it since been overwritten by newer backups?
All the more sophisticated backup programs will back up and save multiple versions of a file, allowing you to go back and retrieve the latest version or even earlier versions of any files. On the other hand, many simpler backup programs only save the latest version of each file; if you need an older version, you might be out of luck. The more sophisticated programs will retrieve older versions of files or the latest version, as you specify. The capability to back up, save, and retrieve multiple versions of files over a period of time is referred to as "point in time backups."
This week I discovered a very sophisticated backup program for Windows that makes and saves point in time backups. Should you need to do so, it will restore one file or multiple files as they existed a few hours ago, yesterday, last week, or even several weeks ago. In addition, it will protect your important files and folders from partial or total loss by automating backup tasks, password protecting files, and optionally compressing the files to save storage space.
Best of all, this is a free program.
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