This tutorial shows how to backup your data from a local computer to an external or removable drive by using a backup software such as Backup2 Portable. The advantage of Backup2 Portable is that you can install it on a USB flash drive, and then you can move it among other computers to perform portable backups. Once installed, Backup2 Portable lets you define a backup job and run the backup directly from the USB flash drive. The first step in backing your data is to download and install Backup2 Portable.
Once Backup2 Portable is installed you can define your backup job using the backup wizard (simply click on the main Backup button and follow the steps). You can backup your data to an USB/Firewire device or to a removable drive such as an USB stick. The practical use of Backup2 Portable is the portability offered.
Backup to USB or FireWire hard drivesThere are external USB hard drives with transfer performance close to that of internal hard drives. These portable hard drives connect through USB or Firewire, and they can be either standalone external hard drives, or USB enclosures (where an actual hard drive is installed into the enclosure and then the enclosure is plugged into the computer, thus creating a normal USB backup device). Given the size of nowadays hard drives, this can be considered a mass storage device for backup purposes.
There are external hard drives that beside the USB technology use also FireWire as a connection port. On one side FireWire hard drives tend to have increased speed over USB, but on the other side USB ports are more common on computers.
Steps in backing up to USB/Firewire device with Backup2 Portable:
- Start your USB device. Before starting the backup process make sure that the USB drive is started and working. Usually the enclosure should have a start button and display the status of the drive using led displays. When it is started usually a green led is lighted.
- Make sure your drive is formatted. If you have just purchased the drive and didn’t use it yet, you might have to format it (only if you didn’t use it before, since formatting will erase everything from it). Formatting the USB drive in Windows XP:
- Go to Start->Settings->Control panel->Administrative tools->Computer Management.
- Under Computer Management click Disk Management then check the right-bottom window (scrolling down if necessary)
- You should see the additional hard drive disk; right-click on it, choose New partition, then follow the instructions to format the hard drive.
- Test to see if the drive is now recognized by going to Windows Explorer (a new drive letter should appear)
- Configure Backup2 Portable. If the drive is formatted and recognized by Windows, it will be recognized by Backup2 Portable too. Now, to backup to the USB drive you should define a backup job in Backup2 Portable that has the destination set to the USB drive. To ensure this, please select the backup job you want to run, press CTRL+P in order to open the Backup Properties window, go to the Destination - Removable page and check the Change destination to removable media. After that you only have to select a drive from the Removable drive drop down list. You can also define a new backup job and in the destination window select the USB drive.
Backup to USB flash drives
An USB flash drive is a small, lightweight, removable data storage device of up to 128 GB (and still increases), also known as "pen drive", "thumb drive", "flash drive", "USB key" or "memory stick".
In comparison with other removable storage solutions (floppy disks, CD/DVD drive or Blu-ray discs), flash drives are not so easily affected by scratches or dust and even impacts, and plus they offer storage space of up to 128GB. This makes them ideal for transporting personal data or work files from one location to another, or for backing up important personal data.
Like all flash memory devices, flash drives can sustain only a limited number of write/erase cycles before failure. In normal use, mid-range flash drives currently on the market will support several million cycles, although write operations will gradually slow as the device ages. This should be a consideration when using a flash drive for backup purposes.
Backup2 Portable can be used for USB backup to a flash drive. Even if the storage size can be of up to 128GB, most of the USB owners have less capacity USB drives, thus is recommended to backup smaller files but that are more important(personal documents, images). Launch Backup2 Portable and either define a new backup job to use as destination the flash drive, or change the destination for an existing backup job. File compression with encryption protection is recommended to be sure that the files are only accessible by the owner and in the event of losing the flash drive the data will not be compromised. Also, to spare storage space, a full backup can be done only once, followed by an incremental or differential backup. Backing up to an USB flash drive is very convenient, since it offers better portability.
The digital audio players (MP3 players) are essentially flash drives with sound output, thus you can backup your multimedia files to an mp3 player using the mirror backup type and be able to listen to them in the same time. Or if you have a popular iPod, you can use Backup2 USB for ipod backups, meaning backing up the multimedia files that you have on your iPod to your local hard drive (or vice-versa).
How to backup to USB/Firewire using Backup2 PortableSteps to follow:
- Open Backup2 Portable and select File->New Backup (Ctrl+N).
- On the first page, enter a name for the backup in the Backup Name field.
- In the Where do you want to save the backup? section, select the USB drive as backup destination (or a removable drive). Press Next.
- On the What do you want to backup page, add the backup sources. Press Next.
- On the third page, you can choose the backup type and the encryption.
- Press Save and run.