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We strongly recommend that all students find an online backup service that works for their individual needs and test the process of retrieving their files.
Setting up regular, hands-free backups is a fairly straightforward process that will take about one hour to set up, and will require little to no time to maintain. Online backups offer more benefits:
- Backups can be set up to be done real-time while files on your computer are changed
- The services have utilities that make the process automated and hands-off
- Files sync across different devices and platforms
- The back ups provide physical redundancy
- Versioning means that you are able to access older versions of your file, which is useful after you save a file, but realize you want to undo your recent changes
See a useful comparison here:
Though not recommended, for students that would still prefer to back up to local media (such as an external hard drive), below are guides that will help you through the process:
Mac OS X Time Machine Guide
Time Machine is the built-in backup application for Apple's Mac OS X. Working with your external drive or AirPort Time Capsule, it automatically backs up your entire Mac, including system files, applications, accounts, preferences, email messages, music, photos, movies, and documents.
Windows 7 Backup and Restore Guide
Set it and forget it with Backup and Restore. Windows will backup your files from common locations such as the desktop, pictures, documents, music, and videos as well as create a system image which can be used to restore your computer if it stops working.
Windows 8 File History Guide
File History automatically backs up files that are in your Libraries folder (Documents, Music, Pictures, Video), contacts, favorites, Microsoft OneDrive and on your desktop. Over time you will have a complete history of your files conveniently at your fingertips.
Windows 10 Backup and Restore Guide
Windows 10 File History is identical to the one used in its predecessor, Windows 8. File History automatically backs up files that are in your Libraries folder (Documents, Music, Pictures, Video), contacts, favorites, Microsoft OneDrive and on your desktop. Over time you will have a complete history of your files conveniently at your fingertips.
Backing up the data on your computer is a crucial step in preparing for the unexpected loss of your laptop, or the more common hardware failures that may leave you unable to recover your needed files. Because backing up is such a personal process (e.g., only you can tell what files will be needed in the future), and because of the privacy considerations involved, this is a process that every student is responsible for undertaking, completing, and verifying as desired. However, students are required to have backed up the needed data on their laptops before obtaining support from ITG.