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However, as time goes on you rely more and more on the information stored on your PC. No one is completely safe from power outages, corrupt hard disks, an infected system through a backdoor or trojan, or even a fire. To make sure that a computer can easily be restored to a previous point, software developers created what is called backup software or imaging software. There are different methods of creating a backup of your data, but this tutorial will only focus on one possibility, using a freeware tool called Cobian Backup.
Cobian Backup uses a simplified approach to backing up and restoring your data consisting of backup folders, optionally compressed archives, and restoring your files through standard Windows file manipulation methods.
Furthermore, Cobian Backup utilizes Windows Shadow Volume Copies to backup your data so that even files that are currently open will be able to be backed up from the last saved state. If you wish to receive a broader overview of the different forms of backing up data, you can browse this excellent Wikipedia article on backups or another one on images. The current version of Cobian Backup is code named gravity and is the one you should download for this tutorial.
Once the setup file is downloaded you need to double-click it to start the setup process. On the first window you will be asked what language you want the tool to be installed in. English language is pre selected, but there is a wide range of choices to choose from. Next you will be shown a window containing the License Agreement. You need to accept the agreement by putting a check mark in the box next to I accept the conditions.
The button Next will not be grayed out anymore. Click the Next button to proceed The next window will prompt you for the path where Cobian Backup should be installed. Click on the Next button. You will now see a screen asking for the Installation type. At this screen select the As an application No autostart radio button and press the Next button. This way the backup software is not started every time you boot Windows. If you wish to have it start every time do not change any of the defaults.
When ready to proceed click on Next button. The program will now install and when it has completed click on the Done button to finish the installation. At this point you have successfully installed Cobian Backup and should see the icon in your Windows taskbar.
Now that the program has been installed, lets move on to learning how to use it. Using Cobian Backup to backup your data To open Cobian Backup, right-click on the icon located on your taskbar and select the Open option. This will open the main screen for Cobian Backup as shown below. To create a new backup, we need to create a new backup task that will allow us to configure what files are being backed up and various configuration settings. To create a new backup task, please click on the icon that appears on the main ribbon bar of the program.
The New Task dialog should appear as shown below. The first step is to give your backup an easily identifiable name and enter it in the Task name field as shown in the image above. There is no right way in naming such files. Just use what best suits your needs and what is easiest to remember. You should leave all the other options on that page the same except the Backup Type. Before we create a backup we need to specify how we want these files backed up.
As you can see from the image above there are four different possibilities: Backup Type Description FULL The Full option will make Cobian backup every single file you specified even if it has not changed since the last backup. By default this type of backup will create backup folders containing the time stamp of when the backup ran. Regardless of the Backup Type you select, the first time a task is run it will perform a Full install.
It checks if the source has changed from the last backup and only will backup those files that are new or have changed since the last backup. This saves a lot of time and space on your PC or the medium you will store your backup upon. If the current files are different compared to the last Full backup it will back up that file. DUMMY This setting does not actually back up any files but can be used to schedule the execution of programs, close services, reboot the computer, etc.
Until you become more familiar with the program we suggest you select the Incremental backup type setting. Before we select the files we wish to backup, we first want to change a setting in the Archive options screen.
Please click on the Archive option in the left hand menu of the New Task dialog as shown in the image below. In this menu we can select whether or not we want to use compression when creating backups. It is strongly recommended that you enable ZIP compression for your backups. Though this will increase the amount of time that a backup takes to finish, it will also save you a great deal of hard drive space.
You should also select the option labeled Compress individually, which will compress each file individual rather than making one large compressed backup.
This makes it easier to restore individual files as needed. From this screen it is also possible to password protect all of the compressed files so that you are unable to extract the files without entering a password. If you wish to use this option, please select AES under the Encryption method drop down menu and then enter your decryption password. Once you have configured your archive settings, please click on the Files section of the New Task dialog. This will open a screen where you can select the directories and files you wish to backup and the folder that you will store the backups.
In the above screen, click on the Add button in the Source category to select the files and folders you wish to backup. When you click on the Add button you will be presented with different choices where you can select files from.
These are explained below. Source Type.