Simpler Way To Do Backup
It is necessary to back up important files, especially those authored by yourself and cannot be retrieved elsewhere. You do not know when your hard disk will fail on you.

An external storage drive is needed to do backup. Simple options:
a) external hard drive.
b) pen drive with capacity suited to your need.
c) notebook or desktop computer hard disk with casing and power input.
All of them connect to computer via USB.

Windows OS versions before Vista

Briefcase is easy to use. Any file can be added quickly anytime. It also lets you focus on important files only (selective backup). You do not want to back up your whole hard disk because you do not waste time and backup space.

To do it simply create a new Briefcase in your external storage drive and drag a folder that contains the files and folders that you want to back up from your computer into the Briefcase. That folder on your computer is considered master copy because its content will be edited. If you have made a change to its content and you want to back up, just plug in the external drive, right-click the Briefcase and choose "Update All". A file list appears and you can take a quick look on it before you click on "Update".

A few things to take note about Briefcase:
a) If in the briefcase root directory the name of a file is changed or a file is created, the file will become an orphan and it needs manual synchro. This does not happen if the same thing is done in a folder in Briefcase. Therefore it is not good to drag file into Briefcase's root directory. Always drag file into the folder in Briefcase.
b) If the file name is in special character for example Chinese but the system environment is not configured to Chinese, the Briefcase will always think that both files inside and outside need to be updated. So it is better just name your files in English or zip the files.
c) If there is a Microsoft access file (*.mdb) in the folder, update may fail. Zip it first before updating.
d) Ensure the computer time is not out because Briefcase will check the date before updating.

One drawback about Briefcase is sometimes it says "Skip (both changed)" although there is no difference in modified time for both files, and worse there is no "Select all" feature in the update window. Example:

Windows OS version Vista and later

Briefcase, although included in Windows 7 and Windows Vista, does not work well in these two operating systems. It takes forever to update files from both sides. It is better to download SyncToy from Microsoft website. Unlike Briefcase, SyncToy can handle files that have special characters (e.g. Chinese) as file name.
Posted: 2007-01-30; updated: 2013-12-20 by Ong Seng Aun.
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