Please say an easier way to back up.

facsmthfacsmth Author Author
Driving myself nuts over here. I have one document open ... no.... make that five. Every time I write something, every few paragraphs I'm saving the doc. Then I drag the saved doc's icon from the folder to four other places (two external HDDs plus OneDive plus Google Drive) to drag & drop as a means of backing it up.

I am using Linux Mint "Live CD" (mounted on a USB flash drive) w/o installing it because I have no spare hard drive for the install. My writing program is Libre Office.


  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius

    Well I use Windows (7) and only back up to one external HD drive, but using Right Click Copy and Paste, not dragging. But why are you backing up four times? and every time you type something?! Don't you trust your PC? Or the software's Auto backup? I only back up around once a week. Or if I have done a lot of work.

    USB drives are quite slow you know.

  • classiclangclassiclang Author Author
    Everyone has to find the level of risk/security that he or she is comfortable with.  My personal reaction is that facsmth is too worried and Kevin not worried enough.  But to each his own.

    I use a Windows program called Allway Sync.  You tell it what folder(s) you want to back up and set a schedule, anywhere from several times a day to once a month, and it will run automatically (if you set it so).  I recall a Linux utility called rsync that I believe is built into the OS and that might do this.  There are others that you can find with an internet search; one is here.  Much easier than doing backups manually all the time.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    Worried about what? PCs constantly dying? Fortunately they do not.
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Teacher Teacher
    I keep three flash drives in my pants pocket at all times. When working on a story, I save it to my desktop and each time I'm done with it, I insert one of those flash drives, change the name of the file slightly, and copy it from the desktop onto that flash drive. I try to rotate flash drives so that I have multiple copies that are all slightly out of sync. Today if my HDD decides to elect a pope, my current works will be saved on flash drive 1. If it also smokes, I lose a little work but have flash drive 2. &c.

    Sometimes I break out the terabyte drive and save everything, current or not.

    You could also write yourself a batch file, on the order of this:

    @echo off

    copy C:\users\%username%\documents\working_files\*.doc e:\backups\documents\
    copy e:\backups\documents\ f:\backups\documents\
    copy f:\backups\documents\ g;\backups\documents\

    : Where E:\ F:\ G:\ etc. represent the drive letters of your various flash drives.
    : to keep from having to rename files or have file name conflicts, you can add a cascade : like this above the  Copy commands:

    If exist e:\backups\documents\This_One_File.14 then del *.14
    If exist e:\backups\documents\This_One_File.13 then ren *.13 *.14
    If exist e:\backups\documents\This_One_File.12 then ren *.12 *.13
    If exist e:\backups\documents\This_One_File.11 then ren *.11 *.12
    If exist e:\backups\documents\This_One_File.10 then ren *.10 *.11
    If exist e:\backups\documents\This_One_File.9 then ren *.9 *.10
    If exist e:\backups\documents\This_One_File.8 then ren *.8 *.9
    : end the cascade with the Copy command, above
    : copy C:\users\%username%\documents\working_files\*.doc e:\backups\documents\
    : Repeat for each drive letter

    substitute the path where you keep your working drafts...

    I used a batch file like this for a system that required the manual syncing of MS Access database files (*.mdb) and it worked quite well overall. You would have to manually run the batch file each time you wanted to back up to all disks, but that would give you 14 backups (each from a different time/date) on each drive for each file.

  • facsmthfacsmth Author Author
  • SeamusSeamus Creator Creator
    Isn't notepad really limited? Can you use the normal WORD? as for a safe and isolated backup, anytime I felt I had made big progress I sent a copy to my email.
    Tim Reinholt Author of Pow, a ski bum heist adventure
  • classiclangclassiclang Author Author
    I think facsmith's question had to do with creating a batch file, as suggested in the post above. To do that, you save the file as plain text, but with the extension .bat not .txt .   Notepad is fine for such jobs; Word will do this, but you don’t need the power of a program like Word for such a simple task. 
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Teacher Teacher
    facsmth said:
    Save as what format and create in notepad?

    When you save in notepad, your choices are *.txt or *.* ... use *.* and then name the file with .bat on the end so windows will know it's a batch file.

    It's not a complete substitute for deliberately saving the file from time to time, but it's a great backup system.
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Teacher Teacher
    Oh, one thing. Files can't be in use or it will error out. This can leave you with one backup *.14 and all the rest missing.

    Wait till you're done for the day, save and close Word, then run this to save to all the drives.
  • Richard_CoadyRichard_Coady Author Author
    If you're willing to pay, then I think the best backup method is using a cloud service. I use Carbonite, which costs a few £s a month. You select which files/folders you want to back up and every time a selected file changes it's backed up to the cloud. These files are then accessible from any PC, so if your PC dies or you get a virus or your home gets struck by a meteor and all your local and removable drives get fried, all your work is still safe. It also backs up multiple versions of each file, so if you get hit with ransomeware, you can just restore previous versions of the files.
  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius Lulu Genius
    I prefer my backups to be in my house, preferably remote from the internet. The Cloud will possibly one day be taken down by hackers. I suppose the Cloud is handy for people using devices that have low memory, that's really what it was invented for.
  • facsmthfacsmth Author Author
    Is  there a batch command to dupe the contents of a folder completely? 
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym Teacher Teacher
    edited July 2018

    xcopy32 c:\folder\*.* d:\folder\*.*

    (format is command source target)

    In the olden days, I would attach a lot of switches - /k/r/y/c/h/e/f  most of which boil down to: Just do it. a lot of them don't work any more. You have to test batch files on your OS to make sure they work.

    You can usually skip the last *.* but some versions of DOS are finicky.

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