Backup Home PCs with GFI Backup Home Edition

January 27, 2011, By Christian Cawley

With threats to your personal data existing in the form of destructive viruses, malware and other threats, keeping a copy safe on a removable or external disk is a very good idea. Your PC might just as easily suffer from a hardware failure, leaving you unable to or prevented from retrieving your most vital files – photos, save games, documents, presentations, etc. might all be lost.

Creating a backup with GFI Backup Home Edition

As such a suitable and competent backup solution should be used in order to archive and backup your data. There are various ways of doing this; you can take advantage of backup tools in Windows 7, or you might look online for a useful backup solution that offers encryption, file and folder synchronization and even incremental and differential backups.

While such backup solutions are usually aimed at enterprise standard systems, GFI offer a home version of their popular backup software. GFI Backup Home Edition can be used to manage your backups quick, easily and with the minimum of fuss.

Using GFI Backup Home Edition

To get your copy of this great free tool, visit www.gfi.com/backup-hm.  Note that registration is required, so you will need to provide a valid email address and name.  The download page will also provide you with documentation should you require this at any point.

Installation of GFI Backup Home Edition should not take too long, and once complete you will be able to create new backup tasks, restore data and synchronize data between two devices.

Everything is controlled via the main console, and the options screen offers some useful additional functionality. For instance you can use the Email Settings to specify an SMTP server name for the application to email you when a backup job is complete.

Backing Up with GFI Backup Home Edition

Get started with creating your first backup in GFI Backup Home Edition by clicking on Backup. Here you will be taken to the first of six tabs; under General, give you first backup job a name and a description – this is useful of you have multiple locations to which you might archive your data.

Click Next to proceed to the Source tab, where you use the Files/Folders > Select Files and Folders tool to select the items you wish to backup. You might also use the Select file types to search for option to scan your PC for files of a specific type, such as images, or movies. The Backup Summary box in the lower left corner will keep a tally on how many items you have added and how large the backup is. Other options on this screen are for more advanced use, such as backing up an Email account or User Settings from popular applications.

Under the Destination tab you should select where you’re going to backup to. You have a choice of five different location types, each of which will need further information to be specified when selected. The default option is to backup to a local folder or external hard disk drive, which is a good place to start if you’re trying GFI Backup Home Edition for the first time.

Setting Incremental and Differential Backups

In the Options tab you can select any compression and encryption options, while the Replace Backup option enables you to specify either an Incremental Backup (in which only files that have changed since the last backup was made are archived) or a Differential Backup (where files that are no longer present in the source are removed from the backup).

As you might have guessed, the Scheduler tab allows you to specify a day and time for GFI Backup Home Edition to run the backup task, either weekly, daily or just on one occasion. Finally the Events tab offers the choice for notifications to be displayed about the backup job once completed, and these can also be emailed to you. You might also use this tab to run an anti-virus scan or disk check before the backup is made.

When you click Finish you will be asked if you wish to create a backup now – agree to this: in the next tutorial we’ll look at viewing and restoring the backup.

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