Backups: The shortened version

Was the main article a bit big?

If the main article was a bit big, just follow these instructions and you should be reasonably safe. If you want to understand the details below and choose some slightly different routes, have a read through Backups: What are they and should you bother?

  1. Buy an external hard disk drive.  500GB should be enough for most people, but a little extra will buy you double. We have those in stock at CAAOS.
  2. Sign up for OneDrive.  Go to and set up a new account
    1. In the bottom right hand corner of the page, look for “Get OneDrive apps” and click
    2. Click Download now for OneDrive (not the business edition – unless you have a business account)
    3. Follow the instructions to install the software
  3. Buy / get hold of some software.  Using Duplicati is free (please donate a fiver or £10 to help the developer).  It will  allow you to backup files locally and remotely, encrypted and unencrypted
    1. Follow the instructions to install the software
    2. On it’s first run, we will set up backing up to the external hard disk
    3. On it’s second run, we shall configure backing to OneDrive

Setting up the backup system

  1. If your external hard disk isn’t connected, connect it now.
  2. If Duplicati hasn’t started running, run it (from All Programs) and click on Schedule New Backup
    1. Duplicati Setup WIzard
    2. Click next
  3. Give the backup a name
    1. Give the backup a name
    2. Click next
  4. Select the file types or select Custom folder list
    1. Select files
    2. Click next
  5. Decide if you want to encrypt your files.  If you do, you will need Duplicati and the password to access the files to restore at a later time.  WRITE THE PASSWORD DOWN.  If you would like your files to be accessible in their backup location, untick the “Protect the backups” tick box
    1. Encryption?
    2. Click next
  6. If you have chosen to not encrypt, read the next statement and decide what to do – I suspect click Yes
  7. On the next screen, select File Based
    1.  Select Type of Backup
    2. Click next
  8. Then select the destination for the backups
    1. Select destination
    2. Click Next
    3. If the folder doesn’t exist, click Yes to have Duplicati create it for you
  9. The next window allows you to make changes to the defaults.  The default backup time is daily at 1300hrs.
  10. You will finally receive a summary with an option to Run backup now.  Tick this if you like and select finish.

You have now satisfied one of the conditions for safe backups.

Set up Offsite Backups using OneDrive

Now, we will create a second backup that will exist offsite using the OneDrive account you created earlier and the installed OneDrive application.

  1. Follow the instructions above until you hit step 4.  Make sure that the files you select use up less than 15GB (or whatever storage you have bought from OneDrive).  Then continue to step 8, selecting the destination. (Also, remember to name this backup differently from the first – “Offsite Backup”?)
  2. When selecting the destination this time, start a Windows Run dialogue (Windows Key plus R) and type %userprofile%\Onedrive\ (you could copy and past)
  3. Press OK.  A window should open showing you the contents of your local OneDrive folder
  4. Click your mouse into the address bar at the top (It should say “Your Username” “OneDrive” before you click and the something like C:\Users\Your Username\OneDrive after you click)
  5. Copy the text (make sure the text is selected and right click, select copy)
  6. Go back to the Path box in Duplicati and paste the text into the box.  It should now read C:\Users\Your Username\OneDrive If you like, add \backup on the end so that it reads C:\Users\Your Username\OneDrive\Backup
  7. Click next and follow the rest of the instructions from step 8

Whenever Duplicati puts a file into the OneDrive folder, the OneDrive service will dutifully copy the files to The Cloud.  This may be a backup that you would choose to encrypt!  See step 5 above.

That’s It!

You now have a backup system that will protect you from hard disk failure and random, user error, file deletions.

You will also have a little bit of protection from the likes of Cryptolocker in so much as Duplicati, by default, records the last four versions of a file.

What next?

Have a read of the Big Article.  It has a number of extra thoughts and items to look out for.

Change your hard disks every three to five years, depending upon use.  That’s internal and external.

Thye process above doesn’t protect you from file destroying viruses like Cryptolocker and its variants.  Check out the discussion at Backups: What are they and should you bother?

I would advise that you only connect your external hard disk when you need to do a backup – and set a reminder to backup.  This will be helpful if a file-destroying virus does hit.  It will also be one less thing your computer needs to enumerate when starting up – so a little quicker to start.

How good is your internet security?  Have you done a malware check yet?  Don’t use your normal internet security product to perform a malware check.  It missed it the first time, why should it see it a second time??

Any thoughts, comments, or errors, please let me know.  Is this the sort of information that you want to see? Let us know.

Have fun!


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