How to Use Microsoft SyncToy to
Backup Your Data
to an external hard drive, shared network drive, or usb drive
Using Microsoft SyncToy to Automate Backups
Downloading and Installing
Click on the Browse option and find the folder you want to backup on your hard drive. In this example, we are trying to backup the Favorites folder under the logged in user. As a note, in Windows XP, the Favorites folder for a particular user will generally be C:\Documents and Settings\User Name\Favorites, where "User Name" is replaced with the actual name of the logged in user.
Once we have chosen what to backup, in this case the Favorites folder, we have to tell it where to backup.
After clicking Browse for the Right Folder, choose the Drive Letter for your backup drive. In the example, we are backing up the data to Drive J.
You'll want to organize the data being backed up. A good way to do this is to create separate folders for each type of data we are saving. First, we'll create a folder called Backup. We do this by clicking on the "Make New Folder" button, then right-clicking on this new folder and choosing Rename. Type "Backup" (without the quotes) as the name for the new folder.
In this example, we'll make another folder under Backups for the Favorites List. Remember to Right-click on the Folder and rename it to Favorites (or whatever data you are backing up).
After Clicking OK, your screen should look similar to the one below. Click Next to continue.
Now, you need to choose how you want to backup the information. You can perform the following tasks between two folders:
After choosing how to backup, you'll need to name the folder pair. In this case, we'll call it Favorites.
After clicking on Finish, your screen should resemble the one below. You can continue to create Folder Pairs in this same manner for each type of data you want backed up.
I would recommend backing up the following data for starters in Windows XP. The usual location of these items on your hard drive is shown in parentheses.
Once you have designated all your folder pairs to back, you can choose Run All to perform the backup.
After backing up the data, you will be shown a summary screen displaying how many files were backed up successfully and if any failed to be backed up.
Ok, that's it we have backed up your important data, however we are missing one important step. Scheduling the backup so we wont forget to do it.
Open Task Scheduler and Schedule SyncToy to Run Daily
1) Click on Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Scheduled Tasks to open up Task Scheduler
2) Click on Add Scheduled Task, Click on Next
3) Scroll down and click on the SyncToy option, click on Next
4) Under "Perform this Task" choose Daily and click Next
5) Now choose a start time, I would recommend either a time when you first turn on your computer or late in the evening when you are done for the day. Choose Daily again for when to perform this task and choose the current date then click Next.
6) Here's the tricky part, in order for the task to be scheduled, you'll need to tell the scheduler which user to perform the task for and the username for that profile. Enter the username and password for this profile in this section and click Next.
7) On the next screen check the box for "Open advanced properties for this task when I click Finish" and then click Finish
8) When the Advanced Properties box opens, look under the Task tab for the Run line. It should look similar to the one below.
Make the Run command look like the following to allow SyncToy to run all the folder pairs.
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft\SyncToy\SyncToy.exe" -R
9) Click Ok and close the Scheduled Tasks window.
Congratulations! You have now setup your computer to backup important information like your email, favorites, address book and My Documents directory to your removable or external backup device on a daily basis using Microsoft SyncToy.
Other Backup Options
Even though Microsoft SyncToy is free, you may want to use another automated program to backup your important data. Listed below you will find links to some of the other backup tools I have used.Allway Sync Pro
Written by Mark Hasting
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