You & Yours

Green Machine
Different Ways to Back up your Computer

What is a backup? A backup is a copy of everything on your computer in a safe place in case something awful happens to your computer (eg virus, harddrive crash or losing a laptop). Everyone should backup regularly. As good as computers are they do fail, meaning you could lose everything!

There are two main ways that you can back up your documents: locally to a secondary portable hard drive or to the internet based cloud. There are pros and cons to each so let me explain:

Local Backup

Local backup is having a portable hard drive disk (HDD) and manually copying all your data on to it. This is the safest way to store your back ups but it can be an expensive initial purchase (you must ensure you get one big enough to hold your data) and you must also remember to do the backups. If you are regularly creating files and uploading photos to computer we recommend you do at least weekly back ups. You can leave it running over night but you must remember to do it in the first place! For choice of HDDs to buy google Portable Hard Drive. If you need help setting it up just contact us on 01672 520133 or

Cloud Backup

Cloud Backups are internet based, with an application that is downloaded and occasionally has an icon that may sit in the bottom right of your screen giving you information on your backups. It then synchronises with your internet backup account, at a time that you would have scheduled. Once you set it up, it runs automatically in the background and you don’t have to remember to do any backups manually. In the event of computer failure all you need to do is download their application and then login, download all your files!

You will need an internet connection to download them and depending on the speed of the internet and how many files you have, this could take several minutes to several hours, so it’s best to leave the internet connection on.

Please do not rely on cloud file sharing tools (eg Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive) as backups because if you get a virus on your computer, the virus can infect your files in the cloud as well.

You need a proper cloud backup system from companies like Mozy Pro or Crash Plan. Google ‘Cloud Backup’ for all the options.


Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need some advice on 01672 520133 or

Alex Wilson
IT Technician
Green Machine Computers Ltd
Tel: 01672 520133
Email: alex.wilson@

  1. Bonnie Hildred

    Some time ago, I mistakenly re-set my lap top and completely lost all my files and Microsoft Office. I had backed up all my documents (on a Freecom external drive) but it required a friend’s help to restore the files as the back up disc had put them into an odd format. I have not recovered MS Office but currently use their free Starter version.
    I would like to reorganise all my backups, keeping photos and document files on separate portable drives and my system files on another drive. What do you suggest?
    Also, I run Windows 7 on my laptop and am constantly being pestered by Microsoft to upgrade to Windows 10. I tried it once but was not keen ( I prefer to run an apps system on my phone and iPad!). There was another problem, too, with accessing some files. Is there any good reason for me to upgrade to Windows 10. I mostly use my laptop for all my written documents and for editing photos and for emailing.

    • Alex Wilson

      Hi Bonnie!

      I would suggest using windows built in backup software for your needs! If you are still on windows 7 just type “Backup and Restore” into the search bar can click it when it appears. Then, with your hard drive plugged in, click on set back up and run thought the wizard. That will mean if you lose everything you can restore it all back from that hard drive, software, files and everything else!

      If you still want to have a separate hard drive for your photos and documents then just get yourself another hard drive and move/copy all your photos and documents on to that like you normally would.

      With regards to Windows 10 its best to use what ever you feel most comfortable with. My personal suggestion is to go for Windows 10 if you’re getting a brand new PC/laptop and are starting fresh with all documents and software, other wise stick with 7 and get rid of those pesky update notification by running never10, which you can get at Its a brilliant little tool that can disable the Windows 10 update on your computer.

      Hope this helps you out Bonnie and have a nice day!

      Alex Wilson

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