Video: How To Backup Your Computer

Video: How To Backup Your Computer

This video on How To Backup Your Computer is part of a series of quick videos on paperless tips and topics. View more in the series here.

I need to apologize to my ex-girlfriend because the same day that I made this video, she had a catastrophic drive failure and lost everything. Guess I should have made it earlier!

View the video below, or click here to watch it on YouTube. If you are able to, I recommend that you watch it with HD turned on.

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply 19 comments

Frederic - March 29, 2015 Reply

One thing that I do on my mac is plug in two HDs to do TM. TM will alternate between HDs.

    Brooks Duncan - March 29, 2015 Reply

    I didn’t know that Frederic. Thanks!

Jeff - September 17, 2014 Reply


I don’t want to push you or anything. But: did you miss the last question?

Thanks in advance.

    Brooks Duncan - September 18, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jeff – I did miss it! Sorry about that. Hmm one service that pops to mind is SugarSync. You can have that sync to the cloud from any folder, not just a Dropbox folder.

    That doesn’t cover the backup part unfortunately. I don’t know any services off the top of my head that does both. Interesting idea!

      Jeff - October 19, 2014 Reply

      I did some research and found out that the cloud sharing and backup solution has been converted into a single product. They offer 16gb for free and announce an unlimited plan coming soon.

      I think this is the way to go because:

      -your files are on your computer AND in the cloud
      (with onedrive or dropbox ONLY in the cloud. The alternative would be Sugarsync).
      -they also do your backups
      (did’t know that was something unique, but even Sugarsync can’t keep up wit that one.)

      Look at

      What do you think Brooks: is this the way to go or do you have an alternative?

Jeff - September 12, 2014 Reply

I’m looking for a cloud sharing solution in order to share files between my devices. I used to work with a cloud sharing solution that directly synced selected folders on my computer (I didn’t have to put them within a dropbox folder or ondrive folder or whatever!) and not only made the files available in the cloud, but also made backups!

However this solution only offered plans in combination with website hosting.

Brooks, do you know any solution that does cloud-sharing and back-up (and if possible: directly syncs your own windowsfolders)?

How To Backup Your Computer By Katie Floyd - September 11, 2014 Reply

[…] few years ago I made a video about how to backup your computer that talks about this as well, and goes through how I back things up. An oldie but it still holds […]

Marla - May 13, 2014 Reply

Thanks for a great video. I have a couple of questions:

1. If I am already backing up to Carbonite, would TimeMachine or SuperDuper be a better choice for an onsite backup of my MacBook?

2. Are Evernote notes automatically backed up using either of these methods? I’d hate to think I’m relying solely on the Evernote servers.

Thanks again 🙂

John Shanderuk - July 24, 2013 Reply

I use Mozy Pro, a mirrored RAID array on my computer, external hard drive with it's own backup software and I have a Synology DS212j NAS at home with two 3TB drives that are mirrored (so it's only 3TB not 6TB all together). For the drive that is at home I use a program called SynchBack Free on my work computer to backup over ftp to the NAS at home. The DS212j is worth the cost just for the software that is included with it, I think the new version is DS213j but it comes with so many really cool programs that work great also you can get all your stuff over your phone, tablet or any other computer too with it. This NAS has tons of really happy people that use them just check it out on Amazon and you'll see for yourself!


    Brooks Duncan - July 24, 2013 Reply

    Oh man, I've been >>>this<<< close to picking up a Synology and you aren't helping!

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John Shanderuk - March 22, 2012 Reply

I don't know if you can do this on a Mac but on a PC you can buy a RAID card. The RAID card lets you plug in two or more hard drives and synch them together all the time (RAID means Redundant Array of Independent Drives). If one of the hard drives fails the other one takes over and you loose nothing and there is no down time. Then when you have time you buy another drive and rebuild the RAID array so you have two drives again.

Just my two cents

    Brooks Duncan - March 23, 2012 Reply

    Thanks John, great point about RAID!<p style=”color: #A0A0A8;”>

    Dave Goodman - October 16, 2014 Reply

    Raid fails as a backup strategy for the same reason any other synchronization system fails. It guards against one thing only… failure of a drive. But consider a file that becomes corrupted; the corrupted file will be mirrored to the second drive. Where’s the backup? Or you inadvertently delete a file… the file is immediately deleted from both drives. Again, where’s the backup?

Make Your Backup Plan Bulletproof | Tips To Learn How To Go Paperless | DocumentSnap Paperless Blog - December 29, 2011 Reply

[…] learning about the different types of backup, you want to put together a comprehensive […]

ilimas - August 31, 2011 Reply

This is your most helpful (for me) video/post yet. Thank you so much for presenting the backup process in such a clear and concise manner. I would add a backup (Archive feature in Airport Utility) of the Time Capsule to an external drive (attached to Time Capsule's USB port).

    Brooks Duncan - September 1, 2011 Reply

    Thanks so much ilimas! Glad it helped, and thanks for the tip on the Archive feature.

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