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Really simple backup ...

by Bill Osler / February 26, 2010 9:16 AM PST

I need to figure out a way to help my father do backups on his Windows 7 Home Premium PC in a simple, automatic way. There is no way he is going to do this himself with any reliability, and he does not have the computer skills to do much to help the system along. What I really need is something I can set up and then forget about. If a turnkey WHS system like I use for my home LAN didn't cost so much I might consider that, but I'd really rather not spend a lot of money on the project.

I think that some sort of external drive would be a good option. He is living in a place where risk of major physical damage/loss to his PC is small and he would not want to incur a cost for offsite backup.

The PC has a restore partition already implemented so I do not necessarily need to worry about backing up the system files and he won't be creating/using a lot of files so he probably does not need to worry about more than ~10-20 GB maximum for a long time. I'm willing to assume that he will have the install disks for the handful of programs he puts on the PC since he has been pretty good about keeping those in the past. The PC is used primarily for web browsing and storing genealogy information.

The PC has unused USB 2 ports, but no Firewire or external SATA. He uses the Ethernet port to connect to the Internet via broadband modem but it would be simple enough to put a switch between him and the modem if a NAS solution would be a lot better than a USB external drive.

Any suggestions about how to manage this?

Thanks.

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