Backup Software and Practices 

Failures can happen to any hard drive at any time. Human error, hardware failure, fires and floods are just a few ways to lose data. At ioSafe, we suggest following the “3-2-1 Rule” of backups to make sure you are best protecting your data:

Make 3 complete copies of your data, keep them on at least 2 separate systems, and have at least 1 on an ioSafe device or offsite.

A “backup” is to have a second copy of your data to be placed on a physically different system. “Backup” does not mean “move” your data. Having only one copy of your data in any one system is not safe.

Human error (accidental deletions, accidental formats) can happen to anybody at any time regardless of how expensive or sophisticated the storage device. Keeping 3 or 4 complete copies of your data in multiple places on multiple formats improves your chances of recovery.

ioSafe products do not require any additional software for use as backup target. The simplest of all backups is to simply “drag and drop” a copy (not simply move but copy) of your critical data files from your primary drive to your ioSafe device.

Many of our users want recommendations for automated backup software so as changes to their desktop, server or laptop get automatically backed up onto their ioSafe devices. Here are just a few options of many that will help you protect your data:

Simple and Free

For all Windows users  — These two pieces of software will backup user selected files and are completely free:

Genie Timeline — — Offers continuous data protection and can restore files to a previous state. Using a laptop? Genie Timeline will automatically resume when you’ve reconnected to your backup drive. Email notifications can also give you updates should any of your backups go awry.

SyncBack Freeware — — Ideal for intermediate users who need simple file synchronization. This is a lightweight, simple piece of software that works well with most Windows OS versions. Using “Scheduled Tasks” within Windows, you can create a backup schedule that resumes only when the computer is idle (nice!). This program is not for “open file” (i.e. an active Quickbooks or Outlook database).

For all Mac users — Time Machine is already embedded into macOS, simply set the ioSafe device as the target to get started. Time Machine backs up the entire system and can revert to a previous date.

Acronis Backup and Disaster Recovery Products — Another wide array of backup software from home to enterprise. Solutions support individual home PCs to multiple servers.

Upgrading or reinstalling your operating system?

While upgrading a system with a new operating system, be sure to always have at least 2 copies in addition to your original system during the upgrade. We strongly recommend, while upgrading to a new operating system, your original primary hard drive should be physically removed from the system and replaced with a new hard drive. Install the new operating system on the new hard drive. Using this technique, you’ll always be able to return to your original disk by reinstalling it in the system in case you run into any problems. Please have your local IT support person help you with this process if this all sounds confusing.