Backing up user documents and files

As with any computer, it is always in best practice to keep your files and folders backed up in at least one place, because you never know when your computer may crash or encounter hardware failure. The 1:1 laptops include a backup application that makes it easy for any user to back up their personal files onto a USB flash disk or an external hard drive. To find out how to back up your 1:1 laptop, continue reading:

For the sake of this tutorial, we will be demonstrating how to back up your files onto a USB flash disk with the name “BACKUP”. This tutorial also assumes all of your documents and files that you would like to back up reside within your user home folder on your 1:1 laptop.

First, connect the USB flash disk to one of the USB ports on the computer. The drive should appear at the bottom of the launcher below the other pinned applications.


Next, find the icon on the launcher for “System Settings” and click it. This will open the computer’s system preferences panel.


Click on the “Backup” preference pane icon, located at the bottom left side of the “System Settings” window.


When the “Backup” preference pane appears, you will be presented with an overview of the default backup settings. Disregard these options and click the “Storage” tab at the top of the preference panel.


Click on the dropdown menu located to the right of the “Backup location” label. This menu allows the user to choose the location that they wish to set as the destination for their backups. As mentioned previously, this walkthrough demonstrates the use of a USB drive as the backup destination. Find the name of the USB drive in this dropdown menu and click it to select it.


Now that you have selected the backup drive, you must specify the folder that you want the backups to be saved in. I recommend naming the backup folder something obvious, such as “1to1 Laptop Backup”. Do not use characters such as punctuation or symbols in the backup folder name, as the use of such characters may prevent the backup from being successful, or prevent it from being restored in the future.


After specifying the backup storage location options, click on the “Folders” tab to determine which of the folders on your 1:1 laptop will be backed up in the back up task. By default, the “Home” (user) folder is included and the “Downloads” and “Trash” folders are excluded from the back up task. This folder set up is fine for most users backup needs, but it is possible to include or exclude other folders. The default settings of the “Home” folder will include all of your personal files and folders located inside your user account’s folder – mainly the Desktop, Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos folders. The “Downloads” folder is excluded by default because the files that reside in it can usually be re-downloaded easily and may take up a considerable amount of disk space.


Once you are satisfied with the backup settings, return to the “Overview” tab and click the “Back Up Now” button located in the bottom right corner of the window.


You will be prompted to enter a password to secure your computer’s backup. You can either choose a password to secure the backups or disable the security feature by clicking the “Allow restoring without a password” option. Be aware that assigning a password to your backups makes them only restorable if you know the password; if you choose to set a backup password, be sure to remember it – it cannot be recovered or reset. After you set the backup security options, click the “Continue” button.


The backup task will then begin the initial copy of your documents and files to the disk you chose. The initial backup task will take considerably longer if you have many or large files to back up. After the initial back up, inserting your backup disk and running the backup task again should not take as much time as the initial set-up.


When the task is complete, you will be presented with the “Backup” preference panel again and the “Most recent backup” field will show the time and date when you successfully backed your files and folders up.


Keep in mind that the setting your 1:1 laptop’s backup system with the options are described in this tutorial do not automatically back your files and folders up. You must plug in the device which your backups are located in and run the backup task yourself to update it. If you would like to explore other options for backing up your 1:1 laptop’s files or if you need to restore your files from a previous backup that you made, contact a student technician at the 1:1 Student Helpdesk for more information.

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