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Part III: Unleashing Files, Folders, and... > Working with a Net: The Windows 98 B...

Chapter 16. Working with a Net: The Windows 98 Backup Utility


In theory, theory and practice are the same thing; in practice, they're not.


That old saw applies perfectly to data backups. In theory, backing up data is an important part of everyday computing life. After all, we know that our data is valuable to the point of irreplaceability, and we know that there's no shortage of ways that a hard disk can crash: power surges, rogue applications, virus programs, or just simple wear and tear. In practice, however, backing up our data always seems to be one of those chores we'll get to “tomorrow.” After all, that old hard disk seems to be humming along just fine, thank you—and anyway, who has time to work through the couple of dozen floppy disks you need for even a small backup?

When it comes to backups, theory and practice don't usually converge until that day you start your system and you get an ugly Invalid system configuration or Hard disk failure message. Believe me, losing a hard disk that's crammed with unsaved (and now lost) data brings the importance of backing up into focus real quick. To avoid this sorry fate, you have to find a way to take some of the pain out of the practice of backing up. Fortunately, you can do two things to make backups more painless:

  • Use the revamped Backup accessory that comes with Windows 98. This program has a few nice features that make it easy to select files for backup and to run backups regularly.

  • Practice what I call real-world backups. In short, these are backups that protect only your most crucial files.

To help you get through your backup chores, Windows 98 comes with a new and much improved Backup utility. (It's actually a version of the backup software that comes with Seagate drives.) The interface is better set up for power users to select the options they need. For novices, Backup has several Wizards that take them through complex operations such as backup and restore. There are also many new options (including the welcome ability to back up and restore Registry files) and built-in support for SCSI tape drives and many other backup devices.

This chapter shows you how to use new Backup and explains real-world backups in more detail.



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