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BackUp Vs. File Copy?

This is a discussion on BackUp Vs. File Copy? within the Diagnostics, Utilities and Other Software forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Not really sure where to put this since it isn't really OS or device specific. So maybe here under Utilities

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Old 10-29-2015, 04:16 PM   #1
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Not really sure where to put this since it isn't really OS or device specific. So maybe here under Utilities and Other Software?

When you do (or in my case try to do) an actual BackUp, the files can only be used to Restore as far as I know and there are conditions as far as software that can read them.

When you copy files to another drive, they are readable to most other devices with a compatible OS.

I generally try to do the File Copy which includes downloaded installers.

Am I missing something?

A BackUp is almost more like an image?

Copying files is more 'open'?
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Old 10-29-2015, 04:33 PM   #2
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3 : A "backup" is a copy of computer data, (as a file or the contents of a hard drive); also : the act or an instance of making a backup.

Wikipedia: Backup
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Old 11-02-2015, 03:58 PM   #3
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First and foremost, you should have at least one copy of any file(s) that you don't want to lose.

In regards to a backup, it depends on what you are actually referring to. Two general definitions here (Backup = ): 1) A complete copy or all system and user files, used to restore the computer to the state it was in at the time of the backup. This would be used in the case of a hardware failure, virus/malware infection, or HDD upgrade. 2) a copy of files/data that you want to keep safe.

For definition 1, you can use disk imaging or backup software. Most users would use a disk image in this scenario as it is a lot faster to restore the data and get the system running.

For definition 2, you could use a backup software or simply copy files to another media. Which you choose largely depends on the amount of data you are trying to protect. With the backup software, you would need to run the software and select which file(s) to restore. With the data simply copied to another media, you would just browse the media and copy the files back to your computer. Either will work, assuming this is truly a "backup". I say that because, unless you have a system problem, a backup should never need to be touched, it's simply insurance.

If you find yourself frequently searching your "backup" for files you want/need to use, then you aren't truly making a backup. A backup, infers the data is already present on the system, the backup is just a copy to be used in case of emergency.

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