After many years of computing I thought it would be a good idea to back my data up properley instead of ad-hoc CD burns here and there. I opted for a 120GB Western Digital Passport USB hard drive. Couldn’t be easier to use just plug in and copy your data. What I decided to do was employ a tool I use at work which is part of the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools. The tool in question is robocopy. If you are using XP then you can install the toolkit to gain access to robocopy. If you are on Vista it is part of the OS, just type robocopy at a command prompt.
This tool is great for copying large amounts of data between servers. It is robust and has plenty of options. <geek> Best of all it gives you stats at the end of the copy.</geek>
If you want, you can get robocopy to ‘mirror’ (/MIR) your data between target (usb disk) and source (main disk). This works both ways though, if you delete a file of the source it will delete it off the target aswell! One other thing to note about robocopy is that it copies at the folder level.
An example command would be: robocopy /s /e /r:1 c:\mydata e:\backup\mydata
This command copies c:\mydata and all subfolders including empty ones to e:\backup\mydata retrying a file copy once if fails. This assumes c: is your internal local hard disk and e: is your external disk.
Copy the above command for each of your other main folders on your system, stick it in a .cmd script file and schedule it to run monthly with task scheduler andyou are well away to a clean backup solution.