This is a brief set of instruction on how to use an Iomega Zip drive to backup files from your PC's hard drive. The Zip drive acts very much like a traditional floppy drive. It's main advantages are size and speed. A single Zip disk can hold 100 Megabytes of information, the equivalent of 70 3.5" High-Density floppies. The Zip drive is also faster than a standard floppy drive by roughly a factor of 5. (Your mileage may vary) You can backup to a Zip disk just like you have with floppy disks in the past. Simply copy important files onto a Zip disk and store the disk in a safe place. If you should lose or misplace your important files, simply copy them back off the disk.
Since the Zip drive (unlike your floppy drive) is not built into your PC you'll have to hook it to your PC whenever you want to use it. It's a pretty straight-forward procedure.
Even though a Zip disk can hold alot more than a floppy it would probably take several disks and a long time to copy everything off your hard drive. In the end it would be a waste of time. The general rule is that you should keep copies only of things you've created, not software. In almost all cases it would be faster to reinstall software from the original disks than to try and recreate it from copies on Zip disks. So, you'll want to make back-ups of only those directory that contain the files you've created. If you've kept your files in directories separate from the directories where your software lives, this should be pretty straight-forward. If you've always kept your personal files mixed in with your program files (e.g. all your documents in the Word directory) it is probably worthwhile to take a little time and separate the files you've created, from those that are part of a software package. If you have trouble telling exactly what's what you may want to contact your Computing Coordinator for advice.
There are two particular groups of files you may want to back up that aren't in obvious locations. If you use the web alot you may want to make a copy of your Netscape bookmarks. These are kept in a self-contained file called Bookmarks.htm, that lives buried in a Netscape directory. You may also want to copy out the Eudora Folder if you want to have back-ups of your current Eudora mailboxes. It's also probably worthwhile to take a minute or two and think of any other customization, settings or unique software (that doesn't exist on floppy) that are part of your computer setup and that you couldn't live without. You'll want to find the related files and back sure they are copied onto the Zip disk as well. Again, if you're not sure where to find the relevant files your Computing Coordinator may be able to help.
Maintained by Sean
Last updated: Thursday, 31-Aug-2000 12:25:54 CDT