Developing a Backup Policy: Take the time to develop a clearly defined set of backup policies. Simply put, a policy is defined as:
Backup selected files every X PERIOD, at NN hours on DD days, and transmit the backed up files to Secure Backup Server X.
Guidelines for developing a backup policy:
- Backup often. you can't restore what is not backed up.
- Have multiple backups of your data. GigaBack allows for multiple copies of the same file.
- Practice doing a restore "fire drill" on a monthly basis.
- Store your secret key in multiple secure places, both in printed format and on floppy/CDROM. Remember that without the key you will not be able to restore data.
- Periodically verify your backups are working properly by reviewing the backup logs.
- Use Repair Wizard to create up-to-date disks with repair information.
- Use specific Backup Sets to achieve certain objectives. You can have more than one backup set. Therefore you can define certain backup sets for specifc purposes i.e. Quickbooks, My Documents folder. You can have as many backup sets as you desire, just schedule them at different times.
- Be careful with patch backups. Incremental backup archives based on patch technology have a small size (reduces transfer time and necessity of large disk space), but you MUST have all incremental backup archives to restore! With our non-patch standard incremental backup mode, if you lose any backup archives, you will be able to restore all files, except files from missing archives. In patch mode all the files are needed or a restore cannot be done.
Getting Prepared: Everything you do with GigaBack is aimed at the ultimate goal of restoring files which have been damaged or lost. You may need to restore a few accidentally deleted files or an entire Windows computer.
To prepare your system for later restore you should:
Back up your files: You may have done so already following the Quick Start instructions for your first backup. If not, do a complete backup of all your hard disk volumes. Set the scheduling properties of a Backup Set to update your backup as often as you like.
Save repair information: Files with repair information contain everything you need to prepare GigaBack to restore your files after a disaster: definition of all your Backup Sets, encryption keys, catalog files and other configuration files.
If you use encryption keys to encrypt your backup archives, you MUST have files with repair information to restore your files. Without keys you won't be able to decrypt your backup archives! Even if you don't use encryption keys, files with repair information will save you a lot of time. To restore your files you will need to:
Have all encryption keys you used during backups. You can't recreate or somehow recover them! If you lose them, you lose your backups.
Recreate all your Backup Sets. You can do that manually, but it is much easier to allow the Repair Wizard to recover them automatically.
Download catalog files. You can download catalog files from backup media (disks, CD-Rs, GigaBack's Secure Backup Servers).
To create files with repair information, use Repair Wizard. Select Save/Restore repair information command at the File menu. This opens Repair Wizard. Choose "I want to save configuration and encryption keys" option and press the Next button. The following page will appear.
Choose a place to save your repair information. It can be a disk (select a target folder) or Secure Backup Server. Press the Next button to save repair information.
Do not forget the passwords you used to generate your encryption keys. You will need to enter them during restore.
Know where your Windows and GigaBack installation Software is located.
GigaBack is not intended for backing up system files and you can not use it for restoring the whole operating system. That's why, you have to install your Windows operating system and the GigaBack software to restore your files. Have your Windows and GigaBack Installation Software and your registration key ready. You will use them to install Windows on your hard disk if you need.
Note that you always can download the GigaBack software from the Internet, but a local copy of it is safer (you may have problems with Internet access).
Now you are ready to restore your files after a disaster. Any time you add a new Backup Set or encryption key you should update your repair information using the Repair Wizard.