Barlow’s December Newsletter – Beyond Doing Basic Backups

Gene BarlowDear Friends,

This is the season to greet family and friends with warm holiday greetings. So, we want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year celebration.

We also use this time of the year to bring you a holiday special. This year, if you buy our Acronis True Image 2016 Family pack (3 licenses) for $60, we will give you a fourth license for free. So, you end up with 4 licenses of our most popular product for just $15 per license. Even if you don’t need all four licenses in your household, consider giving extra products as a gift to your family or friends. See details below on how to order this great Holiday Special. The Holiday Special ends on January 15.

Another event that is happening at this time is that our website will be moving to a new server. This should occur in the next few weeks and without any change in the way you contact us. Our website will still be reached at as it has for years. Behind the scenes, the actual site will be moved to a new location. As this move occurs, a few rough patches may occur. Right now, when you go to our website, you may get a warning that the site security certificate has expired and that it is not save to go to this site. This is not true. Your visiting and ordering from our site during this transition is as safe as ever. So, just ignore these warning messages and you will be very safe and protected.

Finally, as the numbers of my customers grow, it is becoming harder for me to reply to each note requesting help. At times, I receive many more requests than I can reply to in a timely manner. So, let me suggest a couple of things that you can do to assist me.

  • Send your emails requesting support to and not to me personally. I will focus on answering these directed emails first. Any requests that still come to me personally will be answered as time permits.
  • If you don’t hear from me within a week, resend your email with your request a second time. I try to give priority to any request that is sent to me a second time.
  • Try to check for your answer from the Acronis knowledge base or Acronis forums at If you find your answer, let me know that you no longer need me to reply to you.

Thank you for your patience with me as we try to help you.

Gene & Linda Barlow
User Group Relations


Beyond Doing Basic Backups

By Gene Barlow
User Group Relations
Copyrighted December 2015

For almost 20 years I have lectured and written articles about the importance of doing backups of your PC. Doing regular backups of your main computer hard drive on your PC is the most important thing all end-users need to do to maintain and protect their computer system. Without a good backup system, your computer may crash and you will not only lose all of your important files and photographs, but your computer will be dead and expensive to repair. Having followed my advice over the years, thousands of computer users have avoided such loss.

Basic Computer Backups

There are many different approaches to doing backups of your computer. Unfortunately, most of these approaches are just plain inadequate to totally protect your computer. That is why I have emphasized the Perfect Backup Approach as the most effective way to do backups. It consists of backing up your entire main hard drive on a weekly basis and storing these backups on a dedicated external hard drive. This is not a partial backup of a few of your data files or photographs, but the entire content of your main hard drive is backed up. Your Windows operating system, all of your application programs and setting files, as well as your important data files (photographs, videos, graphics, spreadsheets, databases, etc.) are protected. A good Image Backup system is needed to do this properly. I recommend you use the top rated Acronis True Image product for either the PC or the Mac computer. If you follow my instructions on how to do these weekly backups, then your computer and important data files will be very well protected.

Beyond the Basic Backups

Every end-user needs to faithfully do the Perfect Backup Approach mentioned above and for most computer users this will be adequate to protect you. However, there are a few ways to give your computer an added level of protection. The purpose of this article is to introduce you to these more advanced backup approaches. Please note that these should never be used as your only backups, but they should be used in addition to the Perfect Backup Approach described above. Together with the Perfect Backup Approach, they will give you a higher level of Protection than the Basic Backup can do by itself.

Critical File Backups: While I recommend a backup of your entire main hard drive on a weekly basis, you may have a few critical files on your computer system that need to be backed up more frequently. Acronis True Image has the ability to backup individual files on a daily basis or even more often. The Continuous Backup feature in True Image will watch over these critical files and back them up every five minute or so if they have changed. Do not be tempted to backup all of your files using this approach. It could cause your computer un-needed extra work. Just select those very important files on your hard drive to get this frequent backup action.

Protecting your Backup Images: Making regular backups and storing them on an external hard drive attached to your computer is very important. But, then protecting your backup hard drive from damage is a very important next step. Let me recommend you do two things to protect your important backup hard drive. First, unplug the backup external hard drive from your computer between backups. That way, a virus attacking your computer will not be able to destroy your backup external hard drive when it crashes the main hard drive inside the computer.

Second, get a second backup external hard drive to serve as your remote backup hard drive. Then you will have both a local backup drive and a remote backup drive. Store the local backup drive near your computer for the convenience of doing your next backup. Then after 3-4 months, move your local backup hard drive to a remote location (safety deposit box, your office, a friend’s house, etc.) and start using your remote backup hard drive as your local backup drive. The remote backup hard drive will protect you from theft, fire, earthquakes, flood, and hurricanes that may destroy your local backup hard drive. The swapping of these two backup hard drives will protect you against these rare physical destruction of your local backups. You will still lose a month or two of information using this swap approach.

Cloud Backup Storage: A fairly new backup approach takes advantage of Internet storage to save your backups to. Then, if anything should happen to your computer location (fire, theft, tornados, earthquakes, etc.) that destroys your computer and local backup storage, your very important files will still be safe on the Internet. Just remember that Cloud backups are very slow and more expensive than local backups. So, the most practical use of Cloud backups is to save your most important data files and photos and not to backup your entire main hard drive. Continue to use local weekly backups of your entire main hard drive to protect your entire main hard drive. This combination of weekly local backups and daily Cloud backups will protect your computer and important files in the best way possible.

To order Acronis True Image 2016 for PC/Mac, Acronis True Image 2016 Cloud or Acronis Disk Director 12 from us, go to and select the product you wish to purchase. Once you are on that product’s page, click on the appropriate Buy Now button to place your order. We charge only $25 for a single license or $60 for a three license package of our local software products. That is half what these excellent product normally sells for from Acronis or from your retail computer store. We also offer Acronis Cloud storage for the first time. If you order our Acronis True Image 2016 Cloud product, you get a license to our popular backup utility plus unlimited Cloud storage for one year to be used by one computer and up to 3 smart devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.). The cost of this True Image Cloud package is only $50, again half the normal price of this package. When checking out of the shopping cart, enter in the special order code of UGNL1215. Not only do we provide the best prices for these excellent products, we also give our customers much better support than they will get from Acronis or other distributers.

If you have questions about this article or the Acronis True Image for PC/Mac, Acronis True Image Cloud or Acronis Disk Director products, send an email to and I will try to help you with your questions.

This is one of a series of technical articles that I distribute to those that have subscribed to this newsletter. You can subscribe at