Questions and Answers (Q&A)
- [Q] What are the limitations of the trial or evaluation version?
- [Q] What happens to my backups after the evaluation period or licence has expired?
- [Q] Do I have to reinstall the program if I decided to purchase a licence or extend the evaluation licence?
- [Q] How long does it take to install the program - Is it complicated?
- [Q] Do I need to have an external hard drive?
- [Q] Do I need more than one backup disk or media?
- [Q] May I use my computer while backups are being performed?
- [Q] How long does it take to run a backup - Can I fit it into my daily schedule?
- [Q] How do I configure a backup. Can I do it myself?
- [Q] Do you still have a question?
[Q] What are the limitations of the trial or evaluation version?
- The trial or evaluation version is a fully functionally version and NO functionality limitations apply over the length of the evaluation period. After the evaluation period has expired the program will switch into a [DEMO] mode and no backups can be performed.
[Q] What happens to my backups after the evaluation period or licence has expired?
- TMS Stein's Backup (Pro) creates copies or mirrors of files and directories and does not alter the files. Hence all files and directories copied can, at any time, be accessed normally by using the Windows Explorer or any other program.
[Q] Do I have to reinstall the program if I decided to purchase a licence or extend the evaluation licence?
- No. The program version installed is a fully functional version. Just enter the licence information provided through the menu [Tools] [Licence settings] and you will be able to continue your work. You will need to change into [Admin] mode in order to change any settings such as entering the licence, etc.
[Q] How long does it take to install the program - Is it complicated?
- A typical installation should not take longer than 2 to 3 minutes. That is from the moment you clicked on the download button through launching the installation file till the first launch of the program. Installation is easy, menu driven and only a minimum user input is required. Use supplied defaults when requested and everything should work fine. Read more on download and installation - Step by step.
[Q] Do I need to have an external hard drive?
- No. TMS Stein's Backup (Pro) only needs a writable target media to write a backup to. Hence it can create backups on internal hard drives, other removable media such as USB sticks, external hard drives memory, cards, etc. or network shares (mounted drives on another computer). It can also create copies and mirrors on the same drive but in another directory. However, in the interest of data security it is recommended to use a backup media which can be disconnected easily after a backup was performed. Backup drives or media should ALWAYS be disconnected if not in use. This avoids system failures or viruses to spread to your backup media.
[Q] Do I need more than one backup disk or media?
- No. However it is strongly recommended to hold multiple copies of your data-sets and to use different media (e.g. USB hard disks) which should be stored at different locations as a protection from theft, fire, etc. Backups can be rotated by swapping the backup media in a rotational way.
[Q] May I use my computer while backups are being performed?
- In principle yes. HOWEVER there are some reasons why this is not recommended and good practice:
- Opened files or files currently in use by a running program may be locked and hence will not be backed up which may go unnoticed leaving you without a backup for those files.
- Some programs rely on numerous interlinked files to present your current state of work. If certain files are missing or are not current in your backup (as locked and not copied) it may cause data inconsistency jeopardising the result of a restore (after a data loss) to the state of work before the backup.
- A virus or other malicious code could be activated by another program and would spread to your backup media (as connected).
- It is therefore recommended and good practice to close all running programs while backups are being performed and disconnect or remove all backup media after the backup was performed.
[Q] How long does it take to run a backup - Can I fit it into my daily schedule?
- Regular backups are normally very quick and should generally only take between 2 to 8 minutes often even less and therefore can easily be fit into the daily schedule. TMS Stein's Backup compares files first and only copies those missing or those which have changed.
- Of course the speed greatly depends on how many files need to be backed up and how often backups are being performed in respect to how many accumulated over a period since the last backup and how many are compared and actually copied. The hardware used also plays a role especially when larger volumes need to be backed up (e.g. speed of your hard disks, backup media and connections). Hence it may vary widely from user to user or case by case. Some real world examples are given below.
- Please note
All these examples are based on backups which are performed as updates to existing backups where all the directories and files are compared but only new or modified directories and files are written. This is what normally happens when regular backups are being performed. However, a first backup of any dataset, where all files need to be written out, will always take significantly longer.
- Example - LOW data volume (1 minute and 40 seconds):
Several backup sections which are configured to cover a total of 3 627 directories (folders) with 80 419 files (a total of 132 GB) are normally being backed up on a daily basis. After a normal day, with medium Skype and email use and with some changed documents and images, a backup is being performed which automatically compares all the files and directories for changes and then only copies the modified and new ones. After the comparison it is found that 1 directory and 52 files actually need to be backed up covering a total volume of 130 MB. The total backup process only takes 1 minute and 40 seconds on a slow USB backup drive.
Total compared Total copied Total time - DIRs 3 627 1 - Files 80 419 52 - Size 134 878 MB 131 MB - Time 1 minute and 40 seconds
- Example - LOW data volume (4 minutes and 57 seconds):
While the total backup is configured to cover a significant amount of data namely 205 GB, only a subset of 31 files was actually modified or created over the cause of a day's work. The entire process of checking the entire 9 356 directories and 256 738 files as well as then copying those 31 changed files found, only takes 4 minutes and 57 seconds.
Total compared Total copied Total time - DIRs 9 356 0 - Files 256 738 31 - Size 209 582 MB 360 MB - Time 4 minutes and 57 seconds
- Example - HIGHER data volume (7 minutes and 51 seconds):
A backup configured in 18 backup sections and covering a total of 9 410 directories with 257 804 files shall be performed updating an existing backup on an external USB (2.0) hard drive. Changes consisting of 40 directories and 1 150 files (emails, mobile phone data and photographs from two phones, etc.) covering a volume of 3.0 GB (3 047 MB) are copied finalizing the backup in 7 minutes and 51 seconds.
Total compared Total copied Total time - DIRs 9 410 40 - Files 257 804 1 150 - Size 212 220 MB 3 047 MB - Time 7 minutes and 51 seconds
- Example - MEDIUM data volume (8 minutes and 41 seconds):
Several backup sections which are configured to cover a total of 21 780 directories (folders) with 390 079 files (a total of 289 GB) are normally being backed up on a daily basis. After a busy working day a backup is being performed which automatically compares all the files and directories for changes and then only copies the modified and new ones. After the comparison it is found that 11 directories and 87 files actually need to be backed up covering a total volume of 182 MB. The total backup process only takes 8 minutes and 41 seconds on a slow USB backup drive.
Total compared Total copied Total time - DIRs 21 780 11 - Files 390 079 87 - Size 296 941 MB 182 MB - Time 8 minutes and 41 seconds
- Example - HIGH data volume copied onto an encrypted drive/volume (9 minutes and 34 seconds):
The entire data section of 244 GB (249 561MB) consisting of 37 785 directories with 495 083 files shall be updated and mirrored while only changes to the previous backup are to be applied. It is found that 49 directories and 4 863 files (5 010 MB) are new or were changed and need to be backed up. As a backup target a VeraCrypt file-hosted volume (encrypted virtual disk device) on an external USB (2.0) drive is used. The entire process of comparing and copying only takes 9 minutes and 34 seconds.
Total compared Total copied Total time - DIRs 37 785 49 - Files 495 083 4 863 - Size 249 561 MB 5 010 MB - Time 9 minutes and 34 seconds
[Q] How do I configure a backup. Can I do it myself?
- Backups are configured in 'backup sections'. Each backup section is displayed in a single line in the program main window and can be named as to your preferences. A backup section covers as a minimum one directory (folder) with all its files and all its subdirectories which need to be backed up. Up to 100 sections can be configured
- It is easy to set up a backup section and you can do it yourself (Step-by-setp) but you need to know where your working files are located on your computer.
- If you find this to be a bit challenging you may want to get some initial support from your colleague, friend, family member or system admin to set up the first backup details. Don't be shy as asking is still better than not having a backup of your data :-) Afterwards you can take over again as performing day to day backups is very easy and straight forward!
- The program has extensive help on how to set up backup sections. Additional information is found under How to - Configure a normal backup section.
[Q] Do you still have a question?
- If something is not clear and not covered: Send a question to TMS Backup Support.