Secret ingredients to quality software


Rules to Better Backups

3 Rules

If you still need help, visit our Backup consulting page and book in a consultant.

  1. PC - Do you use the best backup solution?

    There are many options for personal and business backup solutions on the market:


    OneDrive from Microsoft is a simple and powerful application to do your cloud backups, for free. It comes default installed in Windows 10. See Rules to Better OneDrive.

    Size: 5GB free

    OneDrive for Business (Recommended)

    OneDrive for Business shares its name with OneDrive, but gives a different product. This service is paid but gives you a good return for your investment. OneDrive for Business comes with Office 365, so it is much more suited for business who already have a subscription of the service, or who need to more control over the backups and files. OneDrive for Business uses the SharePoint structure (differently from OneDrive) to give users much more storage space than the normal one.

    Size: 1TB free - If you have an Office365 business license. This option gives the best visibility for SysAdmins.


    Lots of users use Dropbox because of its easy-to-use interface and amount of storage space. The service is pretty similar to Google Drive and works well in any environment.

    Size: 2GB free

    Google Drive

    Google Drive is Google's solution to cloud backup and storage and works well. You have quite a lot of space for free, and it works even better if you are already using Google's ecosystem of software and services.

    Size: 15GB free

    All services work very well and you can mix and match, and use them all together if you want to.

  2. Do you do organize your hard disk?

    Using a standard file structure for storing user data on laptops makes locating the important information fast and performing automated backup operations easy - Use this checklist.

    Remember, the expectation is for all the questions to be answered with "YES" by the end of this checklist.

    data backup

    Domain-joined checklist:

    1. Is your computer domain-joined? [ - ] Note: To check, go to Start menu | This PC | Right-click | Properties | Check if "Workgroup" is If yes, then your computer is domain-joined.

    2. The Backup Script - Date Last Run: [ __/__/____ ] If your computer is domain-joined, then your backup script should already be working daily at 11 am. Go to \\UserBackups\ztBackupScripts\UserLogs.log to see the last time your backup was done.

    3. The Login Script - Date Last Run: [ __/__/____ ] If your computer is domain-joined, the Login Script should have run already when you logged in. Go to your C:\ drive and look for SSWLoginScript.log. Open it and see the last time it was run. ** Now go through the non-domain-joined checklist.

    Non-domain-joined checklist:

    **1. Do you use a cloud backup application? [ - ]Which one? [ __________________________________________________ ]**

    Some good options include OneDrive for Business and Dropbox. You should always keep important files in the cloud for security reasons. Read


    1. Do you keep your files in one folder structure? [ - ] Location:_____________________________________________________ Size: ____ GB of____ GB Errors [ ] Location (optional):_________________________________________ Size: ____GB of____ GB Errors [ ] Location (optional):_________________________________________ Size: ____GB of____ GB Errors [ ] **

    Note: For OneDrive the default is: C:\Users[UserName]\OneDriveTip: You can have additional accounts in the same PC! (Even multiple OneDrive accounts)Warning: If you are using OneDrive, it is not possible to change the root directory folder name. Normally, the root directory folder has a space in it ("OneDrive - SSW"), so keep that in mind when trying to run script or code from the OneDrive folder.

    When you choose a location in OneDrive, it will always create the main root folder called "OneDrive - (YourOrganization)". Use this folder to store your files.E.g. Create a folder in C: with Data and your username, for example, "C:\DataKaiqueBiancatti", and choose that folder to be your main OneDrive folder. It will automatically create a new folder inside it:

    Figure: Good Example - Location of Data<YourUserName> with OneDrive - (YourOrganization) folder in it

    OneDrive **Figure: Good Example - Backup is being done automatically


    **3. Do you keep your desktop clean? [ - ]Number of files on Desktop (Aim is zero) [ - ]**

    You should always aim to have a clean desktop, without temporary files or unnecessary shortcuts.Delete anything that is not necessary from there and do not save things there by default. Having a messy desktop just makes everything confusing.

    4 **. Do you keep your Outlook PST/OST separated from your cloud backups? [ - ] **

    Tip: You can check where your PST/OST is via Outlook | File | Account Settings | Data Files.Note: By Default it is in C:\Users[UserName]\AppData so it is not backed up.

    Outlook mailboxes tend to get huge in size pretty quickly, and your emails are already being backed up by your Exchange Server, so there is no need to back these files up. PST files (Outlook 2013 and earlier) contain all your mailbox messages and OST files (Outlook 2016 and newer) contain all your messages to be used offline.

    5. Do you have a Temp folder? [ - ]

    Create a temporary folder for temporary files, like "C:\temp". It makes it easier to see.

    6. ( Optional ) Phone - Can you see the files that are on your PC on your mobile too? [ - ]

    Install the OneDrive (or your other selected backup application) app on your phone and log in with the same account you used on your PC.

    7. ( Optional ) Phone - Do you care if you lose your photos? [ - ] If not, why? [ ____________________ ] iOS [ ___ ] Android [ ___ ] Which backup application are you using? [ ________________________________ ]

    If Yes and iOS, then use iCloud, OneDrive or your selected backup application on your phone to back them up automatically.If Yes and Android, then use Google Drive, OneDrive or your selected backup application on your phone to back them up!If you don't care about losing your photos, do nothing!

  3. Do you know the right notification for backups?

    You need to log a record on success so you can check for backups that have failed.

    backup notification bad
    Figure: Bad example - an email is sent on completion

    backup notification good
    Figure: Good example - a record is logged on completion

    Now you are able to be aware of missing backups. You can make automatically notification based on above table e.g. by SQL Reporting Services data-driven subscription

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