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Backing up your music files is a dry task that isn’t really music related at all, but it’s very important to take time to figure out a backup plan for your setup.

It’s only at first where this will take the most time. After it’s set up, you can just set-it-and-forget-it!

I referenced this article in #011 – Properly Backing Up Songs in FL Studio in my FL Studio Beginner’s Series email course.

What We Cover

  • The Tools Needed to Backup (Hard drive + Backup Software)
  • Why Incremental Backups? – What are Incremental Backups ?
  • My Personal Backup Process

The Tools Needed to Backup (Hard drive + Backup Software)

In order to backup your computer, you’re going to need an external hard drive, and some backup software.

When choosing an external hard drive, I’ve learned from the following:

  • Make sure your external hard drive is 2x your current computer’s hard drive space. (This avoids error notifications of a full hard drive and allows a backup history in case anything happens.)
  • Make sure your USB 3.0 external hard drive does not need to be plugged into a receptacle! – Just USB powered for convenience on your end!

Here’s a Hard Drive I’d currently recommend, the Seagate Expansion 2TB External Hard Drive USB 3.0:

And for my backup software, I use Acronis True Image (Currently, 2018 is latest release). It’s been great to me since 2013, and has the possibility to do incremental backups to save time on backing up without it bogging down your computer’s resources when producing music!

Why Incremental Backups? – What are Incremental Backups ?

Before I show you how I backup my music computer, I’ll first introduce you to incremental backups.

So without a system like incremental backups, you’d have to do a full backup EVERY SINGLE TIME!

And for anyone who has tried backing up and just got sick of it making your computer going slow, you’re going to love this.

You first start with a full computer backup. This is the one that takes a long time, depending on how many files you have + their size.

From then on, you can start a schedule.

I do a full backup every week, and then incremental backups every day in between.

So here’s an example:

If you do a full backup on Sunday, and then change some files on Monday, your backup software will do an incremental backup which only backups the files you added/changed!

Now come Tuesday you add some more files, it will backup only the new files added on Tuesday.

This makes backups EXTREMELY FAST and much more efficient!

Now the next Sunday comes around and your computer will do a full backup of your computer, the one that takes really long!

You can set your backup software to keep any amount of full backups so you can go back at a later date in case you find out something happened which you want to revert back to!

My Personal Backup Process

Since I use multiple hard drives, this will give you insight to how you can use multiple drives into a single backup!

I use a fast SSD for my C:\ drive where my OS is installed, and a HDD for all my static files (sounds, song files, etc.)

So this is what Acronis True Image 2018 looks like:

back-up-music-acronis-true-image-2018

To add a new backup, just click the +Add backup button at the bottom:

back-up-music-add-backup

You can select what you’d like to backup, whether that be your whole computer, a specific folder, or even a file! (It has extra features like backing up your mobile phone, and even social network accounts, which I haven’t looked into at all.)

It’s important here to select Disks and partitions!

You can find this by clicking on ‘Entire PC’. It will give you options for different types of backup choices.

back-up-music-disk-and-partition

It will then show you all your hard drives on your computer.

In my case, I use an SSD for my C:\, which is my main operating system, then another HDD where I store all my static files.

I just make sure I select what drives I want to have backed up.

(My other hard drives are either backup drives or ones I don’t use too often.)

back-up-music-select-hard-drives

After selecting Ok, you are taken back to the main menu to select your backup hard drive.

Select ‘Select destination’, and if you can’t see your backup drive, select ‘Browse…’:

back-up-music-browse-hard-drives

If you can’t find your hard drive, check under My PC. It should be tucked in there!

After selecting your hard drive, don’t click ‘Back up now’.

We want to have incremental backups, so select ‘Options’.

back-up-music-acronis-options

This is where you can set up a schedule. Think of a time where your computer is on everyday, but not being in use. (Even though we’re doing incremental backups and performance really isn’t too big of a deal, having backups happen as you’re using your computer is always annoying!)

I set my schedule to daily at about 5PM.

Now the Backup scheme tab is what’s important.

Make sure Incremental scheme is selected, and the backup method is incremental as well.

You will then see a few options for your incremental backups.

back-up-music-incremental-selection

Personally, I create a full version after every 5 days.

For the cleanup, I store no more than 3 versions (this is totally up to you, and also how big of a backup drive you have!)

And that’s pretty much it!

You can then hit okay and start your backups.

(To go further, in the advanced tab, there is a section called performance. You can set the compression level here to make your backups a bit smaller in size.)

Now Acronis True Image should be running in the background on the schedule you have set!

Hope this keeps your files safe for the rest of your life 🙂