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Four ways to automatically backup your hard drive

Four ways to automatically backup your hard drive

There are many pieces of software that are available to help you backup your hard drive. However in my opinion, the simplest and most customizable way of backing up your hard drive is to do so with a homemade script. I will show you how to create a very simple script that will backup your entire hard drive on the first run. With each successive run of the script, it will only backup the files that have been modified. I will show you how to set it up so that you can backup your hard drive automatically without interrupting your work flow and without hampering any productivity. No longer will you unnecessarily lose any files again! I will show you how to do the following:

  • 1. Backup your hard drive on startup without using any extra software
  • 2. Backup your hard drive at scheduled intervals using AutomaticDailyBackup.bat
  • 3. Backup your hard drive at scheduled intervals using Windows Task Scheduler
  • 4. With the use of Xecutor, backup only the files you’ve changed on shutdown

This tutorial is demonstrated using Windows XP, however it will extend equally well into Windows Vista.

The first step is to create the backup script. The script is very short and very easy to create. First, open Notepad (Start >> All Programs >> Accessories >> Notepad) and copy and paste the following text into your Notepad file:

cd c:\
xcopy c: e:\AutomaticDailyBackup /s /e /t /h /D

Make sure that you copy the text onto two separate lines exactly as it is shown above. Also, please note that this script will backup your hard drive to an external location at e:\. If your external hard drive is located at another location, you will want to change the e:\ to a letter that corresponds to your specific external hard drive. Also, if you do not have a folder called “AutomaticDailyBackup” (I’m betting you won’t) in your e:\ drive you should create the folder manually.

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Save your Notepad file with the name “AutomaticDailyBackup.bat” it is very important to include the “.bat” at the end of the file so Windows knows that it is a script and not just a plain-Jane text file. Additionally, please make sure you save the file to C:\. You can now close Notepad and you should have the file C:\AutomaticDailybackup.bat. This is shown below:

20070313-backup.JPG

    This script file will be used by three of the four methods of backing up your hard drive that are shown below.

    1. Backup your hard drive on startup without using any extra software

    This is probably the quickest and easiest way to backup your hard drive. Right-click on your AutomaticDailyBackup.bat file and select “Create Shortcut.” After you have created the shortcut, move it to Start >> All Programs >> Startup and your hard drive will get automatically backed up every time you log in. These two steps are shown below:

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    20070313-backup1.JPG

      20070313-backup2.JPG

        In order to prevent this file from interrupting your work flow when it is backing up your hard drive, right-click on the shortcut in your “Startup” folder and choose “Properties.” In the “Properties” dialog, change “Run Normal” to “Minimized” and click “OK.”

        2. Backup your hard drive at scheduled intervals using AutomaticDailyBackup.bat

        The second way to backup your hard drive is to schedule an automatic backup using Windows Task Scheduler. First, you need to open Task Scheduler (Start >> Control Panel >> Performance and Maintenance >> Scheduled Tasks).

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        Once you launch Windows Task Scheduler, click “Add Scheduled Task” and then click “Next.” On the “Click the program you want Windows to run” selection screen, click “Browse…” and choose C:\AutomaticDailyBackup.bat and click “OK”.

        20070313-backup3.JPG

          Choose the frequency you would like the task to run (I chose weekly) and click “Next.” Select the day and time you would like the task to run and click “Next.” Enter your password (if you have one), click “Next” and then click “Finish.” Your scheduled task is all set and it will execute itself automatically at the day and time you chose. If you would like to backup your hard drive more frequently (for example, two or three times per week) create several tasks identical to what is shown above and set them to run on different days of the week.

          3. Backup your hard drive at scheduled intervals using Windows Task Scheduler

          You probably noticed that Windows Task Scheduler has a backup utility built right into it. I prefer to use the AutomaticDailyBackup file to backup the hard drive because it has a finer-grained control of the backup process. However, if you prefer, simply select “Backup” (shown below) and Windows Task Scheduler will automatically control your backup.

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          20070313-backup4.JPG

            4. Backup your hard drive on shutdown

            In order to backup your hard drive on shutdown, you need to download Xecutor. Xecutor is a free download that you can download from the Xecutor homepage. Once you install Xecutor and run it for the first time, it will ask you if you want to run Xecutor on Startup — choose “Yes.”

            Next, select the “Shutdown” tab and then the green plus sign. On the properties screen, navigate to C:\AutomaticDailyBackup.bat and click “OK” (don’t worry about changing any other settings). You should see the following:

            20070313-backup5.JPG

              Now when you shutdown Windows, Xecutor will automatically run the AutomaticDailyBackup script.

              Hopefully you found at least one of the four ways to backup your hard drive useful. Coming from someone who lost everything on a hard drive without backing up, please don’t underestimate the importance of backing up your hard drive. If your hard drive crapped out right now, how much information (documents, music, pictures, videos, etc.) would you lose?

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              Last Updated on June 12, 2019

              Top 10 Ways to Lead More Effectively with Humor

              Top 10 Ways to Lead More Effectively with Humor

              Humor and laughter provide so many rewards. Studies have shown 20 seconds of laughter yield the same benefits as 3 minutes of hard rowing. A Robert Half International study reported 84% of executives believe a worker with a good sense of humor does a better job. Incorporating humor more effectively in the workplace allows you to defuse difficult situations, reduce stress, create attention for new ideas, build rapport, and be a more approachable and memorable leader.

              With those benefits, it behooves you to hone your workplace comedic skills. So in the tradition of David Letterman, here are the top 10 ways to more effectively lead with humor!

              #10. Look for Joy in Life

              An important step is continually looking for joy throughout your life. This happens in a variety of ways:

              • Focus less on yourself and more on helping others. Need help? Read “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” the classic by Dale Carnegie.
              • Laugh more – kids reportedly laugh 400 times per day vs. 15 times for adults. Aim for laughing 40 times daily to be at least 10% of your former self!
              • Regularly read humorous comic strips and look for quips and funny comments in your reading.
              • Even in challenging situations, hunt for something funny or humorous you can take away.

              #9. Learn What Makes You Laugh

              If you’re trying to laugh 40 times daily, it’s important to know what makes you laugh and have ready access to laugh-provokers. Figure out 107 things which make you laugh. Unrealistic? Hardly! Why 107? Because 107 is funnier than 100! Here’s a recipe for listing what makes you laugh by simply identifying:

              • 13 Movies
              • 11 TV Shows
              • 5 Words or Phrases
              • 19 Personal Stories
              • 5 Cartoons
              • 7 Audio or Video Pieces
              • 11 Comedians
              • 7 TV Personalities
              • 7 Funny Photos
              • 7 People You Know
              • 15 of Anything Else
              • TOTAL = 107 Funny Things

              Collect & save these humor starters in a “Smile File” when you quickly need a laugh or comedic inspiration.

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              #8. Use Your Own Comedic Material

              Personal experiences are the most genuine humor sources for effective leadership. Look for humor in situations from your own life:

              • Funny things you have said or others have said to you
              • Pratfalls, be they mental, interpersonal, & physical
              • Embarrassing moments or unexpected happenings
              • Times of change or learning
              • Difficult life events (yes, even these can be humor sources)

              When turning personal situations into comedic material, remember lessons learned from a childhood humor staple: Knock-Knock Jokes. These simple jokes work because the knock-knock structure highlights familiar situations, uses only essential words and phrases, and clearly signals a laughing opportunity. They also demonstrate how humor springs from surprise. The laughs come from not knowing who or what exactly is behind the door based on the initial response to “Who’s there?”

              #7. Adapt Somebody Else’s Material

              Beyond your own experiences, there’s a tradition of “borrowing & adapting” (I didn’t say stealing) funny stuff from others. That’s why old-time comedian Milton Berle was called the “Thief of Bad Gags.”

              Part of borrowing successfully is using easily accessible humor sources in ways many don’t consider. Beyond simply Googling “funny” in front of quotes, one-liners, definitions, pictures, or videos, here are two other common sources you can adapt:

              • Cartoons – You can use cartoons in various ways by showing one in a presentation, telling the cartoon’s story (potentially making yourself a character) without any images, or using its punch line as a starting point for new humor.
              • Comedians – Mainstream comedians’ jokes or catch phrases are another source to modify and adapt to your personality or work situation. Watch lots of comedians and learn how professionals do it so well.

              #6. Understand Your Audience

              Using humor in a leadership position requires understanding boundaries on its proper use. It all starts with really understanding your audience by:

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              • Paying attention to top management’s attitudes toward humor.
              • Knowing the audience’s composition – this directly affects which humor types are appropriate.
              • Loving your audience as much or more than you poke fun at them.
              • Inviting others into humor since you can’t assume they share your same humor sensibilities.

              In case you’re contemplating using ad lib humor, completely knowing your audience is even more vital. Ad-libs have the potential for going horribly wrong because audience sensibilities have been misjudged. It’s very beneficial to actually plan and rehearse ad libs. It may sound odd, but identify common work situations you encounter and think through what usually goes wrong or provides a source for potential humor. Work out some “safe” funny comebacks to use as “planned” ad libs.

              #5. Know the Rules and Boundaries

              There are blatant humor no-no’s in the workplace which are quite acceptable for an onstage comedian. At work, avoid harmful practical jokes or pranks, heavily sarcastic comments, and humor rooted in religious, sexual, ethnic, or racial themes. Think you know your work setting well enough to tread on this dangerous ground? Here’s some advice: DON’T. The way questionable humor will be perceived by a workplace audience is too much of an unknown to take big risks when your career is at stake.

              Use this checkpoint to actually see if your intended workplace humor is SAFE. To pass the SAFE test, all of these statements need to be true regarding your joke, comment, or image:

              • I can Say/Show this to my mother.
              • It wouldn’t Anger me if I were the butt of the joke.
              • This wouldn’t trigger an FCC violation
              • Everyone in the audience will be able to get it.

              With even a hint of one false answer, dramatically modify your idea or better yet, abandon it and start over.

              #4. Get over Yourself

              Effective leaders don’t take themselves too seriously. They’re comfortable laughing at themselves and letting others be funny as well. Leaders should become adept at appropriately using self-deprecating humor, i.e., self-directed humor downplaying your own talents, stature, or accomplishments

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              You don’t want to use self-deprecating humor on simply any topic, however. It’s most effectively & appropriately used in:

              • Situations where you’re comfortable & self-confident
              • Areas where your credibility & competence are clearly established
              • Ways that fit your known personality & sensibilities

              Remember – when trying to borrow someone else’s self-deprecating humor, you need to share that person’s perspective & situation. If not, it’s simply deprecating! I once heard a decidedly non-technical Marketing VP call out “data geeks” in the audience. While that’s what they called themselves, she wasn’t a part of their group, and her comment, intended to build affiliation, fell completely flat.

              #3. Need Humor Ideas? Just Look Around

              The workplace is filled with situations lending themselves to comedy. Humor springs from exaggeration, wordplay, misunderstandings, ambiguity, contradictions, paradoxes, pain, and inconsistencies. If you work in any type of business or organizational setting, there are plenty of these situations to go around!

              As a leader, it’s your role to use the proper opptunities to encourage and employ humor successfully by ensuring that:

              • Your humor makes others feel good about themselves.
              • Hurtful fun isn’t made of those less tenured than you in the organization.
              • You don’t use humor when agitated since it can lead to apparent meanness.

              #2. Surround Yourself with Joy

              If you’re looking for more joy and levity in leadership, surround yourself with joyful people. These are people who are funny, easily spur laughter, and routinely cheer people up through their presence.

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              Cultivate relationships with these types of people. Spend time with them, learn from their successful uses of humor, and emulate elements of their approaches that work for you.

              Beyond basking in the joy these people create, select 3 or 4 of them to be an informal comedy team. As your comedy team, solicit their opinions to help you generate and refine humor ideas. They can also provide perspectives on potentially questionable humor material that makes it through the SAFE test, but still feels like it might not be right for a workplace audience.

              #1. Dive into the Fun

              Ultimately, the most important part of successfully using humor as a leader is actually sharing it in the workplace. Here are a few final tips to keep in mind:

              • Practice your humor in appropriate, low-risk settings to find out what works before trying it out with a bigger audience.
              • Signal a laughing opportunity through your words, actions, and tone. It’s also a good practice to give people “permission” to laugh in the workplace.
              • Finally, be earnest in using humor; don’t focus on laughs so much as lightening and adding fun into work settings.

              Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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