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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 February 13, 2020

              What Is Speed Reading and How to Successfully Learn It

              What Is Speed Reading and How to Successfully Learn It

              Too much to read, too little time! Don’t you wish you could read faster without compromising your knowledge intake? This is where a valuable learning technique comes to the rescue: speed reading.

              Speed reading is the top skill to learn in 2020. Read on to find out all about this amazing technique!

              What Is Speed Reading?

              On average, an adult can read somewhere between 200 to 300 words per minute. With speed reading, you can read around 1500 words per minute.[1] Yes, that sounds impossible, but it is true.

              In order to understand how this skill works, you first need to know how the reading process works inside a human’s brain.

              The Reading Process

              The first step is for the eyes to look at a word. This “fixation” on every word takes around 0.25 seconds.

              Next, the eye moves on to the following word. It takes 0.1 seconds for the brain to move from one word to the next. This is called “saccade.”

              Usually, a person reads 4 to 5 words or a sentence at once. After all the fixations and saccades, the brain goes over the entire phrase again in order to process the meaning. This takes around half a second.

              All in all, this allows the average person to read 200 to 300 words in a minute.

              Speeding up the Process

              The concept of speed reading is to speed up this process at least 5 times. Since the saccade period cannot be shortened any further, speed reading emphasizes quicker fixations.

              To accomplish this, scientists recommend that the reader skips the subvocalization: when the readers actually say the word in their mind, even when reading silently.

              Basically, speed reading is the technique of only seeing the words instead of speaking them silently.

              Do not confuse this with skimming. When a reader skims through a text, they skip the parts that their brain considers to be unnecessary.

              You may skip important information in this process. Moreover, skimming does not allow the brain to retain what has been read.

              Why Speed Read?

              Speed reading is not just quick, but also effective. This skill saves a lot of of time without sacrificing information.

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              Also, it has been proven to improve memory. The brain’s performance improves during speed reading, which allows the reader to remember more information than before.

              Since speed reading stabilizes the brain, the information is processed faster and more efficiently.

              Believe it or not, this technique leads to improved focus, too. As the brain receives a lot of information during speed reading, there is far less chance of distraction. The brain focuses solely on the job at hand.

              Since the brain is, after all, a muscle, the process of speed reading acts as an exercise. Just like the rest of your muscles, your brain needs exercise to grow stronger, too.

              A focused brain means improved logical thinking. As your brain gets used to receiving and organizing so much information so quickly, your thinking process will become faster.

              As soon as a problem is thrown at you, your brain will quickly put two and two together. You will be able to retrieve stored information, figure out correlations, and come up with new solutions, all within seconds!

              Still not convinced? Read 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn Speed Reading

              Greater Benefits

              With a healthier brain, you can expect better things in other parts of your life, too. A boost in self-esteem is just one of them.

              As you begin to understand information at a faster pace, you will also begin to figure out more opportunities all around you.

              With the ability to deeply understand information in a shorter period of time, your confidence levels will quickly grow higher.

              Moreover, all the aforementioned benefits will relieve you of stress. You will manage your readings in lesser time, your brain will be healthier, and you will feel so much better about yourself.

              With all these advantages, your emotional well-being will be healthier than ever. You’ll feel less stress since your brain will learn to tackle problems efficiently. Speed reading will lead to a relaxed, tension-free lifestyle!

              How to Learn to Speed Read

              Speed reading is a superpower. Fortunately, unlike other superpowers, this one can be learned!

              There are different techniques that can be used to master this skill. Opt for the one that best suits your learning style.

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              1. The Pointer Method

              The person who is credited for popularizing speed reading, Evelyn Wood, came up with the pointer method. It is a simple technique in which the reader uses their index finger to slide across the text that they’re reading.

              As the finger moves, the brain coherently moves along with it. It is an effective technique to keep the eyes focused where the finger goes without causing any distraction.

              Readers have a tendency to back-skip. The pointer method prevents this from happening, thereby saving at least half the reading time.

              2. The Scanning Method

              In this technique, the reader’s eyes move along one part of the page only. This can be the left or right side of the text but is usually the center since that is the most convenient.

              Instead of pacing through the entire text from left to right, the vision shifts from top to bottom.

              This method involves fixation on keywords such as names, figures, or other specific terms. By doing so, the saccade time is minimized.

              3. Perceptual Expansion

              Generally, a reader focuses on one word at a time. This technique, on the other hand, encourages the brain to read a chunk of words together. In doing so, this method increases the reader’s peripheral vision.

              Here’s the thing: even though the fixation time remains the same with perceptual expansion, the number of words that the eyes fixate on increases.

              So basically, the brain receives 5 times more information within the same amount of time.

              This technique is the hardest to master and takes the most time to learn. You’ll need help from speed reading tools in order to practice the perceptual expansion method.

              However, once you master it, this technique will offer you the fastest reading pace with the maximum knowledge intake.

              The Best Speed Reading Apps

              The easiest tool to aid any process in any part of life these days is your smartphone.

              You can use mobile applications to learn speed reading on the go. It has been proven that regularly practicing speed reading is the fastest way to learn this skill. [2]

              Here are a few great options to look into:

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              1. Reedy

              If you own an Android smartphone, you can download Reedy to your mobile. Otherwise, get the chrome extension on your laptop to enjoy speed reading with Reedy.

              This app trains readers to read faster by displaying words one by one on the screen. Instead of having to go through lines or long texts, Reedy prepares the user to focus on one word at a time.

              Although this isn’t an effective method to learn speed reading long texts, it is a great way to start.

              Once your brain gets used to the idea, you can shift to another app to train speed reading sentences or longer texts.

              2. ReadMe!

              Whether you’re an android or iOS user, you can take advantage of the ReadMe! application. This app even comes with some e-book options to practice speed reading on.

              Start by choosing your desired font size, color, layout, etc. Other than that, there are different reading modes for the user to choose from.

              If you want to practice reading sentence by sentence or in short paragraphs, you can choose the focused reading mode.

              The beeline reader mode changes the color of the text to guide the eye to read from the beginning to the end at a certain pace.

              Lastly, there is the spritz mode in which the app focuses on chunks of words at once. This controls the reader’s peripheral vision. However, this mode is not fully available in the free version of the app.

              3. Spreeder

              Spreeder is available on both iOS and Android. However, users may also gain benefits from Spreeder’s website. This application lets the reader paste in any text that they would like to speed read.

              Starting off at a rather low speed, the app flashes words one by one. Gradually, as the user becomes more comfortable, the speed increases.

              Slowly, the user is trained to speed read without having to skip any words.

              This app is different from the rest because it tracks the user’s reading improvements, recording the overall reading time and speed.

              The progress and improvement are tracked in order to motivate the user to perform even better.

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              Adjustable settings, such as the speed of the text, background color, etc. are in the control of the user.

              The Controversy Surrounding Speed Reading

              Truthfully, speed reading does sound too good to be true. It’s hard to believe that it is humanly possible to attain such a fast pace in reading without compromising the quality of information you receive.

              Perhaps as a result, there are people who do not trust the process of speed reading. They believe that when you read through a text at such a high speed, you cannot comprehend the information successfully.

              According to these people, your brain is unable to process information at the speed that you’re reading, and so, they regard speed reading as problematic.

              It is true that speed reading will be of no use if you do not understand the text you’re reading, no matter how quickly you did it.

              Similarly, if you were to read slowly and still not retain or understand the information you read, that would be useless, too.

              However, there a few factors to consider here. When reading at a normal pace, there is enough time in between every step of the process for the brain to get distracted.

              Conversely, speed reading leaves behind no time for the brain to focus on something else. It is unlike skimming. No part of the text is skipped, which means that the brain receives every single bit of information.

              Conclusion

              Keeping all of this in mind, speed reading cannot be labeled a hoax or a failure. Science has backed up this technique, and numerous readers have been using this skill to improve their learning ability.

              At the end of the day, it is your decision whether or not you want to trust this process.

              However, if you decide to take advantage of the opportunities speed reading provides, you will find a world of possibilities opening up to you.

              We live in a fast-paced world. Consuming information faster will help you keep up with that pace and find further success.

              Speed Read Like a Pro!

              Featured photo credit: Blaz Photo via unsplash.com

              Reference

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