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Help backing up/transfering files...


I have not backed up my files or programs on my computer. I will be moving them to a new computer soon as well. I checked yesterday and I have about 15GB of photo files, 6 GB of music files and not sure yet on the actual document files. My hard drive is 40GB on a 5yr old Dell laptop and is almost 3/4s full?

The photos...

Most of my personal photos are digital that I still have on a memory card from the camera. But I also receive photos from other people and have a collection of photos I have downloaded that I would want to keep. I don't really want to take the time to sort through everything either, so I figured I would just back up the whole 15GB file.

The music files...

It has taken me a considerable amount of time to find and collect music that is important to me and I don't want to have to start over again.

The documents are just as necessary as the rest...I don't think there is much more than 3-4GB of that.

I have a copy of Word on my computer and not sure if I have the CD for it. I would not want to purchase it again and not sure how large a program that is. I have other programs that I have downloaded maybe? Mostly security programs, that I could probably start over on a new machine to get those. I have my camera and printer software which I assume I have CDs for. My DH has work related software that allows him to connect remotely to his office.

Other things I am not sure about how to move or save, would be favorite places, and/or settings on my Firefox Browser that I would hate to have to customize again. My Microsoft Calendar, Email program with the related files and address book. I can back up and transfer my music files as a folder, but my Windows Media Player has Playlists in it I would like to keep, not sure how to transfer those.

Maybe this is a lot easier than it sounds? [g] I am shopping for computers, and Apple is one I am considering. They actually offer to transfer everything from your old computer to the new one and that is sounding pretty good about now. But if I go with a PC company, I should know how to do it myself I guess.

So if you can explain how or direct me to a website that explains in a clear way, what I need to buy and how to do it, that would be great.

So far, this is my limited understanding...I would have backed up with CDs, but my burner is not working right and won't allow me to. I was going to get flash drives that people have suggested to me, but for the amount I need, it seems expensive. I saw that Staples had an external drive on sale for $99. for 160GB. Seems a little much, but it was going to cost $60. for 2 8GB flash drives. I am thinking that even once I transfer everything to a new computer, I am still going to have current needs for backing up files and future needs for backing up. The new machine will have a DVD writer though, which I assume I could use to back up files, so maybe the extra money for the external drive is unnecessary? I could also share my external drive with my grown kids who have computers and haven't backed their files up either, which I couldn't do if I had the DVD writer and they don't, right?

So, I really appreciate you taking the time to read this long post and any experience or input you can offer will be very much appreciated.



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