Laptop Data Backup Tools: Making Local Duplicates

by Rod Dunne on January 25, 2011

in Backup Software, Laptop

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The traditional way to do a laptop data backup has always been to make local copies to CD or an external hard drive. While this approach is a little antiquated and harks back to techniques that have been used for decades, it is still very valid today. Here I’ll show you what software utilities to use of the advantages and disadvantages of using such an approach.

Making local duplicates of the contents of your laptop hard drive is definitely worth doing on a regular basis. Some users resort to burning CD copies of their files. With the advent of economical external hard drives it is now more popular to synchronize data from the laptop onto your hard disk. It is also worth mentioning USB memory drives which are increasing capacity and conserving hold a large volume of specific files.

Recommended synchronization software

Final Sync – Backup solution that allows you to copy/sync files between multiple pieces of hardware (laptop <-> external drives <-> USB memory sticks).

Using Sync Software

The modern approach to doing a laptop data backup is to use synchronization software to clone data between devices. Products like Final Sync can copy over files that are new additions or files that have changed between different systems in order to speed up the process of duplication. The great thing about this approach is that it is all automated so you simply have to configure which folders you wish to duplicate.


  • The backup copies are quickly accessible. This is a complete contrast to online backup services where you need an Internet connection in order to retrieve your data.
  • You have complete control over the volume and frequency of files that you backup. Modern external hard drives have such a large capacity that an entire ghost image of your laptop can be made.
  • This is also an economical approach. Whether you use external hard drive or burn CDs, it is a low-cost approach to making duplicates.


  • This can become a single point of failure. If the laptop data backup (i.e. CDs/HDD) are stored alongside the computer itself then there is the danger of both being lost as a result of theft or fire damage. Work around this by storing the backups separate from your laptop.
  • This is still a manual process. You need to manually invoke the backups by synchronizing the software. This is a minor setback and can potentially be scheduled using Window’s own task scheduler.

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