A hard drive crash can destroy years of stored data, and whether the data lost is a collection of irreplaceable digital photos or a business plan nearing completion, it can be devastating for home or business alike. To prevent loss of this magnitude it's important to back up your essential data. A backup is a precise copy of your data, saved at the backup point and unaltered unless you overwrite it, ready for retrieval when needed. While there are a number of backup methods available, Seagate external drives provide portable storage space for your system that's highly suited for backup storage. Large in size, the drives are capable of holding substantial amounts of data. In addition, Seagate includes it's Seagate Manager, a program that helps you to create a backup plan and schedules automatic backups of your essential data to ensure that saved files remain current.
Connect the Seagate external drive to your PC by plugging the USB cable to the USB port in the rear of the drive and then to an open USB port in your computer. Plug the power supply for the external drive into the rear of the drive and then into an electrical socket. Wait for your PC's operating system to recognize the new drive and make it available for use with your system.
Locate the Seagate Manager software labeled "Setup" in the root directory of your connected Seagate external hard drive. Run the "Setup" by double clicking on it to install the Seagate Manager application, which you can use to configure your backups. Wait for the application to install fully and then present you with the "Automatic Backup" window at the end of the installation process.
Press the "OK" button to accept automatic backup of your system drive, the drive containing your Windows installation, daily to your external drive at 10 p.m. Press the button marked "No Thanks" to create your own backup plan, choosing the files, drives or directories individually that you wish to back up instead. Wait for the Seagate Manager main menu window to open if selecting "No Thanks" in order to create your own backup plan.
Select "Simple Backup" from the Seagate Manager main menu options to back up only your My Documents directory in Windows XP or the Personal Folder in Windows Vista or Windows 7. Backup occurs daily at 10 p.m. Click the "My Drives" button in the command panel at the top of the window in order to open the "My Drives" page.
Select the external drive as your destination drive to place the backup.
Press the "Backup" button in the command panel to open the backup window.
Press the "Simple Backup" button and then confirm your choice in the confirmation window that pops up. Create a name for the backup plan and type the name in the provided box. Press the "OK" button to save your backup plan and begin the first data backup. Each day the backup will run again at 10 p.m.
Select "Custom Backup" from the Seagate Manager main menu to create a backup plan that can back up any files, drives and directories of your choice. Click "My Drives" and then select the external drive as the backup location.
Press the "Backup" button in the command panel to open the Backup window. Select the "Custom Backup" button to open the Backup Folder Selection Window, a file browser window for selecting your backup directories or files.
Select the file types that will be visible in the browser window. Either you can select to view all file types, documents and multimedia, or a custom selection of file types based on file extension.
Select the files that you wish to back up by highlighting them in the browser and then clicking "Add" to move the files to the "Include" list. You may add files individually or add entire directories to your list. Click "Next" to open the "Backup Schedule" window.
Select the schedule you wish to use for file backups. You can choose to encrypt your files during the backup at this time as well. Select "Enable Encryption" and create an encryption folder using the "Folder Encryption" window that opens. Create a password for the encryption then click "OK." Press the "Finish" button to lock in the backup schedule and begin the drive backup.
Press the "My Drives" button in the command panel to open the "My Drives" page.
Select the Seagate external drive on which you saved the backup.
Press the "Backup" button to open the "Backup" window.
Select "Restore Files" to open the "Restore a Backup" window. Choose to restore the most recent file version or a historical version of the file. Navigate to the file using the "Seagate Backup" folder on the external drive. Select the file and then drag it to the location on your hard drive you wish it restored.