NovaBACKUP Security Blog

Top Data Backup Questions


Our team has selected the top backup questions and answers to make your life easier. Understand what, when, and how to back up your valuable data. 

What is the most efficient data protection method?

Data experts believe in the comprehensive 3-2-1 backup rule because it is a safe and simple strategy for data backup. The rule is recommended for multiple computer systems, but it can be adopted by a one-computer user who likes to take precautions as well.

Your data backup plan should have:

  • 3 copies of your data stored on
  • 2 different types of media (such as external hard drives, network-attached storage, tape, or cloud storage) with
  • 1 of them is located offsite, just in case something happens to your primary location

To ensure this rule won’t let you down, adopt a routine of reviewing its guidelines continuously. In the backup space, redundancy is key!

How to backup files to ensure file restoration?

So, you chose and installed your backup software. Good job! Now a little more information: there are different types of backups that you should know about in order to be able to recover that single report updated last night or 100% of your files in case your hard drive fails. While every environment is different, we recommend starting out with these 3 standard backups and making adjustments:


Type of Backup

Once a month System Image Backup
Every week Full File Backup
Every day Differential File Backup

This schedule will help you have quick access to your files. Once you schedule them, they will run automatically, giving you peace of mind.  After starting your backup schedule, we recommend continually monitoring the space available on your backup device to ensure you don’t run out.

In this tutorial, we show you how to create and schedule every type of backup.

Did you know NovaBACKUP can email you reports on a daily, weekly, and/or monthly basis? These reports will also tell you the available free space for your destination so you don’t have to worry. Watch this quick video to learn how to set up backup summary reports.

What are the different categories of backups?

There are two different categories of backup:

  1. File Backup
    File backups are made from the selection of data files that you find important.  Use this to protect individual files. File backups are also how you can maintain multiple versions of files.

  2. Image Backup
    Image backups are designed to back up your entire partition, including the operating system, applications, and all other files. Use this to recover your data if your hard drive fails, is compromised, or is destroyed. You will also use this in case your Operating System becomes unable to boot. You can mount an Image Backup as a read-only volume to recover individual files if needed.

To effectively protect your data, you will want to schedule both file and image backups.

Within these categories, what types of data backup are there? 

For both File Backups and Image Backups, there are several different types of backup jobs available.

  1. Full Backup: back up the entire system drive (or the selected files), no matter when they were last modified.

  2. Partial Backup: Back up only those files that have changed.  There are 2 types of partial backups:
  • Differential Backup: Back up all files that have changed since your last Full Backup. With this option, your backup size is cumulatively larger than with Incremental backups, but this is the easiest method to restore from in case of system failure or data loss.  This is our recommended type of partial backup.

  • Incremental Backup: Back up only the files that have changed since the most recent backup, including Incremental or Full File backups. Incremental Backups are most useful for situations where a large number of small files accumulate (such as websites or photo folders), rather than working directories (such as the My Documents folder).

How do I restore my files?

Every backup solution is different. But with NovaBACKUP, you can restore your files easily:

  1. Click on the restore tab.
  2. Select your latest Full File Backup.
  3. Next, select all folders you'd like to restore.
  4. Hit restore.

By following those steps, NovaBACKUP will restore all files back to their original location. If you want to restore them to a different location, just hit settings and choose "restore to an alternate file location". You can also opt whether or not to overwrite existing files.

To learn more and be prepared when the time comes to restore your files, read this step-by-step guide.

How can I protect my data if my hard drive fails or disaster strikes?

Your Disaster Recovery (DR) planning may include creating Image backups, keeping a secondary copy of your data offsite, and performing regular test restores.

With NovaBACKUP, the first step in preparing to recover from a disaster is to create a boot disk (See our tutorial to learn how). A boot disk is a removable device (such as a USB drive) that contains Windows startup files, which will allow you to boot to a Windows pre-installation environment even if your hard drive will not boot, and easily recover your entire system and files from a previously created Image Backup.

The next step is to generate an Image Backup of your hard drive.  This will be used to rebuild your system exactly as it was before.

You can watch our complete DR walk-through here.

Is there a free trial of NovaBACKUP software to protect data?

Yes, you can download a free trial of NovaBACKUP software to protect data against data loss.