Learn about the technologies behind the Internet with The TCP/IP Guide!
NOTE: Using robot software to mass-download the site degrades the server and is prohibited. See here for more.
Find The PC Guide helpful? Please consider a donation to The PC Guide Tip Jar. Visa/MC/Paypal accepted.
View over 750 of my fine art photos any time for free at DesktopScenes.com!

[ The PC Guide | System Care Guide | Backups and Disaster Recovery | What To Back Up ]

Files Not to Back Up

There are some files that should never be backed up. The main reason is that some files do not contain anything that would matter if they were lost. Another reason is that some files are representations of programs or data that are better backed up in a different form. While virtually all regular files should be backed up, in most cases the following kinds of files should be excluded from routine backups:

  • Swap Files: A swap file is a large file that is used by the operating system for virtual memory. When the system needs more memory than actually exists in the PC, it creates a virtual memory space and applications "share" the real memory by swapping pieces of memory to the hard disk. The swap file holds these pieces; the process is described in much more detail here. This file can be quite large, sometimes exceeding 50 MB in size depending on the system. Since it does not contain any real data, but rather is a placeholder for information in memory while the PC is running, there is no point in backing it up.
  • Compressed Volume Files: If you use volume-based disk compression, the compressed volume that you see mounted as a drive letter is stored on the host disk as a single file called a compressed volume file or CVF. All the files on the compressed disk are in this file. If you use compressed volumes, the files on them should be backed up individually from the compressed volume. The big CVF file on the host disk should not be backed up, since it contains the same information but in a way that is much more difficult to restore.

Most newer software will in fact automatically deselect the items above, unless you override and tell it you want them included anyway. Many types of backup software will also let you select classes of files, by file type, that you want to exclude for whatever reason.

Next: The Windows 95 Registry

Home  -  Search  -  Topics  -  Up

The PC Guide (http://www.PCGuide.com)
Site Version: 2.2.0 - Version Date: April 17, 2001
Copyright 1997-2004 Charles M. Kozierok. All Rights Reserved.

Not responsible for any loss resulting from the use of this site.
Please read the Site Guide before using this material.
Custom Search