GFC Data Systems
Software and Support for Oklahoma Municipalities
Contact Info:

Phone/Fax: 405-722-6597


7408 NW 116th St

Okla City OK 73162

Owner: Jack C. Brown

Developing, installing, and supporting software for Oklahoma municipalities since 1984
   Home      Backing Up Files

You must regularly copy your data files to external media or site (CDs, USB thumb drives, tape cartridge, off-site storage centers, etc). This will protect you from:
a) Hardware failure (disk crash)
b) Operational problems
c) Natural disaster (fire, flood, tornadoes)

If backing up to CDs or USB thumb drives, you should have a rotation of media so there would be several possible backups that could be reloaded - not just a single one. For example if you are backing up to USB thumb drives you would want to have several and each time you back up it would be to the oldest one. In case of natural disaster, the media must be kept in a secure place (off-site or in a fire-proof safe).

Having a rotation of multiple CDs or USB thumb drives is a good method but sometimes we get calls from auditors wanting info from several months back (info that is no longer in the system).
A variation of a rotation of media would be to add a month-end backup and keep it. For example an auditor wants a report from the end of June 2011. If you made a backup at the end of June and kept it would be easy to give the auditor the info needed.

This would mean (in addition to your rotation of daily backups) that you would use an additional CD at the end of each month and it would be kept and not re-used. CD-Rs are best for this since they are inexpensive, one-use CDs.

Some users have servers which are automatically backed up at night to tapes or to off-site storage sites. They therefore feel additional backups are not needed. However unless you have the ability to get the data needed off the backup in a timely manner you should take responsibility and make your own backups of your Utility Billing, Budget, Payroll, Court folders to a type of media you have control over.

Always remember "you can not have too many backups". They are easy and inexpensive to make. If you don't know how to make a backup please look at the below example using "Computer" or "My Computer". If you are not making backups or have questions please call ASAP!!

The easiest way to back up to CDs is to use CD burning software (ex: Roxio, Nero, RecordNow) and set up a "project" that defines all the folders you want to back up. However if you don’t have CD Burning software an alternative way to backup (copy) files and folders to a CD would be to use the Windows program “Computer” (called "My Computer" in Windows XP). The program icon should be on your Windows desktop - if not then it might be under “Start”. Perform the following steps:

a) Insert CD you are going to use. If the CD opens automatically close it. If using CD-RWs you should have a rotation of several CDs - use the oldest CD in your rotation. If using CD-Rs use a blank CD.

b) Open (double-click) “Computer” (or "My Computer") .

c) If using CD-RW type CDs and the CD has the same files and folders as you are about to write to the CD, first erase the CD by right-clicking on the CD drive (D or E drive) and selecting “Erase this CD-RW”. If using CD-R type CDs use a blank CD.

d) With a blank CD in the drive, open (double-click) “OS (C:) or Local Disk (C:)” or a "Server" drive.

e) Left click once on the folder you want to backup just to highlight it and then right-click on the folder (ex: UTIL or BUDGET or

f) Move mouse to “Send to”. A list of devices should display.

g) Click on CD drive (usually D or E drive).
h) If using Windows 7/8 (after the first folder selected) a screen will display asking if the CD should be used like a USB drive or will be used with a CD/DVD player.  If user clicks on the USB option the CD will be formatted so it is faster to click on the CD/DVD option.

i) Files should begin copying to a temporary storage area but are not yet being copied to the CD. After a few seconds a message in a balloon should display that there are files waiting to be written to CD. If all folders have been selected go to step k. If another folder needs to be copied go to step “e”.

k) When all folders have been selected click on the “balloon” that  may appear at the bottom of the screen. If the balloon is no longer visible then close all screens and re-open "Computer" or "My Computer" and open the CD/DVD drive. Look for phrases that read "Burn to disc" or "Write these files to CD" and click on it.

l) Once the program has been told to begin writing files to the CD, a screen should display asking for the name of the CD. The current date or a random serial# should display as the CD name. You may change the name or leave the name as is.

m) Click on “Next”. The copy should begin.

n) When the copy is finished, click on “Finish”.

o) Remove CD. Close all screens. Record the date of the backup.

If you want to use a USB thumb drive instead of a CD perform these steps:
a) Insert USB flash drive.

b) If the thumb drive opens close it.

c) Open "Computer" or "My Computer".

d) Open the "OS (C:) or Local disk (C:) drive" or a Server drive.

e) Left click once on the folder to be backed up just to highlight it. Then right-click on the folder to be copied. A list of tasks should display.

f) Move mouse to "Send to". A list of devices should display.

g) Click removable USB drive option (usually identified in the range of drive F thru Z).

h) The folder will begin copying to the USB immediately. However if there is already a folder on the thumb drive with the same name a warning will display prompting user to take action. If using Windows XP click on "Yes to All" and files will begin copying. If using Windows 7/8 click on "Yes" to replace the existing folder. Then a warning will display that there are existing files. Check the box "Do this for the next nn conflicts" and then click on "Copy and Replace". The files should then begin copying.

i) If another folder needs to be copied go to step "e".

j) Close out of "Computer/My Computer". If you would like to preserve old backups on the USB drive you can re-open "Computer/My Computer" and re-open the USB drive and right-click and "rename" the folder(s) placing the backup date after it. For example the UTIL folder could be renamed to UTIL-10-31-2013 while the folder could be renamed to or something similar (do not use slashes or spaces). Then the next time you use this drive you will not get the "replace" message.

Whether using a CD or USB drive you don't have to just assume the backup worked. You can open the media to view the folders and double-click on any folder to view the files.
If you have questions please call or email: Send an email 

GFC Data Systems