Here’s a New Year’s Resolution that you can keep right now! Back up all your pictures from 2012. Picasa makes it easy. I recommend using DVDs for this backup, but you can use a USB Hard Drive, or USB thumb drives if you really want. I like disks for 2 reasons:
- Once you burn the DVD, you cannot accidentally delete or overwrite the pictures on there
- You don’t use the disk for anything else. Burn your backups and then put the disks away in a safe place.
Make a New Backup Set
Open Picasa and click the Tools menu and Backup Pictures. You should now see some options open up at the bottom of your screen. There is a box #1 and a box #2. In #1 you should see an option to use an existing backup set, or create a new one. You need to create a new one here for the complete year of 2012. You have your choice to backup to CD/DVDs or to an external drive. Give it a meaningful name like 2012 Complete.
Once you click ‘Create’ you now need to select every folder of pictures that were taken in 2012. Just click the checkbox in front of each folder that contains pictures from the past year. In my case that is each monthly folder (201201, 201202, 201203 etc.) plus all the special event folders I made during the year (Cozumel Diving, Disney World with Grandkids, etc.)
The blue status line tells you exactly how many folders you have selected, how many files are in those folders, the size in Gigabytes of all the files you’ve selected, and finally, how many CDs or DVDs you will need. In my case, I need 6 DVDs. Make sure you have the DVDs handy, insert the first one, then click the Burn button. When Picasa fills up the first disk, it will ask you for the next one. It will keep asking until the entire backup set is finished.
You’re not Done Yet!
Whenever you make any kind of backup, you’re not done until you test it. There’s nothing worse than believing you have a good backup and not finding out that it didn’t work until you need it. It’s best to use a different computer for this, but if you only have the one, that’s fine too. Just take one of the disks and put it in the drive. It will initially pop up with a dialog box asking if you want to Restore – no, you don’t – so just click Cancel button. What you want to do is simply Explore your disk. You should see a folder named $pictures, open that and you should see your folders. Open a couple of folders to check that there are indeed pictures inside. If so, then you’re all set. Put the disks away in a safe place and give yourself a pat on the back!
This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour
Geeks on Tour is a membership website. There are lots of tutorial videos on editing your pictures with Picasa’s tools. The first 3 are free for all to view. To see all of them, you need a Geeks On Tour membership. It’s only $7/mo or $58/yearly. Join Today!
If you are a member, here are some videos about backups: