How To Back Up Files To A USB

Your computer’s files will not be automatically uploaded and backed up to the Kean network. Only files in your Network Drive will be on the Network, and this limited space is shared with others in your office.

If you frequently need to change workstations, it is a good idea to put some of your frequently used files on your department’s network drive if appropriate. Otherwise, you may want to use external storage (such as a USB stick) or cloud storage (such as Google Drive) to carry your files between computers.

Even if you use only one computer, it is strongly recommended that regularly back-up important files. You never know when you may lose a file on your computer. Even normal computer usage or system updates can carry a risk of deleting or “corrupting” your files. Computer failures, viruses, or physical damage to your computer can make it difficult or even impossible to recover your files. 

You can contact our office to specifically request assistance or training, but OCIS cannot perform this service on a reoccurring basis, nor will we store the back-up. Technicians do not provide storage devices; your department must make an official equipment request to order USB drives and external drives through regular purchasing channels. 

If your computer is being swapped out, OCIS can transfer your files to the new one upon request. However, we will not retain a back-up of these files after the new computer has been tested and delivered. In short, outside of Network Drives, each employee and department is responsible for keeping back-ups.

How To Back Up To A USB

  • Acquire a USB flash drive or an external hard drive. A flash drive is usually recommended. 
    1. A flash drive (AKA “thumb drive”) is a finger-sized stick. These are more portable. 
    2. An external hard drive is physically larger and usually has more storage space.  
  • Turn on your computer and plug the drive into one of its USB ports. 
  • A notification will show on your computer confirming that it has been detected. 
    1. If prompted, select “Open folder to view files” (or similar wording). 
    2. Otherwise, open the File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac). Then look for the device on the left sidebar. On Windows, it will have a letter followed by a colon, just like a network drive. Then the name will usually be the manufacturer or model by default.
       (For example, K: SanDisk on Windows, or just SanDisk on Mac)
  • You may create new Folders in your USB device if you’d like to organize your back up.  
  • Open a new File Explorer or Finder window. In this window, find the files you need to back up. 
  • Right click on any file or folder that you want to back up and select Copy.
    1. You can select multiple at a time by clicking on an empty space and dragging the cursor. 
    2. Do not select “Cut” – this will move the file off the computer.
  • Return to the window that shows your USB device. Right click and select “Paste”.
  • Repeat steps 6 & 7 until you’ve copied every file you want.
  • Do not unplug when you’re done! When you’re done, you need to eject the device. 
    1. On Mac, click the “Eject” button icon next to the device in Finder.
    2. On Windows, right click on the device and select “Eject” from the menu. 
  • Once the computer says the device has been ejected, you may unplug it. (Unplugging the USB before the device is ejected may damage the files on it.)

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