Here’s are instructions for compressing data files and storing them online in Google Gmail and Google Drive for free.
- An external storage device (flash/pen/thumb drive, external hard drive, etc.)
- Internet connection
- Google Mail and/or Google Drive account(s)
1. Backup Data Locally
- In the Windows search box, type ‘file’ and select File Explorer.
- Locate the external drive link. (All of the following are examples of external-drive names:)
- Click on the drive.
- Right click on the white space in the drive window and select New, then Folder.
- Type ‘Data – Do Not Remove’ (no quotes) and press Enter.
- Double click on the folder and create new folders within it for each day of the week, naming the folders Monday, Tuesday, etc. (This will create a ‘rolling backup’ of data to prevent backing up ‘bad data’ over ‘good data’.)
- In BCSS or PPSS click on Utilities then Backup Data Manually.
- On the left under ‘Organize’ locate and select the external drive.
- Select the folder just created named ‘Data – Do Not Remove’.
- Select the folder named for the current day.
- Choose Open.
- A message must appear, ‘Backup complete’.
- Click on the blue question mark to close the message window. (A copy of current data now resides in the folder named for the current day.)
- Go to that folder on the external drive.
- Right click.
- Sent to
- Compressed (zipped) folder.
- Type a name like ‘data-08-31-19’ and press Enter. (The data is now ‘compressed’ (smaller in data size) and ready for emailing and online storage.)
2. Create Google Accounts
(Skip these steps if Google Mail and Google Drive accounts exist.)
Go to https://mail.google.com and https://www.google.com/drive/ to create accounts. Fifteen (15) GB (gigabytes) of storage is available in each account. (One thousand (1,000) songs is about 2 GB so this is plenty of storage for daily storage of BCSS/PPSS data.)
3. Store Data Online
Gmail: Simply send an email to your Gmail.com email address and attach the zipped file on the external drive. The email and the attachment will reside in your Gmail inbox. New folders can be created in Gmail and the emails with attachments can be moved to them.
Google Drive: Log into your Drive account, click on My Drive and use the ‘upload files’ option to upload the zipped file to Drive.
When data is moved or copied to a destination, it’s good practice to visit that location and verify that the files are there.
Caveat: Of course putting your data and your clients’ information ‘online’ exposes the data to hacking. Might be a good idea to at least notify your clients that their data will be ‘out there’ and include a disclaimer.
If the idea of online storage is appealing, search for ‘free online data storage’ for other such destinations.
Automate Local Backup
Settings can be made in BCSS/PPSS to automatically backup data to the external storage device.
- Go to File (upper left) then Program Setup then General. At the bottom enter a time of day that the backup should take place (in 24-hour format). Of course the computer must be on, BCSS/PPSS must be open and the external drive must be plugged in at the time specified for the backup.
- Go back to the General page and verify that the setting was saved. If not see this video: https://vimeo.com/134888785
- In BCSS/PPSS go to File again then User Interface.
- Navigate to the folder named ‘Data – Do Not Remove’ and select it.
- Click Open.
- Revisit the setting to verify it.
Each day (including weekends) at the time designated in Program Setup, a copy of the day’s data will be placed in the appropriate folder on the external drive in a folder named for the current day in the folder named ‘Data – Do Not Remove’. Visit those folders periodically to confirm that daily backups are successful.