Calculate Your Storage Needs
That depends really on how much and how many files & directories you decide you need to keep safely offsite.
Because there are so many different programs and file types, each with their own different file extensions (the last 3 characters after
the '.' dot in a filename. E.g.: "MyStory.doc"), no Storage Calculator is ever going to be able to tell you
exactly, how much storage you will need.
So, what we've tried to do here is give you a step-by-step guide to how you can work out for yourself, a pretty good estimate of just how much storage
you're likely to need.
...A step-by-step guide to estimate how much storage you're likely to need...
For a list of common programs and their related file extensions, just click here and keep this Window open
next to you while you search. You may need to refer back to it.
This guide assumes you're using Microsoft Windows XP. If you're using some other operating system, please refer to your system's manual for the correct commands
to use to carry out these exercises.
For the purposes of clarity, when we we say to click something, we mean to use whichever mouse button is the button you would normally use to do things with your
computer. If we say to Right-Click (R-Click) something, then we mean to use the oppsite button from your normal buton. The button that normally brings up your
"Context Menu". If you're left-handed, you'll know what we mean.
Ready.....? Let's get started!
First things first!
- If you already know exactly which directories you want to back, up you can skip straight
- But if, like most people, you have files all over the place, or you're just not sure yet, then continue on from here.
Minimise or close all your open
applications, locate your "My Computer" icon and open it by Dbl-Clicking.
Make sure we can see the list of your folders next to your files. Click the "View" menu -> "Explorer Bar"
Next, we want to see the "Status Bar". Click the "View" menu -> "Status Bar".
Rather than icons, we want a bit more information to be shown. Click the "View" menu -> "Details".
You should now have a right hand which resembles something like a spreadsheet with column headings et al.
Also a big help when you come to selecting those different types of files is to see their file extensions. To do this, first click the
"Tools" menu -> "Folder Options".
In the "Folder Options" Dialog that pops up, click the "View" Tab and make sure you
'uncheck' (i.e. No green tick) the "Hide extensions for known file types" option. Then click "Apply" and
Your Windows Explorer should now look something like this.
Next click on your "Start" button in the bottom left of your screen and then click
When the Search Window pops up, click "All files and folders".
Type in the types of files you want to search for. Separate different file types with a comma ','. When you're ready, hit the
"Search" button. This is where that list of file types will come in handy.
The Search will bring back something that looks like this.
To see how big each file is click the "View" menu -> "Details". This also gives us each file's location
in your directory structure. In this way you can easily see which folders contain the majority of your information and are therefore likely to be the folders you
most want to have copies of safely offsite.
Now to see how much data you have, on your keyboard, press "CTRL+A". This will select all files displayed.
Next, R-Click on any highlighted file and click "Properties".
This will bring up the "Properties Dialog" which will tell you very clearly, how much space your selected files
take up on your hard disk.
If you already know exactly which folders you want to back up, you can do the following;
Locate your desired folder in your "My Computer/Windows Explorer" window, R-Click the folder's name and click
And this will again tell you how much space this folder takes up on your disk.
Once you have an approximation of how space your files take up, you can make a judgement on how much backup storage you are going to need. One thing to keep in
mind is how often your files change.
If your files change regularly, you will want to add some spare backup storage capacity. The reason for this is because the
critical data backup client will keep a number of versions of your files for you (How many is something you can
configure yourself). So that if you ever decide you need to go back to a previous version, you can. But of course, the more versions you keep, the more
backup storage they will take up.
When you're ready, you can click here to sign up for a 14 Day Free Trial.
Just be aware that trial accounts are limited to 5GB.