Setup Guide

Thank you for your interest in VBXSafe.

VbxSafe is a program and service which allows you to backup selected folders and files on your PC or laptop into cloud-based storage.

In this guide, we will help you set up the most common backup plans which should suit most people. The program is so simple to use that you will be able to work out your own modifications to our guided backup plans if you want to include folders and files which are not stored in “My Documents”.

Please be aware that the first time you run the backup plan, it is likely to take a long time to get all of your data up into the cloud. The exact time it will take will depend on how much data you want to backup, and what speed Internet link you happen to have.For example, if someone wanted to backup 25Gb of data, and was using a 4Mbps ADSL link,and scheduled the upload to only happen for 12 hours in the evening, then the upload will take about two weeks.Remember, that for cloud backup purposes, the upload speed to the Internet is much more important than the download speed.Typically, your upload speed will be less than 500Kbps, which means that 1Gb of data will take about 6 hours to upload.The VbxSafe backup program can be stopped and restarted if necessary-it will always resume where it left off.However, as the first backup task is such a long task, it would be a good idea to leave your computer running overnight until the backup has succeeded for the first time.  Subsequent backups will only copy files which have been changed or new files,so the run time is typically just a few minutes (unless you bring home some big video files).

Please be aware that if you are on an Internet-bandwidth contract which has a maximum amount of bandwidth you can use in a month, you will most likely exceed this for the first backup.  Similarly, if you are on a pay-per-Mb plan (such as cellular 3G contracts), the cost of the first backup will be exorbitant! 

We strongly recommend that you take out an uncapped ADSL contract before starting to use VbxSafe, or any other cloud backup service.  These uncapped ADSL packages are becoming commonplace, and are very affordable.  Contact VBX if you would like a price quote on such an uncapped ADSL service.

If you find that your Internet is suddenly too slow for your normal work because you have this massive first time backup running all the time, you can either stop the backup and start it again when you can leave your computer running the backup, or you can set advanced options to use different amounts of bandwidth during working hours and after hours.  See our “VbxSafe Advanced Settings Guide”.

 

After you have downloaded the VbxSafe software from the link in your invitation email, you can click on the program to install it.  Here is the Welcome screen – press “Next”

Install01

 

In the next screen you choose whether VbxSafe will be used to backup the PC (or laptop) (with one set of backup plans), or whether other users who may log into this PC with their own login names can set up their own, personalised backup plans.  If you are not sure, choose “Common”.  When you have made your choice, press “Next”.

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Leave the default Destination Folder, and press “Next”

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Click on “Finish”

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VbxSafe is now installed, and will start running (since we left the “Run VbxSafe” button checked at the final screen of installation.

We are going to set up two automatic backup tasks to run every day:

1. A backup task to backup all your documents and pictures.  We will exclude one folder from this backup, which is the folder containing your Microsoft Outlook files.  Since these files grow larger every day, we do not want to back up the whole file every day – for these files we will use “incremental backup”, which only backs up the part of the file that has changed.

2. The second backup task we will create is the task to backup your Microsoft Outlook files.  This backup will have options set to use incremental backup, and to allow you to backup the file even while it is being used.

VbxSafe comes with some preconfigured backup plans – we are going to modify one of the to create our backup plan 1) above, and we are going to create a new backup plan to complete task 2) above.

Let’s get to work.

 

Firstly, we have to enter our account credentials.  Enter your email address (as per the invitation email).  This is your account code for your backups. Enter the password, as per your invitation email. Press “OK”

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This is the Welcome screen.  Click on the tab “Backup Plans”

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Here you can see the predefined backup plans.  We are going to modify the first “My Documents Backup” plan.  Click on the dropdown arrows as shown.

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We are now going to modify (“Edit”) the “My Documents” backup plan.  Click on “Edit Backup Plan”

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We are now going to modify (“Edit”) the “My Documents” backup plan.  Click on “Edit Backup Plan”

On the Welcome to the Edit Backup Plan screen, press “”Next”.

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Leave the choice as “VbxSafe Account”, and click on “Next”.

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You can leave the default name, or you can choose the rename this backup plan as “Documents and Pictures”, or any other name of your choosing. Click “Next”

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For this backup task, we are going to leave both choices empty – these boxes will be checked in our second backup task. “Block level backup” implies that once the whole files has been backed up, on subsequent backup runs only the parts (blocks) of the file which have changed will be backed up.  This is useful for very large files which change regularly (like Microsoft Outlook .pst files). The second checkbox requests “Volume Shadow Copy Service”.  This is only needed if the files you are trying to backup are being changed while you are backing them up.  We will use this for the second backup task.

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We are going to modify the folders which this predefined backup plan will backup. In this screen you will see that disk “C:\” is greyed out in the picture.  This means that only portions of this disk are being backed up.   This is as we expect (it is generally not a good idea to backup a whole disk, as this includes temporary files, Microsoft software which you would re-install, etc). Click on the “Plus sign” to the left of the disk “C:\”.  This will expand the selection.

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Continue to click on the plus sign to the left of the greyed-out object, and continue to expand the selection until your window looks similar to the one on the left.  In my example, under C:\Users\croc, all of the “Documents” folder is selected with tick marks.  Obviously, “croc” will be replaced in your picture with the username you have used to login to your PC. Unselect the “Outlook Files” folder, as per my example.  Click on “Next”

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Leave the option to “Backup all files in selected folders” selected, press “Next”

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Leave the “Do not compress files in the backup plan” option selected. If you want your data encrypted before it leaves your computer, click on the “Enable Encryption” and enter a password twice.  If you lose this password, you will never be able to retrieve your data from the cloud, so only choose to encrypt if you have very valuable data. Press “Next”

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Leave the default option selected, press “Next”

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In this screen we are going to change the schedule from “No schedule” to “Recurring”.  As you click the “Recurring” button, the next screen will pop up.

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This is where we choose how often to run the backup, and at what time of day.  I suggest you run it every day at a time when your computer is likely to be switched on, but also try to choose a time when you are not likely to be wanting to use the Internet intensively.  My computer is always switched on until bedtime, but at 17h00 I go for a walk and then have supper, so I chose 17:00. When you have made your selection, press “OK”

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Back at the schedule screen, the choice has now changed to “Recurring”.  Press “Next”

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On the Pre / Post Actions screen, just press “Next”

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On the Notification screen, decide whether you want to be notified by email every time the backup runs, or only when it fails (or not at all).  You can always come and modify your backup plan later, so I suggest checking the “I want to receive notification email when the backup completes”, and “In all cases”.  Once you have been notified every day that backups are fine for a week or two, come back and change it to “When backup fails” Click “Next”

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Finally, we get a summary page which just confirms all our choices.  If anything is wrong, just press “Back” to the incorrect choice page, make the change, and then press “Next” to get back to this summary page. When you are happy with the choices, press “Next”

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Finally, the backup plan has been successfully modified, and we can just click “Finish”.  The backup will then run at the scheduled time.  If you wanted to start the first run right now, just tick the “Run backup now” button before pressing “Finish”.

Remember that the very first run will seem to take forever – it has to backup every file in the folders you have selected.  It can take days and even a week or two, depending on how much data you have, and what your Internet speed may be.

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Now we are back at the Backup Plans Tab, and you will see that your “My Documents” backup plan is scheduled (or running).

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Congratulations!  All of your documents and photos which are stored in the “My Documents” folder are now scheduled for automatic backup.

We will now create a new backup plan to backup Microsoft Outlook data files.  If you are using another program for your email, you will have to adapt these guidelines to cover the folders containing your email storage files.

From the VbxSafe Backup Plans tab, click on “File”, then “Backup Plan Wizard”

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The Create Backup Plan Wizard screen appears.  press “Next”

Outlook01

Press “Next”

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Change the name to something that makes sense to you, such as “Outlook Backup”. Press “Next”

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Since the Microsoft Outlook files will get very large (although only a part changes evey day),  we select “Use block level backup”, so that we have an incremental backup. Since Outlook may be running at the same time as the backup plan runs, we also select “Force using VSS”. Press “Next”

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Click the plus sign to the left of the “C:\” drive, to expand the details of this drive.

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Continue to click on the plus signs to the left of the folder names to navigate down to C:\Users\croc\Documents.  (Note that “croc” will be replaced by the name you used to log into your computer). Click on the “Outlook Files” folder.  This will backup all files stored in this folder. Press “Next”

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Press “Next”

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Leave the “Do not compress files in the backup plan” option selected. If you want your data encrypted before it leaves your computer, click on the “Enable Encryption” and enter a password twice.  If you lose this password, you will never be able to retrieve your data from the cloud, so only choose to encrypt if you have very valuable data. Press “Next”

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Press “Next”

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In this screen we are going to change the schedule from “No schedule” to “Recurring”.  As you click the “Recurring” button, the next screen will pop up.

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This is where we choose how often to run the backup, and at what time of day.  I suggest you run it every day at a time when your computer is likely to be switched on, but also try to choose a time when you are not likely to be wanting to use the Internet intensively.  I chose to start an hour later than the “My Documents” backup plan. Press “OK”.

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Back at the schedule screen, the choice has now changed to “Recurring”.  Press “Next”

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Since this backup plan is going to be an incremental backup plan, eventually we will end up with one big backup file and hundreds of incremental files.  You do not need to worry about this, as it is transparent to you, but it is a good idea to schedule another full backup if the total incremental size exceeds 50% of the last full backup size, as per the example to the left. Press “Next”

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Press “Next”

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On the Notification screen, decide whether you want to be notified by email every time the backup runs, or only when it fails (or not at all).  You can always come and modify your backup plan later, so I suggest checking the “I want to receive notification email when the backup completes”, and “In all cases”.  Once you have been notified every day that backups are fine for a week or two, come back and change it to “When backup fails” Click “Next”

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Finally, we get a summary page which just confirms all our choices.  If anything is wrong, just press “Back” to the incorrect choice page, make the change, and then press “Next” to get back to this summary page. When you are happy with the choices, press “Next”

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Finally, the backup plan has been successfully modified, and we can just click “Finish”.  The backup will then run at the scheduled time.  If you wanted to start the first run right now, just tick the “Run backup now” button before pressing “Finish”. Remember that the very first run will seem to take forever – it has to backup every file in the folders you have selected.  It can take days and even a week or two, depending on how much data you have, and what your Internet speed may be.

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Finally, we end up back at the VbxSafe Backup Plans tab, where we can see our two scheduled plans, as well as the other predefined sample plans.  From this screen you can monitor progress of the backups, although you will receive daily emails on progress (if you have selected to receive such emails during the setup phase).

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The task is done, and other than monitoring to see that the first big backup runs eventually succeed in getting the files into the cloud successfully, you can relax in the knowledge that the tasks will run every day as scheduled, and that you will receive emails as per your plans.

Obviously, if you start creating files in folders not included in the backup plans, you need to modify the backup plans to include such folders.  Include the new folders in the “My Documents” backup plan if they are files which are not very large, or are large, but don’t change (such as videos and photos).  Include the folders in the “Outlook backup” plan if they are large and change frequently.

You are welcome to create new backup plans to cater for any special requirements.

Once your documents and photos are in the cloud, you can retrieve them from anywhere if you know your account code (email address) and VbxSafe password.  If you have chosen to encrypt your data, you will also need this password.  Point your browser to http://vbxsafe.vbx.co.za, and enter your passwords to browse and retrieve your data from anywhere.  Please take normal security precautions, as you would if you were doing your Internet banking on someone else’s machine.

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