If you have spent much time in IT support, you'll know keeping your remote workers' laptops backed up is a nightmare.

You can give them an external HD, they won't use it.  You can set up backup software on it, they'll never remember to run it.  You can schedule it to run, it won't be switched on at the right time.  You can schedule it for during the day and they'll complain everything is slow.  The worst part is, you may not even know anything is wrong until you need that backup.  You can't win.

Or can you?

Here's a workable, reliable, simple backup solution for laptops, using DropBox*.

  1. Install Dropbox.  Configure it with the Dropbox folder somewhere with lots of room, perhaps D:\ if you have one, or C:\.  Do not put it in your Docs dir.
  2. Set up Folder Redirection: http://www.virtualizationadmin.com/articles-tutorials/terminal-services/performance/configure-folder-redirection.html

The trick when redirecting is to use "\\localhost\c$\dropbox"

Hey presto, all files you "Save to Desktop" or "My Documents" are transparently saved to C:\dropbox, where they are "instantly"** sync'd to your Dropbox space.

 

* Or Google Drive... or any other similar "Cloud Storage" service.  Here's a nice list of similar Dropbox type projects: http://www.webresourcesdepot.com/open-source-dropbox-alternatives-to-start-building-a-file-storage-sharing-system/

** Provided there is a network connection.  If they can't be sync'd now, they will be sync'd later.

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