Yup, the photos aren't the only thing you want to make sure you have backed up.
In my last post, I mentioned how I make sure my photos are double backed up for use with Historian.
Backing up content and projects for Artisan is a little bit different. Historian is built to protect and save your photos, and has features that help make sure you get that job done. Artisan is not geared the same way, so there are no automated features that help with backup.
It's not difficult at all to save your Artisan Projects folder to OneDrive or another cloud drive service like I mentioned in my last post. Your Artisan Projects folder is most likely currently located in your Documents folder on your PC, because that's the default location when you set up Artisan. Whether you've moved it or not, it's pretty simple to just drag the Artisan Projects folder from your Documents on your C: drive to the Documents folder in OneDrive.
But your projects aren't the only things you need to consider backing up. One of the most crucial things I would recommend backing up your content and activation codes.
I've been through a lot of operating system issues in the past few years, and this past weekend I realized that I was missing some of my old content from before I upgraded my laptop two years ago. The amazing thing is that I had the missing packages backed up, in the same place, and I was able to restore them very quickly.
If you only have a few dozen packages, maybe this isn't a huge issue. But if that number is in the hundreds, this becomes a little more serious. You paid some good money for these things! Let's make sure you can use them.
What You Need To Know About Your Content Files
Most people think that you need to reinstall your Artisan content packages if you change computers or have to reinstall your software for any reason. This is not exactly true.
The easiest and most complete way to backup your content for easy transfer is to backup the folder that Artisan installs it in when you activate it. You'll find it under the Public User in Public Documents/Commercial Art Kits. (If you have previously used Storybook Creator on the same computer, you may have a Creative Memories Art Kits folder in there as well. I would recommend combining the two, and setting the Commercial Art Kits folder for backup.)
I would not recommend trying to move the Commercial Art Kits folder to OneDrive because it's just best to leave the content where Artisan wants to find it by default. This means that you will want to setup this folder for backup with your regular backup method. (Please tell me you have one! You don't?! Ok, read on …)
It's time to employ that handy dandy external hard drive that you've been using for your Historian shadow copies. Yeah, pull that out.
There are many ways to setup backup systems using your external drive. Most drives come with software loaded on them that will allow you to create a routine backup plan. If you like that software, go ahead and use it. If not, you can always use the File History (Windows 8.1/10) or Windows Backup (Windows 7) that's part of your operating system. (Find those in your Control Panel under System and Security.)
The tricky part to this is that most of your backup programs will default to backing up the files under your personal User profile in Windows, but the content I'm suggesting that you backup is under the Public User. You'll want to look for a link like “Advanced settings” and find a way to include that Commercial Art Kits folder in your Public Documents. Or, if for some reason that is just not an option, at least make sure you manually backup that whole folder on a regular basis.
And please, please, please use the built in feature in Artisan to backup your activation codes! This is super quick and easy to do, but you need to make sure that you have those codes saved in more than one place. I have them backed up with my content on the external drive, but I also have them backed up to cloud storage (OneDrive) so that I can retrieve them later.
I hope this has helped. Until the next time, may your photos and content stay safe, and may you have a fabulous photograph-able weekend!