Ask a Carbonista: Customer Support's Ten Most Wanted - Part 4

by Lynnette Nolan | Jun 13, 2008
Customer Support's
Ten Most Wanted

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

In Carbonite's Customer Support department, we answer thousands of questions each week, and many folks want to know the same things. I've compiled a list of the top ten questions we receive most often and the best (general) answers we can give. These answers are specific to Carbonite Version 3.5. (If you're on an earlier version, log into your account and reinstall Carbonite to get the latest version.) Given the length of some of the answers, I have decided to turn this into a multi-part post. And so, without any further ado, here's part 4:

9. Initially I said I want to back up just "my desktop and documents", but now I want to back up more. How do I do that?

The simplest way to change your backup selection is to open My Computer, right-click your hard drive icon, and select Don't back this up from the Carbonite context menu. It will take Carbonite a few minutes to remove your backup selections, and then the colored dot will disappear from your hard drive icon. Next, restart your computer. Now you can select items for backup. Simply right-click any file or folder and select Back this up from the Carbonite context menu to add it back to your backup selection.

If you wish to switch to the "recommended" option of backing up your documents and desktop, right-click the C:\Documents and Settings folder (C:\Users on Windows Vista) and select Back this up from the Carbonite context menu.

10. What if I get a virus? Will Carbonite back that up too?

Viruses live in and affect executable files. By "executable files", I mean files that can perform some kind of task. In the past, it was safe to say that viruses only affected programs, but these days most documents support some type of embedded macro or scripting language. It's possible that documents created by Microsoft Office or other programs could contain what is called a "macro virus" - a virus that can run when that file is opened by the program that created it. Luckily, these types of viruses tend to be the easiest to correct and remove while the virus is still dormant.

When recovering from a virus infection, my recommendation would be to reinstall your operating system and applications, and in particular a good anti-virus program. Be sure to get the latest virus definition files from the manufacturer of the anti-virus program. (This is usually included as part of your subscription, and the latest definition files can be downloaded via the Internet.) After reinstalling your operating system and anti-virus program, restore your backup, but be careful not to open your restored documents until after scanning them for viruses.

Well, there you go. That's our top ten. I hope you find this information helpful. You can find more detail on these topics by searching the frequently asked questions in Carbonite support. But as always, if you have additional questions, please let us know by e-mailing