One of the most basic things to understand in backup and recovery is the concept of backup levels and what they mean.

Without a proper understanding of what they are and how they work, companies can adopt bad practices that range from wasted bandwidth and storage to actually missing important data on their backups. Understanding these concepts is also crucial when selecting new data-protection products or services.

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Full backup

A full backup contains all data in the entire system. A full backup of the C: drive in Windows contains every file on the C: drive. A full backup of a Windows system should contain a copy of every file on every drive on the machine or VM (e.g. C:, D:, F:, etc.). The same goes for a full backup of a UNIX or Linux machine; it contains every file on every file system on the machine (e.g./, /home, /opt, etc.).

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