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Backing Up The System


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#1 robinclair

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 07:11 PM

Mod Edit:  Split from http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/527834/backup-for-dummies/ - Hamluis.

 

I had some questions regarding the original posting of backing up in windows 7; let me know if this should be on a different thread.  The original question was what to backup and how.  The answers seem to assume that a system restore disk came with the computer.  This no longer seems to be the case for many new computers.  If you have a computer with no recovery capability that you know of, what exactly should you do?  And what is a cost effective way to store all this data?  I have been reading various postings and maybe I am supposed to buy an external hard drive first?  Or maybe a lot of  DVD -RW disks?     thanks!


Edited by hamluis, 23 June 2014 - 10:21 AM.
PM sent new OP - Hamluis.


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#2 Scoop8

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 08:07 AM

robinclair

 

There are numerous opinions on the topic.  I'll offer mine:

 

First, it depends on what type of computer[s] you have.  For example. if it's a brand-name PC, ie, HP, Dell, etc, it most likely came with "recovery" partitions on your HDD.  This is the reason that a lot of PC manufacturers don't include Recovery media with the PC's at the time of purchase.  The PC's should include installed tools with which the owner can create their Recovery media.

 

For example. I have a Toshiba Laptop Win 7 PC with those partitions on my HDD.  In my case, Toshiba has an installed utility that creates the "Restore" DVD's.  I used that to create my Restore DVD's (4 ea).

 

I also have a Desktop PC which was custom-built so there are no Recovery partitions on my HDD.  I don't need the partitions since I'm periodically cloning (and imaging) my HDD.

 

My opinion, but that's the best way to backup your entire PC's since you are creating an exact copy (or image) of your HDD which can be used to restore your PC's to the same point in time as when such images were created.

 

Regarding your question about storage media, I'd recommend having a couple of HDD's available for general storage uses. 

 

I have a couple of portable USB HDD's, one that I use for unattended scheduled backups for specific items, such as often-edited files and data files such as my Outlook data file.

 

I also have a couple of spare SATA HDD's which I use for cloning.

 

With the cost of (spinner) HDD's being relatively reasonable now, that makes it easier for many PC users to include them as general backup storage devices.



#3 wpgwpg

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 11:27 AM

I suggest you get away from the Windows backup program and get yourself a good commercial backup program. I've seen forums fraught with problem reports for the Windows one. I know I was very unimpressed when I tried it. Two I'm familiar with and like are Easeus Todo Backup Free, and Memeo which has a 30 day free trial and you can buy it for $29.99.  Both of these will do incremental backups.
  The March 2012 issue of PC World was very high on the FREE program from Easeus and so is CNET.  In my experience with a variety of configurations I have to say I'm very impressed.  Like Ghost (which unfortunately is no longer on the market) it will back up to a networked drive, and it will create a boot CD for when your PC won't boot.  Don't download from CNET unless you want to get malware, but you can see CNET's review of it at
-
 CNET has a lot of backup program reviews at 
 
Some of these are free (last time I checked there were over 300), some have free trials (over 1000), and some are purchase only (over 200).
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External hard drives are best for backup. You can get a 500 GB one for around $50 and a 1 TB one for around $60. You can also buy a 32 GB flash drive for under $20.  It's the best insurance you can ever buy!
 
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I hope this helps.  Good luck

Everyone with a computer should back his system up to an external hard drive regularly.  :thumbsup:

#4 Wolverine 7

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 01:06 PM

Make your backup strategy simple to start with,perhaps an external drive,i would suggest just manualy copying your files across to it once a week.Some people like automated incramental backups which are more complex but simple manual backup is a good place to start.Important data should be saved twice,ie in two different locations.(you can make a backup and then just make an image of it and store it on another drive).

 

The point of backups is to affectively secure your data,it doesnt matter which way you do it as long as it works for you,best bet is to keep it simple at first.

 

I agree with wpgwpg in that the generic win 7 disk imager seems somewhat prone to glitches,Easus Todo backup is a good reliable program or Macruim Reflect,both have free editions and will make a reliable system image you can restore effectively with

should your system have problems.

 

If you dont have an install disk you can make one with a legal iso download here.

 

http://www.w7forums.com/threads/official-windows-7-sp1-iso-image-downloads.12325/

 

Just burn the iso to disk or copy to usb and you can use it if you need to repair or clean install your computer.

(You need to use the same version iso as your system ie win7 home,pro etc).

 

So here you would have your data backed up(to external drive) and secured,a system image of your computer to use in the event of system probs and a Windows disk or usb you could use to repair or clean install your system if needed.



#5 robinclair

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 06:51 AM

thanks so much to everyone for the great advice!  I have implemented several of these steps, and am waiting delivery for my new external hard drive.  






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