Good info from Robert House and Citizen_WD .
I have 2 Win 7x64 PC's.
Here's what I do for my backups:
- Clone my Desktop PC every 2 weeks for a full HDD backup copy. I Image occasionally for redundancy using a Target external USB HDD where I store several full-HDD Images from my 2 PC's and a family member's XP PC.
- Backup my "must-have" items, such as an Outlook PST data file and a few Excel files, etc, things that are frequently edited/updated.
To backup those things, I use a twice-daily unattended backup job to a target USB external HDD using "Acronis" 2011 version software.
I also run a manual "copy" script file to a couple of Flash Drives for redundancy with those items.
I have 2 spare internal HDD's for each of my PC's. Since they are "spinner" HDD's, the return on investment is worth it for me to have bootable spare HDD's ready on the shelf to recover from a variety of undesirable scenarios. I use one spare to occasionally test-restore the PC from a stored full-HDD Image file.
Those 2 HDD's are connected to the PC's only during Cloning processes to help prevent "encryption/ransomware" malware issues.
I use a continuously-connected USB HDD for my automated Acronis backups.
I use 2 Flash Drives for the same backups that are connected only during the file-copy process.
Here's a couple of links at this forum with information that may help.
Backup Software Recommendations
Check out quietman7's post #3 in this link for links to various backup software options:
Suggestions about Backup
I use Acronis (paid version) for my Cloning and Macrium Reflect (free version) for my Imaging processes. I like to have a couple of backup software options available in case I encounter issues with one product.
I've used a 3rd tool called "Clonezilla" (a free ISO download) but it's not, my take, one of the more straightforward tools for novice users.
Things I'd recommend to consider:
- Redundancy. If one backup recovery path fails for a variety of possibilities, you'll have more paths to use for a recovery requirement.
- Include a full-HDD recovery path (Cloning and/or Imaging) in addition to having backups of those must-keep personal items.
- Spare internal HDD's. I noticed you're running with one SSD HDD so cost may be an issue there. For your parent's PC's, I'm guessing they have conventional "spinner" HDD's in their PC's.
Since the spinner HDD costs have decreased significantly the last couple of years, it's worth considering having a compete tested bootable spare HDD available on the shelf containing everything for recovery from nearly all malware and undesirable incidents, in addition to providing a fast recovery in case the Source HDD fails unexpectedly.