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Question Need info on how to do backups of Windows 7, 8 and 10. I need new methods.

uberman

Golden Member
Sep 15, 2006
1,940
0
76
For the past 5 years I’ve done a backup of my Windows computers. I take a program like Acronis True Image and make a clone of the install. I then put the original installation away as a backup and I can copy that original install back to the hard drive if there is a failure due to virus, human error or Electro Magnetic Pulse Bomb.
I’d like to do some backups, but this time I’d like to make a file and put like 3 or 4 backups on an external hard drive like a WD Passport or burn a backup to DVD. Can anyone recommend some methods? Thank you for any and all of your time for responding.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,041
6,371
126
Well, I use Macrium Reflect (Free edition) to backup my PCs to my NAS unit. I use the option to split the backup into 4.0GB chunks. (Should probably use 3.99, actually, because reasons.)

Then, burn 4-5 of those chunks to Blu-Ray, or one chunk per DVD. Before doing that, consider making some PAR2 files for the backup set as well, and liberally distributing those PAR2 chunks (smaller than the original chunks) onto each of your backup discs as well.

The idea being, that if one or two of your backup discs goes bad or missing, you will be able to re-generate the missing pieces due to the wonderful "magic" of PAR2 chunks, and restore your backup, or access all of the files in it, still.
 

ralfy

Senior member
Jul 22, 2013
400
18
81
What I do is have a scheduled full backup of the boot drive (C, an SSD) every month with an incremental backup daily to an external drive (F), and one previous full backup version retained. With more drive space, I'd do a full with daily differential, and more than one full backup version retained.

I also have a scheduled full file and incremental backup of some games, apps that I don't need to put in C (where I don't have a lot of space), and other data files in an internal regular hard drive (D) to F.

Third, I have a old backup of the system using Windows to another internal regular hard drive (E) in the computer. Besides unimportant things I download, I also use it to store File History.

I use a syncing program to backup encrypted copies of some data files to the cloud.

Finally, I installed some applications to monitor drive health conditions and the temperatures of the CPU and GPU.
 

RLGL

Golden Member
Jan 8, 2013
1,811
214
106
I use Windows Backup and restore feature to make an image of the drive once a month. Also use Acronis to do a daily backup each night of the Docs app data etc. All of the above is placed on external drives.
 

JackMDS

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 25, 1999
29,152
280
126
So.. you are using True Image for cloning.

But.. TrueIimage works just as Well (or better) for back up to a File. There ample of choices to do it on a Computer, through a network, and even to the cloud.

You can install it on one central computer, or make a Boot USB that can work on any computer and instead of Cloning choose the option to back up to compressed file.

The One major adavandage that Acronis has over the Free programs is that it is much faster than any of them.

:cool:
 

balloonshark

Diamond Member
Jun 5, 2008
4,723
1,063
136
The last image I made with Macrium Reflect free was an image of my OS drive which was 42GB. I did an image and verification (which takes extra time) and it took 7:08. That's going from an older average SSD to a 7200RPM HDD. The image file size was 20GB at the default compression setting.

I usually make an image versus a clone. I think the only time a made a clone was when I was replacing the HDD with an SSD.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
14,523
4,607
136
I only back up user data (I write scripts that use robocopy on Windows) because the rest is easy to re-generate (at least on my setup).
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,920
1,028
126
I do it several ways. I do what Mikeymikec does, so my Quicken accounting does regular auto backups to my server, which can be restored. I keep my document archive on my server. All the server files of this nature have "folder duplication" within the Stablebit drive pool. The server also backs those files up automatically by Syncback SE. All the Windows 7 systems -- there are still three because my family is a bit backwards and slow -- automatically backed up in their entirety to the server.

My "masterpiece" system with Windows 10 has a regular daily backup using Macrium Reflect Workstation version. The difference between "Home" and "Workstation is so small that it isn't worth paying the extra $20 for the latter. Macrium "free" lets you do all but incremental backups -- I think.

It's a great program, because you can clone disks, fix dual-boot problems if you have any, or just fix a Windows installation which has developed boot problems originating with disk organization and other factors.

Here's the Big Caveat. Look at all the ways I've got fallbacks for data, including file and folder duplication on my server. the server had come in handy about three times over the last several years to restore Windows 7 systems, and it's very easy. You go to the server, make a USB thumb drive recovery disk for a particular computer, go to that computer, run the recovery and go out on the server to retrieve the disk images -- selectively or automatically.

But on my "masterpiece" system, my Windows 2012 server doesn't make backups for Windows 10 (the reason I was using Macrium for backup), and Macrium has been upgraded to version 7 since I started using it. I've followed all the upgrades on the boot drive, but the last time I made a rescue disc I was still using version 6. And since I'm in the middle of a motherboard change -- there's always uncertainty about disk and drive organization if you have to reset CMOS -- I'd wish to have an updated rescue disc. Even so, I can download the "free" version and create a rescue disc, but without the proper hardware drivers.

Certainly, a lot of things which I won't lose on the "masterpiece" are on other drives as opposed to the boot NVME. A lot of my software installation files are there, and I would just need to put the drive in a USB or eSATA device and grab the files. BUT -- I forgot to back up my MS Office Outlook files to the server, and I can't remember whether the current *.PST file is -- on the boot drive or a secondary drive.

So -- resurrecting the motherboard -- the NVME boot drive must remain intact. I have to resurrect the OS installation with the new hardware changes.

And this is another reason I was a bit stupid. I should've at least scheduled weekly differential Macrium backups to my server drive pool, even with the daily backups to a local disk -- my current practice. It does that stuff quite easily. I might even have had the server drive pool store the backups in duplication. What else would you do with 12TB of drive-pool space with only about 30% used?

What I DON'T LIKE -- and indications on recent forum posts suggest why -- are the continued changes to Windows 10, application software obsolescence with no alternative replacements -- things like that. Life at age 73+ should have reliable routine, and limited changes. I don't have the energy and time to keep up with such changes, and I don't like unpleasant surprises, stressful crises that need time and attention, or anything else that takes away my time from "eldercare", car repair, and all the damn chores and disciplines with Pandemic Constraints.
 

GrumpyMan

Diamond Member
May 14, 2001
5,645
159
106
I have been using Macrium Reflect free version for years. I have it make a full image of C drive every Sunday since Windows updates usually come out on Tuesdays. I have it save 2 images, so only the oldest is replaced each time. That way I can go back 2 weeks if need be. Been doing this for years now and it has saved my ass many times, especially when updating video drivers etc. Of course I have installed Macrium vBoot, so I have the choice of booting to that for an image restore or it defaults to W10 each time I boot, I have it set for 5 seconds to allow me to make a decision. Love it. YMMV.
 

rasczak

Lifer
Jan 29, 2005
10,456
19
81
For the past 5 years I’ve done a backup of my Windows computers. I take a program like Acronis True Image and make a clone of the install. I then put the original installation away as a backup and I can copy that original install back to the hard drive if there is a failure due to virus, human error or Electro Magnetic Pulse Bomb.
I’d like to do some backups, but this time I’d like to make a file and put like 3 or 4 backups on an external hard drive like a WD Passport or burn a backup to DVD. Can anyone recommend some methods? Thank you for any and all of your time for responding.

I know this is old, but I prefer using WinPE boot disk, then running dism /capture-image.
 

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