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Old 10-12-2016, 12:48 AM   #1
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Default W 10 Back up

Hi. I have a laptop with a 500 Gb hard drive. I have just bought a 1Tb external hard drive for back up purposes. This is my first attempt at backing up my hard drive. My question is what should I back up in the first place and then what should I back up in the future. I intend to use MS back up feature.

Regards.Mike
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Old 10-12-2016, 05:50 AM   #2
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Default Re: W 10 Back up

This is vexed question at the moment for me anyway. First of all you need to back up all your personal files. I wouldn't worry too much about the programs and operating system as those will be available either as downloads or as CDs/DVDs if you have purchased the program.

Now on to why this a problem. You say that you are going to use the MS backup feature. I assume that this is the one included in Windows 10, although you do not say what operating system you are using. Anyway if it is the Windows 10 backup and recovery system you are going to use be very careful. I have yet to make this work. I haven't posted this on here because I have asked this question on other forums and I am getting wildly conflicting answers. What I can categorically state is that the Windows 10 Backup and Recovery system has not worked for me and I have tried it on three different computers.

What does work is Macrium Relect that will clone your present hard drive to another, bigger hard drive but that isn't really a backup. Paragon backup tools are also good and they are both free programs..

Macrium Reflect Free

https://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/

I would also suggest that you download the Microsoft ISO to make a USB flash drive Windows 10 reinstallation drive. This will install a clean copy of Windows 10 on to your computer so you MUST ensure that your personal files are backed up to somwewhere else BEFORE you use this flash drive.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/soft...load/windows10

Hope that helps. Hopefully someone will come on here and tell me and you how to make a complete backup of Windows 10 plus all our personal files and programs so that I can just copy everything back when and if my hard drive fails. When you make a backup disk using the Microsoft backup and recovery feature it tells you to use a USB drive that is at least 32 Gb. I have a couple of terrabytes of data on my hard drive, it is a 3 Tb hard drive. There is no way in the world will that lot go onto a 32Gb drive. As I say the best way I have found so far that works is to clone my existing hard drive to another hard drive and keep that hard drive as a back up. Unfortunately, for me, that clone takes a whole day.

Oh sorry just seen your thread title. It is Windows 10.
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Old 10-12-2016, 07:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: W 10 Back up

Personally I don't bother using any particular software to backup any of my important files, I just copy and paste them to another drive and if Windows goes kaput then I just get a USB with Windows ready to go and reinstall over the old installation.

As for making a complete backup of Windows 10 you can use the make a system image backup feature. TenForums have a good tutorial How to Create a System Image in Windows 10
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:34 AM   #4
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Default Re: W 10 Back up

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Originally Posted by BK_123 View Post
Personally I don't bother using any particular software to backup any of my important files, I just copy and paste them to another drive and if Windows goes kaput then I just get a USB with Windows ready to go and reinstall over the old installation.

As for making a complete backup of Windows 10 you can use the make a system image backup feature. TenForums have a good tutorial How to Create a System Image in Windows 10
Neither do I. I only back up my personal files. I have tried the Windows 10 back up and recover utility. I know how it works. It tells me to use at least a 32 Gb stick to do the backup. I have tried this 3 times and each time it says the back up is successfull. But it does not work. I can create a full system image using Macrium Reflect on a different hard drive. that does work. The biggest USB flash drive that I can find is 256 Gb ( I think I said Mb in my last post I meant Gb). with the best will in the world this will not contain any where near all my data and a full backup of Windows and programs. I have over 2 Tb of stuff and that is only personal files.

I use the flash drive that I made from the ISO that I downloaded from Microsoft to do a clean install and then copy all my files and programs back. The problem is this takes the best part of 2 days to complete. It would be useful if the Microsoft back up and recover utility actually did a complete backup and then actually worked so that I can just recover my system to a new hard drive. That does not happen. In fact on my 3 computers the computers do not even see the USB disk drives to boot from them. Do not forget that I am trying to put Windows, all my programs and files back on to a blank hard drive. It does not happen.

Oh yeah forgot this as well. 2 of my computers are non EUFI and one is legacy. I have tried it with EUFI off and on and verything in between. It stil does not work.
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:52 AM   #5
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Default Re: W 10 Back up

Ah I will have to backtrack on this rapidly LOL. I have just rechecked this and I am finding that NOW the Windows backup utility is listing all my USB hard drives. The last tiem I tried this it only gave me the option to perform a system recovery on to a USB flash drive.

I'm still in agreement with BK 123 and with what I said originally. I will only back up my personal files. I was only trying the Windows disk image utility for my own experimental benefit. But it is good to know that it does work should I or someone else need it.
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Old 10-13-2016, 01:01 AM   #6
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Default Re: W 10 Back up

I think the last time I had come across Windows Backup was in the Vista days and my folks used it to backup files to external hard drive. Tried to look at the files backed up and I couldn't open them.
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Old 10-13-2016, 09:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: W 10 Back up

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Originally Posted by BK_123 View Post
I think the last time I had come across Windows Backup was in the Vista days and my folks used it to backup files to external hard drive. Tried to look at the files backed up and I couldn't open them.
lol Did you think you could? To look at them, restore the files from backup.
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:08 AM   #8
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Default Re: W 10 Back up

Macrium Reflect can also be used to do a System Image. IMO, you should always have a fairly current system image available in case of catastrophic failure. Don't depend on the manufacturer's restore disks or partition since restoring from either of those will return you to the way your computer was configured the day it left the factory.

With a System Image, you can restore your system in a short amount of time and have a working system, complete with all (or most depending on how recent the image is) of the software you use. You could do an OS install and then proceed to re-install all of your software but that can be time consuming.

Once you have a System Image, then you need to think about backing up your data. As far as which data to back up, think about what data (documents, pictures, music files, videos and the like) you have and would not like to lose. Any data that's important to YOU should be backed up. How often you back up depends on how much new data you generate each day, week, month or whatever and realizing that any new data you generate since your last backup will most likely be lost in case of a drive failure.

Another thing to think about regarding backups is how critical your data is. If your data is really critical, then you need to make multiple copies of it. Those multiple copies should be stored in separate locations. As an example, if you have your computer and the backups all stored in your office and there's a fire, you will lose not only your computer with it's data but your backups as well.
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Old 10-16-2016, 05:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: W 10 Back up

I have to agree with Pete and Strollin, using Macrium Reflect is a really good back up software...i use it myself.
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