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Thread: backup

  1. #1
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    backup

    I have windows 7 home premium and I want to create a backup using an external HD. I'm not exactly sure what I need to back up. I have already created a system repair disc. There are a few user accounts on the computer. The computer is primarily used at home for searching for info, listening to and storing music, storing pics and videos, email etc. Things of that nature.Do I need to make a complete backup (system image) or would a backup of just the user accounts data be sufficient? Thank you.

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    A full system image is the fastest way to recover your complete system, in case something goes wrong. Many Lounge members do this, even if the interval between backups vary. I do it once a week, other members once a day, others even before making a major change to their system, like installing new software or applying updates. You should choose what is best for you. Of course, you can combine a full system image, with other backup types, like backing up your documents, at different intervals.

    Another thing to consider is the backup app to use. There some free recommended backup apps, like Macrium Reflect (popular among Lounge members) or EaseUS Todo Backup. Of course, Windows 7 also includes a backup app of its own, though less featured than the free options I just wrote about.

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    The Mull (2011-11-10)

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Mull,

    Welcome to the lounge as a poster, sorry I'm one post late.

    You would be well advised to take an entire disk image. That way you not only have your data but in the event of malware finding its way on to your machine you have a quick way to recover from it preserving all your programs and settings. YMMV.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Along with the above advice you could also burn those music, photos, and videos to DVD disk as well as doing the system image.
    This way you will have a more complete backup coverage.

    You could also export your email to a USB thumb drive on a regular basis to ensure it gets backed up as well.

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Mull, I would also like to add my welcome with RG.

    It appears you are considering the Win 7 Security and backup app for your Imaging needs. Some have had very favorable experiences with this app, but for my needs it is a little lite on features. You might want to read some of the threads in the Security and Backups forum for much more info on Imaging. There are many excellent apps discussed in detail there. Take a look.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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    2 Star Lounger
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    In your case, Macrium is the way to go because you have other user accounts. It is pretty easy to use, fast? Depends on your system specs. At least though you will capture "everyones" data in one back up.
    "Every Thing Changes but Change Itself"

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    The Mull (2011-11-10)

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    Thank you all for your replies to my question. As you may have guessed I'm relatively new to the computer game. Altho this does not intimidate me it does leave me with many more unanswered questions than answered ones.For instance, why did the backup I just made (on an ex HD) consume 368GB when my computer reads 725GB free of 906GB (a difference of only 181GB of space used). What got backed up? What is it that I'm not understanding? Thank you

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mull View Post
    Thank you all for your replies to my question. As you may have guessed I'm relatively new to the computer game. Altho this does not intimidate me it does leave me with many more unanswered questions than answered ones.For instance, why did the backup I just made (on an ex HD) consume 368GB when my computer reads 725GB free of 906GB (a difference of only 181GB of space used). What got backed up? What is it that I'm not understanding? Thank you
    Was there something else on the disk? Are you sure you made a single backup? I ask because your used space on the external HD is almost the double of the space used in the internal HD.

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I suspect there was something else there or the backup method chosen was a not the most optimized. For example I use Acronis True Image Home 2011. In the Imaging Options, one option is to use sector by sector. This Images both used space and free space thus making the Image file much bigger. Another option allows me to change the compression amout. This would also change the Image size. You probably had approx. a medium compression chosen, but may have had a sector by sector backup mode selected.

    ImageCreationMode.jpg
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Since 1997, I've used just one backup program, although several different versions.
    My program of preference is "Ghost", originally written my a little-known company in
    New Zealand in ~1997. Symantec bought the program and began a series of changes
    that eventually took the program from a small floppy based program to a monster of a
    Windows GUI program. Being 'Old School' I still use the last DOS based version of Ghost.
    In it's Partition to Image mode, it backs up files, one at a time and compresses them by
    whatever method I choose (No compression, FAST compression or HIGH compression)
    When backing up to another HD, I always use FAST compression and my backups usually
    take less than 10 minutes. Of course, I always delete all the garbage files off of my HD
    before doing a backup, to keep the Backup Image File as small as possible. That's just
    good housekeeping. When I do a backup to DVD's, I use Ghost in the HIGH compression
    mode, to keep the number of DVD's required, down to TWO.

    When I do a restore of my backup Image File, every file in the backup is written to the HD, in perfect order, with no spaces between them and of course, NO FRAGMENTATION!
    That's why I call a Ghost Restore "My perfect Defrag".
    I can do a C: drive backup and then a Restore, in less time than running any Defragmentation program and get a much nicer result.

    A clone is a different matter, as the drive is copied "as-is", bit by bit, like taking a Picture of the drive. Spaces, fragmentation and file errors, all get copied. That's an interesting way to do a backup, just clone my main drive to a backup drive, but it's not my favorite method. It's slow, clunky and totally lacks 'Finesse'. And it completely occupies one whole hard drive, that can NOT be used for anything else.

    Cheers Mates!
    The Doctor
    Last edited by DrWho; 2011-11-10 at 10:43.
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

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    Thank you again for your replies. For the backup I used an ex HD called HP SimpleSave. I just followed the instructions that came with the product. I had completed a backup previously on this drive but other than the info that I had moved there manually I wasn't able to access (view) any of the files or folders on the drive so with the exception of the manually inputted items (which were from another computer) I deleted everything and emptied the recyle bin. The items I manually inserted from the other computer I moved to the new computer beforehand and then made the backup of the whole computer and received the results I previously asked about. Does this aid you at all in being able to assist me? How do I completely erase the ex HD so I can start over? Also, where can I get detailed info on backing up my computer? At this point I'm beginning to feel like a 1st grader that's been made to start school at the 8th grade level!! I could be asking the wrong questions. Thank you.

  20. #12
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    There are many threads in the Security and Backups forum on Imaging. A search for Imaging should give lots of hits with tons of useful info.

    If the ext HD is plugged in you should be able to right click on it's icon and choose format. Just be sure you pick the correct drive. Don't want to format your OS. You might also be able to format it using the Disk Manager built into Win 7.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mull View Post
    Thank you again for your replies. For the backup I used an ex HD called HP SimpleSave. I just followed the instructions that came with the product. I had completed a backup previously on this drive but other than the info that I had moved there manually I wasn't able to access (view) any of the files or folders on the drive so with the exception of the manually inputted items (which were from another computer) I deleted everything and emptied the recyle bin. The items I manually inserted from the other computer I moved to the new computer beforehand and then made the backup of the whole computer and received the results I previously asked about. Does this aid you at all in being able to assist me? How do I completely erase the ex HD so I can start over? Also, where can I get detailed info on backing up my computer? At this point I'm beginning to feel like a 1st grader that's been made to start school at the 8th grade level!! I could be asking the wrong questions. Thank you.
    You can probably just right click the drive from Windows Explorer and choose Format.

    To backup, you can use one of the imaging apps recommended by Lounge members. Probably the free Macrium Reflect is the most popular. You can read a bit on Macrium and other imaging apps (called as such because they create an "image" of your disks / partitions at the time the backup is done) in the Security and Backup forum and also at the Macrium website.

  22. #14
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    Since the complete backup of my computer was made yesterday and finished every couple of hours or so the free space on the ex HD where the backup is stored is being consumed. I'm not adding anything to the computer! Since yesterdays backup completed I've noticed a drop of at least 20GB of free space on the ex HD.What is being backed up!? I can't even view the backed up files. Please help!?

  23. #15
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I would switch to a 3rd party Imaging app. Several excellent apps are discussed in detail in the Security and Backup forum. I have read of many problems utilizing the apps bundled with ext HD's. When I acquired my Seagate Ext HD, the first thing I did was reformated it as NTFS and dumped all the garbage that came with the Ext HD. I have chosen Acronis True Image Home for my Imaging needs, but there are other excellent apps that will be equally effective for your backup needs.

    For my scheme, I create a new Image when my systems change, i.e. updates, new apps, uninstalled apps, etc. My data needs are far less than many so I simply back up my data manually every couple of days to 2 other PC's on my home network. I suspect in your case, when your s/w backs up your data it is set to back up everything each time you back up rather than backing up modified data (incremental backup)
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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