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Windows 7: Which is the best free backup program?


22 Aug 2009   #41

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zay View Post
But, to date, which app creates good images that one can restore a Windows 7 machine successfully. I am looking for one that can make an image, then I can just run the image and restore my machine in little time. Not one that you have to install the OS, then run a program to restore your files.
The previously mentioned Clonezilla is capable of restoring to a blank hard drive. The image to be restored needs to be on a USB drive (or something similar). Boot to the CD and restore those partitions selected. Boot into Windows (or Ubuntu 9.04, or whatever). Excellent for multi boot, multi OS scenarios.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Aug 2009   #42

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Zay,

I think all the disk imaging apps. mentioned in this thread are capable of restoring to a blank drive.

I don't know any where you can " run the image" - you need to run the restore program in some way .

They will all have boot discs to do that.

You may like to try a few and make sure they work with your hardware, and then choose which you prefer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2009   #43

Windows 7 Home
 
 

Thanks all you folks SO MUCH for such a constructive and helpful thread on free or cheap and useful backup/restore programs for Windows 7 and previous versions.

I'm so THRILLED now with the prospect of being able to reliably back up and restore my full system disk now, I can't wait to try some of these products out. For me, I'll HAPPILY pay 50 bucks for Paragon, for example, if it will 1). work well 2). it has an easy to use interface and preferably a good user guide 3). they'll keep it maintained / support it.


(I suspect the ability of a product to just image a drive by sector and not get fouled up by trying to CHECK everything (this was the demise of Partition Magic which I used for 20 years, and had to, sadly, give up on awhile back once XP went to SP2) is the true requirement to make these products work consistently).

Cheers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Oct 2009   #44

Windows 7 Home
 
 

As an old guy who has a LOT of experience fiddling with backup / restore products for about 20 years, it can't be stressed strongly enough, that UNTIL YOU THOROUGHLY TEST THE COMPLETE BACKUP, BOOT, RESTORE, BOOT AND TEST OFF OF RECOVERED PARTITION with YOUR hardware -- you can't assume you'll have squat if, for example, your hard drive crashes.

For example, I've seen positive comments on using the MS Backup product with Windows 7. After using MS Backup with Windows 98, and it wouldn't reliably backup/restore the system settings -- so I, for example, could boot up Windows 98 after a backup just fine, but couldn't do things like get on the internet due to (I presume) corrupted registry keys -- I REFUSED to trust Microsoft for this any more. (Shame on them).

And I've seen bootable recovery disks work under one version of a product, and then NOT work on the same hardware with another version of the same product. You HAVE to test the WHOLE process, end to end, on YOUR hardware to be confident you can recover your data, especially if you have a catastrophic failure.

Sorry for the rant, but this point seemed worth emphasizing, as most non technical folks tend to be lazy and/or overoptimistic about testing such things...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2009   #45

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

+1 Always do a test backup and restore to make sure the app. works with your system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2009   #46

Windows 7 Ultimate, Ubuntu
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by OutcastSearcher View Post
I'll HAPPILY pay 50 bucks for Paragon, for example, if it will 1). work well 2). it has an easy to use interface and preferably a good user guide 3). they'll keep it maintained / support it.
Welcome OutcastSearcher.
Both Paragon Partition Manager and Paragon Hard Disk Manager contain the same core imaging/backup engine - Disk Manager gives you extended options - and in my experience they work without a hitch and are best of breed. You use a wizard interface, there is excellent built in help documentation and recent software updates suggest this company is the real deal (they offer server b/u etc).
I rely on this stuff to work and it hasn't failed me yet. Having said that this is pretty sensitive and even dicey stuff so having plan B and even plan C doesn't go astray - I've used Macrium Free successfully.
I haven't used it but really Windows backup (Backup and Restore) which will save a disk image should do it all at no cost. Shawn has a step-by-step tutorial.
Go to and duplicate!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2009   #47

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Hi Charles,

I'll second that.

I always found the Paragon apps. very reliable.

I am currently testing Drive Backup 10. It has a fantastic array of features.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #48

Windows 7 Ultimate, Ubuntu
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post

I am currently testing Drive Backup 10. It has a fantastic array of features.
Jeez - can't keep up - didn't know about a Drive Backup 10 - is it the Partition Manager 10 (Server) (which I am familiar with)?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #49

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

It's not out just yet, Charles.

They do Partition Manager , Drive Backup, and the Hard Disk Manager combines the features of both.

I don't know how they are going to fit that all in Hard Disk Manager 10.

Look at all these features in Drive Backup 10:

Which is the best free backup program?-db10server-screenshot-2009-10-17_055901.jpg


My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #50

Windows 7 Ultimate, Ubuntu
 
 

Whew - oh wowie - I have Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2009 and like it a lot (though the start windows are a bit 1995), and that is pretty complex and exhaustive but your screen takes it to another level.
So that makes me think you (SIW2) may be a fiend related to the software SIW? Is that possible?
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 Which is the best free backup program?




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