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Windows 7: Software for Backup to External Hard Drive


04 Jun 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 
Software for Backup to External Hard Drive

New desktop with Windows 7 (64 bit) Home Premium.

I want to use a system backup to a 1 or 2 TB external hard drive. Should I use the software within Windows 7 or the software that comes with the external hard drive or other?

Is there a brand of hard drive whose software you can recommend?

Thanks, cb

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Jun 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

abredt,
Welcome to SF. I would suggest Acronis software personally. What make is the hard drive and included software? I've also used the Windows 7 back up and found if very capable.
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04 Jun 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Jun 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
 
 

Most here probably use more than one and the choices will depend on who you ask. Personally, I use windows backup, Macrium Free, and Acronis. By using more than one program you are pretty assured one will work. I back up to an internal drive as well as 2 external drives. If you have a Western Digital or Seagate hard drive, they both offer a condenced version of Acronis which can be downloaded from their web site. I use microsoft synctoy to back up my user files seprately.
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04 Jun 2011   #5
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

I would recommend
1) Inbuilt Windows imaging (used manually via the "create a system image" button not setup automatically (ticked) in the backup settings).
2) Macrium Reflect free.

Both are free. Some don't like 1) for various reasons but has served me well in over 20+ images and 10+ full system restores.
You will find tutorials on both in the Tutorial section. Link to Macrium in free programs listing.
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04 Jun 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello abredt, welcome to Seven Forums!



Quite a few have serious issues with Windows backup; have a look at this tutorial at the link below and be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.


Imaging with free Macrium
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05 Jun 2011   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Windows 7's built in Backup and Restore has proven to be a hit or miss proposition for me. Twice it has worked properly and three times it simply refused to work when restore time came around!

Thus the idea of running two or three different imaging programs has the most merit of any suggestions you will find anywhere.

Since there are several really competent completely FREE imaging programs to be found, you have an embarrassment of riches to choose from.

1. If you have a Seagate hard drive anywhere in your machine (not just as the boot drive) you can download their free DiscWizard program from their website. When you use it to image your drive, it will offer you the very latest Acronis Drive Image program for $30 US. That is a fair price, and 40% off retail, for probably the best imaging program around. Still, if you don't mind DiscWizard and the fact it does not offer any scheduling options then have at it.

2. Paragon Backup and Recovery Free 2011 is also excellent and offers scheduling. However, I find the recovery boot disc to be problematic on my current machine because it just won't recognise my Logitech wireless mouse, and I end up having to control + tab around like crazy to get anything done with it. It has become a real nuisance to me, taking hours to make a simple image that used to take it 5 minutes, and I'm now on the verge of tossing it in the dumpster.

3. I just downloaded and used EaseUS's free Todo Backup 2.5.1 tonight and tried it out. It worked perfectly and restored perfectly too, requiring 25 minutes to make the image but only 11 minutes to restore it from the Linux boot disc. This is a nice slick program and allows scheduling, as well as the ability to restrict the number of backup images it will store--a feature that is very hard to find on free imaging programs and will save you a lot of space on your back up disc.

There you go. Good luck and let us know how it goes for you!
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05 Jun 2011   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Use anything suggested above (Acronis, Macrium, Paragon) but NOT the built in Windows imaging. It has no function, you never know what it does and gives you nothing but headaches. There are some experts that seem to get along with it, but they are far and apart.
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05 Jun 2011   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Use anything suggested above (Acronis, Macrium, Paragon) but NOT the built in Windows imaging. It has no function, you never know what it does and gives you nothing but headaches. There are some experts that seem to get along with it, but they are far and apart.
I agree with WHS. System image has not been reliable for me. I use Westwen Digital's version of Acronis (free) and free Macrium. Probably the fastest and simplest imaging program is Macrium. It has a simple easy to use interface and is very quick. To show you, I did a backup last night with Macrium.
Name:  Capture.PNG
Views: 6
Size:  14.1 KB

It will restore using a linux CD that also has a simple interface and takes only a couple minutes longer. It has saved me several times.


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