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Windows 7: Simple backup

21 Jun 2011   #1
scamander

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Simple backup

Hi there,

I have an external HD and just want to backup my files. I have my Itunes and phtoos backed up through ye olde drag and drop but thought I should really backup my registry and backup everything (in case it all goes pear shaped).

In simple terms what's the best way to do this?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2011   #2
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Assuming you are including your Windows installation as part of "everything", the best way would be through an image. You could use Windows to do that, or Macrium, or Acronis.

If by "everything", you mean only "all of my personal data, but not my Windows installation", you could use drag and drop or any of several applications designed to back up personal data only (not Windows), such as Karen's Replicator or Second Copy.

If you make an image of a partition, the image will include any personal files that happen to be on that partition, but you should also back up personal data in some way other way, rather than relying solely on the image. Why?? Because image backups don't always work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2011   #3
scamander

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

I'm unsure what you mean by 'image' etc. All I want is a way of backing up my personal files in case the hard drive died or somesuch. I think I'll use the drag and drop for the pics and music files though - so cheers for that! I would also like to backup my windows installation as well - is making an 'image' relatively easy?

Would this also backup my registry? I see Windows has a backup wizard - is this a good option?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2011   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote:
Because image backups don't always work.
i never had a Macrium image fail. And I have several hundred images. That is less obvious if you use Windows7 imaging.

However, I have sometimes used the Wbadmin command in Win7 for my data partition, and that works. To retrieve the files you have to mount the VHD because in Win7 there is no restore facility for those images - at least I have not found one yet. It is in the Server editions though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2011   #5
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by scamander View Post
I'm unsure what you mean by 'image' etc. All I want is a way of backing up my personal files in case the hard drive died or somesuch. I think I'll use the drag and drop for the pics and music files though - so cheers for that! I would also like to backup my windows installation as well - is making an 'image' relatively easy?

Would this also backup my registry? I see Windows has a backup wizard - is this a good option?
An image contains everything on a partition: all the files, registry, settings, configuration, licenses, etc. You could make an image of your C drive and store it on the external. If the C drive fails, you could buy a new drive and restore that image from E to the new C.

No need to back up the registry separately.

If you ever do a fresh Windows installation, you automaticallly get a new registry.

Imaging is fairly easy, but Macrium and Acronis are more flexible and easier to use than Windows. But they aren't foolproof. And therefore you should back up personal files WITHOUT using an image. Imaging is a layer of complexity that in some cases doesn't work correctly and could prevent a restore, so you would be out of luck and would have to reinstall Windows manually and use another backup for personal files.

Macrium is free. Acronis is free if you have a Seagate or Western Digital hard drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2011   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by scamander View Post
I'm unsure what you mean by 'image' etc. All I want is a way of backing up my personal files in case the hard drive died or somesuch. I think I'll use the drag and drop for the pics and music files though - so cheers for that! I would also like to backup my windows installation as well - is making an 'image' relatively easy?

Would this also backup my registry? I see Windows has a backup wizard - is this a good option?
Imaging is dead simple - as long as you do not use Win7 imaging. Use this and you will up and running in minutes: Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2011   #7
scamander

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

ignatzatsonic,

wowza...that's really handy. I will look at downloading Macrium and giving it a go ce soir. So you would advise backing up personal files AND doing an image separately? If so how do you suggest backing up personal files - simply drag and drop? I've been drag and dropping from my C drive when I did it before.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2011   #8
Golden

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64
 
 

Hi,

You can't go wrong with Macrium to be honest : be sure to follow WHS' tutorial as posted above.

For everyday backup's there is such a wide choice:

- Windows backup
- Robocopy via the command line
- GFI Backup

and many, many more, and most are free. Check them out and see what suites you.

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2011   #9
scamander

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

whs,

cheers for the link!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2011   #10
scamander

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Golden,

yep - will give it a go.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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