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Windows 7: Backup software for Win 7...


16 Nov 2011   #1

Win 7 64 bit
 
 
Backup software for Win 7...

I need recommendations for backup software, FREE, for Win 7 on a Dell netbook. I have an external HDD for backups.

What would you suggest I get?


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16 Nov 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Depends what you want to back up:

For complete partitions or complete hard drives, using an image: Macrium Reflect, Acronis True Image, or EaseUS Todo Backup. Macrium and EaseUS free; Acronis free if you have a Seagate or Western Digital hard drive.

For personal data, not using an image: SyncToy, Robocopy, Karen's Replicator, probably a couple of others I can't think of right now. All free.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2011   #3

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

+1 on all of the above. The free version of Macrium Reflect in particular is very popular around these forums for full partition images.
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16 Nov 2011   #4

Win 7 64 bit
 
 

Thanks. I will check those out tomorrow. What is an image backup? I've always backed up all files on a particular HDD. I remember backing up to mini cassettes, though I forget the official name. This was back with Windows 3.1. 2 mg of RAM so it would take hours to backup .

Anyway, I want to back up everything on the computer, from HDD to hidden files. If I had total hard drive failure I'd want to be able to restore all. I believe I have a Seagate drive for backup but would have to check. The name escapes me as it is late
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16 Nov 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by PinkiPad View Post
What is an image backup? I've always backed up all files on a particular HDD.

Anyway, I want to back up everything on the computer, from HDD to hidden files. If I had total hard drive failure I'd want to be able to restore all.

It sounds like you are a candidate for imaging.

An image backup includes EVERYTHING on the partitions imaged--whatever is in that partition or partitions. If the C partition is imaged, that would include Windows, installed applications, configuration info, licensing info, and personal data files IF those files are kept on C. You end up with a single "image" file, which can later be restored.

Images are most commonly used to restore a system when a hard drive or partition fails, or when moving to a larger hard drive.

Images can be used to back up partitions that don't contain Windows (typically a data partition), but that is not their most common use.

An image file cannot be saved on a partition contained within the image. The typical method is to store the image on an external drive or a second internal drive. You could store an image on another partition on the same drive, but that is frowned on.

Individual personal data files can usually be extracted from an image file, but you are best advised to back up data without using an image.

Imaging applications typically require the use of a recovery disc. You make the recover disk within the imaging application and then boot from it to restore your previously made image file. The recovery disks are often Linux-based and need to be checked to confirm they will boot and that your image file and partitions can be located.

An image file can contain multiple partitions or an entire hard drive.

They aren't foolproof. Be prepared for failure and know what you will do in that case.

Windows 7 includes a built-in imaging capability, but it's a bit convoluted and cranky. Some people use it successfully and others use a third party application.
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17 Nov 2011   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

How to use Dell Recovery Partition,make Recovery Disks & how to order Recovery Disks.
Dell - Support
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17 Nov 2011   #7

win 7 X64 Ultimate SP1
 
 
Back Up

I was a long time Acronis user. (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) I really liked it. But every version I had, had bugs in it. Sometimes I could get them straightened out and sometimes not. I got tired of working on it and I have moved on to Macrium 5.0. Right now I am using the free version. I might buy if I can catch a sale.

I might add, I only do images. That fits my needs. If I need a particular file I can mount the image and extract it. If you have large collections of pics, artwork or music etc. You might prefer individual file backups.
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17 Nov 2011   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit
 
 

Ditto on being a longtime Acronis user. I agree about its frustrating bugs; even more frustrating lack of CS. I use it on my 7/64 media PC, although it won't recognize 3 of my 7 external HDDs when I use the recovery disc. So I've learned to always back up to internals just to be safe.

However on my new 7/64 desktop, Acronis doesn't see my USB keyboard and mouse (no other option) while in recovery mode, which makes the software worthless. I've been using the Windows built-in backup, but somehow don't feel all that easy with it. Maybe I'll check out Macrium.
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17 Nov 2011   #9

win 7 X64 Ultimate SP1
 
 
Macrium

Just as I hesitate to "badmouth" any software. (Acronis does the job for some or most) I hesitate to recommend some App. I find Macrium more than sufficient for my needs and no bugs so far. I am waiting on a buy opportunity and I will buy.
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17 Nov 2011   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit
 
 

I installed the free version of Macrium to give it spin. Do you suggest I make the bootable CD with Linux or Win PE? I'm not familiar with Win PE at all. Thanks.
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