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Windows 7: Back up 2 computers on 1 USB hard drive?


23 Jan 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 
Back up 2 computers on 1 USB hard drive?

I have a home network. Win 7 Home Premium.
I have a desktop and laptop that I back up on separate USB hard drives. I need to use one of them for my Dish Network receiver and can't afford to buy another one.
Can I set up my computers to both use the network to back up to the same 1000 TB USB hard drive?
If so, I need very clear instructions as I am 80 years old and my brain is getting weak.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Jan 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello nodsirrah,

Yes, you sure could. The Windows Backup from each computer will have their own separate dated "computer name\Backup Set" folder at the root of the drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Hi Brink,
My problem is I can see the Desktop C drive on the laptop, but even though the Desktop B drive (where I have the USB drive) is "Shared" I can't see it on the laptop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Jan 2013   #4
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Do you have the desktop and laptop joined in a homegroup together?

When you set the drive to share, be sure that you set "Everyone" to have "Full control".
Back up 2 computers on 1 USB hard drive?-share-permissions.jpg
When you setup Windows Backup, you should then be able to "Browse" to select the network drive like below.
Back up 2 computers on 1 USB hard drive?-browse.jpg

To always see the network drive on the laptop in it's Computer window, you could: Map Network Drive


My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

I set up the drive for Everyone and Full control, now I see the Desktop Backup drive on the Laptop in Network.
When I go to Backup on thew Laptop it only lets me select the Laptop Backup Drive and no Browse selection, if I unplug that Drive I get a red X.
I searched for Set Up Backup and don't get anything.
I get the feeling that Win 7 Home does not allow what I am attempting to do.
That is as far as my brain power will let me go.
Thanks for your valiant effort.
Don
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2013   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

By the way, my Router does not have a USB port.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2013   #7
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Don,

Yep, I'm afraid that you using Windows 7 Home Premium is indeed the issue.

Only the Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions can backup to a network location.

Since it is an external USB drive, you could connect it directly to the laptop's USB port to back it up to the USB though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2013   #8
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Another thing to consider is that for creating system images using the Windows software as opposed to file/folder backups I think you will only be allowed to create one WindowsImageBackup folder. You can work around this but it can be a bit fiddly if you don't have 2 partitions.
In your case for images you can have a look at
Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download
It's free and great software. All you need do is create different folders for your different PCs.

As Brink points out you'll need to plug your USB HDD into the PC you want to image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2013   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

My advance apologies for being confused, it takes me a minute to decide which medicines to take when I wake up.
Am I correct that there is no way to use the Network to back up both computers to the same USB drive at the same time?
I normally back up early Sunday mornings automatically, so if I want to use the same USB drive I will have to back up one computer on Sunday, plug the drive into the other computer and have it back up on another day.
I read the link to Macrium, and have to admit I don't understand what it can do for me that Win 7 Backup can't do, I'll chaulk that up to lack of knowledge on my part.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2013   #10
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

No problem.

Windows 7 Home Premium doesn't allow you to backup to a network location using Windows Backup.

Macrium Reflect is just another option to use to back up if you wanted. You could use Macrium Reflect instead or both it and Windows Backup. Macrium Reflect is regarded as being more reliable.

Either option you choose, you would need to have the external USB drive physically connected to the computer you wanted to back up.

It's up to you for the backup schedule, but you could manually back them up whenever you like. This way when one is finished, you could connect the drive to the other PC and back it up as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Back up 2 computers on 1 USB hard drive?




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