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Windows 7: How to Back Up a Hard Disk

14 Oct 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
How to Back Up a Hard Disk

Hi, I am wondering if there is a way to back up a hard drive into another hard drive, for instance, i have drive F, and G. I download a video into the F drive and I want the video automatically gets a copy into the G drive, is it possible in Windows 7? without having to use the RAID configurations.

Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Oct 2013   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64 Linux Mint 16
 
 

I don`t think windows will do it automatically, you will have to do it manually.
You would probably have to install a backup program to do what you want.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2013   #3

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

What you want is possible but I don't advise it. Backups are safest when kept separate from your computer; otherwise something that corrupts or destroys your data on the F drive, to use your example, could also be compromised on the G drive.

A better plan would be for drive G to be an external HDD (or an internal HDD in a dock) and connect it to your computer only when you need to backup a file. In your case, once you have downloaded your video to the F drive, connect the G drive to the computer and use a file copy program, such as TeraCopy, to copy your video from the F drive to the G drive. It's not as convenient as what you want to do but it is much safer.
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17 Oct 2013   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64
 
 

You could try using SyncToy to synchronise folders between the 2 HDD's, and Task Scheduler to automate the synchronisation.

SyncToy - Backup User Data
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17 Oct 2013   #5

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Golden View Post
You could try using SyncToy to synchronise folders between the 2 HDD's, and Task Scheduler to automate the synchronisation.

SyncToy - Backup User Data
Using SyncToy is also a good way to copy files from one drive to another but using Task Scheduler to automate the process would require that the G drive be permanently installed in or connected to the computer which can be risky for reasons already explained.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2013   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64
 
 

Task Scheduler can be used to automate the task at shutdown, at which point the OP simply attaches the USB drive.

I've never bought into the argument that permanently attached USB drives are more prone to failure. There is a far greater likelihood of damaging the connector through repeated plugging and unplugging.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2013   #7

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Golden View Post
Task Scheduler can be used to automate the task at shutdown, at which point the OP simply attaches the USB drive.

I've never bought into the argument that permanently attached USB drives are more prone to failure. There is a far greater likelihood of damaging the connector through repeated plugging and unplugging.
The danger with permanently attached USB drives (or drives mounted internally) isn't that the drives themselves are more prone to failure. The danger comes from a virus or other nasty corrupting and/or deleting data on the backup drive. That is far less likely to happen to a drive that isn't permanently attached. Internally mounted drives are also subject to a malfunction within the computer, such as a failing PSU, frying the drive (that's far less likely to happen to a USB or e-SATA external drive).

I've never had a problem with damaging a USB port or connector from repeated plugging and unplugging but, if one is concerned about that (and it might be a valid concern), the easy fix is to attach and leave attached an extension USB cable to the computer (using a rear port would be more sanitary looking). If the drive has a removable USB cable, keep the cable plugged into the drive and just plug the other end into the extension cable. That way, any wear and tear would be limited to the easily replaced cables. Personally, I feel it would be overkill but, if it makes one feel better, there's no harm in it.
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17 Oct 2013   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Thanks guys, how about using RAID 1, but if one of the disk fails, will it still work, or need to replace the damage disk first for it to work?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2013   #9

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by animesekai View Post
Thanks guys, how about using RAID 1, but if one of the disk fails, will it still work, or need to replace the damage disk first for it to work?
First rule of backups: RAID is not a backup! Considering any kind of RAID to be a backup is a common misconception.

The primary purpose of most RAIDs (other than 0 which is to increase speed) is to provide redundancy should a data disk go belly up from it's own failure. The RAID will allow a computer to continue to write and read data until the dead disk can be replaced. This is valuable, if not essential, for scenarios where a dead disk would be more than a mere inconvenience, such as in business applications.

The reason RAID is not suitable for backups is malware, mechanical failure in the computer or wherever the RAID is kept (such as blown PSU), natural disaster, or human error will cause all data to be corrupted or lost from the RAID.

Let's say you put drives F and G into RAID 1 in your computer. If your PSU should fail (and they frequently do so quite spectacularly), it could shoot voltage directly from the mains to both of your disks, instantly frying them and, usually, your data. If you drop the computer, there is an excellent chance neither of the HDDs will survive. If you get a virus and it corrupts or deletes the data on your F disk, the data on the G disk will also be corrupted or deleted. If you accidentally delete some data on F, the same data on G also goes away.

This is why it's important to keep your backups separate from your computer. A bare bones backup scheme has at least one backup however, a fire, flood, theft, etc. that damages or destroys your computer could do the same for your data. That is why having two backups, one kept onsite for convenience, and one kept offsite to help protect it from the fate of your computer and onsite backup is highly recommended.

The downside of an offsite backup is the difficulty of keeping it up to date. Data cannot be recovered unless it has been backed up. The easiest and least expensive way to achieve an off site backup and keep it up to date is to use a good paid backup service. I personally use Carbonite which costs me only $59 a year. It quietly uploads your data to Carbonite's servers, encrypting it before it ever leaves your computer, as soon as it has been created or changed. Carbonite also has a 30 day versioning policy; data is kept for 30 days after it has been changed or deleted, giving you the opportunity to recover the earlier version if needed.

Carbonite has a more expensive plan—$99/year—that both uploads your data to its servers and maintains a mirror on an external HDD. While I discourage using mirrors, in this case, since you could recover your data from Carbonite should both the F and G drive (G being the mirror) fail or become corrupted as long as you discover the problem and freeze the Carbonite backup within 30 days of the failure so you will have time to recover your data. Since you are looking for an automatic solution, this might work for you.

I do not recommend using Carbonite as your sole backup since it takes a long time to upload and download large amounts of data and, though highly unlikely, it is possible even Carbonite could lose your data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2013   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Thanks for that info, I've thought that RAID configurations was safe. Like you said, all I want is to keep the backups up to date, because I already have 2 external hard drive backing them up, I usually back them up everymonth or 2, since i do lot of 3D modelling and rendering, so i was thinking of adding a 2 internal hardrive to auto back-up whatever i do. I guess gonna think of something else. Cheers
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 How to Back Up a Hard Disk




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