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Windows 7: Backing up multiple computers over network

26 Jun 2014   #1
YouAndI

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit SP1
 
 
Backing up multiple computers over network

Hey,

First of all, I wasn't sure whether to post this in the drive or network board, so I hope it's okay here. Please feel free to move it if it's better off elsewhere!

I have three computers, all running Windows 7 Home Premium, that I would like to back up.

I have an external hard drive connected to one of the computers that I would like the backed up files to go to.

Firstly, how do I connect these three computers to the same network (possible via the WiFi, I assume) and have them back up their files to the external drive?

Secondly, I don't want each computer to be able to view one another's files. They need to connect to the same network without sharing data between them. Is this possible?

Thirdly, what backup program do you recommend using for the above task? I would like the backups to be automated, incremental and encrypted. If an inbuilt Windows utility isn't suitable then I'm open to paying for a program, but only a one-off fee (i.e. not annual payments).

Thank you very much for your help in advance!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
26 Jun 2014   #2
chev65

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by YouAndI View Post
Hey,

First of all, I wasn't sure whether to post this in the drive or network board, so I hope it's okay here. Please feel free to move it if it's better off elsewhere!

I have three computers, all running Windows 7 Home Premium, that I would like to back up.

I have an external hard drive connected to one of the computers that I would like the backed up files to go to.

Firstly, how do I connect these three computers to the same network (possible via the WiFi, I assume) and have them back up their files to the external drive?

Secondly, I don't want each computer to be able to view one another's files. They need to connect to the same network without sharing data between them. Is this possible?

Thirdly, what backup program do you recommend using for the above task? I would like the backups to be automated, incremental and encrypted. If an inbuilt Windows utility isn't suitable then I'm open to paying for a program, but only a one-off fee (i.e. not annual payments).

Thank you very much for your help in advance!
The external drive will need to be located on the same local machine that you are backing up as you can't really back up or recover from a drive that is located on another machine. Each machine will also require it's own partition on this drive in order to save it's system image back up file.

Answer to Firstly, seriously this question is redundant because if they are all connected to the same router then they are also on the same network using the same default gateway etc. they will be on the same network.

Secondly, simply turn off Network Discovery and File and Printer sharing on each machine via the Advanced Sharing settings via the Network and Sharing Center. This will prevent any sharing between those machines.

Thirdly, I like using the built in Windows back up but there are many others such as the free version of Macrium Reflect etc. too many to name here take your pick do a search.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2014   #3
YouAndI

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chev65 View Post
The external drive will need to be located on the same local machine that you are backing up as you can't really back up or recover from a drive that is located on another machine. Each machine will also require it's own partition on this drive in order to save it's system image back up file.

Answer to Firstly, seriously this question is redundant because if they are all connected to the same router then they are also on the same network using the same default gateway etc. they will be on the same network.

Secondly, simply turn off Network Discovery and File and Printer sharing on each machine via the Advanced Sharing settings via the Network and Sharing Center. This will prevent any sharing between those machines.

Thirdly, I like using the built in Windows back up but there are many others such as the free version of Macrium Reflect etc. too many to name here take your pick do a search.
Hey, thanks for the response.

So just to be clear, I need to have an external drive for all three computers? There's no way of just backing up through the network to one drive?

Would it be different if I was just backing up data such as docs/imgs/videos/etc rather than the whole system?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

26 Jun 2014   #4
chev65

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by YouAndI View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chev65 View Post
The external drive will need to be located on the same local machine that you are backing up as you can't really back up or recover from a drive that is located on another machine. Each machine will also require it's own partition on this drive in order to save it's system image back up file.

Answer to Firstly, seriously this question is redundant because if they are all connected to the same router then they are also on the same network using the same default gateway etc. they will be on the same network.

Secondly, simply turn off Network Discovery and File and Printer sharing on each machine via the Advanced Sharing settings via the Network and Sharing Center. This will prevent any sharing between those machines.

Thirdly, I like using the built in Windows back up but there are many others such as the free version of Macrium Reflect etc. too many to name here take your pick do a search.
Hey, thanks for the response.

So just to be clear, I need to have an external drive for all three computers? There's no way of just backing up through the network to one drive?

Would it be different if I was just backing up data such as docs/imgs/videos/etc rather than the whole system?
Well for backing up anything else you can easily move any file to another drive on another machine but for system images etc. it's typically required to have the drive located on the local machine for back up's or recovery's. There may be a way around this using a Windows server or something else which I'm not familiar with.

Or you could move the drive from one machine to the next and back up each image to a separate partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2014   #5
phantomofrussia

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

If you do not want to move your external drive to each computer to back it up, you could set it up as a share on your network off of one of the computers. From there just point the backups to that location.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2014   #6
chev65

Windows 7 Ult, Windows 8.1 Pro,
 
 

Yes you should be able to save a system image to a network location, the directions for this in the following link.
How to create a Windows system image in Windows 7 and Windows 8

Although I've found that recovering from a system image that is located on another networked machine does not always work as you would as it should but according to the directions in the following link it should be possible by using the advanced recovery option.
How to use System Image Recovery in the Windows 7 and Windows 8 Recovery Environment
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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