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Windows 7: Backup 3 win 7 computers

10 Mar 2016   #1
nodsirrah

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 
Backup 3 win 7 computers

I have 3 Win7 computers on my home network and only one 1.8 TB WD My Book Essentials USB hard drive. Each week I have to move the drive from one computer to another to do Backup.
What is the least expensive way to back up all 3 computers automatically?
Obviously I an not a techie and my 83 year old brain is not too active.
If it makes any difference I plan to upgrade 2 computers to Win 10 when I get brave! The other computer can't be upgraded to Win 10, it is old too!!!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Mar 2016   #2
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Actually, the way you are doing it now is both the cheapest and the safest way to do backups, assuming you disconnect the external HDD after each backup.

The problem with automatic backups is you have to have to have the destination drive connected to the computer at all times. If a virus or other malware infects your computer while updating a backup, your backup will also become infected.

There is a way to automate backups that is safer than having an external drive permanently connected to the computer but it will cost more. That is to use a good, paid Cloud Backup service, such as Carbonite.com, Crashplan, or Backblaze (stay away from cloud storage, especially the free ones; they are less secure and the free ones are notorious for disappearing with little or no warning). These services have at least 30 day versioning. In other words, if you change or delete a file, the service will keep the older version for 30 days before deleting it. That way, if the file on your computer gets lost or corrupted and you catch it in time, you can recover the earlier version.

Since any media can fail without warning, be it HDDs, DVDs, CDs, the cloud, stone tablets, etc., it's best to have more than one backup, preferably with one located onsite for convenience another one offsite so, if your computer and onsite backup get lost due to disaster or theft, you will still have the offsite backup. An easy way to have both onsite and offsite backups is keep doing what you are doing now and use a good, paid cloud backup service for each of your computers.
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11 Mar 2016   #3
nodsirrah

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Hi Jeannie,
Your advise is taken to heart, unfortunately my finances (Social Security) put severe limitations on what I should do and what I can do!
Since I posted this question I have been looking at "make believe" NAS such as the Cirago NUS1000, that way I can connect my 2 USB external hard drives, either one has sufficient capacity to handle backing up all 3 computers. Using my feeble logic, I could BACKUP all 3 to one drive one month and the other drive the next month. That way if one of my drives fail I would have another, even though it might be a month old! Since I am not a business timely data backups are not critical.
Thanks for you advise,
Don
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Mar 2016   #4
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Actually, if each one of your two external drives can handle backing up all three computers at once, you don't really need anything else nor to spend another penny. Just manually back up all three computers to the first drive, then repeat the process to the second drive. Do not connect either drive to the computers except when updating the backups. Again, even though it is less convenient, you do not want to use any method that will require that you backup drives are connected to the computers or even to power except while updating a backup.

Store one of the drives at home where you can get to it easily to frequently update the backups and store the other drive offsite somewhere, such as at a trusted neighbor's, friend's, or relative's house or, if you already have one and it's large enough, a safe deposit box at your bank.

Just swap the two drives once a month, or more often if possible, so the offsite drive is as up to date as possible. The more often you swap the drives, the less data you will lose if you should ever have to depend on the offsite backup.

I'm also on Social Security (fortunately, it is supplemented somewhat by a pension) so I understand being on a budget. Still, you may want to look into a cloud backup plan like I mentioned earlier. I use Carbonite on just my desktop computer since the data I keep on my notebook computers is also on the desktop computer. If I add or change data to one of notebooks while, say, on a trip (normally, the only time I use my notebooks), I backup the added or changed data on a thumb drive that I keep in my pocket or my purse until I can get home and transfer the new or changed data to my desktop. Carbonite is costing me only $5 as month ($60/yearly) for the one computer and ensures that, should I lose both my computer and onsite backups, I can recover any data that was added or changed since the last time I updated my offsite backups.

In your case, if one of your computers has room to also store the data on the other two computers, then you would need to backup only that one computer to the cloud instead of all three, same as I do. Most people have at least one vice they can cut back on to be able to afford $5/month. It all depends on how valuable your data is to you.

An added advantage to a cloud backup is you can access your data from any computer anywhere. That's why I can get away with keeping so little data on my notebooks. If I should need data that I didn't put on the notebook while I'm on the road, I just retrieve a copy from Carbonite.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2016   #5
nodsirrah

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Hi Jeannie,
I trust your advice because my wife's name is Jean and I have learned to trust her, unfortunately, all she knows about computers is to blame me when they don't work!
Your advice about using the Cloud sounds terrific and it won't cost anything because I already use Dropbox.
I have been googleing how to do the Backups etc. and can't find "Dummy" instructions, any advice, such as Links, will be extremely appreciated.
Thanks, Don
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2016   #6
cyberSAR

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

If your data is less than 5GB idrive is free. We use it for a few clients that have minimal backup needs and it works well. Just pops up an ad to upgrade once in a while which is easily dismissed. https://www.idrive.com/
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2016   #7
nodsirrah

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Thanks for the info, I opened an account, now I have to decide what to back up, I did not realize I had so much on one computer!
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 Backup 3 win 7 computers




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