Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Looking for a reliable local backup solution for Windows 7

26 May 2012   #1

Looking for a reliable local backup solution for Windows 7


Let me say right off the bat that I'm not a fan of Windows. It just happens at the moment that I need to set up a Windows 7 system, and namely to set up a local backup. Let me give you the specs:

- Windows 7 Ultimate desktop
- Internal HDD: 932GB
- External HDD: 1.18TB

Initially I set up the built in "Backup and Restore" tool to do the backups, but the person who uses this Windows 7 tells me that the backup works for about a month and then shows an error, "The disk that your backup is saved on doesn't have enough free space" and nothing is backed up since.

Again, I'm not a fan of Microsoft, but I refuse to believe that they could sell a product that is dumb enough not to remove old backups to leave room for new ones. Anyway, there doesn't seem to be any option in the "Backup and Restore" to do that ... to the best of my knowledge. Although maybe someone will prove me wrong?

So my question is, what is the best solution to do local backups on external hard drive on Windows 7?

PS. I'm obviously looking for a "set it and forget it" type solution that doesn't require manual interaction. Is Microsoft capable of providing one?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2012   #2
Phone Man

Windows 8.1 Pro w/Media Center 64bit, Windows 7 HP 64bit

Take a look at Download: SyncToy 2.1 - Microsoft Download Center - Download Details.

I use the Echo feature and any changes to the source is reflected in the target. Under Help it show how to use task scheduler to run in auto mode.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dc2000 View Post
PS. I'm obviously looking for a "set it and forget it" type solution that doesn't require manual interaction. Is Microsoft capable of providing one?
"Set it and forget it" leads to complacency and a false sense of security. I wouldn't recommend it, but suit yourself.

Microsoft is capable of doing it, but has not yet done so.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 May 2012   #4

Windows 7 Pro & Ultimate, Windows 8.1 Pro, Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon (All 64-Bit)

The error your friend is getting may be down to the System Reserved partition.
Was he including a System Image in his backup too? Or was it just a normal file backup?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2012   #5
Gordon Simmons

Windows 7 Ultimate x32

I have previously recommended this software on another thread : Genie Timeline 2012

Great software to set and forget !
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install

I use and am 100% happy with Karens Replicator. It can be set to automatic and can also have a desktop short cut to make a duplicate of any file, quickly and easily.

And, unlike some of the others, its Free.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 May 2012   #7

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit


Does you friend desire to make full image backup AND a full data backup? (Which is the most space consiuming approach.)

Without suggesting a solution, state what your friend would like. Forget the words backup, sync,etc if possible.

We make backups in order to be able to recover from disaster.

Most people make too many and too extensive backups.

Different people have different backup needs.

Is data recovery or system recovery the primary objective.

Since I do much testing (primarily to be able to provide accurate answers), then I'm fond of System Image backups, but others have other interests.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 May 2012   #8

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there
I'm sure imaging IS important --but don't forget data backup too. The data on my computers is worth far more than the computers themselves --and some of it is almost impossible to re-create again --for example do I really want to rip over 1000 CD's again --assuming I even HAVE them any more or they are even readable.

What about documents such as presentations, complex spreadsheets etc. Again Music files, photos, multimedia files etc etc. Also you might keep copies of Income Tax statements, bills, invoices etc -- very inconvenient if these are lost too.

IMO a 45 USD or so commercial backup solution such as ACRONIS is well worth EVERY CENT.
If you lost your data just estimate COST and TIME of recovering it

Commercial solutions in this case are far better than the built in product --which for some people isn't reliable --and backups is one area where you must have 100% confidence in the product.

Commercial products also allow you to do "Incremental Backups" too -- although you need to be careful when handling / restoring from those and know exactly what you are doing.

Always keep more than 1 Backup (HDD's are CHEAPER than recovering lost data) and it's a good practice to have OS / apps such as Office on one partition and your data on the rest distributed at choice e.g music, films, photos, docs etc. This has the advantage that if you need to recover the OS partition you don't need to restore / recover all your data partitions either (except in extremely rare cases).

The commercial solutions also allow you to create bootable media --you can recover your OS from the bootable backup image even if your computer won't boot normally.

For me products like Acronis are a "No Brainer".

@Karlsnooks -- I get the drift but really you CAN'T have too many backups -- in any case it's better to have TOO MANY than NOT ENOUGH.

I think also people need to understand the difference between BACKUPS and ARCHIVING (which is a totally different topic - different issues etc.) Data that rarely changes significantly such as say a ripped cd collection could easily be ARCHIVED and don't need to be regularly backed up.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 May 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I handle backups in 2 different ways. I keep a machine in my house that is more or less dedicated to being a full time file server. Everything important is stored on this machine.

On my server, I have 3 shares
  • data-extrememly important
  • music--not as important
  • downloads--not important

Internally, my server box has 2 hard drives. On a daily basis, I use robocopy to sync my D:\data folder with E:\SecondaryCopy\DayOfWeek\data. My data is only around 15GB or so, with 12GB being digital picture. Thus, I've got 7 days worth of synchronized copies of this data on 2 different drives.

On a regular basis, I connect a pair of external hard drives and use robocopy to sync ALL 3 of my shares to these drives. Once complete, I keep both of these drives OFFSITE...because if my house burns down or somebody breaks in and steals everything, all of the local backups in the world are flat out worthless.

My secondary backup method is IMAGING. Once I install Windows 7 on my main machine, activate it and run Windows Update, I immediately take an image. This I call "plain vanilla" and if I ever need to get back to square 1 I would use this.

Then, about once per month, or after updates, or a substantial change (like video card driver change), I make another image that I can snap back to if I just want to resolve an issue that sprung up without redoing everything.

These images are simply stored on a secondary hard drive in each machine in case the original hard drive fails. But reinstalling my apps is not a real big deal, so there is no need for me to store any of this data offsite. I can simply re-create it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jun 2012   #10
Jeff Biggers

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I've got Praetorian Guard and it's always worked fine for me. It backs up automatically the hard drives and our servers. It is easy to use and has a lot of functions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Looking for a reliable local backup solution for Windows 7

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Reliable backup software for Windows 7?
I am looking for a good backup program for Windows 7 Pro (64 bit). I recently upgraded from Windows XP Pro SP3. On that OS, I used HP SimpleSave software for my backups. HP SimpleSave did one full backup the first time I installed it, and after that, it would backup changed files every time my...
Backup and Restore
Is the Windows 7 backup reliable?
Hello, Until recently I backed up my files by just copying them to an external hard drive using the Seagate tool. This was nice, but took way too long. Now I have setup a Windows 7 backup. This took quite long the first time as well, but now it runs every Sunday evening and is finished...
Backup and Restore
Carbonite like solution for local backup.
Just as the title says I'm looking for a local backup solution that functions like carbonite constantly monitoring files and backing them up whenever possible. Anyone know of such a thing?
Backup and Restore
Windows Backup vs 3rd party Backup solution.
Checking out the windows backup option bundled with the OS.. In the past, I have used an older version of Acronis to build backup jobs, etc. The new backup looks to be pretty good initially, but I am wondering if anyone has any experience with how well it performs... I know I have been asking a...
Backup and Restore
windows 7 Backup solution
there is a backup software for windows 7 ultimate? I mean like Apple Time Machine? Or I need 3rd party software? By the way, can i create bootable DVDs that will recover all the system files and software installed...(a.k.a. full recovery)
Backup and Restore

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:20.
Twitter Facebook Google+