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Windows 7: Advice For Backing Up Folders On Independent Storage (Seperate HD)

2 Weeks Ago   #1
woodbine

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1
 
 
Advice For Backing Up Folders On Independent Storage (Seperate HD)

My Acer desktop pc is getting on a bit. The pc works fine, but my Windows 7 has one or two corruptions/glitches that are proving hard to fix. They are quite minor and don't affect the normal running of my pc. The main fault is problems downloading some Windows updates. Anyway, that's a problem for another day.


My immediate concern is that my pc and the folders/files on it aren't backed up at all. If my system went bang, it would be disastrous to lose everything.


So, bearing in mind I'm not too concerned about saving a full system image of a corrupted system, and the fact that my pc knowledge is very basic - what's my best way (simplest/most reliable) to save all my folders independently?


I thought of something like a Seagate external hard drive. Maybe the USB type? Hopefully this would be straightforward and a reliable, long term solution? Or are there other suggestions/devices?


Presuming I got a Seagate external HD, how do I copy my folders and files onto it? Just copy a folder from pc, then paste it onto the external HD? Hoping it's that simple.


Anyway, thanks for any tips.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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2 Weeks Ago   #2
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 10 Pro x64 ; Xubuntu x64
 
 

Quote:
So, bearing in mind I'm not too concerned about saving a full system image of a corrupted system, and the fact that my pc knowledge is very basic - what's my best way (simplest/most reliable) to save all my folders independently?
Follow this tutorial to backup you folders/files to an external USB drive. It was written for the layman, so advanced computer skills are not required. A Seagate USB drive is of sufficient quality to serve as both a short and long term storage solution.

SyncToy - Backup User Data
My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Weeks Ago   #3
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

FreeFileSync also works very well.
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2 Weeks Ago   #4
samuria

win 8 32 bit
 
 

The best method is use a hd but also backup free to the cloud like Google backup and sync which will back as soon as you save a file automatically as well as backup of your files as well you can backup photos free with no limits.. you can get to them anywhere in the world on any device. A hd is ok but if you had a fire or robbed you could loose everything
My System SpecsSystem Spec
1 Week Ago   #5
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

External USB HDDs can also be stored offsite (a secure place of one's choosing) and/or be locked up in a small safe. The safe and the outside place are within the famous 3-2-1.
"...robbed..." my wife also knows the small safe combination, nothing inside the HDD backups safe is worth getting hurt or killed over.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
1 Week Ago   #6
woodbine

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1
 
 

Thanks to everyone for their advice. I've looked at some Seagate storage and think the Expansion Plus 1TB Portable should be ok for my desktop as I'm a bit limited for space.

Buy Seagate Expansion Plus 1TB Portable Hard Drive | External hard drives | Argos

Apart from this one, there are SSDs which are more expensive. What are the advantages of these, and are they worth the extra for me for home computing?

Buy Seagate Expansion 500GB Black SSD Hard Drive | External hard drives | Argos

I'm keen to get something soon, as Windows 7 isn't supported by Microsoft any more and may be more vulnerable now. On this subject, if I had an external HD plugged into my pc and it became infected or suffered some kind of malware attack, etc - are the files on the external HD also vulnerable?

As for other options like Cloud, I agree it would be good to have another method of safe storage. Being a suspicious sort, I do wonder about putting all my personal files out there into Cyberspace.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
1 Week Ago   #7
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 10 Pro x64 ; Xubuntu x64
 
 

That will do nicely.

Quote:
Apart from this one, there are SSDs which are more expensive. What are the advantages of these, and are they worth the extra for me for home computing?
There is no significant benefit in using an SSD for backups. SSD's are better utilised as a primary disk inside the computer as the allow for faster program access and execution. Since backups tend to be a one off copying function, the speed benefit an SSD as a backup drive would deliver is minimal. As a working disk inside a computer, it's the best upgrade you can make to a computer.

Quote:
if I had an external HD plugged into my pc and it became infected or suffered some kind of malware attack, etc - are the files on the external HD also vulnerable?
They can be, yes. It depends on the type of malware. Since you never know what sort of malware you will be infected with, the best practice is to always unplug the USB drive after the backup has been completed. Its also a good idea to scan the USB drive with your AV software occasionally, for example immeditaely after a backup has taken place and prior to unplugging the USB drive.

Quote:
As for other options like Cloud, I agree it would be good to have another method of safe storage. Being a suspicious sort, I do wonder about putting all my personal files out there into Cyberspace.
Quite understandable. I place all my sensitive information in secure AES encrypted 7ZIP archive files before uploading them to cloud storage. Using a strong and complex password for these 7ZIP files, means the probability of them being compromised is extremely small - the implementation of AES encryption in 7ZIP has yet to be broken.

If that is something of interest, have a look at 7ZIP - its free.
7-Zip
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1 Week Ago   #8
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Making a set of backups onto one external USB HD, then another set of backups onto another external USB HD one week later -- is another possible defense against losing everything to ransomware or viri or malware. Here too, the ext USB HDs are unplugged and stored immediately upon the conclusion of the backup operation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
1 Week Ago   #9
woodbine

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1
 
 

Thanks to all for your help - really appreciated. Will get the Seagate ext HD ordered. Will have a look at some of the other suggestions. I really need to sort out some kind of backup, as my previous desktop went bang and it was a big problem retrieving photos and documents from it's HD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
1 Week Ago   #10
woodbine

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1
 
 

Just thought of another couple of questions. On this thread I have asked about the security of folders stored on the ext HD if it is plugged into the desktop. In other words if my pc was infected/attacked/?? then I may also lose files on the plugged in ext HD.

If I were to use SyncToy or FreeFileSync, and the ext HD was unplugged from the pc - would these sync programs automatically add new files to the ext HD when I plugged it in again? In other words, would the sync program recognise that new files were added to a left synced folder and couldn't add them to the right synced folder because the HD wasn't connected - and then add the files when ext HD re-connected? Or in this case, would I need to add the new files to the ext HD manually?

Also, is there another way of locking off the ext HD from the pc without needing to keep unplugging it - so that files on the ext HD are safe from anything that happens to the pc?

Footnote - I suppose that in a way my Acer Aspire desktop has it's own separate HD. It is equipped with a built in D Drive that is in a type of cassette form that locates/ejects from the front of the top of the desktop tower.
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 Advice For Backing Up Folders On Independent Storage (Seperate HD)




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