I need a recommendation for a Backup Software purchase under W7-Pro.


  1. Posts : 587
    Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
       #1

    I need a recommendation for a Backup Software purchase under W7-Pro.


    I want to backup many older Internal Hard Drives to an External USB Drive.

    I am assuming that whatever Backup Software is recommended, will allow more than one Backup to reside on the External Drive.

    If you will, please make your recommendation and include the strongest reasons for your recommendation.

    I'd like to begin this effort this Monday morning.

    Best regards,

    Mike
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 15,474
    7 X64
       #2

    What is on them? Is it operating systems or data?

    What is the size of the external hdd and what is the used space you want to back up from all the internal disks?

    Will you want to be able to access the contents of the external hd often ?

    Do you want to look at the external disk and see what is on there immediately with windows explorer?
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 587
    Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
    Thread Starter
       #3

    They contain an O/S and data.

    External is 12TB. Unsure regarding the Internal(s). Vary from 40GB to 1TB.

    Once they are Backed Up Externally, I will wipe them and dispose of them.

    I will choose an Internal Drive that can contain the largest of the Backed Up Drives.

    Then I will Restore a single Backed Up image at a time, removing all the User Data on them.

    The removed User Data will be stored on an additional External 12TB Drive.

    No, it will take we some time to organize the User Data into: Excel, Word, etc., categories and scan for duplicates.

    Hopefully, end result will be original versions of all the User Data on the entire group of Internal Drives.

    Does this explanation help?
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 15,474
    7 X64
       #4

    Most backup sofware will pack into a proprietary image format.So if you go lolokig for something you need to know which image it is in and use the prorietary software to mount it.


    If you would rather be able to see an access everything easily, it is better to copy the files from each partition of each internal to the external.

    Then make sure each of those partition is named with the disk and partition it was copied from.

    e.g if you have a wd internal with 4 partitions, create 4 partitions on the external called wd -partiton1, wd -partition2 etc.

    Then copy the files over.

    Do the same for each internal disk.

    That is much easier for finding and accessing stuff..

    Thee exception to that would be an operating system, which I would capture as .wim file and store it on the external like any other file.

    That is beacuse wim files can be applied using lots of tools such as the usual windows setup.exe, can be mounted with dism read/write and plenty of other things like 7-zip
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 6,214
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64
       #5

    I'm a VERY unorthodox computing person. But I'll just list mine for you or others to consider.


    1) HDD Raw Copy Tool

    A) Because it's a 1:1 copy.

    B) It's free software.

    C) It's small and portable.

    Synopses:

    I first use the program Ventoy to create a bootable USB drive using Hiren's BootCD PE. After Ventoy has formatted the USB drive, I simply copy/paste the Hiren's BootCD PE .iso image file to the Ventoy formatted USB drive. (Yes, just copy/paste the ISO file. That's it!) I then copy/paste the stand alone portable HDD Raw Copy Tool program to the Ventoy formatted USB drive.

    I configure BIOS/UEFI to boot the USB drive. Ventoy's boot menu shows up and I chose to boot Hiren's BootCD PE. Once Hiren's BootCD PE boots, I go into "This computer" (analogous to "My Computer" in Windows 7 et al) and find the stand alone portable HDD Raw Copy Tool on the root drive. Now I can clone any drive attached to the computer bit for bit encrypted or otherwise. Since this is a sector by sector clone, if you had deleted files on your C drive, HDD Raw Copy Tool WILL copy that data over believe it or not. Great for HDD diagnostics/forensics, etc. HDD Raw Copy Tool will work with SD cards as well. Probably PlayStation HDDs and whatnot, too. If you need encryption/decryption, try Veracrypt portable...


    Caveats:

    Since HDD Raw Copy Tool clones sector by sector (a 1:1 clone), if the drive being cloned is 1 TB, then your resulting image will be 1 TB whether there's that much data on the source drive or not. Nevertheless, this is my current preferred way of cloning my computers for backup. Except I use Veracrypt encrypted containers as well... Then those backup drives are stored in a cheap $35 fireproof safe. (Fire/water mitigation is the goal here. Not theft. That's what the encryption is for).





    2) Clonezilla



    A) It will clone a 1:1 sector by sector clone which means it'll work with encrypted drives like how HDD Raw Copy Tool can work with encrypted drives.

    B) It's free software.

    C) It supports many different kinds of file systems and you can do some wild and awesome file server stuff with it.


    Synopses:

    While the software is Linux based and may not be very intuitive to less computing folks, it's served me well for my cloning needs with full disk encryption. I don't use Clonezilla (not related to Mozilla) anymore because I find HDD Raw Copy Tool in conjunction with Hiren's Boot CD and portable Veracrypt to be more robust and easier to use. Especially after going over the Veracrypt manual (I've read Truecrypt's as well) saying how clones should be handled. Thus my little HDD Raw Copy Tool method works quite well to actually clone to an encrypted mounted Veracrypt container of equal or greater size than the source disk being cloned. And yes, Clonezilla can be booted via Ventoy. You can practically boot what ever the hell you want in Ventoy. Ventoy's menu lays it all out.


    Caveats: Need to read the manual and this software would be more "nerdier".




    Side note:

    I for one don't like propitiatory and over bloated software for the simple task of a clone. My version of HDD Raw Copy Tool weighs in at a little over 2 MBs and it does what I need it to do - clone! And it does this very well. Why does all this other software have to be massive and over bloated?

    Again, emphases on "unorthodox." YMMV
      My Computer


 

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