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Windows 7: What Kind of External Back up hard drive should I get?

01 Feb 2011   #31
GeneO

Windows 10 Pro. EFI boot partition, full EFI boot
 
 

Nothing I know of would reliably let you restore an image from one computer to a different one, unless they had exactly the same hardware (esp. the chipset, and processor).

Do you really envisage such a scenario? I think it is unrealistic. The most probable failure is a disk drive failure. This is what you should plan for. For the eventuality of a replacement of computer or other major component other than a disk drive, you should make sure you keep the keys, licenses, and passwords you would need to reinstall your application software.

My backup strategy is fourfold:

1. I keep an image backup on an external disk
2. I keep a clone on an internal disk
3. I keep synced copies of my data on internal and external disks using MS Synctoy
4. I keep backup copies of all information I need to reinstall my applications from scratch on a new system


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Feb 2011   #32
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Restoring an image from system A to system B is a no-go. Even if the systems were identical, you would die in the activation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2011   #33
essenbe

Windows 10 Pro/ Windows 10 Pro Insider
 
 

Acronis has a program they claim will do it, but WHS is right You would never get windows to verify.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Feb 2011   #34
GeneO

Windows 10 Pro. EFI boot partition, full EFI boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by essenbe View Post
Acronis has a program they claim will do it, but WHS is right You would never get windows to verify.
But then again, my experience with Acronis restore to the same hardware hasn't been good. I wouldn't even consider their solution for dissimilar hardware. I don't think the activations is necessarily a no-go, but here are many other things that are.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2011   #35
Josh7

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Thank you all very much. I think I get it but...

What would be the difference of just backing up my documents, photos and other crap, but not taking Image. Could you then load that back up to a new computer? You would just get the programs back and photos and documents?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2011   #36
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Josh7 View Post
Thank you all very much. I think I get it but...

What would be the difference of just backing up my documents, photos and other crap, but not taking Image. Could you then load that back up to a new computer? You would just get the programs back and photos and documents?
You would have to reinstall your system, reinstall all programs, reinstall all the Microsoft and program updates since day1, redo all the settings you did for the system and the programs, redo all your Favorites, etc. All you saved was your user data which you can put back - after 3 days of hard work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2011   #37
essenbe

Windows 10 Pro/ Windows 10 Pro Insider
 
 

If you do a backup of your documents, photos music ect, and ad a hard drive die or crash you would have to reinstall windows, all programs, settings and everything. Then you can use your backup of documents, photos etc and place them back on the new install.

If you take an image of your system and restored it, it would reinstall your OS, programs, emails, documents everything exactly the way your system was the day you made the image.

An image can save you many hours of intalling programs, settings and other things. As far as which program to use -if you look over these forums you will find some people have trouble with some progrsms while others swear by it. Personally, I believe it is that some hardware set ups work well with certain hardware than others. I would suggest you try out several imaging programs and see which ones work best for you.
There are several programs you can use free. Macrium, I believe Paragon has a free version and If you have a Seagate or Western Digital internal or external drive, thos companies have free backup programs which are a scaled down versions of Acronis. Some people have very good luck wit Windows Ststem image. I would tryu out several to see which you like best. All of these free versions have limited functionability. The ones you kike, you can purchase the full version. I am sure there are other programs that I neglected to mention.

That is the best info I can give on the difference in file backups and imagr backups. WHS is an expert om Macrium and has done many video tutorials on how to use them
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2011   #38
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hey guys,

You can create a machine and then make an image of it and then later put that image onto a machine with different hardware. Of course, from an activation standpoint, you would have to have a retail copy of Windows so that you can activate this copy onto the new machine.

The key here is to run "sysprep" from Microsoft, but to use the GENERALIZE option. Then, once the machine is shut down, grab the image from a boot version of your imaging software of choice. The generalize option removes the system-specific-data from the system. (What is Sysprep?). Thus, when you restore this image and boot the machine the first time, it will run through more of an "install", then a mini-setup. I can assure you that it works going from one hardware variety to another, as I've used this method at work to move images from Dell XYZ to Dell 123 when a new make and model comes out.

Note: 1 suggestion. Before you run "sysprep" on your machine...take an image. Reason being, sysprep WILL put your actual workstation into the same state of your newly formed image. Meaning, it will boot up, install again...and would require ACTIVATION. All of your installed applications and data would still be there, but you probably don't want to reactivate your actual machine.

So, image it. Then sysprep it, image it again, then restore your first image to get you back to the machine working and activated. Keep that second image on some media that you can use down the road if you ever find yourself building a new machine.

Hopefully that makes sense, if not, please give me a holler.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2011   #39
Josh7

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Wait...so Back up just on a External harddrive doesn't save programs, just photos, documents? Since I don't have a external I tried going to save a backup just to see what it did. It shows that I can back up on my DVD-RW drive. I think thats kind of stupid the whole point of a back up is so if you loose it your have it if you back up on the same drive thats so pointless. I'm still kind if confused. What exactly does a external hard drive back up?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2011   #40
NoN

Windows 7 Professional SP1 - x64 [Non-UEFI Boot]
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Josh7 View Post
Wait...so Back up just on a External harddrive doesn't save programs, just photos, documents? Since I don't have a external I tried going to save a backup just to see what it did. It shows that I can back up on my DVD-RW drive. I think thats kind of stupid the whole point of a back up is so if you loose it your have it if you back up on the same drive thats so pointless. I'm still kind if confused. What exactly does a external hard drive back up?
There's a difference between DATA and Programs, Data is your personal files and what an external drive do is to save your personal data files. When you'll plug this external hd, you'll be able to pick them up and put it back in the machine.

Windows 7 permit to do backup of personal files with it's own program.

You can use a 3rd party like "Seagate Manager" (as an exemple) for Seagate Hdd to do it or "WDSync" for Western digital HDD to replace over the native Windows 7 backup.

Or you can "Drag & Drop" or "Copy or Move" the personal Data files from one HDD to another external HDD.

After if you want to reinstall windows 7 with all the programs from an image...that's another story.

"Backup" & "Image" are two different things!!
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 What Kind of External Back up hard drive should I get?




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