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Windows 7: backing up files

04 Nov 2010   #1
lartomar2002

windows 7 home premium
 
 
backing up files

i have never done a backup before. if i have a system failure i do not want to lose my data. i do not know which files to backup. should i backup alll of drive "C", and drive "D" which is a virtual drive with system recovery data (HP Computer). where do i start? what do i leave out? thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Nov 2010   #2
bigmck

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by lartomar2002 View Post
i have never done a backup before. if i have a system failure i do not want to lose my data. i do not know which files to backup. should i backup alll of drive "C", and drive "D" which is a virtual drive with system recovery data (HP Computer). where do i start? what do i leave out? thanks.
The suggested way to have your HD is your Win 7 and programs on one partition and your Docs (letters, pictures, music, etc) on a separate partition. You would just leave the D: drive as it is. == You would then need another HD (they can be purchased for under $50 for a fairly big one) to put your backups on. You would make two partitions on it and make a system image to backup the two partiions on your other HD. See this tutorial. System Image Recovery
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #3
bigmck

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

I just noticed in your specs that you have an external drive. That would be perfect to do your backups on. Do you have anything on it at the present time?
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04 Nov 2010   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

As recommended, make a data partition first. Here is a tut Data Partition
I would use Macrium for the imaging. It is the easiest to use: Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #5
mborner

Windows 7 Pro/32 Academic. Build 7600
 
 

When you first run backup, you'll be asked what you want to backup.

1. Let Windows decide.
2. Choose what you want backed up.

In my opinion, and on my own system, I chose "Let Windows Decide". When you let Windows decide, everything that you will ever need (and more) will be backed up. It will save you from having to decide what to back up, especially if you're not sure. It's simple to just remember that the only thing it won't backup is Windows itself, and any programs you've installed that didn't install with the Windows installation. In case of disk failure, you would need to reinstall Windows and all your programs. Everything else would be restored through your backup. Also, a disk image is automatically created every time you run backup, but only when you let Windows decide, otherwise, you must make an effort to select the box "create a system image"
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #6
lartomar2002

windows 7 home premium
 
 

i am using Fbackup4 for my backup software. i already have a system restore cd so, if i have a complete failure i can use the cd to restore the system. so do i need to make a "system image restore"? can i just backup files such has doc,music,video and pics? if i do not have to make a "system image restore" what other files would you sugget i backup other than the ones i mentioned?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

With a system restore CD you start at square 1. That means you have to install all the updates since day1 (last time I did that on my Vista that alone took 3 days), you have to reinstall all your programs and you have to make all the system and program settings. Besides you loose all your Favorites and a lot of other stuff.

If you make a system image today, a restore will look exactly like your system looks today. That goes for everything including your data if that resides on the OS partition. If it resides on a seperate partition, you image that too.

Your call how easy or difficult you want to make your life.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #8
lartomar2002

windows 7 home premium
 
 

ok, so i make a system image today and say next month i want to update it will i have to make a new image or will it just add or delete files that have changed since the first system image?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2010   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Depends what imaging program you use. Some can make differential images, others make full new images. The latter is a lot safer because differentials build up a chain over time and if you lose one in the chain, you cannot recover any more. That cannot happen with full images.
An image takes about 50% of the occupied space in the imaged partition - e.g. if your C partition has a used space of 20GBs, the image will be around 10GBs due to compression. The time it takes to make an image varies from imaging program to imaging program and also depends on the speed of your discs. I take a daily image of about 20GBs with Macrium and that takes less than 4 minutes. See below:


Attached Images
backing up files-2010-08-25_144413.png 
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04 Nov 2010   #10
lartomar2002

windows 7 home premium
 
 

i can not afford a backup software that cost at this time. any other recommendations?
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 backing up files




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