What tools are needed to back up laptop to external HDD?

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  1. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #21

    Delly10 said:
    Then perhaps I should create 2 MR drives. If the one has failed when it's needed, I wouldn't be able to do a backup at all, right? That's even though I have an external hard drive with a back-up image on it.
    Wrong. You could still make and restore an image IF, I SAY IF, your hard drive was still working and you could boot normally and access the Macrium installation on your hard drive.
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  2. Posts : 393
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #22

    ignatzatsonic said:
    Consider this:

    May 1st, you make an image file.

    May 13th, you take a bunch of pictures and keep them on your hard drive.

    May 20, you have to restore the May 1 image for whatever reason.

    Your May 13th pictures have just been overwritten and lost if not backed up by some other method.

    You have to know how you will deal with that situation.
    Yes, I was thinking of renewing the image backup maybe once a month. Of course, if I added a bunch of new things in the middle of the month that I couldn't afford to lose, I would do a backup again at that time.
    When the discussion turns to things like partitions, and having the OS in one place and my files in another, I'm not sure what's being referred to, although what I'm doing now might qualify. I have a program called Vericrypt which creates containers (partitions) that can be opened/closed seperately. What I did with my computer is create a single 30GB container and I keep all my files there, and then dismount it when I'm done.
    Is something like that what you mean by having seperate partitions? If so, I don't see how my 30GB container would survive if the hard drive died, since it resides on the hard drive along with everything else.

    - - - Updated - - -

    ignatzatsonic said:
    Wrong. You could still make and restore an image IF, I SAY IF, your hard drive was still working and you could boot normally and access the Macrium installation on your hard drive.
    Oh yes, but I mean I would require a working MR flash drive to retreive and restore a back up image stored on an external hard drive if the hard drive in my computer completely died and I wanted to replace the hard drive on it (or get a new computer) and continue with everything as it was at the time the hard drive died, correct? The way I'm understanding it, a bootable flash drive with MR on it is the key to making the back up external hard drive to what it was intended to do, which is to restore everything.
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  3. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #23

    Post a screen shot of Windows Disk Management if possible, showing all partitions clearly.

    I have no idea about "Vericrypt". Is it an encryption program?

    I assume the "containers" are partitions under another name?

    Macrium may or may not have issues with encryption. I don't encrypt and don't know.

    You are right. If a drive dies outright, all partitions are lost.
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  4. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #24

    see comments:

    Delly10 said:
    Oh yes, but I mean I would require a working MR flash drive to retreive and restore a back up image stored on an external hard drive if the hard drive in my computer completely died and I wanted to replace the hard drive on it (or get a new computer) and continue with everything as it was at the time the hard drive died, correct?

    That's correct.

    The way I'm understanding it, a bootable flash drive with MR on it is the key to making the back up external hard drive to what it was intended to do, which is to restore everything.

    The recovery media is a means to access Macrium and do whatever Macrium can do---make an image, restore an image, clone a drive.

    You could use the recovery media even if your hard drive was working if you wanted to do that. It's just slower.

    You control what partitions are in the image. If you do NOT include the correct partitions, you won't be able to restore Windows.

    Macrium menus feature a choice when making an image that is something like "include all partitions necessary to restore Windows". You could take that choice. Or you can manually include the correct partitions if you have that knowledge.

    Monthly images is a decent strategy.

    Most would advise you to back up personal data via some other means--to avoid that over-write issue if nothing else.

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  5. Posts : 39,969
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       #25

    When backing up files these are some factors for protection:

    malware
    ransomware
    corrupt operating system and/or registry
    boot failure
    drive failure

    For best imaging do not save the backup image to another partition on the same disk drive.
    Save backup images to an external drive or the cloud.
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  6. Posts : 1,614
    Windows 10 Home
       #26

    RolandJS said:
    I recommend any one of many free and fee 3rd party backup/restore programs. Such are less problematic than windows built-ins. I've been using MR and Image for Windows for some time now, they never caused a restore problem.



    **I had to fix a bad typo! My tablet does not have a keyboard, so I was one-stylus typing...my earlier mistake of "mess" should have been "less" in my earlier post way long ago. Above is what should have been typed awhile back.**
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  7. Posts : 1,614
    Windows 10 Home
       #27

    I also read that it's a 30 day trial version, which would be good enough to allow me to do a backup, but I can't guarantee my laptop will also crash and need recovery within those 30 days. "
    As a long time user of MR and IfW, I must correct the above misconception. MR free and fee will work and work and work, inside of 30 days, the 30th day, and long long past 30 days. Let's get that understood up front. In fact, almost all backup/restore programs work the same way. Now, here is the subtle difference with MR, lean in close, don't miss this: During the 30 day trial, MR works like the pay-for version, after the 30 day trial, MR becomes exactly what it was when it was downloaded for free -- a free version fully functional for backup and restore. I think the only difference between pay-for and free is that free does not do Incremental backups, nor has Rapid Delta Recovery -- if I am incorrect, somebody please correct me. And, I think a couple of NiceToHave tweaks may only exist within MR pay-for, however, backups and restore can be done with free MR as long as ye shall live.
    Last edited by RolandJS; 17 Oct 2019 at 20:58.
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  8. Posts : 13,581
    Windows10
       #28

    RolandJS said:
    I also read that it's a 30 day trial version, which would be good enough to allow me to do a backup, but I can't guarantee my laptop will also crash and need recovery within those 30 days. "
    As a long time user of MR and IfW, I must correct the above misconception. MR free and fee will work and work and work, inside of 30 days, the 30th day, and long long past 30 days. Let's get that understood up front. In fact, almost all backup/restore programs work the same way. Now, here is the subtle difference with MR, lean in close, don't miss this: During the 30 day trial, MR works like the pay-for version, after the 30 day trial, MR becomes exactly what it was when it was downloaded for free -- a free version fully functional for backup and restore. I think the only difference between pay-for and free is that free does not do Incremental backups, nor has Rapid Delta Recovery -- if I am incorrect, somebody please correct me. And, I think a couple of NiceToHave tweaks may only exist within MR pay-for, however, backups and restore can be done with free MR as long as ye shall live.
    Yep - Macrium Reflect Free is not on a 30 day trial, only an optional trial of the advanced features of Home. So if you choose not to buy the advanced features after 30 days, they become locked out unless you pay a fee.

    There are other differences between Home and Free e.g. Change Block Tracking (so when you do an incremental backup, a Reflect knows changes rather than searching which speeds up backups, and Macrium Image Guardian which provides additional image security layer preventing malware attacking backups.
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  9. Posts : 24,626
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #29

    There are two ways to download Macrium to try it, one is the 30-day trial download, available here:

    Macrium Software | Home Edition

    The other is the Free version from here:

    Macrium Software | Macrium Reflect Free

    The Free version will offer to become a 30-day trial if you try to use any Premium feature. At the end of 30 days it will revert back to Free, or you could purchase a licence key to turn it into the paid for version. I assume the 30-day trial download will also revert to Free at the end of the trial, but I haven't tried that one.

    It's all the same software, however you download it, Free, Trial, or bought. What determines its behaviour is the licence key that comes with it. For both Free and Trial a specific key is installed automatically to determine how the software behaves. At any time you can change that key for one you have purchased to permanently unlock the Premium features.
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  10. Posts : 7,089
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #30

    Macrium Reflect Free is excellent. I had a bad experience a few years ago with Acronis backup software and avoid their products due to poor software engineering and support.

    I make scheduled backups to my laptop's internal drive in addition to backing up to an external HDD. There are two ways of doing this:


    1. Create a separate partition for data backups on your laptop's drive and schedule backups to that partition. This enables fast recovery from Windows configuration errors but is useless if your drive dies.
    2. Install a second drive if you have space and schedule backups to the second drive.


    You should always make backups to an external drive which you store separately from the laptop in case of malware attack. Handle the external drive carefully since they can easily fail if they are moved whilst running as I recently discovered.
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