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

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  1. Posts : 5,817
    Win 11 Pro (x64) 21H2
       #31

    Delly10 said:
    I have acquired a hard drive enclosure for a hard drive from my former laptop and would like to proceed with using it to do a full back up of my laptop in case of a future crash. The question now is, what software is needed to do this?
    I know there's a love affair here with Macrium Relfect but for levity and fairness, any quality backup program will do the job, not just Macrium. Acronis for one, Paragon's Hard Disk Manager for another.

    The point is to be aware Macrium isn't the only program out there to do the basic thing you want to do. And for the record I've got nothing against Macrium, I use it for certain situations (creating disk images) but for backups I actually use Acronis.
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  2. Posts : 7,089
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #32

    sygnus21 said:
    I know there's a love affair here with Macrium Relfect but for levity and fairness, any quality backup program will do the job, not just Macrium. Acronis for one, Paragon's Hard Disk Manager for another.

    The point is to be aware Macrium isn't the only program out there to do the basic thing you want to do. And for the record I've got nothing against Macrium, I use it for certain situations (creating disk images) but for backups I actually use Acronis.
    Have you tried uninstalling Acronis software and noticed what c**p it leaves behind?
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  3. Posts : 17,272
    Windows 11 Pro
       #33

    You can also create a bootable partition on your external hard drive and put the Macrium Restore Drive there. One plug solution, then.
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  4. Posts : 393
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #34

    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.
    So the bootable flash drive is just a backup to the Macrium installation on the external hard drive, and not a necessity?
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  5. Posts : 13,581
    Windows10
       #35

    The "love affair" with Macrium is a strong consequence of User Experience here. It is very reliable, support is excellent (ok only paid users get direct support but Free version gets benefit and is updated often within a couple of days of an issue being reported).

    Couple this with fact it is the only tool I tested apart from Easeus Todo that backed up 32bit UEFI installs (I tested all main players), and ability to mount images in Hyper-V, no other tool comes close.

    And if like me, you do buy it, Rapid Delta Restore is amazing.

    So why recommend a Buick or Vauxhall, when you can recommend a Rolls Royce?
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  6. Posts : 393
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #36

    zbook said:
    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.
    Up until now, I've just been backing up all personal files to a flash drive that I keep secure. But now that I have a working external hard drive (which I just looked through to get any old stuff I want), I wanted to do a full backup of everything, including the OS and programs like I've always been told I should but couldn't since I didn't have an operating external hard drive before.

    - - - Updated - - -

    RolandJS said:
    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.**
    Yep, I saw that but understood what you meant.
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  7. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #37

    Delly10 said:
    So the bootable flash drive is just a backup to the Macrium installation on the external hard drive, and not a necessity?
    The Macrium installation would be on your regular primary INTERNAL hard drive.

    There's no reason to use the bootable flash drive at all................................................................................................. ....unless your hard drive is dead and will not boot.

    That's a common occurrence.

    What are you going to do in that situation? How do you boot your PC to restore an image?????
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  8. Posts : 393
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #38

    Bree said:
    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.
    Since I don't have internet for my laptop at home, I'm downloading the Free version to a flash drive now and will transfer it to my laptop when I get home. I figure the trial version would require me to go online to start the trial period. But even if not, it's the safe software otherwise.

    - - - Updated - - -

    ignatzatsonic said:
    The Macrium installation would be on your regular primary INTERNAL hard drive.

    There's no reason to use the bootable flash drive at all................................................................................................. ....unless your hard drive is dead and will not boot.

    That's a common occurrence.

    What are you going to do in that situation? How do you boot your PC to restore an image?????
    I guess I was assuming that if the internal hard drive died, then I'd be able to boot it using the Macrium Installation on the external hard drive to boot the computer and then use the backup image. Of course, that would be after I replaced the dead internal hard drive with a new one, which would be empty. Once that's done, I would use the image on the external drive to put my backed up image info. onto the new internal drive. Doesn't it work that way?
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  9. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #39

    Delly10 said:

    I guess I was assuming that if the internal hard drive died, then I'd be able to boot it using the Macrium Installation on the external hard drive to boot the computer and then use the backup image. Of course, that would be after I replaced the dead internal hard drive with a new one, which would be empty. Once that's done, I would use the image on the external drive to put my backed up image info. onto the new internal drive. Doesn't it work that way?
    Why would you bother to install Macrium on an external D, E, or F drive---when it can be installed on the internal C like anything else---with the bootable flash drive as a fallback.

    I realize programs can be installed in oddball locations, but why jump through that hoop?
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  10. Posts : 393
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #40

    ignatzatsonic said:
    Why would you bother to install Macrium on an external D, E, or F drive---when it can be installed on the internal C like anything else---with the bootable flash drive as a fallback.

    I realize programs can be installed in oddball locations, but why jump through that hoop?
    I would install it on my internal main drive at first in order to create a backup image of the drive onto my external drive, but I thought that MR would be installing some sort of boot mechanism onto the external drive along with the backup image in order to be able to restore that image if necessary.
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