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

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  1. Posts : 24,574
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #71

    Delly10 said:
    While I'm still here, I should ask if the external hard drive where I put the disk image should also have a "rescue drive" or whatever the bootable part is called that I'm trying to put on the flash drive....

    ...Since creating a rescue disk erases everything on a drive, I don't want to do this on the external HDD where I just put the disk image, so I figure I'd better ask before trying it.
    It's simplest to use the HDD just for the images and a separate usb for the rescue boot media.

    It is possible to make the HDD bootable, but it takes some work to prepare the HDD. You can't just let Macrium make its partition bootable as it is an ntfs partition. Macrium would want to reformat it as Fat32. You'd need to shrink the existing partition and create a second small Fat32 partition for Macrium to use for the boot media, 1GB would be enough. This gets even more complicated if the HDD is larger than 2TB as it would then be using GPT rather than MBR in order to use the whole of its space.
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  2. Posts : 389
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #72

    Bree said:
    It's simplest to use the HDD just for the images and a separate usb for the rescue boot media.

    It is possible to make the HDD bootable, but it takes some work to prepare the HDD. You can't just let Macrium make its partition bootable as it is an ntfs partition. Macrium would want to reformat it as Fat32. You'd need to shrink the existing partition and create a second small Fat32 partition for Macrium to use for the boot media, 1GB would be enough. This gets even more complicated if the HDD is larger than 2TB as it would then be using GPT rather than MBR in order to use the whole of its space.
    My external HDD is only 250GB, but it still sounds like it would be best to not mess with it. Best to keep things simple. I'll just go ahead and do it with the 4GB flash drive. I might also make a 16GB flash drive bootable as well so I'd have a backup, especially if I can go ahead and use it as a normal flash drive for other things afterwards anyway.
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  3. Posts : 24,574
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #73

    Delly10 said:
    ...best to not mess with it. Best to keep things simple.

    Yes, unless you really understand what you are doing it could be risky.

    ... I might also make a 16GB flash drive bootable as well so I'd have a backup, especially if I can go ahead and use it as a normal flash drive for other things afterwards anyway.
    Macrium only asks for the usb to be reformatted if it is not already suitably formatted. Providing it is already MBR/Fat32 (which most are anyway) Macrium just adds its boot files to those already there.
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  4. Posts : 389
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #74

    Bree said:
    Macrium only asks for the usb to be reformatted if it is not already suitably formatted. Providing it is already MBR/Fat32 (which most are anyway) Macrium just adds its boot files to those already there.
    That's good news! Yeah, my 16GB drive is probably already FAT32. The same couldn't be said for my 4GB. It failed on me twice before, causing me to have to reformat it a couple times. I thought it was dead, but it still keeps working. Reformatting it is what no doubt changed it from FAT32 to something else. I'll go ahead and make my 16GB bootable as long as it doesn't erase what's already on there.

    BTW, I followed your instructions about my 4GB drive last night and it worked perfectly. I'm gonna keep that drive with my external hard drive. So, thank you sir!
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  5. Posts : 24,574
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #75

    Delly10 said:
    ... my 4GB. It failed on me twice before, causing me to have to reformat it a couple times. I thought it was dead, but it still keeps working. Reformatting it is what no doubt changed it from FAT32 to something else....

    Rufus is often the culprit, if you've ever used that on the 4GB....

    I'll go ahead and make my 16GB bootable as long as it doesn't erase what's already on there....
    It's safe to try because in the unlikely even Macrium needs it reformatted, it will tell you so and ask before proceeding. You'll have a chance to say 'no' and back out with your files intact.
    BTW, I followed your instructions about my 4GB drive last night and it worked perfectly. I'm gonna keep that drive with my external hard drive. So, thank you sir!
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 389
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #76

    Bree said:
    Rufus is often the culprit, if you've ever used that on the 4GB....



    It's safe to try because in the unlikely even Macrium needs it reformatted, it will tell you so and ask before proceeding. You'll have a chance to say 'no' and back out with your files intact.

    I've never used Rufus before (I had to look that up to find out what it was). What happened was that my 4GB drive just suddenly didn't work, and a window popped up saying it was unreadable and asked if I wanted to reformat. After asking around, it looked like the only option versus throwing it in the garbage. So I did it, and it worked again until the same problem arose again requiring another reformat. It's been awhile since then, and will hopefully remain in working order if I just keep it stored away and not used. BUT, I'll make my 16GB bootable just in case. It seems like everything computer-related needs a back-up.
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 24,574
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #77

    Delly10 said:
    ... It seems like everything computer-related needs a back-up.
    So true, even my backups have backups
      My Computers


 

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