Is there a backup program I could purchase simpler than Macrium

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  1. Posts : 16,573
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.3930
       #11

    Sidecar Bob said:
    I am capable of doing a lot of stuff for and with computers
    So you could just carry on with whatever means you currently use to backup your system.

    Sidecar Bob said:
    I would like to know why I couldn't just use Win10's built in backup app?
    It is deprecated. It is subject to updates for identified security vulnerabilities but not for functional problems. One day it might disappear.

    Sidecar Bob said:
    Is there any way I could have them leave a USB drive plugged into the back of it all the time for that?
    Yes. I have 128GB SD cards in otherwise unused built-in SD card slots for backups. They are completely unobtrusive. Many of those short stubby USB memory sticks could serve just as well. But, by being permanently connected, they are at risk from malware such as ransomware so I also have batch files to copy permanent copies across to temporarily-connected external hard drives..

    Macrium Reflect use - my tuppence worth
    - I am not a Macrium Reflect user [I use Acronis TI]
    - I have used Macrium Reflect twice and found that it just struck me as easy to use after the first time.
    - If Backup and Restore with Macrium Reflect - TenForumsTutorials is enough to teach you how to use it for straightforward [full] imaging, perhaps you could then investigate its command line use so that all you have to give your daughter is
    - an installed application,
    - a Macrium Reflect boot disk,
    - an SD card &
    - a shortcut that runs the application the way required.

    MR User guide
    Macrium Reflect KnowledgeBase - user guide [version-independent link] page 406 - Using Macrium Reflect from the command line
    also online at Using Macrium Reflect from the command line
    showing that the command to run a previously saved backup definition could be
    Code:
    reflect.exe -e -full "c:\backup.xml"
    This command could be saved as a shortcut.

    Denis
    Last edited by Try3; 18 Jan 2020 at 08:02.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #12

    The brief steps below will make a Macrium full image file.

    Install and open Macrium

    On the left side, choose "create an image of the partitions necessary to back up and restore Windows"

    On the bottom half of the next screen, choose the destination folder where you want to save the image file.

    On the next screen, choose no template and delete the schedule. Under "retention rules", choose full and keep 2 backups. Leave all other boxes unchecked.

    On the next screen, you'll see a review of what you've chosen. Choose "finish".

    The last screen is "what do you want to do now?" Uncheck the "save backup" box. Make sure "run this backup now" is checked. Accept the default name of the backup.

    Poke OK. The process should start, with progress bars. It might take 5 minutes or 45 minutes or more.

    When finished, go find the .mrimg file in the destination you chose to confirm the steps worked.

    Repeat the above periodically to make a newer image.

    This excludes the restore process and excludes making recovery media, but it might give you enough confidence to at least get started with Macrium. Making the recovery media using a USB stick is straightforward and done directly through menus. You don't need to use recovery media IF your hard drive is still functioning and your PC will boot----which may or may not be true.

    Many of the detailed steps within Macrium can be avoided by simply using defaults and making full images.
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  3. Posts : 1,214
    W10-Pro 22H2
       #13

    Sidecar Bob said:
    And before we go much farther I would like to know why I couldn't just use Win10's built in backup app?
    AIUI, that backup app is from W7 and deprecated by MS - even they recommend using something else!
    Sidecar Bob said:
    Also, I have a feeling that if I ask them to plug a flash drive in and run the backup app periodically that it will never get done. Is there any way I could have them leave a USB drive plugged into the back of it all the time for that?
    I would suggest they use W10's built-in File History. It is intended to just back up users' files, not the OS (which is what Reflect and other imaging programs excel at). FH will backup files from the defined user areas (that definition can take some sorting out), and then add anything that changes, whilst preserving the originals. If they leave a USB drive plugged in permanently, that would work, but then the backup files are vulnerable to ransomware etc, as they are visible to malware. The few friends I have advised on this are supposed to plug their USB drive in occasionally, and either wait for FH to do its job, or tell it to start (and I have created shortcuts to that effect).

    AIUI (again) FH will quietly backup changed files to some internal location if the defined backup drive isn't available, then copy to that drive when and if it appears.

    Mind you, you can lead a horse to water... getting them to plug the drives in seems to be an uphill struggle.

    I would add that for OS backup, Macrium Reflect is very good, and once set up as a scheduled task can be left to its own devices - but that requires significant (and available) backup storage space. The process of defining the scheduled task can seem a bit daunting at first.

    hth, Martin
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  4. Posts : 31,183
    10 Home x64 (22H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #14

    Sidecar Bob said:
    ...I have a feeling that if I ask them to plug a flash drive in and run the backup app periodically that it will never get done. Is there any way I could have them leave a USB drive plugged into the back of it all the time for that?

    If you can live with the risk of a drive failure, then you could shrink a partition to make room for a new one just for the images. Scheduled imaging with retention rules to ensure it doesn't get too full should do the job. This would protect against all but a drive failure.

    I have a Data partition on all my machines for their Macrium images. Mind you, I also image the whole machine including its Data drive to an external drive once a month, but you could do that as and when you visit.
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 41,313
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       #15

    These are backup software in addition to Macrium:
    (some have free and pay versions)

    Acronis, Aoemi, EaseUS, Paragon, etc.)
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 228
    Windows 10 home
       #16

    OK, so Windows backup is out then.

    Until now I have only worried about keeping the data safe on my own system. I have multiple computers in different parts of the house so I store everything on a WD My Cloud (network drive) and every night Task Scheduler opens Karen's Replicator on my main computer and it backs up the My Cloud to a WD My Book (backup drive)
    Need to automatically backup WD My CLoud to WD My Book
    That works perfectly and I haven't had to touch it since I set it up 3 years ago. The backup is not compressed or anything like that so if the network drive's HDD packs it in I can have access to everything up to the latest backup by simply accessing the backup drive.

    BUT as I mentioned, I am currently reviving a computer for my daughter and son in law after after its hard drive crashed. After trying fruitlessly to restore Windows or recover any of the contents of their original hard drive I'm willing to listen to dalchina's urging to have the system backed up too.
    Lenovo M58 won't boot Win10

    I should mention that, while know a bit more about computers than the average non-technical person (mostly learned from my late son Matt) but I also know my limits AND working on computers is never going to become my main hobby. While it is nice to be able to do a lot of this stuff myself, messing with programming or doing things that require an even remotely advanced understanding of how to use some of this stuff just isn't going to happen.
    The thing I do know best is to ask someone who knows more than me for a simple solution (that's why I joined Tenforums).

    To summarize what I've done so far, I replaced their original (possibly damaged) 500GB HDD with a 320GB one and did a fresh install of Win10 on it. I am giving them a 1TB external drive (Nextar 3 enclosure with Seagate 1000 GB hard drive) with instructions to leave it plugged in and turned on. I have set Windows to store all data (pics, music, videos, documents &c) on the external drive in hopes that if something happens to the main HDD or Windows becomes unrecoverable the data will at least have a chance of surviving.

    This machine doesn't have card slots so if I back it up to flash drive it has to be USB. How big a USB drive to I need? The biggest I have on hand is a 64 MB but I have a brand new 32 I would prefer to use for this because it is physically smaller (= less likely to be disturbed).

    Based on the suggestions in this thread my game plan as of now will be to have a look at EaseUS and hopefully if that doesn't work for me someone else will give me an even better solution in time for me to have this ready to go today.
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  7. Posts : 41,313
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       #17

    If there is / are significant risks of
    a) external HD damage from a fall
    b) fire
    c) tornado
    etc.
    also consider a backup image in the cloud
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #18

    see comments:

    Sidecar Bob said:
    I have set Windows to store all data (pics, music, videos, documents &c) on the external drive in hopes that if something happens to the main HDD or Windows becomes unrecoverable the data will at least have a chance of surviving.

    Do you mean data is originally saved on an internal and is also copied to the external?

    Or do you mean that data is originally saved to the external ONLY (with no copies elsewhere) and that the internal contains only Windows and installed programs?

    Or something else?


    This machine doesn't have card slots so if I back it up to flash drive it has to be USB. How big a USB drive to I need? The biggest I have on hand is a 64 MB but I have a brand new 32 I would prefer to use for this because it is physically smaller (= less likely to be disturbed).

    Offhand, I don't see why you couldn't "back up" to the external, assuming you mean backing up whatever is on the internal. You could use USB flash drives, but they have obvious limitations---capacity, speed, flimsiness.

    If you intend to use an imaging program to "back up", the rule of thumb is that the image file will be roughly 50 or 60 percent of the size of the occupied space of the source partitions--for instance, if C contains 100 GB of whatever, a backup image file will be circa 50 or 60 GB.


    Based on the suggestions in this thread my game plan as of now will be to have a look at EaseUS and hopefully if that doesn't work for me someone else will give me an even better solution in time for me to have this ready to go today.

    Perhaps you can explain exactly WHAT you are trying to back up so we can better answer. OS and applications only? "Everything"? This partition only? That partition only? Personal data only?
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  9. Posts : 228
    Windows 10 home
       #19

    I went to Windows Settings and told it to store all the stuff I listed to the external drive (E) instead of the C drive. They both also have tablet/laptops so hopefully a lot of their data will also be copied to them.

    Having whatever software I use back up to the external drive would be the easiest for them and for me. I just had the idea that it wouldn't be the most secure place but I guess it wouldn't be any less secure than a flash drive (except that it is susceptible to the frailties of any mechanical hard drive).

    What I want to accomplish is to make recovery from a damaged hard drive or corrupted Windows easier if it happens again. It would be really nice to back up everything but that would probably require so much of the external drive that it won't increase their storage space by much so if I assume (yeah, I know about assuming) that the stuff on the external drive is "safe" I guess I need to back up the OS and apps only.
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #20

    see comments:

    Sidecar Bob said:
    I went to Windows Settings and told it to store all the stuff I listed to the external drive (E) instead of the C drive. They both also have tablet/laptops so hopefully a lot of their data will also be copied to them.

    If you are booted from C on this PC, why save to external rather than internal? What did you hope to accomplish?

    Having whatever software I use back up to the external drive would be the easiest for them and for me. I just had the idea that it wouldn't be the most secure place but I guess it wouldn't be any less secure than a flash drive (except that it is susceptible to the frailties of any mechanical hard drive).

    You say "back up to the external drive". Back up of what? Back up from where? As I understand it, the way you have things set up, the internal drive will contain ONLY Windows and applications, no documents, no pictures, no mp3s, no videos, etc. If that is true, you'd likely use "imaging" and include ALL partitions found on the internal drive in a single image file. That's fine as long as you understand personal data is NOT backed up. I'd certainly back it up to the external, with the understanding the external can always fail.

    Data backup is generally much more important than Windows backup. All the latter does is save you time, while the former may be highly valuable and irreplaceable.


    What I want to accomplish is to make recovery from a damaged hard drive or corrupted Windows easier if it happens again.

    OK. That can be done with imaging. Imaging is based on partitions. You choose which partitions specifically. All of a partition or NONE of it.

    You would presumably include ALL partitions on the internal drive. If your data is on C, it will be included.

    I'd think you would want to put data on C if it will fit on C. Then back it up to the external with a full image.

    You have to figure out how big C would be if it included Windows, applications, AND data. All 3. I guess you have a 320 GB internal. If it were chock-full to capacity, an image of everything on it might be 150 to 200 GB and that would certainly fit on a 1 TB external.

    If they have so much data that it won't fit on a 320 GB drive, you have to make another plan.


    It would be really nice to back up everything but that would probably require so much of the external drive that it won't increase their storage space by much so if I assume (yeah, I know about assuming) that the stuff on the external drive is "safe" I guess I need to back up the OS and apps only.

    See above comments. As far as I can see, no reason you can't keep all data on the internal and back up ALL of C (Windows, applications, and data) to the external. Unless you are saying the internal can possibly hold more than 320 GB of anything. An image of 320 GB won't be 320 GB in size. The external is triple that.


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