Backing up: can I use a disk that's already part used?  

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  1. Posts : 23
    Windows 10 Home 1903
       #1

    Backing up: can I use a disk that's already part used?


    I have a Windows 7 backup HDD which is still only about half full. Can I safely start using it to make Windows 10 backups alongside the old W7 ones? It's not going to wipe or damage the old W7 backups is it?

    Secondly, does the W10 automatic backup facility recognise HDDs that are connected wirelessly via a USB port on the router? I'd like the convenience of continual automatic backups without spoiling the portability of the laptop with a HDD plugged directly into the computer.
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  2. Posts : 7,759
    windows 10
       #2

    Never use windows backup we have so many problems with it use a free clone software to create an image it wont overwrite win7 backup. You may have to map a drive to the usb to include it in a backup but it can be done
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  3. Posts : 23
    Windows 10 Home 1903
    Thread Starter
       #3

    What's wrong with W10 backup, is it losing stuff? What about the system for recovering W7 backups does that work?
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  4. Posts : 29,532
    10 Home x64 (22H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #4

    windose said:
    I have a Windows 7 backup HDD which is still only about half full. Can I safely start using it to make Windows 10 backups alongside the old W7 ones? It's not going to wipe or damage the old W7 backups is it?
    Are you talking about using 'Backup & Restore (Windows 7)'? If so, do you mean the files backup or creating a system image? The two are quite different functions and work independently.

    For a files backup the backup set is stored in a folder that has the same name as the PC making the backup. It should possible to put W7 and W10 file backups on the same drive, though I haven't tried.

    For a system image all images are stored in the WindowsImageBackup folder in a sub-folder with the name of the PC. I have found from bitter experience that you cannot mix W7 images and W10 images in the same WindowsImageBackup folder. Doing so can make some or all the images invisible to the restore process.

    Both Files backup and System Image have the option to select a network location in the form \\servername\sharename. A mapped network share won't work, at least not fo a system image. System image insists that you provide a user name and password before it lets you select it, which can be a problem if your destination share doesn't have a password.


    But having said that, the built in system imaging has been a deprecated feature for more than two years now. Microsoft recommend you use something (anything) else.

    Microsoft said:
    System Image Backup (SIB) Solution
    We recommend that users use full-disk backup solutions from other vendors.
    Features removed or Deprecated in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

    Macrium Reflect Free is commonly recommended and is what I use. A Macrium system image has the advantage that it can mounted as a virtual drive and explored to retrieve individual files. I also have File History turned on and pointing to a network share as a second line of defence.

    Backup and Restore with Macrium Reflect

    Enable or Disable File History in Windows 10
    Last edited by Bree; 27 Jan 2020 at 11:25.
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  5. Posts : 29,532
    10 Home x64 (22H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #5

    windose said:
    Secondly, does the W10 automatic backup facility recognise HDDs that are connected wirelessly via a USB port on the router? I'd like the convenience of continual automatic backups without spoiling the portability of the laptop with a HDD plugged directly into the computer.

    My laptop's File History is set up to use a folder on my network drive, and that network drive is a usb HDD plugged into the USB port on my router. It works perfectly in the background without me noticing.

    As you are UK based you may well be using a BT Home Hub. If so, you need to be aware that these only support SMB1. In order to use a shared usb drive on a Home Hub with W10 you'll need to enable 'SMB 1.0/CIFS Client' in Windows Features (by default it is disabled).
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  6. Posts : 23
    Windows 10 Home 1903
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Bree said:
    My laptop's File History is set up to use a folder on my network drive, and that network drive is a usb HDD plugged into the USB port on my router. It works perfectly in the background without a problem.

    As you are UK based you may well be using a BT Home Hub. If so, you need to be aware that these only support SMB1. In order to use a shared usb drive on a Home Hub with W10 you'll need to enable 'SMB 1.0/CIFS Client' in Windows Features (by default it is disabled).
    I'm on PlusNet, and at the moment I'm using their free Sagem router with no USB port, so I'd have to buy something suitable. I only just found out yesterday that routers with a USB port exist.

    These are the right price range if they're any good:
    Tenda AC10U 1200Mbps Router Dual-band, 4 Gigabit Ports, a USB 2.0 Port, 802.11ac Wave2 Standard, MU-MIMO, 867Mbps/5 GHz+ 300Mbps /2.4GHz, VPN Server Support, WiFi Schedule, Power-saving Support: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories
    TP-Link Archer A7 AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Cable Router, Combined Wi-Fi Speed Up to 1750 Mbps, 4 Gigabit LAN Ports, 1 USB Port, Supports OneMesh, Parental Control, Guest Wi-Fi, AP Mode, VPN: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories
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  7. Posts : 29,532
    10 Home x64 (22H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #7

    windose said:
    I'm on PlusNet, and at the moment I'm using their free Sagem router with no USB port, so I'd have to buy something suitable. I only just found out yesterday that routers with a USB port exist. These are the right price range if they're any good...
    Looking at the spec sheets for both, they both say they have a USB2 port (so your HDD will work, but be limited to USB2 speeds).

    They both say they support Samba (aka smb) for usb sharing, but they don't say which version(s) they use. They too may only use SMB1.
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 23
    Windows 10 Home 1903
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Bree said:
    Looking at the spec sheets for both, they both say they have a USB2 port (so your HDD will work, but be limited to USB2 speeds).

    They both say they support Samba (aka smb) for usb sharing, but they don't say which version(s) they use. They too may only use SMB1.
    Thanks. A quick Google tells me that SMB is about security, and that SMB 2&3 are necessarily fully secure either? It's probably worth considering, as there's some rather personal stuff on the backup disks. My working copy of the confidential stuff is on another external drive too, so that I don't have to give it to a repair shop if and when the computer falls over.
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  9. Posts : 7,759
    windows 10
       #9

    Dont buy one ring Plusnet there new router has usb and they only charge postage about 6
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  10. Posts : 29,532
    10 Home x64 (22H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #10

    windose said:
    A quick Google tells me that SMB is about security, and that SMB 2&3 are necessarily fully secure either?..
    SMB stands for Server Message Block and is the basis of all the file sharing on the router. It is also referred to as Samba. SMB1 is the oldest spec and the least secure. SMB2 and SMB3 are newer standards more secure and are enabled by default in Windows 10. But using SMB1 on a home network is relatively safe, particularly if you only enable the SMB1 Client. It's mainly on large corporate networks with both SMB1 client and server enabled where there's a significant risk.


    ...ring Plusnet there new router has usb...
    A good idea. Their Hub One router has a usb2 port and supports sharing....

    Plusnet hub one usb port - Plusnet Community

    It is said to be based on the BT Hub 5. If so, then it will be using smb1. It also seems that (for the Hub 5 at least) the maximum size of HDD it can support and share is 2TB.


    My router is the BT Hub 6, one of the few I know of that has a usb3 port. It still only supports SMB1 though.
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