How to backup windows 10 laptop?

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  1. Posts : 725
    Windows 10

    How to backup windows 10 laptop?

    My laptop is a dell and it uses windows 10. How do you do a backup of your laptop?

    What do you need? How long does it take?

    Is the backup going to be put in an external hard drive? Or online in google drive or icloud?
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  2. Samuria's Avatar
    Posts : 4,965
    windows 10

    You backup the whole system with a imaging software many are free that means you can put everything back in 20 mins it will take about an hour to back it up depending on size and image can be compressed so it takes up less space to an external hd. for docs photos etc its best to save them to google drive or one drive or both then they are safe if even if the laptop got set on fire
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  3. MoxieMomma's Avatar
    Posts : 824
    Win10/64 Pro 1511 (and 2 Win 7/64 Ult & Pro systems)


    To expand a bit on the advice already offered...

    WHAT to "backup": data (documents, photos, videos, etc.) vs. the entire system itself (system image) -- one should have a plan to backup both of these.

    For files, see here for one option:

    For the system, there is the built-in Windows System Image (see HERE), but many folks here prefer a 3rd-party application, Macrium Reflect Free (see HERE).

    WHERE: there are many options for this, both local (e.g. to a different drive on the system or to a separate USB external hard drive) and "cloud" (OneDrive, Google Drive, 3rd-party cloud services), etc. There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. Ideally, a redundant approach is good idea, using both some sort of secure, off-site backup (good to have if your house burns down) and local, separate, USB storage drives (good to have if your online backup is ever lost, contaminated or inaccessible).

    >>Bottom line: the time and expense to maintain robust backups (both DATA and SYSTEM IMAGE) can save an infinite amount of time, effort, cost and aggravation when trying to recover from the unexpected disaster.

    Hope this helps for starters,
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  4. Posts : 1,120

    Backing up and adding to the excellent advice given already: I suggest considering Macrium Reflect or anything similar to make full images of your OS partition and your data partition also onto reliable, available, external media -- for example, I have two usb 1TB ext HDs for each computer's OS and data partition backups.
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  5. Steve C's Avatar
    Posts : 5,276
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit

    I use Macrium Reflect Free to backup all my Dell laptop's partitions (including OS & data) to a basic Seagate external HDD. I keep a backlog of the last 3 system iamges on the HDD. I also tried using File History to backup user files to a SD card left plugged into my laptop. However, there is an issue with my laptop causing the SD car to be disconnected so I don't use File History anymore - but it may work for you. Note it's easy to mount a Reflect image and recover any specific file/folder you need.

    The backup only takes a few minutes since I only have 80GB disk space used on the laptop plus the laptop has a SSD.

    I don't like using cloud backup due to issues of security, upload speed and need for internet access. I do keep a few innocuous shared files on the cloud.
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  6. Posts : 1,808
    W10 pro x64 Skip Ahead + Edge Dev

    If the Dell laptop is 'as supplied' by Dell then you might find that using a 3rd party program overwrites the proprietary Dell boot info and renders the inbuilt Dell recovery system as non functional. That means you can no longer do a 'Dell Factory Restore'. Taking that further, the Dell might well have an inbuilt disk imaging utility already present... you would have to search the online documentation for your model.

    If you want to go down the route of a 3rd program then you can back up to a designated partition on the internal drive. That's the least safe option (but most convenient). It is less safe because the backup relies on the laptop working and the HDD not failing, however you can move important backups to an external drive at any time.
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  7. Posts : 725
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Heres the thing. All the files and documents that i have such as openoffice and openexcel, music, videos etc... i backed it up to an external hard drive and a usb.

    Also i believe i should back this up to dropbox right? Thus have a digital backup as well? Thus either dropbox or google drive would be good enough?

    So if i backed up these files, would i still need to make a backup of my computer? The thing i want to know is assuming i have to do a factory restore of my laptop, if i do that imaging thing, would that mean on a new computer or the same computer if i have to do a factory restore, then everything would look the same? Or not? For example i know if you do a backup of iphone on icloud then do factory restore of iphone, then everything will look like it was before. Im not sure 100 percent if music or videos would be but apps would be.

    The thing im also confused is with these imaging backup you talk about, are these saved to an external hard drive or dropbox? Or you do both? And how long does this whole process take? Let say for example your ssd is 232gb total and you used up 100gb to make it simple.
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  8. Posts : 1,808
    W10 pro x64 Skip Ahead + Edge Dev

    You can back up all your user files very easily to a USB or Flash Drive by simply right clicking 'Documents', 'Music' and 'Pictures' in turn and sending to the USB drive. Its fast, how fast depends on the drive (USB2 or USB3) and the nature of the files.

    I don't save anything to cloud based storage.

    Backing files up in that way is an absolute must as it gives you a copy that is remote from the PC.

    A full image backup and restoring of that backup is the kind of recovery that I use all the time. I store the image backups on the same drive as the operating system (knowing the risk of that) and so can restore an image at a moments notice. I make two images per day, AM and PM. They take around 1 minute to make and are differential types.

    The risks I mentioned are that if the drive fails or the PC is kaput then the only option is to restore user data from the USB drive to either a new disk or a new PC.

    I also keep full month end backups as a safeguard but in practice I suspect these would never be used.... if the worst came to the worst I would want a clean install and not a cloned disk... but the option is there for me.
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  9. Steve C's Avatar
    Posts : 5,276
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit

    I only store files in the cloud to share between remote PCs and which contain no sensitive data or personal information.
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  10. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 9,072
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux

    Hi there.

    another disadvantage of using CLOUD for backup is that if your laptop needs to be restored completely (e.g bare metal restore) using something like a bootable USB drive then you probably won't have access to the cloud (or internet) to retrieve your backup file - so as far as the OS is concerned I'd always backup to local storage.

    (Strictly speaking not always true - some bootable PE systems such as Macrium may have internet access but it will take a lot longer to restore - even with a fast internet service -- but judging by the problems people have with Windows networking - why impose / create a possible extra problem. Size of laptop backup will only be around 30 - 40 GB at max and you can restore the whole thing from a local external HDD robably in about 20 mins or so).

    Don't forget when creating the image backup ALL partitions including system reserved one if it exists.

    By all means have a second copy on the cloud for additional security if you want to.

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