In search of free backup software

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  1. Posts : 983
    Windows 7/64 Professional

    Raid is a wonderful way of helping if their is a drive failure but it is useless against infections or any thing else that corrupts data. It just copies the corruption to all the drives in the Raid.
    With or without Raid I recommend a backup up plan on external drives. These drives are only hooked to the computer when in use and otherwise unhooked and stored in a safe place. If one want to Raid the backup drives that fine as long as they are unhooked from the computer when done. Now you have more than 1 copy of your backup on different drives.
    Figuring the proper method of backing up your system and data varies from person to person.

    My system have very little data so I just do Clones of the drive (From ssd to ssd) using Hot Swap bays and Macrium Reflect. When I get in the mood I partition the Clone ssd and do a backup on the second partition.
    Then I unhook the Clone/backup ssd and store it in a safe place.
    If I had a lot of data I would do a Clone of the 'C' partition to another ssd and a data backup to a hard drive. When done with the process I remove all Clones and backup drives and store in safe place.

    It really doesn't cost a lot to set up a backup plan. Some extra drives to use as externals and a free or paid for back up program.
    A few minutes of time to learn the in's and out's of the program and your on your way.

      My Computers

  2. Posts : 41
    Windows 7 Home Premium

    Layback Bear

    Raid: I agree. I used to run a Raid 1 array but switched to periodic full-HDD Cloning & Imaging for the same reason you mentioned; no protection from malware or other undesired scenarios, bad downloads, user errors.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 1,620
    Windows 10 Home

    "...Raid is...useless against infections or any thing else that corrupts data. It just copies the corruption to all the drives in the Raid..." I should have mentioned this in my earlier "RAID is not a backup..." post :) Thanks, Jack, for mentioned this.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 19,239
    W11+W11 Developer Insider + Linux

    RolandJS said:
    "...Raid is...useless against infections or any thing else that corrupts data. It just copies the corruption to all the drives in the Raid..." I should have mentioned this in my earlier "RAID is not a backup..." post :) Thanks, Jack, for mentioned this.
    But it is..... if in a NAS than it's double backup.
      My Computers

  5. Posts : 17,349
    Windows 11 Pro

    Large corporations with thousands of computers don't do backups by carrying a USB external drive to each computer and plugging it it.
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 19
    WinXP/ Win7/ Win8.1, and WinX

    Another vote for Macrium Reflect! For the home user, there isn't anything cheaper, easier, and more reliable. I've searched for a product like this since the early '80's.
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 166
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Okay I've downloaded Macrium Reflect free version. Priority wise, the files I most need to do a backup of are my favorites, and my Quicken files as well. Although I would like to backup more, these are the most critical right now. Those files I could easily save to a USB memory stick.

    I have an idea for something I'd like to build as budget permits. I forgot what they called it, but seen a "box" at MicroCenter once. You could install up to 4 sata devices in it, it had it's own power supply and it USB'd into your system. What are those called, so I can price them out via Pricewatch?

    Now where would be the best place to attach this device to? I have 3 USB ports on my laptop, and there's two USB ports in my router. I know this "device" I seen came in different sizes. Like 4, 6, 8 and I think there was even a 12 port version as well. For my purposes, I don't think I need anything larger then the 4 port version.

    Unless I'm advised not to do this differently, I'm thinking in the 4 port version, one drive would be for backups, one drive for my movies, and other one for music, and a Blue-ray burner. The burner is for a special personal project, and would be the last item to install.

    Going by those of you that have considerable more experience then I, would what I described be efficient, or am I over complicating things? Being realistic, my computer experience puts me at a level where I know a bit more then some, but enough were I could really muck things up if I'm not really careful. I am so glad I found this forum, as many of you have helped me when I didn't know what else to do.
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 17,349
    Windows 11 Pro

    The are called drive enclosures. I don't think your Blu-Ray burner would work in one. They are for hard drives only:

    Connect it to the USB port on your router and you get the advantage of being able to access it from any computer on the network, and probably even over the internet, depending on the router - but it will likely have a slower transfer rate. Connect it to USB 3.0 port and you get the fastest USB speed, but the computer has to be turned on in order for it to be shared on the network, and it would be more difficult to access over the internet.

    A lot of us have NAS(s). Network Attached Storage. These are enclosures that actually connect to the network and usually run at the fastest speed the network will pass data. Buffalo LinkStation 220 0 TB 2-Bay NAS for Home (LS220DE): Computers Accessories
      My Computer

  9. Posts : 11,203
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux

    Hi there

    I'll just echo all the sensible advice given here -- Macrium Free is the simplest, most flexible and reliable program for what you need to do.

    Just get an external drive (even sizes as large as 4TB are quite cheap these days and USB3 is fast enough).

    Now IMAGE the relevant HDD('s) to the external USB.

    MACRIUM will support imaging RAID but you might need to load the RAID driver when you build the bootable restore media.

    Warning though -- MACRIUM needs the driver as an .inf file -- a lot of the drivers you get now are .exe files -- you can extract the .inf file though using 7-zip or similar.

    Here's a link to Macrium and RAID -- although for V5 of Macrium it's still valid (V6/V7).

    Macrium Reflect v5 and RAID systems (RAID)

      My Computer


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