New Member: File History doesn't see USB drive (and other questions)

  1. Posts : 5
    Windows 10

    New Member: File History doesn't see USB drive (and other questions)

    Sorry if these have been asked and answered (maybe more than once). I am trying to use File History to back up certain directories on my C: Drive.

    1. I have two self-powered USB Hard Drives connected through a hub at all times (labelled E: and F: in File Manager). File History never sees them. It does find a NAS drive I have on my network. Any idea why?

    2. The critical directory for me to back up is a sub-directory under my desktop. Can I assume that backing up my desktop includes sub-directories?

    3. How long should the initial back-up take? Bear in mind I'm backing up on wi-fi because File History doesn't see my USB drives. I'm backing up about 20 gigs of data.

    4. Is there some way to observe the status of the back-up?

    Edit - further to my post, Microsoft support couldn't figure it out: it is is being escalated. And it is only File History that has this problem. Backup and Restore sees the USB Drives.

    Following day edit - still no luck after escalation. I am told the matter will not be sent to development.

    Many thanks.
    Last edited by jegnyc; 05 May 2017 at 11:41.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 27,650
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 21H1

    Hi jegnyc. Welcome to the TenForums @jegnyc

    1) A possible reason is it Windows sees the USB as removable storage and not a system drive. This article may help you overcome.

    2) I wouldn't assume anything if they are critical. This article talks to set up but with any backup process you need to "Test" recovery. Move a critical file out of the way and do a restore.

    Select Drive for File History in Windows 10

    3) You will have to determine your transmit speed to use this calculator.

    4) I'm not aware of a status indicator, doesn't mean there isn't one.

      My Computer

  3. Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    I'm not sure how you're distinguishing between removable storage and system drives. Here is what the article you reference says:

    "Before you start using File History to back up your files, you need to first select where your backups are saved. You can select an externally connected drive, such as a USB drive, or you can save to a drive on a network. There are other choices, but these two provide the best options to help protect your files against a crash or other PC problems."

    (Emphasis added) In File History I see the network drives, but not the USB drives. My USB drives are connected at start-up, show up in file manager as E: and F: and can be used by Windows 7 Backup without any problem.

    "If you're going to use a new external drive, connect it to your PC. If you see a notification asking if you want to configure the drive for File History, select it, and then turn on File History on the screen the appears."

    I am not using a new drive. I am using one that has been connected to my computer for some time. And I've never seen this notification.

    "Otherwise, follow these steps to choose either a network drive or an external drive thatís already connected to your PC.

    • Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)
    • Enter File History settings in the search box, and then select File History settings.
    • Select Select a drive, and choose the network or external drive you want to use.
    • Turn on File History."

    I'm not sure if some of this is touch screen and/or Windows 8 specific. I click the Start Button choose setting/update/backup and security and then try to select a drive. But my only options are my network drives.

    I spent over an hour on the phone with Windows tech support today after half an hour yesterday, so it's got to be something pretty unusual.

    Last edited by jegnyc; 05 May 2017 at 13:19.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 27,650
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 21H1

    Okay. If you open file explorer you will see you USB drive. If you right click on drive, then select Open Autoplay. Do you get an option to configure drive for File History?
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    No - I get "Configure Storage Settings" and "Open View Files"
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 27,650
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 21H1

    You likely already did but just in case....

    If you go Start => Settings => Update and security => Backup. There should be a spot to add drive. Can you see USB in this view?
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Nope - just the network drives.
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 27,650
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 21H1

    Well you won't like my next solution. Obviously something is broken and even MS has no idea what. I plugged a USB drive in and file history immediately offered it up for file history.

    You could Reset, Clean Install or Upgrade In Place.

    Before doing any of these I would have my data safely backed up off device and I would have an Image made with a tool like Macrium Reflect.

    Myself I would do the In Place Upgrade. Unless you have your current version in bootable form this will take you to the Creator Update. Something you may not want to do at this time.

    The tutorial section has lots of help. Here are two.

    Clean Install Windows 10

    Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade

    Of course you could live with it until MS updates your machine and maybe MS or another member will come up with a better idea. Wish I had more.
      My Computer

  9. Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Thanks - I think for the time being, I'll just stick with Windows 7 backup, which does work with my USB drives.
      My Computer


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