I want to back up my Windows 10 laptop using the built-in Windows back up facility. All of the advice I have read on the internet suggest the use of File History.
I have a Western Digital 500GB USB hard drive which I attached to the laptop and followed the advice on the Windows 10 web site: Settings/Update and Security/Backup/Backup using File History/Automatically back up my files set to 'on'. Then in More options I clicked 'Back up now'.
I could feel the external HDD spinning for a couple of minutes and it then stopped. I left it for another hour to see if anything else happened, but nothing. I looked under 'This PC' for the external HDD, which was listed but remains empty, although it shows a folder 'File History' which is empty. That suggested that something was started but not completed.
I found this thread elsewhere on this forum:
file history - Windows 10 Forums
which discusses the possibility of the USB port (and HDD) being automatically turned off to save energy, and wondered whether that might be happening in my case.
I have now followed the procedure recommended and found that the external HHD now spins for a longer time. However, it stopped again after about 30 minutes, so I had a look in More options/Restore files from a current backup. This somehow caused the HDD to spin up again, but the message on that page states that the backup procedure is still working. Also, in 'This PC' the HDD icon still shows empty. After a further 20 minutes, it stopped spinning again, yet still no sign of any backup files on the external HDD.
Unless there is something obvious that I am doing wrong, I can only assume there is a problem with File History.
I notice that there is still the option to use the old Windows 7 backup facility, which I have found to work well on my old W7 computer. I suppose there is also the option of using some third-party backup software.
Three questions, please:
1. Should I persist with File History and, if so, is there an easy fix?
2. Should I use the Windows 7 backup option or another recommended software?
3. I am also not sure about leaving my (internal) HDD being left turned on, as explained in the thread I link to above. Is it advisable to leave it set to 'never turn off'?
Apologies for being so verbose, but I felt it necessary to include as much information as possible!