Solved External Hard Drive Backup Options Newbie questions

March 14, 2014 at 20:34:07
Specs: Windows Vista

I have a 500 GB hard drive. This is the first time I have used one.
I have backed up personal files, photos, videos, music ect.

I used EaseUS Todo Backup Free to do a system back up. Did I need to do a system backup?
What kind of additional back ups do I need to do and how often? Weekly, monthly, daily, yearly? How do I do additional back ups using EaseUS Free if they are needed?
How much space do backups take? I only want to use this one drive.
I have currently 389 GB of free space on the hard drive.

Thanks for your help.

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March 15, 2014 at 07:03:11
✔ Best Answer
Backing up your entire system saves you the headaches of re-installing everything if something goes wrong. A virus or hardware failure, for instance. How often to backup depends on how often your system changes.

If the program you are using has incremental backup options then use those. When installing new software you might consider a complete backup.

Whenever you generate important personal files like documents or photos I recommend COPYING them immediately. You notice I said copy, not backup. Backups usually mean compression. The only way to access that data is to restore it. Whereas copying means the file is immediately accessible.

I recommend you backup your Documents folder regularly. Copy important personal files to optical disk immediately, and perform a system image periodically when the system has change enough to justify the effort.

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March 15, 2014 at 14:10:23
Further to the above comments by Othehill.

My advice is, copy pictures documents to the external hard drive, & regularly update. I use back4sure, I don't think it compresses the files.

I would also copy them to a cloud service, like Gdrive or Skydrive

But, for an easy way to completely restore a broken windows installation, I recommend you create an image of your hard drive, Easus todo can do this, I use Paragon free.
With this, if your pc fails to start due to a windows problem, by restoring the image, will be a lot quicker than than installing windows by dvd then installing program & updates.

It might be an idea to partition your external hard drive, one for the image, the other for pictures & documents.

A thank you would be nice, if I have helped.

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March 15, 2014 at 15:04:41
Thanks for all the great help so far. Thanks OtheHill & clive_pearce for your helpful information.

The options on EaseUs are Disk/Partition backup and System backup. I have done the system back up. The disk/partition backup give the option of sector to sector. Do I want to use this?
The other options are Recovery and Clone.
There is also a file backup option. Should I ever need to use file backup or always copy files to the external?
Which of these are the best options to use?
I only want to use free options. EaseUS image option is not free it appears.
I don't know what makes the system change to need to do a backup if someone would please explain.
If using Paragon software which link do I use to be able to do the image backup?

message edited by ryrhino

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March 15, 2014 at 16:34:09
Windows 7, Windows 8, and presumably Vista and Windows 8.1, all have all of the back up options you need built in for free, including creating a drive or disk image.
I recommend the multi layer approach. A standard back up (compressed) since partial restores are possible, a copy of your important Documents and pictures folders, and a disk/partition image so you are covered all ways. Remember that if all of these are on the same drive, you could conceivably lose all of them so making a second copy of your documents and pictures on CD or DVD and putting it away separately is your best bet. If you lose your general back up and image, it is just a bit longer and more effort to get up and running again BUT if you lose all of your copies of your personal files, they might be gone for ever.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

message edited by Fingers

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March 16, 2014 at 02:24:04
I have to confess, I get confused with the terminology, system backup, clone, partition backup etc

I create a system backup with Paragon Free

A thank you would be nice, if I have helped.

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