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Backup software for Windows 10?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by DaveF, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I need backup software for my HTPC. I've done a little searching, and I'm confused. I want a simple tool to make a bootable clone of my boot drive. If my main drive fails or is corrupted, I can boot, have nominal functionality, and restore with a simple clone from the backup.

    On the Mac, this is trivial with SuperDuper for CCC. I can't figure out if this is possible for Windows.

    I expect to use this software once or twice; my system should be static so I don't need weekly backups like I do on my Mac. So I prefer cheap or free if possible.

    I could use enlightenment and recommendations :)
     
  2. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    At work we use Acronis 10 to make bootable images of mission critical Windows PCs and servers.
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Thanks. That's only $30 for home use, so it's an option.
     
  4. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    Let me add that we use it for Windows 7 and Server 2008. Out IT group says no way to Win10 at this point. I used it religiously for XP and 7 and it always worked perfect for making a bootable image.
     
  5. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Win 7 came with a great back up and restore utility. I put on a second hard drive to use purely as a backup disc, and had to use it a couple of times.

    When you upgrade to Win 10 from Win 7 it retains the back up and restore utility. If you instead do a "clean" install of Win 10 you don't get this.
     
  6. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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  7. Stan

    Stan Producer

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    Same thing at my last job. Windows 7, and I was running about 40 servers. Very stable and constantly doing back-ups of the servers, wiping them and re-installing, very reliable product. Endless stacks of DVDs, never to be used again. As an extra protection thing, had to use some sort of "Ghost" software to make images of the servers before I wiped them. Mindless, robotic work, but it was a nice paycheck.

    Had to set up systems to match exactly what customers were using. Make sure our software worked with them. Sometimes really amazing how cheap cities can be. San Jose, CA for example. Mega bucks to live there but they spent nothing on infrastructure. I set up systems and worked with people who literally had to drive 60+ miles to their jobs, couldn't afford to live in the city. A nice average home was going for over $1M. Ridiculous.

    Kind of burned out now. With my laptop, everything seems to be in the "cloud", so not really worried.

    Your IT group is wise to avoid Win10. My laptop came with it pre-installed. Bad choice, I'd love to go back to Windows 7. But good old Microsoft, they stop supporting their older products and you're forced to switch eventually. Didn't realize until I read Dennis' comment that I have no backup software. Not that I've ever needed it, everything is out there somewhere, not much of a need for backups anymore.

    I remember buying this incredibly expensive 1TB drive array for backups. Now, 1TB is nothing. I'm surprised they haven't shown up on smart-phones yet, just a teeny tiny little chip that stores more than you could read in a lifetime.
     
  8. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    I drive almost 100 miles per day round trip for work but that is by choice.
     
  9. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    OK there's some news.

    My system just upgraded to Windows 10 build 1607. This is a major "anniversary" upgrade.

    It includes a new backup utility called File History.
     
  10. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I've been unable to do any HTPC stuff the past month. This was a good reminder to find a backup tool now that I've got use of my media machine again.
     
  11. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    File History was introduced in Windows 8.
     
  12. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Dave, Macrium Reflect is a great tool for drive cloning, and it's free:

    http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx

    I use it all of the time. Rock solid app.
     
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  13. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I'm confused by Macrium, and Windows backup in general.

    Macrium has multiple options which aren't all compatible with each other.

    So...what's a good configuration to backup my harddrive with Macrium? I'm pretty confused by the software and haven't had time to research windows backup methods.
     
  14. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    I could never get Windows Backup to work properly with Windows 7 on my last Windows laptop, my office desktop at work or two client workstations, however it works fine with Windows Server 2008 R2. On all but the server, it would always fail with an error which MS support could not explain so I kept using Acronis for full image backups of those machines.
     
  15. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Perhaps this quick start guide will help you Dave:

    http://knowledgebase.macrium.com/display/KNOW/Macrium+Reflect+Quick+Start
     
  16. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Thanks. I'll take a look at that.
     
  17. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Ugh. I’ve been using Macrium Reflect Free for the past year. And now that I need it, I discover I’ve been using it wrong. :(

    I’ve been doing a drive clone. You can’t trivially restore from a clone. You can boot from a clone drive and then clone back to the master drive...except Windows can’t boot from a USB drive!

    I should have been making an Image, which creates a Macrium-specific blob that it can do a restore from.

    It’s my fault for not making sure I was doing the right thing nor checking that I could do a restore.

    But on this I remain annoyed at Microsoft for not having a simple backup and restore system. This is trivial on the Mac. I don’t like that there are at least five ways, several proprietary, and some that give false hope, for doing a “backup”.
     
  18. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I’ve found the hard way that Windows is a dumpster fire compared to macOS for dealing with backups and recovery.

    But after a couple days of fighting with Windows and googling, and actually destroying my boot-sector whatzit needed by Win 10 to boot, I found how to revert from a drive clone: Clonezilla.

    Assuming a clone made on an external usb drive (like with Macrium Reflect)...

    Create a thumb drive with Clonezilla Live on it. Boot the PC from the thumb drive. Then step through the beginner mode to clone the external drive onto the C: drive.

    Done.
     
  19. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    The big drawback to this is that OneDrive is apparently slaved to the user directory. Reverting my user files took my OneDrive back to that state as well. Files were lost from OneDrive. Backup files I had on OneDrive to help expedite recovery after drive cloning were simply gone. Rolling backup files that had since been deleted were back again.

    So: OneDrive is not a backup and can be lost if your user files are lost. That’s kinda scary.
     
  20. Chris Strnad

    Chris Strnad Extra

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    If this was a recent affair, log in to the web interface and check the Recycle Bin...
    Like Google Drive, OneDrive also does file versioning, so if a file got overwritten, you can restore the previous version from the web as well.
    https://onedrive.live.com

    As far as local backups are concerned, I'm using UrBackup. Granted, my home network is more like a small office in that I have a vm server hosting my AD server, WSUS and backups...
     
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