backup solutions for home PC

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  #1  
Old 02-17-19, 09:15 PM
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backup solutions for home PC

hello

currently i do simple drag/drop backups for my desktop PC using 2 portable hard drives which i rotate to remote locations.
while this is simple and basic as we all know the issue here is doing this with consistency.

i am looking for a simple way to keep a another drive connected to the desktop and have it backup any new or modified files automatically with regularity.
i am only interested in my current/working files and dont care about previous/older versions. a complete backup/copy of the hard drive option would also be nice but its not my priority.

i know there are various options out there. i am not interested in cloud/remote/subscription services at the moment.
i see windows 7-10 has a backup utility but i have never used it so dont know if its an unreliable nuisance.
i also see some external drives come with backup software but again i dont know if that's difficult or unreliable.

just looking to keep it simple without cloud subscription services
thanks in advance for any advice.
 
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  #2  
Old 02-18-19, 02:21 AM
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"Windows Backup" does what you've described, automatic "incremental" backups to an attached hard drive.

If you have a portable drive that is larger than the windows-boot drive, I'd also do a "system image backup" using Windows Backup/Restore or any of several free disk imaging tools.
 
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Old 02-18-19, 05:39 AM
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Go out and buy a 1TB external drive (or as big as needed).

You can have your system auto backup to that drive automatically.

I also have all my working files set up under a single folder so once every month I just copy that folder to the same external drive and delete the old for an easy back up!
 
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Old 02-18-19, 06:09 AM
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+1 to the automatic backups to a physical external drive. The trick to making sure these are done consistently is to ensure the PC is on when the backup is scheduled. You may have to start treating it like a work computer and leaving it on overnight.

I recommend getting a SSD external as the backup as it will be less susceptible to breaking on you. (I have had 2 HDD drives die on me over the past 7 years). I recommend getting the largest volume drive that is reasonably affordable.
 
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Old 02-18-19, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by diy409
i am looking for a simple way to keep a another drive connected to the desktop and have it backup any new or modified files automatically with regularity.
You can get a 120GB SSD internal drive from one of the big-box stores for $20.
(2.5" Kingston, SATA connection). Open the case, hookup 2 SATA cables (data & power). Configure Windows Backup to make backups, every couple hours.
Done.

If you have a problem, you pull the SSD drive out, install it into another machine.
Other option, for $18 you can get a USB "hard-drive-swiss-army-knife" cable that lets you hookup old laptop IDE, desktop IDE and SATA drives to USB 2.0 or 3.0.

This is assuming you have a spare SATA drives port in the computer, (most people do: either open the case and check for an open SATA port (usually chicklet sized and candy-colored connector) or the next time you reboot, go through the boot menu and see how many unused SATA ports you have. You might need to get a $1 SATA data cable and $1 SATA power cable adapter from Amazon.
 
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Old 02-18-19, 09:35 AM
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my desktop is a 7 year old tower running windows 7
i believe there is an empty rectangular slot under the cd drive so i am assuming this is where i would put an extra drive?

being the computer is older what type of drive do i need to look for and is this a simple plug and play or are there some configuration issues to contend with?
 
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Old 02-18-19, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by diy409

my desktop is a 7 year old tower running windows 7
i believe there is an empty rectangular slot under the cd drive so i am assuming this is where i would put an extra drive?

being the computer is older what type of drive do i need to look for and is this a simple plug and play or are there some configuration issues to contend with?
General work flow for installing a new SATA drive if you have an open bay and SATA data & power cables are already there.


1) Turn off computer
2) Open case.
Count how many SATA drives you have (SATA cables are usually bright blue or red). Normally C:\ drive is "DISK 0", D:\ drive is "DISK 1", E:\ drive is "DISK 2" etc.

3) If you only have 1 hard drive, you may get lucky and have an existing unused SATA data & power cables already there

follow the cable back to read WHICH SATA port the cable is connected to (usually they're numbered 0,1,2,3,4...) Assume this would be "SATA 2"

4) close up case

5) restart computer - hit ESQ/F2/F10 to enter BIOS setup. Browse around to "DRIVES" and make sure that the SATA drive # you've new drive is connected to is "ON" e.g. "SATA 2". Save BIOS changes and restart.

6) Let computer start back up into Windows 7, login as "administrator"

7) Hit key combination "Win-X" then select "K" to go to "disk management".

You should get a "drive must be initilized" prompt, select MBR disk.
https://superuser.com/questions/9467...nt-says-you-mu

You should see a list of drives, with "DISK 2" showing "unallocated, something like this

Right click on "DISK 2" and choose "format". Assign a drive letter, e.g. "E:\ Drive"

8) Close disk manager.

9) Open Windows 7 backup, choose "setup backups" and have it make incremental backups to E:\ drive, deleting the oldest backup when the drive is full.

10) Start the backup.
 

Last edited by Hal_S; 02-18-19 at 11:11 AM.
  #8  
Old 03-03-19, 12:05 PM
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thanks for the advice

i purchased a WD 1TB internal drive on sale and
installed it into the empty internal bay and made connections.
the initialization procedure was a bit tricky but with your info and other tutorials on line i managed to get it done without going into the BIOS
(thought it would be a simple plug and play like an external drive)

i did set up windows backup but i see that the backup is stored as a system type of file, in other words you cant just click on it to see the contents, number of files and folders etc. i do not see a setting that specifies to only save the most recent files and erase the older? where should i look for this setting? does this setting only appear after the first backup?
also is it ok to create a system image backup on the same drive?

being that i have plenty of room i also did a drag and drop conventional copy also.

i have multiple external/portable backups, i hope to use this new internal drive and windows backup as an "easy and consistent" method

thanks for the help
 
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Old 03-03-19, 12:10 PM
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i do not see a setting that specifies to only save the most recent files and erase the older? where should i look for this setting? does this setting only appear after the first backup?
I don't know where to find or if it is available but it is typically called an 'incremental' backup.
 
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