Back-Up New Computer

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Old 01-16-21, 04:53 PM
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Back-Up New Computer

First, I am not talking about backing up data from an existing computer.

When buying a NEW laptop.......... Backup OS, programs etc.

Years ago, when you bought a new computer, it came with a disc(s) that had all of your OS & programs that came installed on your new computer.
Then later, as the file sizes of OS & programs increased, it would take 10 or more discs to put everything on, so they started partitioning drives & creating a "D" partition for the OS, program files etc that was installed on your new computer in the event of catastrophic failure & you needed to reload your OS etc.
At this point, you were responsible for copying your "D" drive onto a thumb driver for example, to use to reinstall in the event of failure.

Now, there is no "D" drive partition back-up files.

So, do we just copy & paste the files from "C" drive now? Is that what we are supposed to save in case of failure or have the need to change hard drives & reload the original software?
What is the procedure now? Are we even supposed to copy/back-up the original files anymore?
 
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Old 01-16-21, 06:26 PM
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I would just copy all the data from the hard drive to another hard drive. Just make an exact copy like you would if you were replacing the hard drive. Drives are pretty cheap nowadays.
 
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Old 01-16-21, 06:43 PM
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Here's the my preferred procedure for windows computers.
1) create a Microsoft Account, login and register the new computer's Windows 10 license with MS, and save any bitlocker encryption keys. Also write down / register any pre-loaded programs that come with the new computer.
2) invest in a multi-terrabyte USB backup drive, and use Macrium Reflect to make a disk image of the new computer's hard drive.
3) use windows DISM command to make a backup of all the drivers for the new computer on the backup drive.
4) use Macrium to make a disk image of your main computer, then use Macrium to copy that image onto the new computer.
5) restore the device drivers.

You should now have a clone of your 'favorite' computer, with email passwords, website passwords etc all ported over.
 
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Old 01-16-21, 07:19 PM
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While in the computer store, I checked what size the entire file size was & it was something like 70 GB.

WHAT!

Geeze...... I remember when the entire HD in a computer was less than 1 GB. I remember when I seen my first PC with a 1.1 GB HD. I thought it was the 22nd century. Wow! A HD in excess of 1 GB! That was about 1995 or so.
Now 70 gigs just for the OS and some programs. I think about the smallest HD you can get in a computer now is 256 GB.... and multi-Terabyte HD's are common place now.

So, anyway, I bought a 128 GB thumb drive to copy the new drive before making any changes etc.
Which brings me to another story. I gave $20 for a 128 GB, 3.0 thumb drive.
In 2005, while out on the road all the way in West Virginia (from Louisiana), my laptop crashed with all my data..... lost. Business data. I went into an Office Depot & bought a new Laptop. During the purchase, we were discussing losing all my business data. The guy said there is this new thing called a thumb drive. Its small compact & you can store/back-up all of your data.... every day... backed-up on this little bitty drive. He sold me a 4 GB thumb drive for $150. Yep... no mistake... 4 Gb for $150.
Now you can buy a 128 GB for $20.

How times have changed......

BTW, I still have that 4 GB $150 thumb drive in 2021. Still works.
 
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Old 01-16-21, 08:00 PM
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I remember when the entire HD in a computer was less than 1 GB.
Meh. The first business computer I worked on had 5 meg hard drive and ran CPM.


I had to search the WWIV bulletin boards to find a replacement Seagate 4096 double height 80 meg drive to fix the our second computer.


 
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Old 01-17-21, 05:40 AM
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I recently saw a 1TB thumb drive and I had the same reaction. And it was about $40!?!
 
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Old 01-17-21, 05:43 AM
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Honestly who cares about the programs, if something happens to the hard drive or computer they are easy to replace the things that are important are your documents.

A 1 TB external hard drive is cheap, keep all your files within a single folder and everything simply is copied onto the hard drive. I also copy to DVD the same files every 6 months, all pictures are in yearly folders so they get copied every year!
 
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Old 01-17-21, 05:44 AM
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Looking in my Settings, there's a Recovery tab that if you click on, it reinstalls Windows and lets you keep your files. Haven't had to use it yet, but seems a simple solution.
 
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Old 01-17-21, 06:02 AM
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ShadeLadie, If I am following what you're saying, there is a recovery process but the files have to be accessible. If the HD crashes & you have to replace it, it cant access the files to recover the system. Now, I am saying all this with caution because all of this technology has out run my knowledge. So, Microsoft may have a way of recovery that I dont know about.

Again, as mentioned in my OP, I dont know how this is supposed to work anymore. I am not even sure if we're supposed to copy & save the files from a new computer anymore.
I self taught myself back in the 90's & got fairly decent with computer systems & software, but technology increased & changed so fast that I couldnt keep up without a formal education in IT.
 
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Old 01-17-21, 06:47 AM
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Okay, I see what you're asking. When you're booting up, you'd have to press one of the F buttons (I forget which) and up comes all the options. Maybe there's an option to reinstall to a different drive if you have more than one. No help I know. Never had to do that in recent years.
I have Word and One Drive tho. I had to get a new laptop a couple of years ago and dreaded having to reinstall everything. Since I had One Drive, as soon as I logged in and it did the updates, everything was already there. There was only a couple of things I had to manually reinstall. Not sure if you're interested in One Drive, but just an FYI.
 
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Old 01-17-21, 07:31 AM
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Dix,
You sound just like me. In the 90's I built several computer from scratch and even considered going into business with a friend. But now, I'm totally lost. I'm considering a new desktop and must re-educate myself on the very basics and what CPU is good or bad.
 
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Old 01-17-21, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Dixie2012
Years ago, when you bought a new computer, it came with a disc(s) that had all of your OS & programs that came installed on your new computer.

Now, there is no "D" drive partition back-up files.
Quick explanation- most applications (they're no longer "programs") are now designed to be downloaded over an internet connection and then registered with a code AND in the software company's database.

The term "Windows as a service" is usually used to explain how Microsoft Windows no longer focuses on the "windows key" (that hologrammed sticker with strings of characters you'd type in to register your valid copy of windows). The new model for Microsoft is that you create a 'Microsoft login' which automatically registers Windows, Office and all the other MS products a valid for that particular motherboard.

The 'recovery partition' or D-drive is still there, but most of them are hidden by not assigning a drive letter. You can snoop around the ACTUAL disk size by logging in as administrator, hitting Win-X, and selecting 'Disk Management'. That lets you see all the recovery drives and unallocated disk space.

Instead of the built in recovery for Windows 10, I highly recommend Macrium Reflect. It includes a rescue USB/ DVD option, makes highly compressed disk images, AND you can mount the disk images as a virtual hard drive (like an .ISO file lets you open a virtual CD or DVD, then burn it to disk if you want). But even better, if you've got a fast computer AND the disk image is bootable, you can "boot" that disk image and run that computer as a virtual machine. So, if you've got an old XP computer with some programs you can't find anymore, you make a Macrium disk image and you can "run" that exact computer in a virtual window.

Very helpful when troubleshooting, because you can ALSO save changes to the disk image. Example phone scammer locked an older friend out of her laptop, you have 5 tries to guess the password, they wanted $1,000 to unlock it. I simply made a full disk image, called the scammer and said "No, go ahead and wipe it." Which he did. "So, what WAS that password?" and he told me "asdfg". So I restored the drive image, entered the password, then cleaned out all the junk they'd added, and got the laptop working again.
 
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Old 01-18-21, 09:02 PM
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Remember the Y2K bug? The was the result of programmers looking to save money on the code they were writing by omitting the first two digits whenever they wrote a (20th Century) year. Which was a big deal back when because (cheap) storage memory then cost $10 per kB. Now non-volatile storage memory is less than $1 per GB. That's 10,000,000x cheaper.

For a laptop you can get a "low-profile" thumb drive that sticks out no further than the dongle you use for your mobile wireless mouse. Put it in any USB port and leave it there. Which is a great solution for traveling because your backups can travel with you with very little trouble.

I can't agree that there's no point backing up the operating system because I invest quite a bit of time and effort configuring and tweaking a "clean" back-up until it's to my liking, and installing all my pet applications. Plus, especially with M$ OSes, there could be gigabytes (plural) of updates that need to be applied to what would be installed from your laptop's restore partition. Which takes a significant amount of time to install, if not to download.

So after a fresh installation, I wait until I've got all the furniture moved in and the curtains hung before I make a backup. For that I use the native backup tools (in both Windows and Linux) to back up just the OS. And I'll update that backup image periodically because OSes are rarely static for very long. You keep installing new applications and applying new updates and patches and such.

But I use command line tools for backing up data files. The native backup tools (in both Windows & Linux) create a single (compressed) binary file that you can't recover anything from unless you open the entire file, usually using the same application as created it. But what I do is more a mirror than a backup because all it's doing is copying the files from where I keep them on my PC to another storage device. That's a more workable solution to me than a binary backup file because it doesn't just protect me from catastrophic hardware failure, it also makes it easy for me to recover files I've accidentally deleted or edited unintentionally.

Windows' "xcopy" command line tool does a decent job. It's mostly the usual 'copy' command with "network-awareness" and a few additional bells and whistles. I use RoboCopy, which is 'techier' than "xcopy" but it's also faster than stink.

In Linux I use "rsync," which as the title implies is for synchronizing files that are remote to each other. It's also more similar to Windows' "xcopy" than not.

Some people don't do anything any more consequential with their PC than surf the web, check their social media accounts and webmail. They might not shed a tear if all their data disappeared. But I'm not that guy. I don't lose data but that it hurts. I would bawl like a baby if I lost it all. So I make lots of backups. Sometimes I make backups of backups. I have a digital archive containing images of all my important documents, house and car titles, passports, etc. And I maintain five copies of that file stored in four separate locations.

But that's me all over, innit? Belt and suspenders guy. Never go fishing without a snorkel and a parachute, I always say.
 
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Old 01-19-21, 05:59 AM
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Really showing your age when you can still use DOS commands. Of course, I can't do that because I'm so young.

Anybody remember using a program called "Fastback" for system backup? About 30-40 of the 5 1/4" floppies for the backup, fed one after another until done.

Or how about THIS one: How to turn a 720mb 3 1/2" floppy (not really floppy) into a 1.44mb?
 
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Old 01-20-21, 11:01 AM
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Wasn't "fastback" the one that timed your disk changes and then gave you a "score" for how efficiently you were doing it? I remember geeks making a sport of that, who could do a 20-disk back-up with the least wasted computer time.

And I have to correct myself. It's not Robocopy I do the Windows backups/mirrors with. The process has been running without intervention for so long that I'd forgot, but I went back and looked at the batch file. I'm running EMCopy, which is some truly high-speed stuff created by Dell's EMC division for migrating massive amounts of data.

But EMCopy is now "abandonware" and for the longest time it was next to impossible to find a copy of it. But I just checked and some kind soul has put it on the Wayback Machine. If you ever do data migrations of any size on a Windows platform, you could do a lot worse than snarf a copy for your own use. Command syntax can be (but doesn't have to be) really complex but when I first used it I couldn't believe data could move that fast.

That definitely is one of the files I would cry over if I lost it and couldn't find a replacement.
 
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Old 01-20-21, 02:31 PM
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THis is from the microsoft web page
Create a recovery drive

Windows 10 Windows 8.1 Windows 7It's a good idea to create a recovery drive. That way, if your PC ever experiences a major issue such as hardware failure, you'll be able to use the recovery drive to reinstall Windows 10. Windows updates to improve security and PC performance periodically so it is recommended to recreate the recovery drive annually. Personal files and any applications that did not come with your PC will not be backed up. You'll need a USB drive that's at least 16 gigabytes.

Warning: Use an empty USB drive because this process will erase any data that's already stored on the drive.

To create a recovery drive in Windows 10:
  1. In the search box next to the Start button, search for Create a recovery drive and then select it. You might be asked to enter an admin password or confirm your choice.
  2. When the tool opens, make sure Back up system files to the recovery drive is selected and then select Next.
  3. Connect a USB drive to your PC, select it, and then select Next.
  4. Select Create. Many files need to be copied to the recovery drive, so this might take a while.
If you ever need to use the recovery drive to reinstall Windows 10 on your PC, see Recovery options in Windows 10 for further instructions. It's a good idea to back up your files frequently because the recovery drive isn't a system image. It doesn't contain your personal files, settings, or programs.
 
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Old 01-24-21, 07:52 AM
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I’m using the “Bart PE Builder” when disaster occurs and in the past has saved me a lot of time to a fast system recovery. I have a Bart PE boot disk and along with my Macrium image I’m up and running in no time. I dont think you can re-start a PC if you dont have a boot disk. Part PE is a free download.
 
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Old 01-24-21, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by kolias
I have a Bart PE boot disk and along with my Macrium image I’m up and running in no time.
I have a 64 GB USB with lots of ripped CDs for the car stereo. BUT it ALSO has a Macrium boot/restore partition, and an Ophcrack/rainbow table partition. "Oh, I can fix that..."


 
 

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