What is the best hard drive backup software and why?

Jay A July 11, 2013
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I know nothing about the available solutions. But what would be most helpful is a short list of suggested software. I am backing up to a Toshiba Portable hard disk via USB 3.0.
*Thanks for reading*
+jay-

  1. Donald
    July 16, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    I don't do any backups, what I do is create an image. Go to Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Backup and Restore and on the left side you will see "Create a system image", click that and it will create an image and if anything happens you can do a re-install of this image and it will be like nothing happen. One work of advice though if you do do this, do not rename the file or it will not see it and will not install it.

    • Jay A
      August 26, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      I am very interested in this concept. I was previously aware of this method but as I said, I have ZERO knowledge here. Thank you. WHERE could I expand my knowledge of this particular concept?

    • Jay A
      August 26, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      BTW,
      I am looking for a COMPLETE/ENTIRE backup of my Laptop. That is, I would like to copy the OS, all programs and data. I would like to be able to then have the ability to connect my portable hard drive to another laptop/computer (or the original) and "re-install" the backup.
      Make sense?
      I am not sure if this is even possible. I have zero knowledge in this regard!
      *Thanks for reading*
      Any and all info is appreciated*

    • Donald S
      August 26, 2013 at 6:30 pm

      You can create an image as I suggested above but it will only work on that one laptop or if the other laptop is exactly like that one you made the image. I am explaining this clear enough? Don't feel like I am LOL. If you like you can email me schultzdonalds@gmail.com and we can talk about this. I do believe I could help you, maybe, depending on "exactly" what you are trying to do. I work at a college IT department and we do imaging all the time. Let me know.

  2. Hovsep A
    July 11, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Are you backing Windows OS or files (movies, doc,...)?

    Back Up Your Entire Hard Drive With Redo Backup & Recovery
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/entire-hard-drive-redo-backup-recovery/

    Backup your Hard-Drive with SyncBack
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/backup-your-hard-drive-with-syncback/

    FBackup
    http://www.fbackup.com/

  3. Oron J
    July 11, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Backup is a big subject, and there are many approaches and software packages that go with them. Therefore, I can't recommend a single "best" package, but here are a couple of good options:
    For "ordinary" backup (that is, one run periodically on your PC for full, incremental or differential backup) I recommend Cobian backup. It's been around for a long time (it's currently in version 11), works very well and is completely free.
    CB has options to suit pretty much any backup scenario for an individual PC, and works with local or networked (including FTP) backup destinations. Finally, it can save the backups in ordinary folders or in ZIP files, making recovery possible even in difficult situations (damaged catalogue file, no Cobian Backup software on PC etc).

    Another approach is to use cloud backup. This is too big a subject to cover in a post like this, but check out Live Disk, Carbonite, and Dropbox to get a flavour of what those packages can do. They will not make use of your external drive, so you will (probably) need to pay for the service, but the basic premise is that your data is copied onto the cloud, automatically. This is safer (a burglar may steal your computer and backup disc, but at least you wonb't lose your data), and the process is usually more automated than local backups. That said, horses for courses. Check it out and see what you think!

  4. Bruce E
    July 11, 2013 at 11:07 am

    It all depends on what you are backing up, how you want to do your backups (the type of rotation you will be using), if you will be setting up automatic scheduled backups, how you hope to be able to do restores, if you want bare-metal recovery options, and more.

    On my Windows system, I personally use Paragon Hard Disk Manager 12. If you have enough points on the site, you can redeem them for a copy. It offers a great deal of flexibility and can handle almost all backup situations for the vast majority of home and even small business users.

    I have also used Macrium Reflect with good results. Others swear by Acronis True Image.

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