Going to replace my hard drive soon, wondering the best way to back up and restore my info afterwards?

V0lxx_

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May 1, 2017
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Forgive me if this is a dumb question, but I've literally got no clue what I'm doing and I don't want to screw myself over.

About a year ago, I got myself a 1 TB hard drive, and over time, it's managed to completely fill up. I recently got a good stack of birthday money, and I was going to use it to get 2 new drives and run them in RAID 0, for a total of 2 TB. I was going to sell the old drive to get even more cash to do this.

I've got an external hard drive already that I can use to back up my info, but my main question is how can I back up this info efficiently and make it nice and easy to get back onto my PC? Preferrably I'd like to put it back on while I'm installing Windows again if that's possible - makes things nice and simple for me, and once Windows is done I've already got all my stuff back.
Again though, I have no experience with any backup tools that Windows comes with so if that's not possible, it's fine, but I just want this to go smoothly. Anyway, I'm just looking for any help or pointers on this.
Keep in mind if you'd like to help out, though, that I'll be configuring my 2 drives for RAID 0 as soon as I'm able to, and that I won't have the old drive when I buy the new ones, so anything you suggest would have to allow for that.

Thanks in advance for any help you provide!
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
RAID is overblown and mostly, it sucks. Ask practically any veteran member here, they'll mostly all tell you to avoid it.

Plus, there are reliability reasons to avoid it as well. I guess that's your business though. If you want to use RAID, then use it. I wouldn't, there are much better ways to keep stuff backed up and far better methods to getting faster read and write speeds, such as the use of ANY SSD for the OS.

For system image migration to a new drive, I'd recommend Macrium Reflect. It's free and pretty easy to use. There are plenty of online tutorials on using it, so I won't go into that.

Honestly though, if it's been a long time, a clean install is usually a good idea, but of course you'll have to reinstall all your programs as well if you do that.

How much are you going to invest in drives? What is your budget for this project?
 

V0lxx_

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May 1, 2017
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Sorry for the EXTREMELY late reply, but I mostly forgot about the thread with random stuff happening all over the place in my life.

The thing here is that the drives I was going to get WERE SSD's. I have a budget of like $350 after I sell off my old drive, which is a Samsung 850 EVO. My plan was to get 2 860 EVOs, as I had a great experience with the 850 and getting the newer model was nice. Of course the reason I was picking RAID 0 was for extra speed since those things have a 15 terabyte write warranty for up to 5 years, so I figure "Yeah, that's not gonna fail anytime soon if they're willing to say that." But also, I realized that getting the 2 drives with RAID instead of getting a single drive was also less expensive, so that's an automatic plus.
Also wanted to mention that the reason I'm using a 1 TB SSD and now a 2 TB one is that I have a MASSIVE game collection, and it's taken up like 900 GB of space on my drive (lookin at you, GTA V), and I don't really like to uninstall stuff in case I suddenly decide I want to play something different some day.

And yeah, there's no way I'm doing a clean install. I have an absolute * ton of random programs and assorted files that I REALLY don't want to have to reinstall or retrieve - for me, a direct copy of my whole drive is a much better idea.

Haven't had a chance to check out Macrium Reflect yet, but after I get back to my PC I'll check it out. Thanks for the info!
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
1. RAID 0...put that out of your mind. Completely.
With SSD's, put it out of your friends mind as well.

2. What is the size of your current C drive?
How much actual consumed space is on this C drive?
What is the NON RAID size of one of the new SSD's?
 

V0lxx_

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May 1, 2017
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The size of my current drive is 1 TB. Of course since the drive isn't ACTUALLY a terabyte, I think it's like 975 GB?
Anyway, last time I checked, I only had about 4 GB left on it and I've been warned before that it's completely full on occasion.
Non-raid size of a single new drive would also be 1 TB.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator


OK, a "1TB" drive is actually reported as 931GB. This is normal and expected.
You can clone that whole drive into a new one, but you do have to trim some space down.

Get that actual used space to below 800GB, and we can go into the details of how to clone this thing.
I'm quite sure there is 150GB or so you can get rid of.
Old downloaded junk, some game you stopped playing 6 months ago, etc, etc, etc...

800GB is your target number for actual used space.
 

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