Question What type of backups should I do?

Oct 7, 2019
2
0
10
0
I am installing a clean version of Windows and setting up all my personal settings, then I'd like to make a copy I can restore to later.

then I'll put on some personal files I have backed up. and maybe make a back-up of that too. (the whole thing not just the files)
 

wpgwpg

Dignified
I make full system backups to an external hard drive using the free version of Macrium Reflect. I make these on a regular basis and keep a number of backups. There are many other good backup programs, but I avoid the one built into Windows because it's no longer supported.
 

britechguy

Commendable
Jul 2, 2019
1,482
238
1,340
108
There are many other good backup programs, but I avoid the one built into Windows because it's no longer supported.
That depends on what you're talking about. You are absolutely correct with regard to Backup & Restore (Windows 7). This was the full system image backup and it was deprecated, see: Microsoft Announcement of things removed/deprecated as of Fall Creators Update, including SIB [Backup and Restore (Windows 7)].

However, the user data backup solution, File History, which is an excellent versioned backup utility is fully supported.

Back to the original poster, though. Your proposed backup protocol is an excellent one. I generally take a full system image not immediately after installing Windows 10 but immediately after I've done all the settings tweaks I want to do and have installed all of the software that is "my standard set." That way were I ever to need to do the personal equivalent of "restore to factory" I've got a full system image of just that.

After I have the above noted backup, I take monthly full system image backups, using two different backup drives, and alternating the drives with one for the even month backups and the other for odd month backups. I also take user data backups using File History whenever I have created any significant number of user data files that I would not ever want to have to create again or lose (e.g., photos). If I ever make any really big software installations that I'd not like to have to repeat, I do an off-monthly-cycle full system image backup so that were, heaven forbid, something to occur before the next one I would not have to do that work.

Ideally, and I will admit that I don't meet this ideal, you would keep your most immediately previous full system image backup drive somewhere other than the building in which your computer is located, and having two that you use on alternate months makes this easier if you can do it. Having a backup will do you no good in the event of, say, a fire where both the computer and the backup media both go up in flames. I really need to start doing what I propose, as I have another location that I visit frequently where I could keep the "just backed up" backup drive and fetch the "next to be backed up" drive at the same time.

Of course, if you use a cloud-based backup service and a local backup drive you've effectively done this.

For any data that's absolutely critical having the original and two backups is the way to go. But, the bare minimum is the original and one backup.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
114,654
2,138
157,290
18,679
I am installing a clean version of Windows and setting up all my personal settings, then I'd like to make a copy I can restore to later.

then I'll put on some personal files I have backed up. and maybe make a back-up of that too. (the whole thing not just the files)
Read here:
 

wpgwpg

Dignified
That depends on what you're talking about. You are absolutely correct with regard to Backup & Restore (Windows 7). This was the full system image backup and it was deprecated, see: Microsoft Announcement of things removed/deprecated as of Fall Creators Update, including SIB [Backup and Restore (Windows 7)].

However, the user data backup solution, File History, which is an excellent versioned backup utility is fully supported.

...
Why spend a lot of time backing up individual things when you can back up everything with a single full system backup and recover individual files/folders if needed? I can make full system backups in 5 to 20 minutes (depending on which system), and I can set them up for automatic or manual backups.
My main desktop is backed up monthly to an external hard drive and daily to an internal (but separate from Windows drive) hard drive, my other 3 systems are backed up to external 7200 rpm USB3 HDDs.
 

britechguy

Commendable
Jul 2, 2019
1,482
238
1,340
108
Because there will likely come a time when you get a new computer, and want to most easily port over your user data.

If you (any you) don't want to take separate user data backups then follow your own path. I will continue recommending full system image backups for "recovery from disaster" purposes and separate user data backups for ease of getting back accidentally deleted files, old versions of files (if using something like File History that keeps same), or getting all one's user data, and only that, on to a new machine in one fell swoop in the easiest way possible.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
114,654
2,138
157,290
18,679
Whatever path you take for this, be absolutely sure you really know how to recover.
Preferably with actual testing.

And kudos for being proactive on this backup routine. Far, far too many people don't think about backing up their data until about 5 minutes after they need it.
 
Reactions: wpgwpg
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Astralv Windows 10 12
Truckerlenny Windows 10 5

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS