Monday, April 29, 2013

Windows 7 free backup/restore solutions

That's no funny stuff to talk about backuping, but when your hard drive suddenly crashes with no way to get back to life, you hate yourself not to have configured something about it.

The most valuable thing I have on my home desktop PC that I really, really do not want to lose, is digital pictures. I also have some music I bought on Deezer or iTunes, but it's not a problem as I systematically burn a CD to listen to it in my car or on my hifi system.

I currently have a not too old PC; with a 1 Tb hard drive, configured out-of-the-box in two 500 Gb NTFS partitions, C and D. No surprise, C was dedicated to the system, various softwares, and D was empty.
I bought a 500 Gb external drive, that I initially intended to use as a backup storage, but as I often take it with me when I visit my family, I quickly changed my mind and used it as my primary personal data storage.

Most valuable personal data backup

After digging a bit around I finally installed SyncBack Free on my PC and set a simple backup task everyday at 9pm (it's uneven that our home PC is off at this time !), picking up the appropriate folders from the external drive, to copy it on a dedicated folder under C.
I really enjoy this tool as it kept providing a powerful free version that improves regularly.

Actually, I also burn a DVD or two once a year, as a second backup of my beloved digital pictures.

Complete backup solution

That's fine for my most valuable data, but it does not prevent me from the trouble of reinstalling all the system and softwares after a hard-drive crash.

When I bought my desktop, as often now it wasn't shipped with any reinstallation DVD.
I used the provided procedure tu burn recovery DVDs, but I don't feel very confident with it, and anyway using them would bring my PC back to its genuine situation; I would loose all the system upgrades that applied since then, as well as all the softwares I installed, and all the customization I made.

So I dug again the internet to find a whole disk free backup solution.

At this moment here is my selection :
I'll probably try first with Redo Backup, which seems to exactly fit my needs, and will give feedback in a next blog note.

If you experienced them, or other disk backup solutions, please let me know !

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