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What is the "Best" Free Program To Make a Complete C Drive BackUp

What is the "Best" Free Program To Make a Complete C Drive BackUp ,
And Cloning or Imaging? What is better?
The back up must be everything, so i can restore it in case my harddrive crashes.
The backup would go on my external drive.
The aprox. size would be between 80 Gb & 150 Gb.
Thanks.
Reply to IamMike
16 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about free program make complete drive backup
  1. Windows backup which is included with windows, search for backup and restore on your PC.
    Reply to t53186
  2. As far as I (and many, many other PC users are concerned) Microsoft's Window System Recovery (backup) program is a dog; most users in our experience find it overly complicated, confusing, and cumbersome to use for backup/recovery purposes in comparison with other comprehensive backup programs. I do realize there are many users who do use that program on a regular basis but it seems they're few & far between.

    I believe you would be best served by utilizing a third-party disk-cloning program - many of which are freely available on the net. There are quite a few of them - some of the more popular ones are the Macrium Reflect program, EaseUS Todo backup, AOMEI Backrupper and there's a slew of others you might want to check out.

    The important criteria before using a disk-cloning program is...
    1. The "source" disk, i.e., the drive that will be cloned is non-defective and functions problem-free as to its contained OS, and,
    2. The "destination drive", i.e., the recipient of the clone, has sufficient capacity to contain the total contents of data of the source disk (or in the event the source disk has been multi-partitioned and the OS data is contained on a separate C: partition, the volume of data on the C: partition).
    3. You can clone the contents of the source disk to a USB external HDD or SSD.

    There's a bit more, but the above is the important criteria.
    Reply to ArtPog
  3. 24 July 2017 19:24:56
    @t53186 :
    for some reason it don't work ... it says :
    The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it. (0x80070422) ( on win 7)

    And it won't let me save on my external 8 Tb drive because it's on Fat32 format ... Damned.
    Any other programs that can save on fat32 ext hdd?
    Reply to IamMike
  4. @ArtPog : thanks i will give a try to those you mentioned except for Macrium Reflect program , i did try to install but it says it's for trial of 30 days only ... (i'm not sure if i have to take free or home version, i took home version) so after 30 days i won't be able to use the backup anymore i think.
    Reply to IamMike
  5. You can also try ASUS CloneDrive....
    Reply to Sohom
  6. IamMike said:
    @ArtPog : thanks i will give a try to those you mentioned except for Macrium Reflect program , i did try to install but it says it's for trial of 30 days only ... (i'm not sure if i have to take free or home version, i took home version) so after 30 days i won't be able to use the backup anymore i think.



    It's likely the Macrium Reflect program you downloaded is the "pro" (commercial) version which has a 30-day trial period. Many (if not most) of these d-c programs have two versions - the "freebie" and the "pro" version. For most users the free version is sufficient. You probably have to link to Macrium's webpage for downloading the free version. Or try MajorGeeks; we download most of our programs from that site.
    Reply to ArtPog
  7. Windows Backup requires Windows to be installed to restore from it, which obviously won't work if your C drive fails. It's fine for backing up files and user data on small systems, but I've found it takes excessively long (like several days) once you start getting into the hundreds of GB of data. I wouldn't bother with it.

    There is no "best" as they all have advantages and drawbacks. The ones I tend to favor are Macrium Reflect and EaseUs ToDo. I used to use Paragon Backup a lot, but feel their interface wasn't as intuitive (scheduling was a PITA).

    Cloning will make an exact copy of the drive - what you need to copy one boot drive to another. Imaging copies a drive or partition to a file. This is what you want if you're backing up to an external drive. Image the entire drive to a backup file(s) on your external drive.

    The software will ask you if you want a bit-by-bit (or sector-by-sector) backup. This will take more space (since it will also backup the empty space), but can proceed faster (the software can just read everything off each track in sequence, instead of having to look up each individual file).

    Most backup software includes differential and incremental backups, which will save space and reduce backup time.
    • Differential starts with a complete backup (A) and each day it only backs up the difference from A. So Sunday you create backup A. Monday you create backup B which only includes files which have changed from A. Tuesday you create backup C which includes files which have changed from A. etc. until next Sunday when you create a new complete backup.
    • Incremental starts with a complete backup (A) and each day only backs up the differences from the previous day's backup. So Sunday you create backup A. Monday you create backup B which only includes files which have changed from A. Tuesday you create backup C which includes files which which have changed from A and B. etc.

    Differential takes more space but is safer (you only need A + your most recent day's backup to restore everything). \

    Incremental takes less space and time, but is more risky (you need A + all intermediate backups to restore everything). I believe EaseUs ToDo is the only free one which includes incremental backups.

    If you only have a single drive, then make a complete backup image of the drive. Then do daily backups of all the OS and user files (minus unneeded things like the pagefile). That way if the C: drive fails you can restore a bootable drive via the complete image, then restore the current OS state and data via the daily backups.

    And don't forget to make the backup program's boot CD or USB. So you can restore even if the C: drive becomes unbootable.
    Reply to Solandri
  8. @Solandri :

    i picked EaseUs ToDo , Macrium Reflect isn't free anymore i think so EaseUs ToDo it is.
    I've set to "system Backup, weekly-differential on sundays at 23:59 (i assume system means only the C Drive ?) , i don't want it to backup all of my drives, only C.

    Update : i managed to do a System Full BackUp (C Drive) after a couple of atemps failing it.
    Now i'm assuming this is "A" you mentioned like here :

    >>
    Most backup software includes differential and incremental backups, which will save space and reduce backup time.


    Differential starts with a complete backup ===>>> ( A ) <<<=== and each day it only backs up the difference from A. So Sunday you create backup A. Monday you create backup B which only includes files which have changed from A. Tuesday you create backup C which includes files which have changed from A. etc. until next Sunday when you create a new complete backup.<<

    Correct?
    Now i don't want to backup everyday, only sunday and it can be full backup like i did at 23:59, so do i need to do differential B , C , D (days) or is it ok with only once a week full system to be able to restore in case of a crash?

    Sorry for the noobish questions, im' not used to back up stuff, i used to completely copy/paste hardrives on an other one but that does not save everything apperently.


    Thanks.
    Reply to IamMike
  9. Macrium Reflect Free
    https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree

    This is my goto application for this, it is used literally every single day.

    A once a week full drive image is fine, if that's what you wish to do.
    Personally, I do a Full, and then a nightly Incremental or Differential for 14 days. Then roll into a new Full image and start again.
    Reply to USAFRet
  10. ok then, just one last question , do i need to make a boot drive or something? like a boot usb to be able to boot & then restore the image in case my C crash ?

    Thanks all for the info.
    Reply to IamMike
  11. IamMike said:
    ok then, just one last question , do i need to make a boot drive or something? like a boot usb to be able to boot & then restore the image in case my C crash ?

    Thanks all for the info.


    Yes.
    If using Macrium, a Rescue CD or USB. Create, and stash it in a drawer.
    In case of need, boot from that, tell it which image, and which drive to apply it to. Go.
    Reply to USAFRet
  12. Ok tyvm :)
    Reply to IamMike
  13. Best answer
    Mike:
    1. Get this straight in your mind. You will be using your USB external HDD enclosure every Sunday (as you have proposed) to clone the contents of system drive which contains (as you have indicated) between 80 GB - 150 GB.

    2. So the drive installed in the external USB enclosure will be sufficient in size to contain the complete contents of the cloned data, right?

    3. So now you have what as a practical matter is a bit-for-bit copy of your boot drive. As such, this "destination" drive will be bootable and completely functional if & when you install it in your system in the event your internally-installed boot drive becomes defective or the OS has become hopelessly corrupted. You understand that, yes?

    3. Depending upon a number of factors including the disk-cloning program and the OS, it's possible (but not generally present) that the destination drive in your USBEHD enclosure is bootable & functional WHILE INSTALLED AS A USB DEVICE.

    4. In any event you can clone the contents of your boot drive to the USBEHD once a week or seven times a week, or whatever interval you choose. Capiche?

    5. Should your day-to-day installed boot drive become defective and completely fail so that it is no longer usable you would could simply install a new drive in your system and use your cloned HDD to clone the contents on that HDD to the new drive. Alternatively you could remove the cloned HDD from its USB enclosure and simply internally install it in your PC system where it will boot & function without a problem.

    6. The Macrium Reflect program I take it you're using will do the job. It's not the disk-cloning program we use for comprehensive backup purposes but it's a good program and should adequately serve your needs.
    Reply to ArtPog
  14. although its not free. try EZ Gig II by Apricorn its easy to use. and comes with an adapter so that if you needed to you could clone a drive even if its not in your computer.
    Reply to LaFaye_58
  15. ok Thanks :)
    Reply to IamMike
  16. "Thanks"? Thanks for what? What have you done? Have you undertaken one or more of the disk-cloning programs or other backup approaches that were recommended to you by various responders to your query? It's helpful to all of us if you provide pertinent feedback, including any problems you encountered along the way.
    Reply to ArtPog
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