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Looking to backup a running Windows installation

Discussion in 'Windows & Other Software' started by Feek, Jul 20, 2019.

  1. Feek

    Commissario

    Joined: Oct 16, 2002

    Posts: 26,511

    Location: In the radio shack

    I have a Windows 10 PC which I need to keep backed up.

    It's a headless system and I access it via RDP - All I need to be able to do is have an external HDD plugged into it and have it run a full backup once a week or so.

    I want the backup to be something that if the internal HDD fails, I can simply remove the external drive from the caddy, take the PC apart and plug the backup drive in and switch it on.

    The backup needs to be a real set it and forget it solution.

    Free software would be good but I don't mind a very small one off cost.

    Any suggestions please?
     
  2. d_brennen

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 30, 2009

    Posts: 15,289

    Location: Aquilonem Londinensi

    Have a look at Veeam endpoint, there's a free client for Windows I believe. I use the enterprise version at work, no complaints. Endpoint can backup to an external disk or over LAN to a NAS/share
     
  3. andy_mk3

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Oct 5, 2009

    Posts: 8,429

    Location: Lincolnshire

    Veeam is a good solution as above.

    Another option is something like Macrium Reflect and take an image of the drive.
     
  4. bremen1874

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 20, 2008

    Posts: 10,300

    You can schedule Macrium Reflect to image the drive as often as you'd like. I take weekly full images with differentials every night.

    This sounds like a labour intensive and bad version of RAID1.
     
  5. Feek

    Commissario

    Joined: Oct 16, 2002

    Posts: 26,511

    Location: In the radio shack

    Not labour intensive at all, I'm not running a live mirror, it only needs to run once every few days as what's on the PC isn't really critical, I just need an imaged drive I can plug in if the internal one fails.

    From a quick check between Veeam and Macrium, Veeam seems to be the better option for me.
     
  6. Feek

    Commissario

    Joined: Oct 16, 2002

    Posts: 26,511

    Location: In the radio shack

    Veeam doesn’t do what I’ve asked for, unless I haven’t set it up properly but no matter what I do, it seems to create an image file on the external drive which I’d then have to restore.

    I want to simply be able to unplug the external drive, remove it from the cradle, plug it into the PC and boot from it. Is this actually possible?
     
  7. bremen1874

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 20, 2008

    Posts: 10,300

    Your requirement is odd. If you want a redundant drive there's no downside to using RAID1. It would also have the bonus of always been up to date.

    If you want a backup solution then creating image files makes more sense. Recovering from an image file is quick and easy, and you aren't limited to a single snapshot.
     
  8. Feek

    Commissario

    Joined: Oct 16, 2002

    Posts: 26,511

    Location: In the radio shack

    It's not though. It's exactly what I (and many other people) do nightly on my Mac using SuperDuper! or CarbonCopyCloner. What could be more straightforward than an exact bootable copy that one can just plug in and use?
    I don't want to have to faff about creating a RAID (and could I even do that using an internal SATA drive and an external USB drive) array and have to go to the trouble of restoring an image, all I want is a straightforward, simple, bootable backup from a running system. Surely that must be possible?

    I have Time Machine on the Mac in case I need to go back and find older versions of files, that was just a single click to setup. SuperDuper! took about three minutes to set up. Why is this so difficult under Windows?
     
  9. bremen1874

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 20, 2008

    Posts: 10,300

    Why use a external drive if it’s only purpose is to be eventually extracted from its case and installed internally?

    If your requirement wasn’t at least slightly odd you wouldn’t be having problems finding software to handle it.

    I’ve never tried it, but it may be possible to script Macrium Reflect to perform a full disk to disk image instead of disk to image file. Worth asking on the Macrium forums.
     
  10. Feek

    Commissario

    Joined: Oct 16, 2002

    Posts: 26,511

    Location: In the radio shack

    Because it's a tiny little PC case, about the size of a packet of fags with barely enough space for one hard drive, never mind two.
    I'm just surprised that there are multiple packages available for the Mac to do this but I'm struggling to find something under Windows.
    It looks like Macrium may support this. I'm trying it now, thanks.