Windows 10: Full Backup Before a Disaster

by Super User

Floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning strikes or just the computer tripping over its own feet. Disasters happen and there are two types of people in this world: Those who have lost data and those who will lose data. It's just a matter of time, honestly. With normal backups, especially before a disaster, you can always be prepared. 

File System vs System Image

There are really two main categories of backups. File system backups copy all the files that you select. These are your wedding photos, graduation photos, birthday videos; things you really don't want to lose. System image backups grab an entire image of the drive and, once complete, you will be able to restore Windows back onto the original computer. Of the two, the full system backup is the most important and most useful, as you can always restore your files to any computer, but, if your computer is flooded, you probably won't be restoring to the exact system you made an image of. We recomend that you constantly make backups on a daily schedule, not just once. For the purpose of this disaster preparation, we'll just make one backup. 

What Will I Need?

You'll need an external hard drive. We recommend using a quality hard drive, like Western Digital and if you have an external drive dock, we recomend WD Black, Red or Gold. Stay away from other drives, unless you are going to use multiple drives, over short periods. The drive you choose will need to be at least the size of the data you're backing up. If you have 900gb of data, you'll need at least a 1tb drive, for instance. 

I've got that, how do we start?

Insert your backup media into the USB or eSATA slot and wait for the drive to be recognized. Once it's finished, click Start and search for "backup and restore."

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In the backup and restore window, click "Set up backup".

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In the next window, select your external drive, where you want to save your backup and click Next. 

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The backup will then ask you if you want to let it choose what to backup or if you would like to specify. Click "Let me choose"

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In the next step, backup will ask you what libraries you'd like to backup. Usually, these options are sufficient, but feel free to explore. Keep in mind, the more you select, the longer the backup will take. Click Next, when finished. 

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In the final step, you can optionally set or unset a schedule, by click on "Change schedule" Once you are satisfied with the settings, click "Save settings and run backup."

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At this point, if you've done everything right, Windows should be running a backup.

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Depending on the amount of data you have, the speed of your drives and the transfer rate of your USB, this could take many hours. You can see the progress of the backup, under "backup in progress". If there are any errors or issues, you'll be notified, here, as well. 

If you have any problems with these instructions or you'd simply like us to do your backups for you, please don't hesitate to contact us. If you've found this article to be helpful, please leave a comment below and share it with your friends. 

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