What is best way to back up data from multiple PCs

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wildbill2u

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I have three active PCs, two laptops and one desktop. One laptop running Win 7 and the other two on Win 10.

I have been using Dropbox (sorta) for backup on some crucial files.

My question is whether I should get an external local HD or use DVD as backup or continue to use DropBox or some other cloud program. I don't even know if the OS is saved on a backup program or external data HD.

I suppose this question might also be debated on the hardware threads, but figured this would be a good place to start. You guys never steer me wrong.

Thanks for all you do. wildbill
 

plodr

Liz
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I image rather than backup. This saves everything. I create images of our four Windows 7 computers about every 4 - 6 weeks. I boot from a CD or USB stick which loads the recovery software in RAM so Windows is not loaded.

I also prefer the images stored locally and not in the cloud. If the internet goes down, I'd only be able to get to the backup files if I used a hotspot and I'm not sure I'd want to download files at a public hotspot.

What program are you using to do your backups?

From the time I first started using computers, I always saved 2 copies of files off the computer. It used to be on floppy disks but then we moved to USB sticks for files that change a lot. For things like pictures taken with digital cameras, I burn the original to CD before I did anything with the picture.
 

wildbill2u

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I don't understand. The word images creates its own image in my mind of a photo. :) Is there a place to find out about this somewhere like on You Tube.
 
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An image backup creates a large file, 7 gigs for my minimal install of win 10, and it is a sector by sector backup of the hard drive. The backup includes windows, all programs, all data, all settings of everything. The program I use is Macrium Reflect Free. The created image file is a compressed hd copy; my c drive has 619 gb used.
 

Noyb

Jay
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As said (in other words) An Image is a way to backup and recover a functional operating system.
Macrium Reflect is one way, I use Acronis.

for Personal data, Copy and Paste is probably the best/easiest way.
I have two External HDDs storing the OS for several laptop and desktop computers.

These two external HDDs are twins - because ....
What you only have one copy of ... Is something you don't care about loosing.

You can Clone one HDD to another .... Making an exact copy.
If this a functional operating system, the Cloned copy will also be functional.
You cannot copy > paste an operating system .. and have it be functional.

Are you familiar with cloning ???
Clone = HDD 1 >> HDD 2
Macrium or Acronis Image = HDD1 >> Image file >> HDD2 (or more)

An Image is a file that can be used to Write a new HDD or SSD and have it be functional.
My image files are about 70% of the occupied file size of the partition being imaged.

I'm sure you have more Questions now ????
 

wildbill2u

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I do have some questions but i'm gonna check out these two programs you referrred me to before I ask them. No sense being a ******* that won't do anything for himself, eh? Thanks and I will talk to you soon.
 
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