Format query. Best way to back up.

  trenchn 11:10 22 Dec 14
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Hi, Having finally, nearly, got rid of a couple of nasty viruses I've decided it is probably a good idea to reformat and start from scratch. What is the best(easiest)way to save the things I want to keep. Music, films, photos, email contacts, etc.? Someone mentioned uploading to the cloud, but I have no idea what he meant. Thanks Nick

  Ian in Northampton 11:20 22 Dec 14

The Cloud is online storage - think of it as a personal web site where you keep all your 'stuff'. Google Drive is an example. See here.

  trenchn 12:35 22 Dec 14

Thanks, I'll have a look.

  wee eddie 13:45 22 Dec 14

The Cloud is very expensive if you have much to store. Also, as ones Upload Speed is usually about 1/5th of ones Download Speed very slow.

My own form of Backup is a USB3 External Hard Drive (WD My Passport). I don't actually have USB3 yet but as it cost only a smidgeon more than a similar USB2 Drive, I regard this as a form of Future Proofing.

However I do use the Cloud, for my .pst file and the Working Documents Folder, both of which alter from day to day. Nero Backitup offers 2GB for free and its also has the software to handle the daily Incremental copies that I do. I refresh the Base Copy about every 60/100 days

  mole1944 13:54 22 Dec 14

Like wee eddie i have a External Hard Drive (WD My Passport),i also do a complete system backup via Acronis so a reinstall is easy,you can get a cutdown copy of acronis it seems from hard drive manufacturer's web sir i'm a wester digital man myself.Also i use clickfree,i hve a dongle but you'll have to buy it with a hard drive but they are good and you need only to plug it into a usb sockey.Be aware it only saves your data though,i use a combination of all three ways (belt and braces) hope that helps.If you do like me with Acronis for instance i can do a drive swap and be up and running in under 5 minutes and no "OMG i've lost everything".

  mole1944 13:55 22 Dec 14

Like wee eddie i have a External Hard Drive (WD My Passport),i also do a complete system backup via Acronis so a reinstall is easy,you can get a cutdown copy of acronis it seems from hard drive manufacturer's web sir i'm a wester digital man myself.Also i use clickfree,i hve a dongle but you'll have to buy it with a hard drive but they are good and you need only to plug it into a usb sockey.Be aware it only saves your data though,i use a combination of all three ways (belt and braces) hope that helps.If you do like me with Acronis for instance i can do a drive swap and be up and running in under 5 minutes and no "OMG i've lost everything".

  mole1944 13:55 22 Dec 14

oops sorry F.E. things were a little slow

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:59 22 Dec 14

Another vote for the external WD My passport with USB 3 I can make an image of the data drive (200GB) in about 30 minutes took about 3hrs with USB 2 on my old PC.

  trenchn 14:11 22 Dec 14

I have a large second drive in my pc, could I back up to that, reformat and then transfer back? What does the back up actually back up, if you see what I mean.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:42 22 Dec 14

Yes you could

however if the PSU blows or possibly a motherboard fault could take out both drives leaving you without a backup.

  robintheumpteenth 15:34 22 Dec 14

A System Image Backup compresses everything (including all your Windows files and settings) on C:, D:, E: etc partitions into one big file and saves it on the 2nd drive.

It can then be restored to the first drive.

But there's no point restoring if Windows has a few non-working bits or you are worried about a virus lurking. You'll just copy them all back again.

You need to make an Image, then do a clean install of Windows or a Factory Restore.

Then you Mount the Image from the 2nd drive and copy all your files and folders back over into the nice clean, new Windows again. Programs have to be re-downloaded and installed and Windows setup for Router/Hub, Wifi and Printers etc.

It can take many hours or days of messing around before everything is back how you like it.

Further Images can be made at regular intervals so that future problems can be fixed by Restoring an Image in an hour or two instead.

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