Novice questions on home PC back-up

  rickky_san 20:23 31 Jul 2014

Apologies if these are stupid questions, but I've spent a long time reading a lot of stuff on the web and I'm no wiser.

Got a home PC, lots of family photos etc, so need to back it up right. So far convinced myself that a USB 3.0 external hard disk is cheapest, simplest solution.

I thought that was the end of it, but now I need back-up software, which apparently means I need to think about file vs image and PC recovery options.

I get the idea of backing up your photo's, but how does a back-up of your whole computer help? The back-up software says it helps you when your computer crashes or original hard-disk fails? But how can it, the computer won't even see the external drive or USB if it can't boot up? Even if you bought a new internal hard disk, it would still be blank, so how does an image back-up help?

Any noddy advice is appreciated. Ta

  wee eddie 21:21 31 Jul 2014

Windows has Backup Software built in as do many External Hard Drives.

No real need to buy software

  Menzie 21:27 31 Jul 2014

Having an image of things is good for several reasons. I'll go into why later but first I will answer your question.

Most backup software comes with something called an emergency or rescue disc. This is a CD or DVD that you burn yourself or is included with some store bought packages, and whenever the PC isn't working you simply boot from this disc which allows you to load one of the backup files from your external Hard drive or optical discs.

As for why an image is good security is one thing. I do my backups as encrypted with a password. This means that not just anybody can come in and easily copy my pictures or documents over without the password.

Then there is convenience; computer running slow? Simply run a backup recovery and within minutes my computer is usable again. For my system I have a backup file of a fresh install with all my must have programs configured and ready to go. If Windows fails for any reason I can have it fresh again in 10 minutes with all the drivers and applications configured and running.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:35 31 Jul 2014

So far convinced myself that a USB 3.0 external hard disk is cheapest, simplest solution.

Correct get something like a WD passport drive with built in backup software, plug it in, press the backup button, burn a rescue disk.

Then worry about if one backup is good enough I always do 2 on different drives just to be on the safe side.

Only had to restore once in the last 20yrs when trialing Norton filled up my C drive crashed the system.

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