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Free Backup Software on Windows 7 PC with 4TB external USB HD

Posted on 2015-01-23
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Last Modified: 2015-02-22
I would like to get some recommendations for "Free" Backup Software that willrun on Windows 7 PC with 4TB external USB HD.
Since Windows native backup software can't back up to the partition bigger than 2TB, I am looking for 3rd party solution.
Thanks.
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Question by:sglee
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by:
rindi earned 213 total points
ID: 40566649
Paragon's free version of backup and recovery is one product I can recommend, but it must be for private use only. If you are using it on business PC's, you need the payed for version.

http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/

If you need something free that can also be used in commercial environments, I suggest CloneZilla, it is OpenSource.

Once thing about cloneZilla, you can only use it from a booted CD or USB stick, it doesn't work from within Windows:

http://clonezilla.org
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by:Tim Phillips
Tim Phillips earned 36 total points
ID: 40566831
Cobian is free (open source) and works really well.  I would recommend that over Clonezilla as Clonezilla requires you to boot to it.  http://www.cobiansoft.com/cobianbackup.htm
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40566899
@Tim,
 
 If you used Cobian in the past, if Windows 7 OS/HD crashes completely, can you restore a complete OS image of the hard drive directly from the backup or I have to install Win7 first and restore files and folders?
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by:rindi
rindi earned 213 total points
ID: 40566986
Cobian only does file backups, it doesn't do images like the other products do. It is only meant for data, and not the OS or installed software. Besides that it more or less only copies the files, but you can backup into zip archives.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40567335
Does Cobian do incremental backup?
Also does it erase older data (as the hard drive space become full) to write the new data?
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by:rindi
rindi earned 213 total points
ID: 40567364
Incremental, yes. It also erases old data, if I remember correctly you can tell it how many backups or weeks etc to keep until removing old data. But I don't think you can define that based on space. It is rather long that I've used it, so I don't remember all options, and there may be a new version with other options. But as I mentioned above, it can only be used for data, not for system recovery.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 108 total points
ID: 40567895
i recommend using syncback free, it handles normal, and incremental backups, on all kinds of drives :
http://www.2brightsparks.com/freeware/freeware-hub.html
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by:noxcho
noxcho earned 143 total points
ID: 40568040
As said by rindi, Paragon is a right solution for you here. It takes complete image of your system including all data and you can schedule backup task. It will erase old images and replace them with new ones.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 108 total points
ID: 40568055
the keyword here is what is meant with "Backup"
is it the data backup?

or is it the whole disk, and software; aka image backup ?
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by:noxcho
noxcho earned 143 total points
ID: 40568094
In his answer to Tim the asker mentioned "complete system image". Means HDD backup for me.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 108 total points
ID: 40568099
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40568325
Let me clarify. I like what native windows backup program does - incremental backup of files and HD image which can be used when your HD crashes. The only limitation with it is the fact that I can not use HD bigger than 2TB.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40568326
I will try Paragon to see how it is.
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by:noxcho
noxcho earned 143 total points
ID: 40568335
For Paragon there is no limit on 2TB as far as I know.
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by:rindi
rindi earned 213 total points
ID: 40568339
No there isn't, it works on 4k sector drives. But I'm not that sure whether Windows 7 backup won't work with those either. I know it's a limit on the Server OS's (2008 and r2), but that backup tool is different from the Desktop backup tool used in Windows 7.
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by:noxcho
noxcho earned 143 total points
ID: 40568387
Windows 7 backp and recovery has the same limit as Windows 2012. They are using the same core. The problem with 4K was resolved on 2012R2 only which is Windows 8.1
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by:rindi
rindi earned 213 total points
ID: 40568431
Windows 7 has 2 backup tools, one does a folder backup and that goes into zip files. That would work with 4k sector disks. The other tool that makes an image backup uses a VHD file, and VHD files don't work on 4k disks, so for that backup you'd be limited to 512 sector disks.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40575883
Can I do this?
If I get a 4TB Ext. USB HD, I will create two partitions in DiskMgmt.msc and label them F: (2TB) and G: (2TB) drives. Then in Windows Backup program, can I tell it to backup to F: drive which is 2TB partition? If that is going to work, then I can use G: drive for something else.
However usually when you select the hard drive as backup destination, Windows seems to take over the entire drive, erasing the drive letter.
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by:rindi
rindi earned 213 total points
ID: 40575911
Only if you are using the Folder based backup tool, not with the Image based backup tool. Drives of that size use 4k sectors, so the windows image based backup tool won't work with those disks.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40575936
"windows image based backup tool won't work" --> That is what I was afraid of.
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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 40624553
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

Not enough information to confirm an answer.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40624554
I answered the Question.
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