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Windows 7/Backing up a hard disk.



I have some questions about file backup. I anticipate backing up my files with a flash drive and the built in Windows 7 backup program. But I also want to do a mirror image backup of the hard disk. I anticipate doing that from a 2.0 USB plug and an external hard drive. I want to do a mirror image of the hard disk every couple of months for the sake of system recovery if I get a major crash. I have a mostly empty 500G hard drive in the computer and anticipate that a 320G external drive would be adequate.

I anticipated buying an external drive, getting a backup program of some sort, and then producing the mirror image. Then, I am guessing, if I get a major system crash I plug the hard disk in at start up and the system starts from the external drive? That would be the short run solution, I suppose. How would you go from that to setting up a new hard drive in the computer?


Hello John how are you doing
sorry for the delayed answer

mirroring / Cloning a hard drive on an external usb drive is possible , but not recommended to boot and use the system of it,  because of its low speed and reliability and depending on your computer hard drive usb boot may not be supported, and reimaging the current system on the external back to the crashed hard drive maybe not work properly and may damage the os on both. not to mention usb hdd can go bad on heavy I/O load"

best and safest way is to create a system image on the external hard drive using windows 7 backup tools or 3rd party softwares such as easeus todo backup or easeus parition/disk copy or clonezilla , if a system crash happened you can restore that image back using windows 7 repair disk and using the image saved on the external hdd. restore may take sometime depends on how big is the data " i have 320GB of used space and when i do an image restore it takes about 30-45 minutes. and you can create as much images as you want if you have enough free space on the external hard drive.

if you are looking a for faster way if you have like a mission critical job and you cant spend about 30 minutes to an hour to restore an image back ,  i would suggest getting another hard drive that matches the one you have on your desktop/laptop make sure to match the following

1.HDD space , example if you have a 500GB get another 500GB
2.speed if its 7200RPM get a 7200RPM , you can go lower like 5400RPM most people do not notice the speed difference

3.physical size for example laptop drive are smaller in physical size than desktop hard drives , and so you want to make sure you are getting the correct size.

4.type for example SATA or IDE

then get an hdd usb enclosure that supports the hard drive type and plug in the new hard drive in it and connect the usb to the computer and use easeus todo back up or disk copy or clonezilla or any other software you are comfortable with to mirror/clone the image of your local hard drive to the one on the enclosure , if a system crash happened all you have to do is turn of desktop/latop and enclosure , swap the hard drives, then start your computer and it should boot fine ,  and then you can re-clone the one that crashed with the one you swapped. and you get both of them up and running again. for future failure or crashes.

if you need more help please feel free to contact me back anytime through or directly at

good luck and have a wonderful day.  

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Saed Shawwa


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