How to back up your Windows PC using a brilliant free backup tool

Don't get caught without a backup. Make one today and secure your data

Paragon Software is giving away Backup & Recovery 16 for free till the end of October. For anyone that doesn’t have a backup of their PC’s disk, here is a guide using the free tool.

Backup the disk drive and don't be caught with a disk fault and no backup. Here is a step-by-step guide |

Do you have a backup of the PC’s disk? A common problem faced by many PC users is that they have a disk fault and can’t boot the PC, they can boot, but all their files are gone, their one and only copy of a particular file or folder is missing and so on.

These are major problems when you don’t have a backup, but when you do have one they are irritations that can be overcome. It cannot be stressed enough that you should have a backup and it should be to an external disk drive, such as USB, a network disk, or even online.

Paragon’s free software offer is due to expire at the end of October 2016, so if you are reading this article after that, it may no longer be free.

Backup & Recovery can perform a variety of different backups and there are different ways to recover your files, from opening and exploring backups to running recovery media.

Let’s take a look at how to get started with this backup tool by creating a one-off backup of the whole of the internal disk on a Windows PC. It will be copied and stored on an external USB disk drive for safe keeping. If anything should happen to the PC, either the whole disk could be restored or lost files could be recovered.

1 Download Backup & Recovery 16

Open a browser and go to the Paragon website where it tells you how many days are left for the free version. Click the Free Download button and grab a copy while you can.

 Get a free copy of Paragon Backup and Recovery 16

2 Install your free backup utility

After downloading Backup & Recovery 16, open the downloads folder and double click the file. Follow the prompts to install it to the PC’s disk drive.

 Install Paragon Backup and Recovery 16

3 Register with MyParagon

When the software is run for the first time you are asked to sign in or sign up to MyParagon Customer Portal. Click the create an account button at the bottom.

All that it wants from you is a name and an email address. It then emails you a password reset link. Switch to your email, open the message, click the link, and think of a password.

 Register with Paragon Software and create an account

Switch back to Backup & Recovery 16 and then sign in. The software is registered and runs as normal.

4 Backup & Recovery main screen

The main screen lists tasks in the left panel and disks and partitions on the right. I have two disks, one internal at the top and one USB at the bottom. I am going to backup from the internal to the external.

 Paragon Backup and Recovery 16 makes backups of the disks in your PC

5 Create a single backup

There are several tasks and it is possible to create daily, weekly and other schedules for backups, but I am going to choose the simplest, which is to copy the whole disk using Create single backup.

Click the disk and then click Back up all volumes on this disk.

 Select the disk to back up in Paragon Backup and Recovery 16

6 Configure the backup

There are four steps and these can be seen in the headings at the top. The first is Title and you name the backup. The second is Target and here I have chosen my USB disk drive, which has plenty of free space.

Select the backup options in Paragon Backup and Recovery 16

The Advanced Settings tab enables you to set the compression, and no compression is fast, but uses most disk space. Maximum compression is slow, but uses less space, and there are options in between.

7 Back up the disk

The Finish tab enables the backup to be started and it runs in the background copying all the files on the disk to the destination drive.

 Backing up the PC's disk with Paragon Backup and Recovery 16

The time taken depends on how much data is being backed up and how fast data can be written to the destination. A USB 3 drive will be faster than USB 2, for example.

After a couple of hours the job is finished. Come back soon to read the next article showing how to create recovery media to restore this backup in the event of a disk disaster.

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