We place too much trust in computers and assume they never go wrong. Although some run reliably for 10 years or more, disaster can strike at any time. A backup enables you to recover.
Why back up?
A backup of your computer’s disk is essential for several reasons and one is to cope with hardware failure. Hard disk drives and solid states drivers do not last forever. Although they are designed to last for many years, sometimes, for no apparent reason, they fail.
A minor problem may cause you to lose just a few files, but a major fault could make the whole storage inaccessible. From a single file to the whole disk contents could be lost. It is unlikely, but possible and it does indeed happen to some people.
Malware and ransomware could infect the computer and sometimes it can be very difficult to remove. If ransomware encrypts all your files, what are your options? There are few if you don’t have a backup, but if you do, you can erase the system with the malware and restore from the backup.
Your computer could be stolen. Laptops are an obvious target for thieves, but you won’t lose anything if you have a backup of your files at home on a USB drive.
A backup is like an insurance policy. You may never need it, but you will be so glad you have it when something goes wrong. Being able to pull lost files or even the whole disk out of a backup is such a relief when disaster strikes.
One of the most popular backup tools for home users is EaseUS Todo Backup Home and for businesses there is EaseUS Todo Backup Workstation. Here I will take a look at the Home edition and see how it can help you to protect against disk disasters.
Make a recovery media
At the end of installation of EaseUS Todo Backup Home, you are prompted to create a recovery media. This can be a bootable CD/DVD-R disc or a USB flash memory drive.
Some laptops do not have optical drives and therefore cannot boot from a CD/DVD. However, they can boot from a USB thumb drive and, if you have a spare one handy, it can be turned into a bootable device.
Todo Backup writes system files to the thumb drive to make it bootable and then puts a copy of the recovery software on it. To start the computer with it, you may simply need to switch on with it plugged in, but on some systems you may need to press an F-key, such as F9 to select the boot device.
Recover media enables you to restore a backup stored externally, such as on a USB disk drive or network drive, without needing to start Windows. The recovery media actually looks a bit like Windows and so you will be right at home with it.
If you choose not to create recovery media straight away, there is a big button the home screen and an option on the Tools menu to create it. Do it as soon as you can.
Types of backup in EaseUS Todo Backup Home
1 System backup: This is a backup of the Windows C: drive. If Windows cannot start or if malware is causing problems, it is possible to restore the backup to fix the problems. If the computer fails to boot, restoring the system backup will fix it by putting Windows back the way it was when the backup was made.
2 File backup: This is a backup of your personal files and it can include your photos, videos, music, documents and so on. A computer can be replaced, Windows can be reinstalled, but if you lose a wedding or birthday photos, or other significant event, they cannot be replaced. Your personal files are backed up by some of of the other backups, but it has the advantage of being quicker and producing smaller backups.
3 Disk/Partition backup: The C: drive that you see in Explorer is not the whole disk, but a section of it called a partition. It is a big partition that occupies the most space, but there are other partitions that may or may not be visible. In fact, some are invisible, but they are important to the system.
A disk/partition backup enables you to make a backup of the whole disk and all its partitions, or you can choose the partitions to back up. If you choose all partitions, you have effectively got a copy of the whole disk that can be restored completely to the existing disk or even a new disk if it has to be replaced because of a fault.
It is useful to make a complete disk backup and store it somewhere safe, such as a USB drive.
4 Mail backup: If you use Outlook running on the PC for your email, calendar and so on, the mail backup facility will make sure you have a copy saved to you won’t lose anything. Disk backups include Outlook mail, but a mail backup is quicker and easier if the only problem you are having is lost emails.
5 Smart backup: This is basically a custom backup that lets you choose what you want to back up. It has options to back up libraries, such as the Pictures library, the Documents folder or library, the desktop, or any folders you care to choose on the disk drive.
If you have a folder containing valuable files, a smart backup can be created to back them up. A full disk backup can take hours to complete, but a smart backup of a few key folders can be done in minutes.
More than one type of backup can be used and you might choose to back up the whole disk once a month just in case the drive fails, but run a smart backup or file backup to save your Documents folder, music or pictures every day.
Back up Windows in 2 clicks
Your PC can be backed up in two just mouse clicks with EaseUS Todo Backup Home! During installation, Todo Backup suggests the backup location, such as a USB disk drive, so all it requires is:
1 Click the System Backup button in the toolbar at the top or in the middle of the window.
2 The Windows C:\ drive is automatically selected, so just click the Proceed button in the bottom right corner.
Back up all partitions in 3 clicks
The whole disk including all the partitions can be backed up in just three clicks.
- Click Disk/Partition Backup in the toolbar
- Tick the box to select all the partitions on the disk
- Click Proceed
Backing up could not be simpler!.
Backup options with EaseUS Todo Backup Home
Like all good backup software there is a choice of full, incremental and differential backups. What do these mean?
Full backup: It takes a long time and requires a lot of disk space because it copies everything!
Incremental backup: This backs up only the files that have changed since the last backup. It is therefore fast and requires little disk space.
Differential backup: This backs up whatever is different between the state of the system now and the way it was when a full backup was made. Differential backups are fast and small at first, but grow in size and time as you use your PC.
You must do a full backup at least once. Then you can do incremental backups every week or every day to save any files that are new or changed.
Space: Backups can be compressed to save space on the backup drive.
Encryption: Encrypt and password protect backups to stop anyone else from accessing them.
Performance: You can use the PC while a backup is taking place. Choose whether to allocate more resources to the backup or to letting you get on with other stuff, like browsing the web.
Email notification: This is really useful if you set up automatic backups for someone else’s PC and an email is sent notifying you whenever a backup is made.
Custom Commands: It is possible to automatically run another program before or after a backup.
Offsite Copy: Backups can be uploaded to an FTP server on the internet.
File Exclusion: Junk files and deleted files in the recycle bin can be ignored if you want.
There are even more features in EaseUS Todo Backup Home, such as cloning the disk, and the collection of Tools. I could go on, but as your have probably realised by now, this is a great backup utility and the price is fair too.
Many thanks to EaseUS for providing a copy of Todo Backup Home for testing. If you want to back up your own computer, go to the EaseUS website and download the free 30-day trial. Right now there are some special discounts of up to 50% on products.