I tried to look on google if this was the right section of stack exchange by searching "stack exchange windows backup" and all links were redirecting here, so I'm sorry if this is the wrong section of the site.

Basically I have:

-My home desktop pc which connects to the internet through a wifi modem and has a 500gb main hard disk and a 1tb extra hd

-a job laptop and some

-other android devices around all connecting to the home router.

What I need is:

-Crypt my work laptop hard drive. -Make an uncrypted backup of it (full windows image and maybe an extra user data only backup) and possibly make it incremental (don't know how to say, but beying able to update it and not make a new backup everytime.

So I started reading and documenting myself and I found out this might be the right solution, but I need revisions and advices.

Using Truecrypt to make a full drive encryption, that from what I understood, it gets decrypted only when you log on in windows to actually use the pc.

Make a backup copy using windows native tool (I have windows, I would like to use the backup tool windows offers) and save the backup on the home desktop pc external 1TB drive.

Now I'm a bit stuck on the best way to set up the whole thing.

Moreover I tried to share the big 1TB hard drive on the workgroup I've created but when I try to make a system image windows doesn't detect it as a drive...

What's the right way to share my home drive? I thought about making a workgroup in windows and connecting also my laptop to it. Then share the hard drive and allow access to it only to my main laptop username.

Can it work? What I miss?

Thanks for any help

  • If you want to use a share for Windows backup you need to add the share AS a network drive. – Ivan Viktorovic Nov 30 '14 at 15:09
  • 1
    Unfortunately, Windows backup can detect that a drive letter is also a network share, and not backup to it (unless it's the ultimate edition or higher). This thread goes into this in detail: answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-networking/… – Justin Goldberg Nov 30 '14 at 15:53
  • damn... So I cannot backup on my laptop hard disks (it has 2 disks) and neither to my network hard disk.... that's wonderful – user3924708 Nov 30 '14 at 15:57

I am only going to answer one question:

To backup the 1tb drive, don't mount it as a share to do so. Run your backup or imaging tool from the machine that the drive is physically connected to.

Open source windows backup tools are getting better all the time (fbackup is a good folder/profile backup tool, winbareos is getting better all the time). I prefer acronis backup, and I trust it 100% for server and client machine backups. It costs only 50$ for the workstation version and supports creating a boot cd and restoring from the network. Even though I trust it, I still do test restores every now and then. In my day job, one of my main duties is managing and testing backups.

Macrium reflect is a nice imaging tool that time from windows.

Drive image XML free edition is scriptable and therefore can be automated but it will create two backup images, one for each drive letter/logical volume. Also it does not support restoring the MBR.

Comodo can backup the entire volume including the MBR and also do differential/incremental backup, but it requires two separate backup jobs for two physical disks (but not for logical volumes on the same disk). It also supports the task scheduler. Also on certain machines it fails to install correctly or never runs backup jobs, and I've never figured out why.

There are many other tools that I have yet to test, but I recommend to always do a test restore on a regular basis.

  • No, there is some misunderstanding. I have to backup my whole laptop (about 300gb) to another 1TB drive located into another machine which holds all of my backups. Since those 2 machines are connected to the same network I wanted to share the big hard disk on the backup machine with all the devices I need a backup of. – user3924708 Nov 30 '14 at 15:26
  • I understand, the Windows Vista/7/8 builtin backup should support backing up to a network location, but only on the ultimate edition and higher (for windows 7). The home editions do not support it. You might have better luck mounting the drive using Starwinds iSCSI server (aka iSCSI target) (since iSCSI mounts the drive over the network on a lower level=it is scsi implemented over a network), but note that if the 1TB drive is shared as iSCSI, then only one iSCSI client can mount the drive. – Justin Goldberg Nov 30 '14 at 15:46
  • Ok so I guess the solution is a third party application – user3924708 Nov 30 '14 at 16:05
  • I didn't finish my last comment on iscsi. When the drive is mounted as iscsi, is it not seen as a network drive. The only way to tell that it is iscsi is to look at the driver name. So you might want to test, as windows may not detect iscsi (windows backup is even less likely to detect a non-Microsoft iscsi client(initiator) in use, eg: starwinds) – Justin Goldberg Nov 30 '14 at 16:48
  • too much of a hassle I guess. Some third party solution will just do the work without being an awkward solution. Nothing against what you said, but why I have to find workarounds to backup windows if I can just use a software – user3924708 Nov 30 '14 at 22:28

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