The Necessity to Backup Hard Drive
Whichever operating system (OS) you use, it's possible to encounter unexpected system crashes or hard drive failures that lead to data loss. Even if you've been very careful in computer operation, there are some potential risks like failed update, water spin, hardware failure and so on. Without a hard drive backup (also known as disk backup), the system, installed software, games, and personal files may be all gone when accident happens.
It's true that you can try rescuing lost data with some data recovery software. But there's no guarantee that this kind of remedy will always work, especially when the hard drive is dead. To keep your important data safe, the best way is to develop a good habit for file backup or hard drive backup.
Fortunately, it becomes much easier nowadays to backup a HHD or SSD. You can complete it with a few clicks and save the image file to another safe location like external hard drive or cloud drive. Thus when a disk fails, you can easily restore the backup image to a new hard drive or even another computer.
Best Free Hard Drive Backup Software
Searching for hard drive backup software on the Internet, you'll find many options with different names and prices - some of which may fail you, some of which seem complicated to use. In this case, AOMEI Backupper Standard is a good choice with intuitive interface and powerful features. It has helped many Windows users to backup HDD or SSD with the best price - FREE.
Overview for AOMEI Backupper:
● It supports Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista.
● It allows you to include files and folders, one or more partitions, operation system, or the entire hard drive in a backup image, and save it to any locations including local disk, external hard drive, USB drive, cloud drive, Network Attached Storage (NAS), etc.
● If you frequently add or modify files on your hard drive, you can set up a scheduled backup to run the task automatically on a regular basis.
● In addition to full backup, it allows you to save space and time with incremental backup and differential backup, which only backup changed or newly added files.
● You can explore the image to view or use files from a backup without restore the complete image.
● You can create a bootable disc or USB to boot a computer into Windows PE.
● If you upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional or higher eidtions, you can enjoy more advanced features like auto deletion of older backups, image encryption, dissimilar hardware restore for system image.
How to Backup Hard Drive with AOMEI Backupper?
As mentioned above, AOMEI Backupper allows you to backup hard disk to various locations including internal hard drive, external hard drive, network drive, or other storage media. For better data security, it is recommended not to save the image file on the same physical disk.
Meanwhile, you could also backup external hard drive or other storage devices to another location. The operation is so flexible that you can perfectly implement the 3-2-1 backup strategy.
To backup hard drive in Windows 10/8/7:
1. Download, install and launch this freeware on your computer.
2. Click Backup on the left pane and select Disk Backup. It's designed to back up a hard disk. If you want to create a system image, choose System Backup instead.
3. Click Add Disk to include the hard drive you want to backup. You can add more than one disk as long as the destination has sufficient space.
4. Within the same screen, select the destination location to save the image file.
5. Click Start Backup to execute the backup.
In a short while, the hard disk backup will be completed. You can restore the whole backup image whenever you need, or choose to selectively restore files. When you want to replace a hard drive, you can also restore the backup to the new hard drive so that you do not have to reinstall Windows or programs.
Disk Backup for dynamic disk is not supported by far. However, you can upgrade to Pro edition and use System Backup or Partition Backup to backup individual volumes on dynamic disks.
For encrypted disks, AOMEI Backupper will run sector-by-sector backup by default, which means it wil make an exact backup of all the sectors. If there are non-NTFS or FAT32 partitions on the disk, AOMEI Backupper will also back up the partitions in sector-by-sector mode.
You can directly clone hard drive to SSD with Disk Clone, which can be used to replace hard drive without restoring.