Backup Instructions

Backup Instructions

Apple OS:  If your computer is a MAC, then backup software is already installed.  Therefore, you simply need to attach a USB hard drive of the same (or greater) capacity as the MAC’s internal drive, and then setup Time Machine.  Below is Apple’s link for setting-up Time Machine. The size of the USB hard drive you’ll need depends on the size of the internal hard drive in your computer.

Apple Time Machine Page

 

Windows OS:  If your computer is running Microsoft Windows, then you’ll need items #1 and #2 (shown below) to create a backup, and item #3 to restore that backup.

[1] Backup / Restore software.

AOMEI Backupper Standard is a free and very easy to use backup / restore utility.

It can be downloaded from the link shown below.

AOMEI Backupper Standard

[2] USB Hard Drive.

The size of the USB hard drive you’ll need depends on the size of the internal hard drive in your computer.  I have a HP laptop with a 1 TB drive, and my wife has a Dell laptop with a 1 TB hard drive.  I use a single 2 TB Seagate Backup Slim Portable Drive to backup both systems.

[3] A blank CD or a 1 GB (or greater) USB memory stick.

As previously mentioned, I use the same hard drive to backup both my HP and my wife's Dell.  However, since each laptop has a different chip set and different drivers, I created a separate USB memory stick to boot each laptop.

 

Create a USB Boot Device using AOMEI Backupper

Note: This is a one time only procedure.  The steps shown below will create a USB memory stick that is capable of booting your computer, in the unfortunate event you need to reload software.

[1] Remove any and all USB hard drives and memory sticks from your computer.  This prevents any accidental erasures.

[2] Boot your computer, if it’s not already running.

[3] Install a 1 GB (or greater) USB memory stick that will be used to create a boot device.  Warning: This device will be erased later in this procedure.

[4] Verify the memory stick’s is accessible via Windows (i.e., drivers were successfully loaded and the device is ready for use).  Note the drive letter of the memory stick; it will be needed later in this procedure.  Double-click on the USB memory stick and check its contents.  Warning: Those contents will be erased, so either save them to another device or use a different memory stick.

[5] Launch AOMEI Backup Standard.

[6] Click on Utilities (lower left corner of the window).

[7] Click on Create Bootable Media.

[8] Click on OK if an “AOMEI MakeDisk.exe is being run” window appears.

[8] Select Windows PE, and then click on Next.

[9] Select Create legacy bootable disk.  Ensure to enable “Download WinPE creating environment from the internet.”   Click on Next.

[10] Select USB Boot Device, and then using the drop-down, select the drive letter for the memory stick from step #4.  Click on Next.

[11] Click Yes when asked if are you sure you want to format the memory stick.

[12] If a popup appears asking whether your want to install additional drivers, ensure each additional driver is installed.

[13] When the Boot Device has been created, click on Finish.

[14] Exit AOEMI Backup Standard.

[15] Double-click on the USB memory stick and check its contents. It should contain a bootmgr and 3 folders (see example below).  Afterwards, safely remove the memory stick and store it in a secure location.  Hopefully, you'll never need it.

NOTE:  If you're a Doubting Thomas like me, test whether the USB memory stick can successfully boot your computer.  For a HP computer, restart and then press <ESC> to access the Boot Order Menu.  For a Dell computer, you will need to adjust the Boot Order in the system's BIOS.

Create a Backup using AOMEI Backupper

Note: I recommend creating a backup at least once a month.  Be advised that creating a full back usually takes several hours, depending upon the amount of data to be copied and the speed of the computer and the external USB hard dive.   Consequently, I suggest running this backup procedure overnight.

[1] Remove any and all USB hard drives and memory sticks from your computer.  This prevents any accidental erasures.

[2] Boot your computer, if it’s not already running.

[3] Install a USB hard drive with a storage capacity equal to (or greater than) the capacity of your computer's internal hard drive.

[4] Verify the USB hard drive is accessible via Windows (i.e., drivers were successfully loaded and the device is ready for use).  Note the drive letter of the USB hard drive.  it will be needed later in this procedure.  Note the amount of free space on the USB hard drive.  The amount of free space needs to be equal to (or greater than) the amount of used space on your computer's internal drive.

[5] Launch AOMEI Backup Standard.

[6] Click on Backup (located under Home).

[7] Click on Disk Backup.

NOTE: It is very common for Windows based computers to contain a single physical hard drive with multiple logical partitions.  Selecting System Backup only backs-up the Windows partition; whereas, selecting Disk Backup backs-up the entire physical hard drive (all partitions).

[8] In the Task Name box, enter a PC name and the current date.  For example, "dell_backup_20171217".

[9] Click on Step 1.  Click on the physical disk to be backed-up, usually Disk0.  The drive will become highlighted.  Click Add.

[10] Click on Step 2.  Select the USB hard drive that will be used to store the backup.

[11] Click on Start Backup.  The software will display the time remaining.

[12] When the backup has completed, click on Finish.

[13] Exit AOEMI Backup Standard.

Restore an AOMEI Backupper Backup

Note: Hopefully, you'll never need this procedure, but the whole point of creating a backup is to have the capability of restoring files if needed,  Be advised that restoring a full backup will completely erase all of the existing data on the computer's internal hard drive.  Additionally, restoring a full back usually takes several hours, depending upon the amount of data to be copied and the speed of the computer and the external USB hard drive.

[1] Remove any and all USB hard drives and memory sticks from your computer.  This prevents any accidental erasures.

[2] Connect the USB hard drive containing the previously created Disk Backup.

[3] Boot your computer from the AOMEI Backupper USB memory stick previously created.  For a HP computer, restart and then press <ESC> to access the Boot Order Menu.  For a Dell and most other computers, you will need to adjust the Boot Order in the system's BIOS.  The system will automatically launch AOMEI Backup Standard.

[4] Click on Restore.

[5] Click on Path.  A screen similar to below will appear.  Select the applicable backup file, then click on Next.

Note:  You must open folders select the file with the .adi extension appears.  For example, open the "dell_backup_20171217" folder until the "dell_backup_20171217.adi" file appears.  See example below.

[6] Click on Next.

[7] When the restored has completed, click on Finish.

[8] Exit AOEMI Backup Standard.

[9] Reboot your computer, reset the Boot Order (if previously adjusted in step #3, and then your computer should appear exactly as it did on the day the backup was performed.