An Operating system data backup has been the prior computer maintenance activity by most computer users since the introduction of the Backup and Restore feature on windows vista.
It was realized that users do not have to reinstall their Operating system in order for them to repair their computers.
This was a great achievement since it takes the risk of losing a lot of work, for windows configuration, application installation, and even file management, for a person to reinstall their operating system.
It would take months to return the computer back to its state from when you install your windows a fresh, bearing in mind that you have no other data backup to retrieve you data out of.
This is the reason why Operating system data backup is considered the most essential data backup or maintenance activity there is in a computer. Nobody want to risk losing their data on their computers.
An OS data backup allows a computer user to restore their computers to a previous state of the computer: learn more about the importance of data backup.
Types of OS data backup.
Operating system data backup can be categorized according to how the data backup is created, where, and its uses. This is by the different features found in different software.
For example windows contains two types of Operating System data backup. These are: Automatic restore points, and Operating System images.
These are configured differently, and can be used differently on a computer.
An automatic restore point is a data backup of your Operating system created on your OS to restore your computer in case of failure.
Whereas, an Operating System image is a data backup which a user creates on another hard disk of the same configuration as the internal HDD in order for them to restore their computers to the specified restore point in the backup.
Automatic Restore Point.
An automatic restore point is a representation of a computer’s state of storage stored on a computer. They are normally created weekly, monthly, and due a huge configuration change on a computer.
These do not create a data backup on another location, however, as the name sounds, the application creates restoration points on a computer each dated different dates according to the date recorded.
A user can also be able to configure an automatic restore point on a computer, by following a specific procedure:
- In the control panel, open the system properties.
- In the left pane, click System protection. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
- Click the System Protection tab, and then click Create.
- In the System Protection dialog box, type a description, and then click Create.
And just like that you create a restore point on your hard disk.
A system image is now the data backup of your OS on another HDD. Windows does not recommend for creation of data backup on the same hard disk as the Operating system. This is because, it may be difficult for you to use the data backup to restore your computer in case of computer failure.
According to Wikipedia, the image is created in a VHD (virtual disk) mode allowing it to be installed on another computer of different model and type. Apparently, you can also be able to boot using the image as well.
There are two types of data archiving in this application:
· Windows recommended
This mainly contains only the applications required for a windows Operating system to run. The application copies the user’s windows configuration settings, installed applications, and some user files stored in some locations like the desktop, documents, pictures, music and other user folders.
· Custom data backup.
In this system image, a user chooses the files they would like to archive. Mostly, a user is advised to perform full partition data backup in order for them to be able to recover all data on their computer after a data backup.
Operating system clone.
This feature allows you to be able to specifically backup you operating system on a disk in the form of an installable setup file. The clone can be easily mounted on a new computer without an installation disk.
The data mounted on a hard disk is purely similar to the data on the preceding hard disk. Therefore a user does not have to reorganize, or try to find their data after a HDD clone.
In fact, you cannot be able to tell the difference in the hard disk configuration.
This feature is very useful to those who replace their hard disks on the same computer.
Hard disk clone.
Hard disk is almost similar to Operating system clone, however, a user is able to create a direct copy of the whole hard disk sector to sector. The sector to sector ability allows you to be able to record all your data in your hard disk including simple windows configuration.
Therefore you can convert your external HDD to internal.
This tool is therefore recommended to those who have replaced their hard disk, however using the same computer. This is because of the copied drivers that may not be compatible with other computer devices.
However, it is very effective. You can replace your hard disk and continue watching that movie from where you left it off.
A partition clone is a small hard disk sector to sector copy. It allows the user to copy the data located on a hard disk partition to another.
Using this feature, a user is able to copy a full partition and mount it on another hard disk either as a data backup, or as an alternative hard disk.
In case of hard disk failure, this can be the best way to salvage your data.
- Copy the data on C:\\*x* partition and remove your internal hard disk.
- Replace it with the new copied HDD, and boot your computer.
- Then copy the rest of your data to the new internal HDD.
For which you can now try to repair your old hard disk.
Best OS backup type.
In my opinion the OS backup type can be sorted in the benefits they provide to the user. Therefore I will sort them accordingly from my most preferred to my least preferred alternative.
Keep in mind that I do not discriminate against any type on data backup. If one is at your disposal please feel free to perform that data backup.
Hard disk clone-
- You can be able to boot with another HDD in case of hard disk failure,
- You do not have to reinstall or repair your computer; you only need to plug in your HDD and boot your computer,
- Can provide an alternative system to use in case of HDD failure, and can also be used as a bootable external hard disk.
- You can be able to do all the above in the hard disk clone, only that the data available in this is only limited to the data located in the preceding partition.
- The data available in other partitions cannot be backed up in this type of data backup.
- You can be able to do boot with your Operating system on your computer using your external HDD.
- You do not have to install your windows all over again. You only need to plug in your HDD and run your files.
- It only stores data within your Operating system.
- You can be able to install windows on another computer of different model and type.
- You can be able to create a backup of your whole computer including the other partitions.
- You can be able to use this backup to restore your computer in case of failure.
For Partition clone-, OS clone,and HDD clone you can use these two tools to perform the operation:
Easeus partition manager. It can create all the above operations.
Automatic restore point.
Easeus todo backup tool. The ultimate data backup tool.
Automatic restore point.
- You can be able to restore your computer in case of failure.
- It does not affect your user data, it only restores your computer configuration and installed applications.
- Very fast.
That is the order I would advice a user to follow when choosing between the best OS data backup type.