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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,

I am trying to backup my computer. Every time that I get a new computer or do a factory reset, I just copy my home folder to an external hard drive, but it is creating a lot of duplicates to sort through. I am trying to find cloning software so I could make images on an external SSD, and I having trouble finding something free. I tried clonezilla, but I would like something a little less complicated. I tried it, but I just don't want to mess things up. Does anyone have any other suggestions for free cloning software?

I used to clone my partitions in the past which made it a lot easier when something went wrong. I have acronis true image live on usb, but it doesn't boot up because it is really old.

Thanks
 

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In Macrium, or your favorite Image/Clone software, create a Bootable USB Flash drive from the app. Boot the computer with the rescue Flash Drive and Create an Image file of the whole Disk the C: drive is on and save that image to you External USB SSD. If disaster strikes, you boot off of the Macrium Flash drive, and choose to Restore your Image from your External USB SSD. You can store several images on the External and add Incremental Backups to the image as time goes on to keep it fresh.
If you want to Clone your computer, attach an SSD drive inside an Enclosure, or use a USB Adapter or Dock. Use the afore mentioned method to create the Flash drive and choose to Clone the Disk with C; on it and save it to your External SSD drive. If disaster strikes, you can remove the cloned drive from it's enclosure and replace the drive in the computer with the previous External SSD. However, it will not be current if your clone is several months old.
Cloning a disk to USB SSD and then wanting to boot from the External USB SSD is plausible but cumbersome and not always effective. Based on the slow speed of the USB port, even if it is USB 3.1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
In Macrium, or your favorite Image/Clone software, create a Bootable USB Flash drive from the app. Boot the computer with the rescue Flash Drive and Create an Image file of the whole Disk the C: drive is on and save that image to you External USB SSD. If disaster strikes, you boot off of the Macrium Flash drive, and choose to Restore your Image from your External USB SSD. You can store several images on the External and add Incremental Backups to the image as time goes on to keep it fresh.
If you want to Clone your computer, attach an SSD drive inside an Enclosure, or use a USB Adapter or Dock. Use the afore mentioned method to create the Flash drive and choose to Clone the Disk with C; on it and save it to your External SSD drive. If disaster strikes, you can remove the cloned drive from it's enclosure and replace the drive in the computer with the previous External SSD. However, it will not be current if your clone is several months old.
Cloning a disk to USB SSD and then wanting to boot from the External USB SSD is plausible but cumbersome and not always effective. Based on the slow speed of the USB port, even if it is USB 3.1.
Oh so the "create rescue media" is the option so you can boot to USB? I thought that was just an option to create Windows recovery media, not it's own bootable media.

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Create Boot Media in the app creates a Boot Rescue Flash Drive of the Imaging App. It's best to boot off of this drive so you are out of Windows to Image or Clone your computers disk so it's not conflicting while booted into Windows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Create Boot Media in the app creates a Boot Rescue Flash Drive of the Imaging App. It's best to boot off of this drive so you are out of Windows to Image or Clone your computers disk so it's not conflicting while booted into Windows.
I did the rescue media builder option, and installed it on a USB, and I tried to boot into it, but it didn't work. The Lenovo logo just appears for a few minutes, but it doesn't boot into anything so I just turned my computer off.
 

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What is the Make and Model # of your Lenovo Laptop?
How did you try and boot into the computer with the Flash Drive?
You can use the NOVO button instead of the power button to start the Lenovo laptop. Or Start the laptop normally and continuously press the F12 key or hold Fn and then F12 then select the Flash drive from the Boot menu. Or boot into Setup (Bios) and go to the Boot Tab and move the Flash drive to the First Boot Device.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What is the Make and Model # of your Lenovo Laptop?
How did you try and boot into the computer with the Flash Drive?
You can use the NOVO button instead of the power button to start the Lenovo laptop. Or Start the laptop normally and continuously press the F12 key or hold Fn and then F12 then select the Flash drive from the Boot menu. Or boot into Setup (Bios) and go to the Boot Tab and move the Flash drive to the First Boot Device.
It works. I guess I just was impatient because it does boot to the flash drive I created. This is great, Thanks.
However I am not sure which partition(s) to back up from my SSD. It seems like all of them right? It has been a while since I have done this. I used to do this when I was running XP so it was easy - one C partition to back up -voila.
 

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Yes, as pictured, you put a check in the box to the Left of Disk 1 so all of the partitions are checked, then click Image Disk. You will need another drive on your computer like a USB HDD to Save your Image File to.

You must include all partitions, because the smaller ones have your Boot files.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I just wanted to add - I was able to create an image backup last night and it performed the task in 9 minutes! So fast. Highly recommend it. It did say that my image wouldn't be encrypted but I probably don't need to worry about that.
 

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That's great!
In few weeks or so, you can add to that with an Incremental Backup that will have any changes to your files since the initial backup to keep your backup current. You can alternate between that, a Differential Backup and a Full Backup.

 
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