Experts recommend the 3-2-1 rule for backup: three copies of your data, two local (on different devices) and one off-site. Moving your important files to a hard drive or a flash drive does not constitute making a backup. In this guide we’re focusing on creating an automatic incremental backup (one that backs up only the files that have changed since the last backup), because once you set it up, you don’t have to worry about it again. We’ve put hundreds of hours of research and testing into our storage and cloud backup guides to find the best tools for the job. Desktop drives are cheaper per terabyte and faster than portable ones, but they require a power brick. Portable drives are small and light and run on USB power, but they’re more expensive per terabyte and slower than desktop drives. If you travel often or use your laptop in multiple locations and need to take your external storage with you, get a portable hard drive instead. A NAS allows you to stream backups within your home wirelessly, but the setup can be complicated. If you have multiple computers to back up, you can use a network-attached storage device instead of an external drive. The easiest way to protect your data in case of robbery or disaster is to complement your local backup with an online backup service. The easiest, most reliable backup plan for most people is to use CrashPlan to back up to an external hard drive and to the cloud at the same time.
Once you have your hard drive and a CrashPlan subscription (currently $60 per year for unlimited storage for a single computer or $150 per year for up to 10 computers), connect your hard drive to your computer and download and install CrashPlan.
Now that you’ve selected folders for the backup and configured the settings, backing up to the cloud is easy. Depending on how much data you’re backing up, as well as your Internet upload speeds, CrashPlan can take a long time to finish your initial backup. CrashPlan is one of the few cloud-backup providers that let you back up to a local drive as well as to the cloud, and we recommend taking that approach. Because Time Machine and File History are integrated into their respective operating systems, restoring individual files through these apps can be easier than restoring files from CrashPlan or other cloud backup services. That said, the initial setup can be more complicated, so you might have difficulty motivating yourself to sit down and do it.
To set up an external drive as a Time Machine backup, you might simply need to connect the drive to your Mac: At that point OS X usually displays a dialog box asking if you want to use the drive to back up with Time Machine. Figure 8: If you need to configure Time Machine manually, you can do so in System Preferences.
If you don’t see that dialog box upon connecting the drive, you can set up the drive manually. After you’ve created your local backup, follow the detailed instructions in the previous section to set up your CrashPlan cloud backup (but skip the step about backing up to a local drive, since you’ve already done that). An important note about your cloud backup: Don’t back up your Time Machine or File History backups.
But if you still prefer not to back up to the cloud—either because you don’t want to pay for a cloud backup service or you don’t trust any service to keep your data secure—you’ll need to have one backup at home and another off-site. By default, CrashPlan will restore the most recent version of each selected file, with original permissions, to your desktop, and it will rename any that have the same name as existing files. Once you’ve selected the files as well as how to restore them, click the Restore button in the bottom-right corner and wait for the operation to complete. If instead of restoring individual files you want to restore an entire backup—for example, to a new hard drive after a failure, or to a brand-new computer—CrashPlan has a helpful step-by-step guide on how to do that. You can access Time Machine by clicking the Time Machine icon in the menu bar or the Dock and choosing Enter Time Machine. If you want to transfer all your settings, apps, and files from a Time Machine backup to a new Mac or hard drive, skip ahead to the section on system images.
With File History, the easiest way to restore a previous version of a file is within Windows Explorer: Right-click the desired file and choose Restore previous versions from the resulting menu.
To see previous versions of files and deleted files within a specific folder, navigate to the folder in Windows Explorer, click the Home tab in the top ribbon, and click History.
Using File History to restore an entire backup to a new computer or a fresh drive with a new install of Windows can be a pain.
A system image is a snapshot of your drive that saves all your files, programs, and preferences, as well as the operating system, drivers, and more.
Though you can create a system image of a Windows computer—PCWorld has a helpful walkthrough for Windows 10—most Windows users will be better off restoring files from an incremental backup onto a computer with a fresh install of Windows.
Time Machine doesn’t create a complete clone of your drive—just your documents and settings—but it achieves a similar result. However, restoring your setup from a Time Machine backup can take hours (or even days), so a clone, an exact snapshot of your drive that you can boot from, is useful if you need to get back up and running on your Mac immediately. We actively moderate the comments section to make it relevant and helpful for our readers, and to stay up to date with our latest picks.
The Wirecutter and The Sweethome are lists of the best gadgets and gear for people who quickly want to know what to get. IMEI and the EFS partition are very important, especially while flashing a brand new custom ROM. To prevent this from happening, it is always a good idea to make a full backup of the IMEI and EFS partition on your Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. Note: This method also applies to other Samsung phones, such as the Galaxy Note 7, Note 5, Galaxy S6, S6 edge and more.
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Luckily, WhatsApp automatically backs up and saves your messages to your phone's memory on a daily basis.
Tap Google Drive settings to choose the frequency with which you'd like to backup your chats.
Tap the circle next to Wi-Fi or cellular to backup via Wi-Fi or wireless data, keeping in mind that you could accrue data charges. Now that everything's backed up, you'll be able to restore your chats every time you reinstall WhatsApp, no matter the device. It may be prudent to plug your phone in when backing up, as the first backup could take a while, depending on the sizes of your chats. Add the same Google account to your new phone that you used to perform the backup on your old phone. If you'd rather not bother with Google Drive, you can always save your chats to an SD card and transfer them that way.
Windows Vista Business, Ultimate, and Enterprise come with a more advanced backup and restore utility called Windows Complete PC Backup and Restore. This Vista disaster recovery option works by creating an image of the selected hard drives and saving this image to either multiple DVDs or to another hard drive. To create a Complete PC Backup image for your computer you need to enter the Backup and Restore Center.
When you click on that icon, the Backup and Restore Center will open as shown in Figure 1 below. From this screen, you would be able to see the last time you performed a Complete PC Backup and where it was saved to under the Back up files or your entire computer category. You have two options as to where you can save the backup image; a hard drive formatted using NTFS or a writable DVD. If the destination that you have chosen does not have enough free space to store the image, or if it requires multiple DVDs, then the Windows Complete PC Backup wizard will show you a screen where you can select the drives that you would like to backup. When the backup is finished being created you will see a message stating so as shown in Figure 6 below.
Your computer has now been successfully backed up and you should store the media or external drive in a safe location in the event that you need it in the future. If you still want to perform the restore, then you need to start the restore process from the System Recovery Options menu in the Windows Recovery Environment.
Now that you understand how Complete PC Backup and Restore works, it is advised that you create your first Complete PC Backup and store it somewhere safe.
If you are an owner of Windows Vista Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise then you have access to a feature called Complete PC Backup and Restore. Windows Vista comes with a rich feature set of diagnostic and repair tools that you can use in the event that your computer is not operating correctly. System Restore is a system recovery feature of Windows that creates snapshots, or restore points, of the state of your computer at various intervals or before you perform a certain task.
Most people think computers, being electronic devices, don't require any mechanical maintenance, but this is not so.


For most people, this means the original data on your computer, a backup on an external hard drive, and another on a cloud backup service. Hard drives fail—it’s not a question of if, but when—and flash drives and SD cards are small and easy to lose. The system will automatically back up all of your past and future data according to the 3-2-1 rule, and you’ll also be able to go back to see previous versions of your files in case you overwrite something important. Desktop hard drives are the most cost-effective external storage option, plus they’re fast and easy to set up. A NAS is more complicated to set up, and most people don’t need such a thing for backing up. Such services charge a monthly (or yearly) fee in exchange for storing your encrypted data on their servers.
Click the Change button (under the Files header) to choose which folders on your computer to back up. Here you can name your computer and configure how much processing power the program can use when you’re actively using your computer and when the system is idle.
You can also configure how frequently CrashPlan will save new versions of a file, and when (from every day to never) the app should delete from your backups any files that are no longer on your computer.
The default Standard setting is good enough for most people because it provides strong encryption, and you have to remember only your account password to retrieve your data. Click the Folders tab and then select your backup hard drive from the list of available folders; if it doesn’t appear, click Select to navigate to it manually. But if you prefer a different cloud backup provider such as BackBlaze, if you have only one computer that needs backing up, or if you don’t mind putting a bit more time and effort into arranging your backups, you can use your operating system’s built-in backup feature (Time Machine for OS X, File History for Windows) to back up to an external drive and use your cloud-backup service’s software just for online backups. Time Machine is particularly useful for Mac users because transferring your files, apps, and settings from a Time Machine backup to a new computer or drive is easy; CrashPlan and File History can restore your files but not your apps and settings. And depending on your setup, it can be a bit easier to screw up than if you had merely added a local backup to your CrashPlan cloud backup. Open the Time Machine pane of System Preferences (Figure 8), click Select Disk, and then choose your external drive from the list. CrashPlan warns against backing up external-drive backups, because doing so can result in the cloud service backing up multiple copies (rather than versions) of the same file. It’s encrypted, and you can customize the settings to make it even more secure (though at the risk of losing your data if you forget your encryption key). Now we’re going to explain how to restore your files using CrashPlan, File History, or Time Machine if something goes wrong. Select the computer backup you want to restore from (if you have more than one on your CrashPlan account), as well as the backup location you want to restore from (local, cloud, or off-site, if you have more than one).
The first method doesn’t involve Time Machine—OS X automatically saves versions of files that you open in certain supported apps, such as Pages (Figure 11). Here (Figure 13) you can preview versions of the file and restore one to either its original location or a new location of your choice. File History will open a window of files that it has backed up; here you can right-click a file to preview versions, travel through time using the forward and back arrows, and restore a file by selecting it and clicking the big green revert button. Type “restore files” into the search box in Start or on the taskbar and choose Restore your files with File History. How-To Geek’s helpful tutorial says you can set up File History on your new computer and then select the drive containing your old backup; your previous backups should appear, ready to be restored. If your drive fails, you—or a support technician or a computer-savvy friend—can restore your backup to a new drive or computer exactly the way you had it, without your having to redownload, reinstall, and reconfigure all your apps and settings. A fresh install won’t have the bloatware that came with your computer, which can mean smoother, faster everyday use.
If you get a new Mac, or if you install OS X on a new hard drive, you can restore your entire Time Machine backup to that Mac or drive.
If your drive ever fails or some other disaster strikes, you can reboot from the clone and be back to work in minutes.
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That is how you restore and backup the IMEI number and EFS partition on the Samsung Galaxy S7 and other Samsung devices. You can switch from Android phone to Android phone and you'll be able to have your messages and media follow you wherever you go. Note that whenever you backup to Google Drive, WhatsApp also backs up to your phone's internal memory as well, which means it'll take up some space. Of course, you're using WhatsApp to keep in touch with family and friends back home because hey, it's free.
You've already followed the steps above and are properly backing up your WhatsApp chats to Google Drive, so all you have to do is grab a new phone and move all your chats over. You may have to uninstall WhatsApp and reinstall it a couple times for the restore to take effect. This is a rather complicated process, since you can't just simply move WhatsApp from your phone's internal memory to an external SD card; you can only move its data. This program allows you to create an entire backup of your computer that can be used to restore your computer in the case of system-wide failure.
In the event that your computer is no longer able to boot into Windows Vista, you can then restore these snapshots using the Windows Recovery Environment. As this is the first time you are making a Complete PC Backup, you will not see this information.
I suggest when making backups that you save the image to a DVD or to an external backup hard drive. Those disks that are considered system disks will automatically be checked and cannot be unchecked. When you press this button, Vista will start the backup and create an image on the media or hard drive that you specified. In the future when you make further Complete PC Backups to the same drive, it will only backup the differences between your last backup and the current state of your computer allowing the backups to complete much quicker. When restoring a Complete PC Backup it is important to know that the restore process will erase all of hard disks and all of the user data and programs will be erased and replaced with the data and programs from the backup.
Instructions and information on how to access the Windows Recovery Environment and the System Recovery Options menu can be found in the following tutorial: Using Windows Complete PC Restore to restore your computer. This provides peace of mind because you know that if there is a problem in the future you have a perfect installation that you can easily restore. This feature allows you to create backup images of your computer so that you can do a system-wide restore in the case of complete system failure.
These tools allow you to diagnose problems and repair them without having to boot into Windows. These restore points can then be used to restore your computer back to the state it was in when they were taken. When I first began using this application, though, I had some difficulties restoring my backup image on my test boxes using the instructions found in other tutorials.
Many computer faults are caused by components overheating due to poor airflow in the case because of a buildup of dirt and dust over time. With this system, you’re highly unlikely to lose all your data, even if your laptop gets stolen, your hard drive crashes, your house burns down, or the Internet as we know it dies. A good backup system requires redundancy, with multiple copies of your important data so that the data isn’t lost forever if disaster strikes. If you already have drives or a backup service that works for you, we’re not saying you should switch—that could be time-consuming and costly, for little benefit—but if you’re starting from scratch or looking to replace a piece of your setup, our picks are for you.
We recommend the 5TB Seagate Backup Plus, because after 20 hours of research and testing, we found that it has the fastest speeds and the best price per terabyte. But portable drives don’t require a power cord, so you can use one with your laptop wherever you are.
With their software, you can customize your preferences and retrieve your data whether you’ve lost everything or just misplaced or overwritten a single file. CrashPlan also has handy features that built-in tools lack, including the capability to back up multiple computers, the option to restore files to computers running different operating systems, and mobile apps that can access your backups. In both Windows and OS X, most of your important documents and files reside in the Users folder, but if you have files elsewhere—say, on an external drive—make sure to select those folders, too. Restoring an entire backup to a new drive or computer via File History can also get pretty messy compared with doing so in Time Machine or CrashPlan. Under More options you can add more folders to your backup (by default Windows 10 backs up all the folders within the Users folder), exclude folders, and change your backup settings. Since CrashPlan already tracks file versions, you get no advantage from backing up your File History or Time Machine backup, and attempting to do that can cause issues.
And arranging a cloud backup requires less time and effort than setting up and maintaining a secure off-site backup without the cloud.


Restoring individual files is easier through Time Machine and File History than through CrashPlan, but we’ll start with CrashPlan, for those arrangements that involve only one app for easier setup. You can navigate folders in the backup or use the search bar to find a specific file, and if you need to see hidden files (you probably won’t) or deleted files (you might), check the corresponding boxes. To retrieve an older version of a file you’re viewing, Go to the File menu and choose Revert To, Browse All Versions. After you’ve located a file or folder to restore, you can use the arrows on the right to travel through time to find previous versions.
Here you can explore files and folders by clicking through them, and as with the folder view, you can preview and restore different versions of a file. However, in testing this approach, we had difficulty accessing old backups from within different user accounts, and sometimes File History started backing up the new computer without giving us an option to restore.
This approach also avoids potential driver issues that can crop up when you’re restoring a system image made on a different computer. The result is that you return to nearly the exact state of your computer at the time of your last Time Machine backup. But creating a clone requires the purchase of a separate hard drive with roughly the same capacity as the drive you’re cloning, as well as a paid-for third-party app, and both of those things add complexity and expense to your backup system. You have just bought a brand new Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 edge or even a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and the first thing you do is root it and install a custom recovery. When you go to Settings > About Phone, you notice that Baseband Version is unknown and there is no IMEI number. Either way, you probably have some pretty important messages and media in there, and it'd be a shame if it all suddenly disappeared. This way, just in case you have to delete WhatsApp from your phone, your messages will be safe. It's also a bit of extra insurance in case WhatsApp decides to one day crash beyond repair and you end up having to uninstall and reinstall it.
If you have a preinstalled file managing app, or one like ES File Explorer, you'll be able to go in and make room if you need to.
Suddenly, an orangutan swoops in, grabs your phone, and crushes it into dust between its able hands. If there are messages you really want to save, you may want to copy them to a computer or some other device to make sure you have them forever. So, when we say it's a complicated process, we mean it's more like a migraine, and we don't recommend it if you can avoid it.
Unlike the standard backup and restore feature that comes with all the versions of Windows Vista, Windows Complete PC Backup and Restore allows you to not only restore your data but also the complete operating system and other critical system files. If you save the image on a system hard drive, and that drive fails, then you no longer have access to the image to restore it. Please note that the screenshot below was taken from a different computer, so does not reflect the actual back up we are doing.
It is important to note that you cannot backup a drive that is being used to save the image. If you understand this warning, and feel that you need to restore a backup, then continue reading. As always, if you need help with or want to talk about Complete PC Backup and Restore, then feel free to ask us in our Windows Vista Help Forums. This provides much greater flexibility when it comes to fixing problems that you are not able to resolve normally.
Due to this, I pooled info from a variety of available tutorials, and with some work, I was able to figure out how to restore my data. Most people are best served by an external hard drive plus a cloud backup service subscription.
After spending 80 hours researching and testing portable drives, we recommend the 2TB Seagate Backup Plus Slim, an inexpensive and fast model that’s thinner and lighter than other portable drives. It’s easier to set up than our top pick, the QNAP Turbo NAS TS-251, but it offers the same data protection, media streaming, and remote data-access features.
After researching 20 online backup services and testing six, we recommend CrashPlan because it has the most useful features for the best price.
You’ll see a prompt to enter a password and a password hint, but be warned that if you forget or lose your password, you lose your data forever.) Under Options you can choose to exclude any folders you don’t want backed up. File History backs up new files every hour and saves backed up files forever; these default settings are fine for most people, but you can change them if you like.
It also isn’t much more complex to set up.) For your off-site backup, you’ll need another drive stored at a different physical location—say, at work or at a friend’s house.
Select which files you’d like to restore using the checkboxes along the left side of the file and folder list.
If you’re restoring to a different computer, you might want to select current permissions instead of original permissions to avoid difficulty with user security settings. You can explore previous versions of the file using the arrows to the right; once you find the item you’d like to restore, click Restore. On top of that, a clone isn’t a substitute for a standard backup for keeping copies of older versions of files. Also beware that continually reinstalling WhatsApp may result in a temporary ban, since you phone number has been recognized. However, if you must, check out WhatsApp's "Restoring or transferring a backup" instructions. When you press that button, if a User Account Control prompt may appear you should click on the Continue button. On the other hand, if you save the image to a DVD or external hard drive, then you can store it in a safe place and use it to restore the computer when needed.
If you have any doubts at all about how this process works, please ask us in the Windows Vista help forums. Everyone should back up their data, but setting up a good backup system can seem time-consuming and intimidating. It lets you back up to a local drive using the same interface as the cloud backup, so you don’t need to buy separate software for your local backups. Finally, turn on Time Machine using the toggle on the left, and wait for your initial backup to complete. CrashPlan provides helpful walkthroughs on how to back up to another computer you own, to a friend’s computer, or to a local drive that you then move off-site. You can change the location to which CrashPlan will restore the file, and you can choose to replace files with the same name instead of renaming them—but if you do that, you might overwrite files you don’t want to, so proceed with caution. Most people are fine with an autonomous, incremental backup of their files, but if you’d be devastated without access to your computer for a few hours, a clone can help.
Your phone then reboots only for you to find out that you are unable to make any phone calls or connect to the internet.
Because during the installation of the new custom ROM, the EFS folder or partition becomes corrupt.
For this example, I am selecting the On a hard disk as I have an external drive plugged into the computer.
If your selected backup device has enough free space to store the image, or after you press Next in the disk selection screen, you will be presented with a summary screen for the backup you are about to perform. As a result, some people (including me) put off this daunting task indefinitely, hoping nothing goes wrong. And if you don’t trust the cloud, the desktop app allows you to back up to an off-site computer (instead of to the company’s servers) for free. No matter which option you choose, it’s a pain in the ass, it likely requires mooching off your friend’s or your office’s bandwidth, and you may run into frustrating network errors. Macworld recommends Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper as the best cloning utility; you can read more about those software options and how to use them. The EFS folder contains important information about your phone’s connectivity details and IMEI number.
If you had selected the On one or more DVDs option you would be able to select the drive letter for your DVD writer.
Rather than stress out or delay it any longer, take 15 minutes and set up a system that will back up your files automatically—both to an external drive and to encrypted cloud storage—without any regular action from you.




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