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How to Backup to USB or Firewire drives


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Mar 22, 2022
Backup4all 9.x
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You can backup your data to a USB or Firewire drive. These are practical backup destinations as they allow you to store important files to external devices, increasing portability. It can be considered as an additional protection from of hardware failures and other natural disasters.
There are external USB hard drives with performance comparable to conventional hard drives. These portable drives (called enclosures) are composed of devices that connect through USB on one side and to conventional hard drives on the other side. A hard drive is installed into the enclosure and then the enclosure is plugged into the computer, thus creating a normal USB backup device. Given the size of nowadays hard drives, this can be considered a mass storage device for backup purposes.
There are external hard drives that, besides USB technology, also use Firewire as a connection port. Even though USB ports are ubiquitous, Firewire hard drives tend to have increased speeds.
Steps for backing up to USB drive with Backup4all:
  • Connect your USB device. In case of disk drives, before setting up the backup job, make sure that the USB drive is turned on and working. Usually, the enclosure has a start button and LED signal lights. A green or blue LED light is usually the indication that the device is running.
  • Make sure your drive is formatted. If you intend to use a new/unused external hard drive, you might not be able to see it as a distinct drive in Windows Explorer after connecting it. This is because the drive has not yet been formatted for use. In Windows, navigate to Computer Management and select Disk Management. From there, you can see and format your new drive. If however, the drive is present in Windows Explorer, formatting is not required. USB Flash drives always come pre-formatted.
  • Go to Start->Settings->Control panel->System and Maintenance->Administrative Tools->Computer Management
If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  • Under Storage click Disk Management
  • To format the volume with the default settings, in the Format dialog box, click OK, and then click OK again.
  • Test to see if the drive is now recognized by going to File Explorer (a new drive letter should appear)
3) Configure Backup4all. If the drive is recognized by Windows, it will be recognized by Backup4all too. To back up to the USB drive, you should define a backup job in Backup4all that has the destination set to the USB drive. When defining a new backup job using the New Backup Wizard, in the destination section (1st page of the wizard), select Local, then select your device from the Drive list. Finally, you may type in or browse for a folder destination.
Some USB drives have a button to start the execution of an associated program. If you have such a device you can configure Backup4all to execute a backup job or a backup tag when the button is pressed. After the USB drive is ready, go to the File->Options->Backup page of Backup4all. Under Backup on demand, check Enable One Touch Backup support. Press Detect to check if the USB drive is compatible with the One Touch Backup feature of Backup4all.