Backup4all is now used on NASA's International Space Station

Backup4all is now used on NASA's International Space Station

How to Backup to USB or Firewire drives?

This article applies only to Backup4all. If you don't have it yet, you must download it first.

Jul 23, 2018

We strive to keep our articles as accurate as possible. If you notice any inconsistencies or outdated info please let us know.

How to Backup to USB or Firewire drives?

You can backup your data to an USB or Firewire drive and from an USB or Firewire drive using Backup4all. This is a practical backup destination as it allows you to store important files to external devices, offering increased portability. It can be considered as an additional protection against data loss as the result of hardware failure or other 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 beside the USB technology use also Firewire as a connection port. On one side Firewire hard drives tend to have increased speed over USB, but on the other side USB ports are more common on computers.

Steps in backing up to USB drive with Backup4all:

1) Start your USB device. Before starting the backup process make sure that the USB drive is started and working. Usually the enclosure should have a start button and display the status of the drive using led displays. When it is started a green led should be lighted.

2) Make sure your drive is formatted. If you have just purchased the drive and didn't use it yet, you might have to format it (only if you didn't use it before, since formatting will erase everything from it). Formatting the USB drive in Windows Vista:

  • 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 Windows Explorer (a new drive letter should appear)

3) Configure Backup4all. If the drive is formatted and recognized by Windows, it will be recognized by Backup4all too. Now, to backup to the USB drive you should define a backup job in Backup4all that has the destination set to the USB drive. To ensure this, please select the backup job you want to run, press CTRL+P in order to open the Backup Properties window and select the USB and Firewire page under Destination. Select a drive from the External hard drive drop down list.

You can also define a new backup job and in the "Where do you want to save your backup" section, select the USB drive. 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 group when the button is pressed. After the USB drive is ready, go to the Tools -> Options menu of Backup4all, select Backup on demand and press Detect to check if the USB drive is compatible with the One Touch Backup feature of Backup4all.


How to use the compression
13 January 2012


USB backup
17 January 2019
What is block level backup
17 January 2019
Backup the Favorites folder
17 January 2019
How to use the backup list
17 January 2019