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How to backup your computer: System Restore, Time Machine, and Timeshift

Enable System Restore (Windows)

If you are a Windows user, it allows you to revert your computer’s state (system files, installed applications, Windows Registry, and system settings) to that of a previous point in time. It can be used to recover from malware, bugs, system malfunctions or other problems, restore your computer back to its latest working state.

Go to Start and type restore, and then click Create a restore point. On the System Protection tab, in the Protection Settings section, make sure that System Restore is enabled for your C: drive (Protection is On). If this is not the case, select the C drive (C: -System-), and click the Configure button, then Turn on system protection. Create a restore point, too by clicking on Create. Image

Backup with File History

  1. You need to connect an external hard drive, USB flash drive, etc. Open Control Panel, in the System and Security section, select Save backup copies of your files with File History smash the Turn on button for automatic backups. Image 
  2. If you want to choose a different target drive for your backups, then clic on Select drive and select the drive you want to use.
  3. You can tune File History (or tame its insane appetite) by clicking on Advanced settings: Saves copies of files (every 6 hours/12 hours or daily), Keep saved versions (Forever -forever is really a long time-, Until space is needed is maybe a more pragmatic approach).
  4. If you don’t want to save copies of specifies folders, you can exclude them by clicking on Exclude Folders. A kind of File Explorer interface will pop up where you may want to select some folders that you don’t want to include.

Backup with Windows’s Backup and Restore

  1. Open Control Panel, go to System and Security, Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
  2. Under the Backup section, smash the Set up backup button.
  3. Select the external hard drive as your backup drive and click Next. Image
  4. What do you want to back up? Select Let Windows choose (recommended).
  5. Finally, click on the Save settings and run backup button.

System Backup with AOEMI Backupper Standard.

  1. Launch AOEMI Backupper Standard, and click Backup.
  2. Select Backup to backup your Windows and create an image of the system partition. Aoemi 
  3. Select a USB drive connected to your computer as a valid target drive for your backup. Aoemi 
  4. Click Options to write a note for the backup, enable encryption (it is not a free feature), select a different compression level for your backup, enable email notification, etc.
  5. Finally, smash the Start Backup button.
  6. You can create a bootable disk/usb with AOEMI Backupper, too. Under the Tools tab, select the Create Bootable Mode. In the next window, choose Window PE - Create bootable disc based on Windows PE and finally, Burn to CD/DVD (Bootable disk) or USB Boot Dive (Bootable USB).

Backup & Restore your Registry

  1. Enable automatic Registry backup: Open Registry Editor (regedit), browse to the following path (Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Configuration Manager). Create a new registry key inside Configuration Manager: New, DWORD (32-bit Value). Set EnablePeriodicBackup as its name and 1 as its value. It will create a backup of the registry inside the RegBack folder (Windows, System32, config, RegBack) and a RegIdleBackup task in the Task Scheduler to manage these backups.
  2. Restart the PC.
  3. Let’s make sure that the RegIdleBackup task is running. Open Task Scheduler, and browse the following path “Task Scheduler Library, Microsoft, Windows, Registry”. Right click the RegIdleBackup task, then select the Run option.
  4. Restore your registry. Start your PC with Advanced startup options, Troubleshoot, Advanced options, Command Prompt.
cd d:\windows\system32
mkdir configBak # Let's create a Registry's temporary backup
copy config configBak
cd config\RegBack # This folder contains a registry's backup. It was done by RegIdleBackup.
copy * ..\* # Copy the content from the RegBack folder to the config folder and, by doing so, restore the Windows 10/11 Registry.

Credits: How To Fix A PC that won’t boot up, BritecO9 & Pureinfotech, How to restore Registry from secret backup on Windows 10.

Backup your Mac with Time Machine

Open Time Machine preferences: Apple, System Preferences, Time Machine. Click Select Backup Disk, select your backup disk, then smash the Use Disk button. Make sure the Back Up Automatically checkbox is enable. Image 


Timeshift is an open-source powerful backup tool similar to the Time Machine in Mac OS.

  1. Installation: sudo apt install timeshift.
  2. Launch Timeshift.
  3. RSYNC. This is the first step; you have to choose what type of snapshots you are going to use.
  4. Snapshot Location. You need to select the place in which Timeshift will save the snapshots. Ideally, you should save the snapshots in a dedicated disk or a different partition, perhaps one setup solely for storing the snapshots e.g., sdb1, my external hard drive formatted in ext4.
  5. Snapshot Levels. You need to define when to take snapshots and also how many snapshots will be kept.

This brief tutorial shows you how to install and configure Timeshift in Arch, GNU/Linux.

  1. Installation.
      git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/timeshift.git
      cd timeshift
      makepkg -si
      cd ..
      rm -rf timeshift
  2. Launch it: sudo timeshift-gtk.
  3. Snapshot Type: RSYNC (Snapshots are incremental)/ BTRFS.
  4. Select Snapshot Location where your snapshots will be saved, e.g., sda1.
  5. Select Snapshot Levels. It sets an automatic backup schedule, e.g., daily and 2 as the numbers of snapshots to be saved.
  6. User Home Directories. User data is excluded by default, but you can change this setting: Include All.
  7. To restore a snapshot, open Timeshift, click on the snapshot you’d like to restore, and click on the Restore button. Next, select a target drive where you’d like to restore the snapshot. Timeshift will perform a “Dry Run” to test the snapshot, confirm by clicking on Next, agree to the disclaimer and just pray 😄.







Backing Up with Déjà Dup

Déjà Dup is a simple backup tool. It hides the complexity of backing up and uses duplicity as the backend.

  1. Installation. Ubuntu: sudo apt install deja-dup. Arch: pacman -S deja-dup.
  2. Launch it, and click on the Create My First Backup.
  3. Next, you need to choose the folder/s that you want to back up and the ones that you want to ignore. By default, it backups your entire home directory and the Downloads folder is not included in the backup.
  4. Finally, you need to define where you want to backup your data (Storage Location: Google Drive, Local Folder, or Network Folder), a Folder you’d like to store it; and a Schedule: enable Back Up Automatically and choose Automatic Backup Frequency to be daily or weekly. Déjà Dup 
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