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File backup in a Recovery Manager

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Pavilion Notebook - Prod. # P1A79UA
Microsoft Windows 10 (32-bit)

I’m trying to back up my files in Recovery Manager (per HP Tech Support) because I need to do a reset.  I’m able to select where I want to save the files and then it goes off & auto selects the files.  Then I click on OK and it takes me to the previous page where I should be able to select Next to continue, but the Next button isn’t highlighted & I can’t click on it so I’m stuck.

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@DaneV 

Please tell us why you feel you need to do a reset. 

 

Somehow, the Factory Reset has taken on the value of an Urban Legend that is a Miracle Cure for any ailing PC. Not only does it rarely fix the PC, if there is an underlying hardware issue with the PC, it will make matters WORSE by leaving the PC in an unusable state.

The HP Factory Reset function relies critically on the contents of the Recovery partition being intact. If those contents get corrupted, which can happen either due to hard drive failing or due to Win10 Upgrade from an older OS, the reset simply will not work -- and will TRASH the PC in the process.

So, you go from having a SLOW PC, to having NO PC. That's not an improvement.

 

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HI - so 2 days ago my husband was trying to log in on our PC and it wouldn’t accept his password.  I had this happen a couple of times previously and just rebooted & was then able to log in.  So I turned off the computer and tried to restart it.  The screen came up with the HP logo and a message saying Preparing Automatic Repair.  Then it went to another screen that said Diagnosing your PC.  Then another screen opened and it Automatic Repart, your PC did not start correctly and gave options to Restart or Advanced Options.  I called HP support and signed up for the Smart Friend support to try to get this figured out as I’ve never dealt with this before.  The first rep had me turn off the computer & then when it started to press F11 repeatedly, when I finally got to a prompt to enter my log in, it said it was wrong.  The tech told me this indicated another problem.  He had me go into Recovery Manager and said I needed to back up my files to a flash drive.  I didn’t have one large enough so I had to go find one.  By the time I got back, they had closed early & I was unable to speak to anyone last night.  I’ve had 3 techs tell me I would need to do a Restart.  Just now I turned my PC off and back on again and hit F2 and it took me to a screen to do some system tests (never done this before).  Right now I’m running a System Quick Test, not sure if I need to run the extensive test??  What would you suggest?

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@DaneV 

The diagnostic tests are only designed to find hardware issues, and this problem is nearly always related to failed Windows Updates (WU) -- which is entirely a software issue.  And unfortunately, there is no simple solution for this because WU will just keep looping over and over and over -- until you get fed up and turn off the PC.

 

I don't use built-in backup solutions because I've found them to be unreliable.  So, if you need to backup your files, I would suggest you do the following:

1) Remove the hard drive from the old PC
2) Purchase a USB-to-Hard Driver adapter kit (like the one illustrated below)

USB-Drive-Adapter.jpg

3) Connect the old drive to a working PC using that adapter
4) Try to retrieve the files and folders you want to save from the old drive and copy them to the new PC.

 

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I don’t know how to remove the hard drive and we only have the notebook and my husband’s iPad.  I had been backing up the PC (continuously) to our My Cloud drive.  I had it disconnected a few days as I was adding a F-Secure Router to our modem and was moving things around, but it should be pretty current as I don’t use the PC every day and I did have it connected again for at least a day before this happened, so it should be pretty current.  I was just going to do another back up just in case.  If I don’t do another back up, what do I need to do?

 

 

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@DaneV 

I do NOT use cloud backup -- for two reasons. First, my backups are typically 20GB or more, and with cloud transfer rates, not only would that take forever to transfer, I would have to pay dearly for the 100GB I need to keep on an ongoing basis.

 

Second, when the PC refuses to boot, which it does every once in awhile, I certainly have no way to connect it to the Internet to do a download from any "cloud".  So, to me, that is a waste of time.

 

I do backups to a local external drive using a USB-3 cable.  You can get 1TB drives for $50 or less these days, those will hold LOTS of backups, and the tool I use -- Macrium Reflect (MR) -- has an option to create a boot USB stick which I can use to restart the PC, start the restore app, and connect to the local drive.  This is a LOT more reliable than hoping to get to the Internet and download 20GB of files.

 

Then, there's the issue of WHAT to back up.  IF you only backup files and folders, while that protects your personal data, in doing a complete restore of your PC, you lose both your settings and applications  Doing a Full Image backup to a local external disk using MR retains ALL of those, so when you do a restore, you get the PC back in the state when you did the image backup.

 

I think that My Cloud is just a marketing term for using a local drive but connected over a network.  But, I have not used that, since I use MR exclusively, so I can't give you any advice about it.

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Oh boy, wish I had known about this before we bought the MyCloud a few years ago.  I didn’t know enough to think about needing the internet to restore, etc.  This is something I didn’t know to ask at the time.  I agree about the external drive and the boot stick - that makes sense.  Is there a brand of drive you would recommend for around $50 or a little more with 1TB storage?  The reason I bought the My Cloud was I liked that I can access my pictures from my iPhone so I was able to move all of them to MyCloud from my phone because I have a lot.  Can I do this with the external hard drive or maybe I keep My Cloud for my picture access, but also back them up with everything else to the external hard drive?   Is Macrium Reflect an app?

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Would the Seagate 1TB Backup Plus Ultra Touch Portable External Hard Drive be a good one to get?

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@DaneV 

OK, so here's the product page for My Cloud:  https://shop.westerndigital.com/products/cloud-storage/wd-my-cloud-home#WDBVXC0020HWT-NESN

 

And as I suspected, it is a Marketing Term for locally connected external storage --so it's the same a my accessing one of my local external drives through my home network.

 

These are popular because they leverage off the "cloud" name (which is really nothing more than Network Accessible Storage -- what my generation called a NAS).

 

And these are nearly always available from smartphones -- which is what everyone uses for everything these days.


But, unless they have changed their product, this does NOT do Image Backups or Restores -- which is what you need if you want to restore a nonworking PC.

 

Macrium Reflect (MR) provides a FREE version that can be used to image and restore partitions or entire drives.

What I recommend is the following:
1) Download and install Macrium Reflect (MR) from here: http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx
2) Run MR and choose the option: "Create an image of the partition(s) required to backup and restore Windows" to write a full backup to an external drive or USB stick
3) Use the option to create a boot USB stick or CD

My experience is that MR, when using the High Compression option, typically can compress the saved image file to about 50% of the USED space in the OS partition. This means if you have an 80GB OS partition, and 40GB is used, MR only needs about 20GB to store the image file.

I use this all the time and it typically takes less than 15 minutes to do the image backup and about the same time or less to do a restore.

Plus, MR has the option to Add a Recovery Boot Menu entry. This allows you then to boot into WinRE, and you can then use that to do a restore -- when you can't boot into Windows!

NOW, you have the means to restore a full working system from the external drive or USB stick in only a few minutes.

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