Freeware/opensource recovery backup tools for windows

Ralph Bromley

Extraordinary Member
Okay so here is the scoop inb my latest computing adventure:
I have a friend from work who needed me to get his internet working, okay fine i got it working easy enough, just using standard windows 7 stuff no issues.
However his main family computer is another story.
My friends father got a virus that pretty much corrupted the MBR of the computer making windows 7 booting impossible without a recovery disk....
Which of course they dont have, so I am getting them a new hard disk (its a desktop and desktops are better off with two hard drives)
I am also re-installing windows 7 from scratch on the new hard drive just in case there is any other corruption on the hard disk.
But will need recovery software for them so this will never happen to them again, so if windows gets corrupted again we can have the software to do it.
I am looking for something similar to CyberLink Recovery Discs Utility (which came with the computer as its an HP)
But it has to be brain dead easy as the family I am dealing with is not that computer literate.
It has to be something simplistic, and most of all free with no strings attached.
I would have them use the one Microsoft provides but I have had issues with it not detecting external drives.
I am only asking as I know plenty of tools in linux that can do this but am unsure if there is anything in windows that can meet the criteria, shows you how much I use windows these days lol :D


Senior Member
I'm not familiar with CyberLink Recovery, so I don't know if my suggestion will mirror that. My suggestion also is not free, so possibly two criteria not met. However, it's reasonably priced and meets the "brain dead easy" criterion, and it works well.

It's called Memeo AutoBackupPro. I discovered it because it came bundled (pre-installed), on an external hard disk I bought. They sell the program retail (list price might be in the $30-$40 range as I recall). It has a wizard to set up the backup plan, which you would probably do for them. You can select to save uncompressed, individual files, so you can recover specific files with Windows Explorer, you don't necessarily need to go through the recovery portion of the program. That also lets the program apply your rule for how many generations of files to save on a file-by-file basis (saves a lot of disk space and backup time). It auto-loads at startup and runs in the background. Any file in the designated directories that gets changed is almost immediately backed up during idle time, so the backups are constantly current. It's really "set it and forget it". There is nothing they would have to do on a routine basis.

I've used a bunch of different free backup programs and some of them are great. I would never have tried Memeo if it hadn't come bundled for free, but I'm really impressed with it and like it better than anything else I've used. I've even thought of actually buying a copy for my wife's computer but she's satisfied with what she has, so I'm not about to go changing things.


Senior Member
My approach is a proactive one. Instead of relying on backup software (although I do have backup setup), I just save my files separately on another hard drive. I mapped the location of my library folders to automatically save the files into the other hd. So when virus attacks or something wrong happens, I just immediately wipe the hard drive out (if the problem is really serious) by doing image restoration. That way I don't have to worry about my files being affected by system problems. Most of my favorite programs are already included in the image, so really, it is the easiest and fastest solution in dealing with virus issues.

But to answer your question, the Easus Todo Backup is a popular program. I haven't really tried it but most current software are iidot-proofs anyway. Here:

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Ralph Bromley

Extraordinary Member
Well sadly this may be in vain as Microsoft has pretty much ditched windows 7 licenses so I may have to give them windows 8... or better yet linux as these people may not be able to do 8.


Senior Member
Looking up that app it seems not to have been updated in a while, hrm.
Any other suggestions?
Well, if you're still looking for a backup program:

I hadn't checked on Memeo recently. The version I'm using is old. The current product is called Memeo Backup Premium. It looks the same, but now costs $50, so "Premium" must refer to the price.

The one I have running on my wife's computer is free. The primary difference is that you schedule it to run at a specific time instead of having it run and backup continuously on the fly. For incremental backups, the actual processing time is pretty short, but I just schedule it to run when her computer is normally on but she is doing something else. If the computer is turned off at the scheduled run time, it just skips that backup. The program is Fbackup ( I looked at a bunch of free ones and liked that one the best.

BTW, just an opinion on Win 8 vs. Linux for someone who is not computer savy--go with Win 8. It is designed to be user friendly and visual. Linux is straightforward for the routine stuff that is pre-installed, but it isn't for newbies when it comes to making other stuff work. There is only so far you can go without having to use the terminal and command lines, and they aren't user friendly. Also, if your friend is running specific Windows software that doesn't have a Linux version or replacement, that's a no man's land. Same with a lot of peripherals. If you can do all of the setup and make everything work, it might be OK, but it could be serious demands on your time providing support (and frustrating for them).