Backing up new laptop without erasing backup from old laptop

Backed up my old windows 7 laptop to WD Mybook 1140 some time ago. Bought new laptop last year (windows 8.1) and plugged the MyBook into it but never did anything more. I can access my old files so that’s good but it’s time I back up this laptop and have it carry on backing up for me. I don’t know how to begin the backup process without possibly erasing my old data by mistake. Is there a simple, safe way to get this working with my ‘new’ laptop? Have read hundreds of posts and User’s Manual and can’t find specific answer to this. Thanks

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I am in exactly the same situation and have the same concerns. Would appreciate hearing from someone who has tried this.

About the simplest solution I can think of is to find the directory in which Windows has stored your old files and rename it. Windows will complain during a Restore event that it can’t find the directory but I think it asks you to point it to the new directory.

It’s a bit dangerous to keep sets of backups for two laptops on the same drive. You could be having a bad day and mix things up, losing data. You could try compressing one set with something like Winrar into an archive Windows cannot read. If you do, find the utility Quickpar for Windows and make a set of PAR files for the compressed rar files.

Quickpar is an ingenious free utility that stores a a key file for a compressed archive like rar or zip and it can reproduce damaged rar or zip files exactly if parts are missing or damaged.

Ideally, Windows should not automatically overwrite old files but Microsoft is not always smart. You should be able to specify where your files go but in their infinite wisdom (in their own minds) they think they know what is best for you. They have tried to dumb the process down so it suits everyone but in doing so they have ruined it for people who know what they’re doing.

Hi, Thanks for the help. Just to be sure I’m doing the right thing - I open MyBook and double click on the following in this order: “WD smartware.swstor”; then “Smith-PC”; then “Volume.6eeedc68.f0da…”; “Users”; then “Smith” and that is where the list of all my data is saved from my previous computer. (That’s where I go to access any of my old stuff and it works fine from there.)

Do I simply rename the folder called “Smith-PC”?

I really am kinda in the dark with this stuff. I’ll still create two more copies of all my photos that matter using flash drives but this is my peace of mind for copy #3 and also my OS copy. Again, I appreciate your time.

Sounds to me like you’re using the WD backup and I presumed you were using the Win 7 backup. Win 7 backup is actually pretty good compared to XP.

Under Win 7, the backup can be an entire disk image, selected files, or a differential backup. It stores it’s backup in a directory it names itself. I just rename the top level directory to whatever I want. The top level directory is the first one you see in a file manager. It normally has a + sign in front of it which you click to open the sub-directories.

It might help to remember what Win 7 backup called it so you could restore the name for Win 7 restore. I have not worked with the WD backup.

Yes. When I bought the WD MyBook, it was to create an ongoing backup for my laptop. I used WD’s instructions to create the backup and then had it scheduled to automatically continue those backups throughout the life of that laptop. Now that it is connected to my new laptop, I can read my old files and even work with them, but it has over 2TB of free space on it that I’d like to be taking of advantage of rather than buying a new external HD. I can’t find a folder that is clearly safe to rename to try to keep it safe from deletion. Does anyone know how to get this MyBook working with my new laptop without erasing my old data?

I like to use a separate backup drive for each laptop. Keeps life more sane and simple.

A major concern I have with the WD backup, at least on the drives I have, is the lack of ability to do an image backup. The kind of backup you are using will do you no good if your drive fails. Unless there’s something I don’t know about WD, it is likely good for initial and incremental backups but it was not designed to create a disk image.

A disk image is vital these days. The image does a sector by sector copy of the disk, including the boot sector. If the drive fails, all you need to do is buy a new drive and restore the image to it.

Win 7 backup will do a disk image as will the free Comodo backup. If I make a disk image of a Windows installation I rename the image directory so Windows can’t corrupt it with future backups.

If you look at the Win 7 backup it is usually stored as Rar files (Winrar). If you apply the free utility Quickpar to the rar files it will make several Par files which can be used to restore corrupted rar files. You can remove the Par files to another disk, or several disks, for safe keeping.

I am curious as to why Western Digital has not incorporated a disk image feature into it’s backup utility. In this day and age with 1 TB drives going for as low as $70, it makes sense to have a disk image as well as backup files that can be incremented.

It would be even nicer if the disk image could be incremented.

when I switched from windows 7 to 10 and wanted to perform another backup on my passport ultra, I received a message that the files on my passport were from a different os (the windows 7) & that I should save them elsewhere because they would be overwritten. your question would have been clarified had you recd this message. BTY, the next backup took forever.