Windows 10 File History Multiple Drives Backup Hack for Disaster Recovery

File to file backup software for Windows 10 computers appear to be few and far between as well as expensive when loaded up with features one may never need. Windows 10 File History Backup was not designed as a backup in the sense of restoring data to another computer after a computer failure. However, this Windows 10 File History Backup hack, fully supported by Microsoft, gives us folks that do not want to use pricey Internet backup or expensive backup software a viable option for emergency file recovery.

Download a PDF of Windows 10 File History File to File Backup Hack for Disaster Recovery

Windows 10 File History Backup is designed to grab earlier versions of files after one realizes they deleted a file or damaged a file in some way. Restoring a file or files is straight forward as shown below.

Select “Restore files from a current backup”

clip_image002

Then, select the folder or file(s) you need and select “Restore to original location”

clip_image004

This hack shows that Windows 10 File History Backup can also be used to recover data to another computer in an emergency. The following series of screen shots detail how this can be done.

Insert a large USB drive for use as a backup drive

clip_image006

Select “Settings”

clip_image008

Select “Update and Security”

clip_image010

Select “Backup”

clip_image012

Select “Add a drive”

clip_image014

Select your USB drive

clip_image016

Select “More options”

clip_image018

Select the timing you need under “Back up my files”

clip_image020

Select “Until space is needed” under “Keep my backups.

clip_image022

One can add or remove folders under “Back up these folders.

clip_image024

To start a backup, select “Back up now”

clip_image026

If the backup up application does not auto close, click the “X” in the top right corner

clip_image028

The backup will complete in the background. The more files you have, the longer the back will take to complete. Check status of backup by looking at “Last backup:” date and time under “Overview”

One can manually trigger a backup anytime by selecting “Back up now” on the Back up options screen as well as learning the date and time of the last backup and space available on the drive.

One can rotate multiple drives for an extra level of protection. Generally, Windows 10 File History Backup using multiple drives works by formatting a previously used drive and starting the backup process over with the newly formatted drive. One should carefully follow these instructions.

1 – Start with two external USB drives. Label them Backup One and Backup Two.

2 – Insert Backup One and format the drive using the right click contextual menu in File Explorer. Then set it up as a file history drive using the instructions above starting at “This hack shows that Windows 10 File History Backup can also be used to recover data to another computer in an emergency.”

3 – Determine a backup drive rotation that works for you. Consider how out of sync you might be if you lost your laptop and your stored backup last completed several weeks ago. I prefer to be no more than a week behind but you may think differently. So, for this example, I will pick one week.

4 – After one week, check your Backup One drive for the current backup process to be complete on the “Backup options” screen. You might also want to reconcile several random files before you remove the drive.

5 – Select “Stop Using Drive” also on the “Backup options” screen and then remove the drive and place it in another location far from your laptop; your home safe works well.

6 – Insert the Backup Two drive and complete a drive format like in Step 2 above.

7 – Set up the Backup Two drive as a file history drive using the instructions above starting at “This hack shows that Windows 10 File History Backup can also be used to recover data to another computer in an emergency.”

8 – After one week, check your Backup Two drive for the current backup process to be complete. You might also want to reconcile several random files before you remove the drive.

9 – Select “Stop Using Drive” and then remove the drive and place it in another location far from your laptop; your home safe works well.

10- Insert the Backup One drive and complete a drive format.

11 – Set up the Backup One drive as a file history drive using the instructions above starting at “This hack shows that Windows 10 File History Backup can also be used to recover data to another computer in an emergency.”

12 – Then off you go again with another fresh backup drive. Repeat this process every week alternating between Drive One and Drive Two.

Now, if you lose your computer from some unfortunate circumstance, find the latest Backup One or Backup Two USB drive and plug it into another computer.

You can easily restore files and their many older versions to another computer by browsing the drive’s “File History” folder for needed files and copying them to your new computer.

It can be confusing because of many multiples of time stamped files with the same name. But, cut through the confusion by paying close attention to the time stamp appended to the file name, restoring only the most current file. In most cases, rarely changed files will only have one file with no versions in the file history folder.

clip_image030

However, DO NOT use the “Restore files from a current backup” function on the “Backup Options” screen to restore files to another fresh Windows 10 computer and new user profile. As easy and intuitive as it looks to restore, it does not work. You will get an error message.

clip_image032

clip_image034

clip_image036

clip_image038

Remember, the proper way to restore your files to a another computer in the event of a disaster is by browsing the drive’s “File History” folder for needed files and copying them to your new computer.

Google Apps Account Access Temporarily Disabled

More than 22.7 million U.S. businesses are one-man or one-woman shows. Each of these tiny firms has a single owner, but no paid employees at all. The US government calls these businesses “Nonemployer” businesses.

If you are one of those 22.7 million U.S. businesses, you probably know about Google Apps for Work, the professional email, online storage, shared calendars, video meetings, voice telephone service and more, built for business, by Google.

More than 5 million businesses have gone Google. You may be a Google Apps for Work single user and account holder. If so, you need to know about Google’s account access problem.

You may have experienced or will experience in the future the dreaded “Account access temporarily disabled” message when you log in to your Google Apps for Work account. Imagine your business’ risk if you depend on all of Google Apps for Work’s services including business telephone service and you find your Google Apps for Work account arbitrarily disabled. You can be out of business in the blink of an eye.

Google’s account access problem lies in it’s “catch 22” process to re enable your account, should you find yourself out of business. It goes like this;

Upon attempting to log on to your Google account, you get Google’s version of the “Blue Screen of Death”

 

Account access temporarily disabled

 

 

 

 

 

Since you are the only administrator, you seek the “24/7 phone and email support,” that you pay $5 to $10 a month for, from the “Google Support team”

 

Google Support team

 

 

 

 

 

Google Support team contact

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, you cannot email support because you cannot access the “Admin Console.” But, you would want to call the “Google Support team” anyway because of the urgency to re enable your Google account. So you go about the business of locating your PIN because the “Google Support team” requires your PIN in order for them to answer their telephone. But, you see a page that states, “To locate your PIN: Sign in to the Google Admin console.”

 

Support PIN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So now, you’re stuck. You cannot call or email the “Google Support team” without access to your disabled Google account for their email link or PIN. That’s some strange paid “24/7 phone and email support.”

Fortunately, when Google’s account access problem happened to me, I located an obscure form at https://support.google.com/a/contact/admin_no_access that opened a support ticket. Unfortunately, 48 hours into the support request, my Google Apps for Work remains disabled.

Let me be the first to say that I like Google Apps for Work’s features and general performance. I especially like the ability to wipe a lost smartphone. I also like using Google Voice for calls using a computer headset. I’m not a Google Apps for Work reseller, but I have set up many businesses with Google Apps for Work.

But, single user Google Apps for Work accounts require a different approach. What can one do to protect one’s self from Google’s lackluster Google Apps for Work support?

  • Google Apps for Work “Nonemployer” business folks should always have two admin users in their account, with strong passwords and be well documented. The second admin user can be used to re enable the primary admin user when that user experiences “Account access temporarily disabled.”
  • Never use a Google Voice number as your primary business telephone number. If you have done that, immediately port your number out of Google Voice to a more dependable carrier, either a local telco service provider or a national VOIP provider with a demonstrated excellent support track record.
  • Back up your primary user’s email, contacts, calendars, tasks, voice calls, chats, drive and any other data you may have in Google Apps for Work. One can use Outlook sync for manual and limited backup or go the distance with backupify, the leader in Google Apps backup.

Have you been stunned by the dreaded “Account access temporarily disabled” message? If so, what was your experience?

Update 11.26.2014: The account was re enabled at 5:30am, four days after the initial disabling. Once I correct the DNS workaround that will flow my email back into the account, if will be an entire week down, a service level that I would understand for free services, but not a paid business service. Also, my android phone was rendered useless during the process because the policy app on the phone. I’m certainly glad that this was not a business related account. When a “Nonemployer” business person needs paid “24/7 phone and email support,” they deserve not to wait a week. My conclusion, I will seriously reevaluate Google Apps for Work for my businesses and will not recommend Google Apps for Work to any other “Nonemployer” business person.

Will your backup restore your business after a disaster?

Most likely not. Many businesses fail every year because they cannot recover from a disaster, even though they were convinced that they had “good backups”. If you are not loosing sleep over whether or not your backup will work to accurately recover your business after a catastrophe, you probably should be.

Only one proven methodology, “Disaster Recovery Confirmation” can validate your backup so you don’t loose sleep! Once a month, restore a sample of your critical business files to a computer and open them in the application that you do business with. Every month, you will be secure in the knowledge that your files are recoverable.

Home users can try out the backup-restore process with a Free 2GB Online Backup account from Mozy. Please use referral code F2YX90 when you sign up. I get a bit more space on my account that way.

Business users need to look at backup a bit differently than home users. The number of times the tragedy of backup tapes remaining on top of a local server and are both consumed in a fire is unbelievable. Backup is a lot more than insuring the tape gets swapped out and removed from the building every night or that you cheat a bit and sign up for Mozy Home unlimited.

Your business needs the two biggest pieces of a backup strategy in place to survive data loss.

Register online for any of the MozyPro subscription plans to achieve Off Site Out Of Region Backup. You can opt for yearly subscriptions that carry a substantial discount compared to monthly plans.