Laptop Backup System

I don’t know if he is still around but thanks to the poster of Message no 199763 on the old Help with this Stupid Computer discussion board. (See posting copy below).

Karen’s Replicator is still available as freeware and runs fine on Windows 11.

I bought an new HP laptop a few years ago and mostly used it for portability. But my 9 yr old desktop running Windows 10 kept getting slower and slower. (HP Envy running i5 processor.) I decided to switch to my faster laptop. (HP - 15.6" Laptop Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 256GB SSD running Windows 11.)

My desktop had two hard drives and software to backup from C to the second. How do you set up a backup system for a laptop?

My new laptop has a slot for a Sandisk Memory Card. A 128 GB memory card works well for me. My data collection from my first 486 machine comes to 20GB; pictures abt 6 GB.

Once the files are saved Karen’s Replicator quickly scans them for changes–later date or longer files and saves the new ones.

It can be set to run at any time–1 am is the default. Machine must be running and software loaded to run at the time shown, but its easy to do an update if the last one didn’t run.

Of course back up to memory card means you lose your data if laptop is stolen, but its easy to switch cards occasionally and keep another in a safe place.

Original message follows–

Help with Stupid Computer Message no 199763

My backups:

  1. Image of my hard drive (Dual-boot Windows & Linux) created by Macrium Reflect Free
  2. Data files, photos, etc - also included in (1). Created with Karen’s Replicator.
  3. Critical data in a VeraCrypt volume - also included in (1)

Backups are are run frequently but not automatically to external HDD and flash drives. The most current backups are on a pair of SanDisk Ultra Flair 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive attached to my and my wife’s key chains. Cheap, reliable backup always with you.

VeraCrypt - Free Open source disk encryption with strong security for the Paranoid


Sounds good.

I use something built into Windows, File History. It doesn’t use a schedule, it is continuous.

It only backs up data files under my user name, but it keeps each version with a time-stamp suffix appended to the name. No system backup or restore, just data.

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Interesting. This backup software seems much easier to understand than most of the ones I’ve seen. PS - The link to the replicator was truncated. Here’s the corrected link:

I have received error messages on File History. Have you ever successfully recovered files with File History?

I prefer copy files. Those you can load and be sure they are there when you need them.

Ditto various compressed file backups. Useless unless you have the right software. Risky.

I haven’t used any sort of recovery process or command other than browsing the history, copying an old version back to the original folder, then resolving the names of the one to be replaced and the one with the time appended to the name. They are all just files, and file manager is the tool I use.

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I second using Karen’s Replicator for daily backups. It’s dead simple to set up what you want copied and when. I use an SSD for the OS and programs, a large spinning disk for data and have KR copy all data to a second internal spinning disk.

But the most important element is the scheduling. I use the default 1am time to run the job. Being automatic is essential to me. But if you are using this on a laptop that may not be powered up 24/7, there is a setting to have KR remind the user of any missed scheduled jobs and the option to run them manually when Windows boots.


I find Karen usually runs automatically or if laptop is off then immediately when I start it. It’s also easy to check when it last ran and when next scheduled, or you can have it run immediately.

So far its been easy to use, runs in the background and seems reliable.


Yes I am still around just not as round as I was back then :wink:

Thanks to DoLoop, I’ve moved on to Free FileSync. However, as noted by warrl, (File-syncing software has some good uses… backup is not among them.).

I have two laptops and both have a D:Data patrition and use Free FileSync to keep the data identical.

For OS backup I use Macrium Reflect to image partitions required to run Windows and Windows File History to backup data files. Both of these are written to external hard drives.

Refer to this topic for more information: backing up



Thanks for the input, George. Much appreciated.