So I’m sitting here and earlier this week the hard drive that I run backups to crashed… that’s not good!
I started to investigate if it was possible to backup my entire computer to OneDrive and I discovered that it is!
This can be achieved by using a piece of backup software called Veeam Free which, as the name suggests is free. I’ve used the paid version in work however I was surprised to find that the free version offers a lot of the functionality of the paid version. In this guide, I will show you how to backup an image of your entire primary hard drive up to the cloud, in this case, OneDrive so you will be able to restore or any missing files should your computer crash completely.
I will include a link below to download and install the Veeam free software.
You may not be aware but if you have a subscription to Office 365 Home Edition then you have a 1 Terabyte cloud storage with OneDrive. Also, another useful tip is that with the Office 365 Home Edition you can allocate up to 5 accounts and each of these accounts comes with a 1 Terabyte of cloud-based storage.
Install Veeam Free Desktop Edition
So here I will go through installing Veeam and then go on through setting up the running of the daily backup process. It’s worth noting that the length of time the initial backup process to the cloud takes is heavily dependent on your internet connection.
So if you’re using mobile data I would not recommend doing this process because you will use up your entire monthly data allowance. The initial backup may take hours or possibly even overnight if you have a large hard drive that needs to be backed up to the cloud.
Now you may be wondering why would you want to back up to the cloud if you can just back up to your local computer be it a PC or a Mac, well backing up to the cloud is extremely useful for several reasons primarily if you have anything happen to your computer, for example, you spill a mug of coffee on to the computer or you get a power surge and the hard drive that you back up to locally fails, which happens a lot more than you would suspect, and with the cloud storage you have much more wiggle room and also peace of mind.
If you click on the link below go through the motions and install Veeam free software.
Please note that you’ll be required to sign up for a free account, they will send you some marketing emails now and then but it’s not a huge amount. If you wish you could just create a new Gmail account and sign up using that.
Configure The Backup
Once that’s done, open the software click in the upper left on the symbol of the three lines (some people call it a burger), and click add a new job. Here you’ll be presented with a screen with a series of different options so initially, you just need to give the backup job a name so you can call this whatever you like. It’s your personal preference so give it a name and click on next.
Now here you’ll see another series of options it’s asking you where do you want to save the actual back up to so you’ve got local which is you know local driver whatever shared folder that would be used if you and maybe an ass or you know one another you maybe had computers to set up around the house and one of them had a hard drive that had been shared like a folder to have been shared out to the network you’ve also got the VM backup repository that is generally a paid feature so in this scenario were not going to work but that’s so much but the one we do want is the last one which is Microsoft OneDrive.
With the free version, it does not allow you to select the entire computer, if you want to backup to the OneDrive system however you can select a volume-level backup, once you have that selected click on next.
By default, none of these tick boxes for the drives will be ticked if you take the operating system which is the first one that will select your C drive which is assuming that you have your copy of Windows installed on C drive so once you’ve done that click on next.
You’ll now be presented when another screen you’ll see a small red circle with an X which says you are not signed in to Microsoft OneDrive, if you click on that blue link it will bring you when a new bring you to a new pop-up box which will allow you to sign in to your Microsoft account.
Do this and you will be brought back to the same screen and you can also see here it’s asking you how many days you would like to keep a backup, so what this will do is it will run a cycle of 14 days and when it gets to the 15th day the cycle will start again and it will remove the old backups, this is done so it will save storage space.
Something to note when you’ve signed into OneDrive within the Veeam application, you’ll see a yellow warning box appear which says shows you which folder you need to de-select within OneDrive to make sure that folder is not being synchronized back down to your hard drive because if it is it will fill up all the space on your hard drive very, very quickly and you don’t want to do this.
So select how many days you want in the cycle and then click on next.
Schedule The Backup
On the next screen, you will be given the option to select how frequently the backup should run. I would recommend that you have backup run daily at a time that you know the computer will be switched on.
If you look on the right-hand side of the screen you will see there is an option that says backup once powered on, on this is a very useful feature because if, for whatever reason, your computer is powered off when the backup is scheduled to run then the backup will automatically start the next time that you turn on your computer.
You can also specify options of what should happen once the backup complete, you can have it lock the computer log you out of the computer or have the backup run once you connect a USB hard drive to the computer.
Click on apply and you will be presented with the summary screen of the choices that you have made, you’ll notice there’s an option which says run this job when I click on finish if you take that box and click on finish the back of double run straight away instead of at the time you have specified in the previous screen.
The benefits of backing up your hard drive to the cloud
As noted earlier, having a cloud backup of your files is extremely useful, especially if you live in an area that is prone to power surges, storms or other natural calamities that may threaten the lifespan of your computer.
I’ll give you an example as to why this is a good system to have in place, although in fairness as a home user this may directly apply to you but then again who knows?
We recently had one of our newer clients who we had implemented off-site / cloud backups for the experience just why off-site backups are so important. We set up the business version of Veeam for them and configured a daily back up of their files to an Amazon AWS bucket (yes, Amazon offer online storage in case you’re interested).
I’m sure this story will sound fanciful and fantastic but it genuinely is true. The week after we had backed up their files to the cloud, the building that their office was located in burned to the ground!
Now, you’re probably thinking “wow, that’s crazy”, but the craziness of it doesn’t end there. Our client then moved to a temporary location (think something along the lines of one of those WeWork type places)…
They were only in the new place for about 2 weeks and then their office got broken in to. All the laptops and the PC that they were using as a server were stolen!
Again, I’m sure this all sounds like something from a fairy tale but I assure you it did happen, and what saved their bacon was that the files they needed to keep the company ticking over on a day to day basis had been stored online.
As I said, it’s unlikely if you’re a home-based user that you’d encounter this scenario but you never really know, and it’s always good to keep an off-site backup even if you are a home user just working with personal files.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to backup your hard drive to OneDrive?
Yes, you can backup your hard drive to OneDrive cloud storage by using the free version of the Veeam Backup Software.
Is it expensive to backup your hard drive to OneDrive?
No, with the Home Edition of Office 365 you can have up to 5 accounts, each one of these accounts comes with 1 Terrabyte of OneDrive storage included in the yearly subscription.