The reason why Time Machine Preference Pane doesn’t show network drive is likely the Mac Developer’s mantra: keep simple things simple and complex things possible. Novice users, by definition, are inexperienced — they’re likely haven’t gone through the pain of losing data and discounted the value of backups.
In this article, we’ll learn how to backup the entire computer to a NAS, a network drive or a network share. The backup software we’ll use allows you to backup your entire Windows 10 computer to NAS, including applications, program files, user settings, profiles, emails, documents, pictures, music, favorites – everything you’ve got.
- Open 'System Preferences' on the Target Machine (the machine that has the External Drive attached). Click 'Sharing' then 'Options'. Make sure 'Share files and folders using AFP' is ticked. Now go back to your Source Machine and your External Drive should show up in the list of Time Machine Backup Disks!
- Feb 29, 2020 Set permissions on your new backup drive Temporarily turn Time Machine off Copy your backup data from your original drive to your new drive Open a Finder window. In the Finder’s sidebar, click the icon of the original backup drive. Open another new Finder window. In the Finder’s sidebar, click the icon of the new backup drive.
Why backup to NAS?
Backup to network drive has several advantages over USB drives or Cloud storage.
Unlike a USB drive, a NAS is “always on” – you don’t have to keep a physical device connected to the computer (and let’s face it, if it’s a laptop, you won’t keep the drive connected at all times). Many NAS drives also include multiple internal hard drives, which allow for improved resiliency, and can even survive a failure of one of those drives without an immediate data loss. You can also use a single NAS to store backups from all the various computers you have at home.
As for Cloud storage, Cloud is quite slow – and expensive – compared to local network storage. Plus, your own NAS is private, and safe from data breaches and data theft.
How to backup a Windows 10 computer to NAS / network drive
The product we will be using here is Zinstall FullBack Pro. It creates a full backup of your entire computer on your NAS (including programs, settings, and all files). That backup is then updated automatically, so you are protected at all times.
Here is how to set it up:
- Download and run FullBack Pro (you can get a free trial of the backup software here).
- Click the “Settings” button.
- Click the “Change” button on the right, and select “Connect to a network location”
- Type in the path to your the network location where you want to store the backup (e.g. MyNASNamebackup-folder or 192.168.1.5backups)
- Click the big on/off button on the left, and Zinstall FullBack will start working.
- That’s it! Everything is automatic from now on.
It really is that simple to keep your entire computer safe.
Video: How To Backup Entire Computer to NAS
Can I backup multiple computers to same NAS?
Yes, you absolutely can! Zinstall FullBack will create a separate subfolder for each computer you back up. Simply set it up on every computer you want, and point the backup location to the network drive.
Time Machine To Nas
Can I backup different drives on my computer to different locations?
Yes, you can. The backup location for each drive is configured separately, so you can tell C: to be backed up to one location, and D: to another, for example.
So, what happens now?
Zinstall FullBack will first make a full backup of the entire computer. It means every file, every program, every setting you have there – all backed up on your NAS, and protected.
After that, it will keep backing up the changes as you make them. So if you change a file, or install a new program, your backup will be updated with those changes. This is all done completely automatically. In fact, you probably won’t even feel it running. It is very efficient in handling just the changes made, and even protects the NAS health, by minimizing the amount of reads and writes to it (this makes the drive live longer!)
If you get disconnected from your network drive, that’s OK – Zinstall will patiently wait until you connect it again and continue backing everything up, automatically.
Of course, the real reason you have a backup is the restore part. How do you restore a single file that you’ve misplaced? And how do you restore everything, including program files, if your computer crashes? Read on to find out.
How to restore a file that I’ve accidentally deleted?
So you were working on an important document, and now it’s gone. Fear not – that’s exactly why you have set up an automatic backup of your entire Windows 10! Here is what you do:
- Open your Zinstall FullBack’s Restore wizard.
- If you remember the file’s name, just type it into the search box. It will appear below.
- If you don’t remember what the file was called, but do remember where it was, you can browse your backup files, and find your file like that.
- Once you have the file, just hit restore – and it will appear exactly where it was, up to date!
That’s it – your file is back and unharmed.
My computer crashed. How do I restore everything from the backup, onto another computer?
This is something you can only do if you have used Zinstall FullBack. It actually preserves all the stuff from your backed up computer (programs, settings, files, emails, accounts, password, favorites, documents, pictures, music, etc.) onto a completely different computer and completely different Windows. Even if you’ve backed up a Windows 7 32bit Dell, and your replacement PC is a Windows 10 64bit HP, you can still restore everything you’ve got.
To do that, run Zinstall Rescue Kit on the new PC. When prompted, tell it to migrate from the backup container on the network drive, and let it complete the restore. When finished, just restart the computer, and you’ll see all the programs, settings and files from your crashed computer.
Are there other ways to backup everything on my computer?
Yes, Zinstall FullBack is not the only option out there (although we believe it is the most effective). Here are some other ways you can handle your backup:
- Disk Image / Clone tools (Windows System Backup / Acronis): these are the pro-oriented options, which simply take a full clone image of the computer. Like Zinstall FullBack, they capture your entire computer. The downside is that that you have to manually do the backup (so it will be outdated soon), it is very difficult to restore a single file, and if the computer crashes, you’ll need to restore to the exact same hardware model (and you can’t restore to a different Windows).
- Copying files to Dropbox / OneDrive: in itself, a cloud sync tool like Dropbox or OneDrive is not really a backup (it’s manual, does not even come close to covering everything you have, does not cover programs or settings), but it is better than having no backup at all! So if your choice is doing nothing at all vs. copying some of your files to Dropbox, use Dropbox. Then again, you can use Zinstall FullBack to turn Dropbox or OneDrive into backup tools – see here for our guides on How to Backup Computer to Dropbox and How to Backup Computer to OneDrive
- Apple’s Time Machine: this product is very similar in its concept to Zinstall FullBack, but only available for Mac OS. If you have Mac OS, use it – it is very well done, and simply to set up and use.
If you’ve ever experienced a computer crash or data loss (hopefully not first hand), you know how it feels. Out of nowhere, your files are gone, your programs are gone, your accounts and personalization are gone. There is no way to prevent a disaster like that. It will happen, eventually.
But you can be ready for it.
As they say, the best day to do a backup is yesterday. The second best day is today.
If you have already have a NAS, you can backup your entire computer to it (not just files!), and you can have that backup started in 5 minutes from now.
It is complete, automatic (and always up to date), efficient, does not slow down your computer, keeps your NAS healthy – and most importantly, you will be able to restore your files, and your programs, when you need them.
Ready to backup your entire computer to a NAS / Network Drive?
Need a reliable Network hard drive backup solution
'At work, we have a small workgroup - 8 PCs all running Windows 10. We also have a WD My Book network drive, one folder of which is accessible to all PCs, configured as Drive Z. Now I want to find a Network hard drive backup solution that allows me to automatically backup that Z drive to another drive daily. I there any free Network backup software recommended?'
Not only data on your local hard disk but also data on network all need to be protected. To do this job, you need a reliable network backup software which can support network shared files backup. To backup local computer to network also has a great significance that you don't need to bring any removable storage device anytime if only you have access to internet. And backup data to a separate location can avoid data loss caused by hardware failure. But what is the best Network backup software?
What is the best Network backup software
For a reliable free Network backup software, we recommend you EaseUS Todo Backup Free. It provides you safe and easy network backup solution for Windows. The software provides many flexible and advanced features such as full backup, differential backup and incremental backup to backup network shared files. And it allows you to backup network shared files to local hard disk, removable storage device, and network. Also, you can backup local hard disk to network. You can manage the image file to compress the image file, encrypt, split, update and delete it. You can also recover the image file when you need the data.
How to backup data with EaseUS Network backup software
Apple Mac Backup Devices
Step 1. For the first time you use EaseUS Todo Backup to back up files, click Create backup on the home screen and then mouse click the big question mark to select backup contents.
Step 2. Since you're going to back up files and folders on your computer, go on with the 'File' backup mode, where you can select pictures, videos, documents and all other types of files to back up.
Step 3. Follow the paths to locate the files, folders or directories you want to back up, select them all and click 'OK'.
Step 4. Now you need to select a backup location to save and retain the backup.
Step 5. EaseUS Todo Backup allows users to save the backup files to every device that is handy for you, like a local hard drive, external USB drive, SD card, network drive, or a NAS drive, plus a cloud drive of the EaseUS brand. We personally recommend users to choose the cloud drive prior to a physical drive to save important backups due to the greater accessibility, flexibility and safety.
To be able to access to EaseUS cloud, all you need is an email registration and login.
Step 6. If you're interested in an automatic and intelligent backup schedule for the next file backup task, go on with the 'Options' setting. There you can encypt a confidential file backup, compress the backup image size, or customize a backup scheme to tell the software in what time to start the next backup.
Customize an advanced and automatic backup task here:
Step 7. Click 'Backup Now' to start the file backup process. Your completed backup files are visible on the left area in a card style.
If you want to backup network shared files using incremental backup, refer to the document below. (You should choose File backup when you want to backup network shared files.)
Note: There is only a slight difference when you follow the above document to backup network shared files. When you are on the page to choose files to backup, choose the drive letter you have mapped.