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How to Backup Your Windows 10 Computer to NAS / Network Drive – entire computer, including programs, settings and all files

Backup Computer to NAS

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.

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:

  1. Download and run FullBack Pro (you can get a free trial of the backup software here).
  2. Click the “Settings” button.
  3. Click the “Change” button on the right, and select “Connect to a network location”

    Backup to OneDrive

  4. Type in the path to your the network location where you want to store the backup (e.g. \\MyNASName\backup-folder or \\192.168.1.5\backups)
  5. Click the big on/off button on the left, and Zinstall FullBack will start working.
  6. 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

Click here to get a free trial, and make a full backup of your entire computer on a 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.

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:

Restore files

  1. Open your Zinstall FullBack’s Restore wizard.
  2. If you remember the file’s name, just type it into the search box. It will appear below.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Restore programs

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.

Summary

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?

Click here to get a free trial of FullBack