The Windows operating system includes built-in tools that let you backup and make copies of your files and create a system image. It now also includes a System Image Backup Tool, with which you can now backup or clone an image of your disk. But it is found wanting in some features, and that is why many prefer to use one or the other free backup software available.
We have already been individually covering many such freeware backup solutions on this website. Today, I am going to list some free Imaging/Backup/Recovery software here, for the convenience of our readers.
Free backup and recovery software
Here is a list of some free backup and recovery software for Windows Vista and Windows 7. Most work on Windows 8 too, and if not, you can expect their future updates to do so too.
Areca Backup is an Open Source file backup software that runs on Windows and Linux. It allows users to select and create backup copies of files, which can be encrypted and compressed, or directories for storing them on external drives, pen drives, FTP servers and others. Areca also provides tools required for Archive recovery – with or without deleted files.
Clonezilla is based on DRBL, Partition Image, ntfsclone, partclone, and udpcast, allows you to do bare metal backup and recovery. Two types of Clonezilla are available, Clonezilla Live and Clonezilla SE (Server Edition). Clonezilla Live is suitable for single machine backup and restore.
Cobian Backup has a lot of options which we mostly find in commercial backup software. The interface is simple, and we find it quite easy to set up the backup. You don’t need to be an IT wizard to set this up; the developers have made it very simple.
EASEUS Todo Backup for Windows
EASEUS Todo Backup Home is a free file backup and disaster recovery software, protecting your data, including photos, music, videos, documents, financial data, and applications. It provides backup, restore, disk-clone functions based on Windows operating systems with ease and reliability.
Macrium Reflect Free version is a favorite of many. It offers the following features: Compatible disk imaging software with BartPE and Linux-based recovery options; Create a disk image whilst running Windows using Microsoft Volume Shadow copy Service (VSS); Image to Network, USB, FireWire drives and DVD; Built in scheduler; 32 bit and native 64 bit versions; Industry leading compression levels and speed; Linux-based Rescue CD with Network access and full GUI. Only 6.5MB in size; Built in CD/DVD packet writing engine. Supports packet writing to DVD DL media with Windows 7 and Vista; HTML log files, etc.
DriveImage XML is A “Norton Ghost Alternative”! It is an HDD backup and restoration software similar to Norton Ghost but FREE; the software enables you to create a complete backup image of any drive or partition, You can restore later restore the image to same, or another partition, you can also clone a drive to another. The program also includes an image explorer similar to Norton Ghost Image Explorer that lets you explore previously created backup images and extract individual files.
DiscWizard is an “Acronis Clone”! Most know of Acronis True Image, which is a popular hard-drive backup software. But you can get a re-branded version of True Image with the name DiscWizard as a free legal download from the Seagate website.
GFI Backup – Home Edition, is a freeware backup solution which has just been launched. GFI Backup 2009 allows you to back up all your important documents, photos, music, emails and program settings using a simple but smart wizard-driven interface to nearly every storage device, including local and external disk drives, LAN, CD/DVD, removable devices, remote FTP servers, etc.
Partimage is a Linux utility which saves partitions having a supported file system to an image file. Most Linux and Windows filesystems are supported. The image file can be compressed with the gzip / bzip2 programs to save disk space, and they can be split into multiple files to be copied on CDs / DVDs.
Ping is considered by some as the best available Linux toolbox for rescuing a system. Features include: Backup and Restore partitions or files locally or to the network; Backup and Restore the BIOS data as well; Either burn a bootable CD / DVD, either integrate within a PXE / RIS environment; Possibility to Blank local admin’s password; Create your own restoration bootable DVD; Partition and Format a disk before installing Windows and more.
Paragon Backup & Recovery
Paragon Backup & Recovery Free Edition is a powerful disc-imaging and recovery solution. It claims to be the only one that can do differential backups; create a bootable USB/flash drive and execute automatic data exclusion option. It also supports all existing backup techniques, performs disc imaging to any backup destination and supports Windows 10/8/7 too.
Redo Backup & Recovery
Redo Backup & Recovery is a free open source tool based on xPUD and part-clone, which not only works with Windows but also supports Linux. It is a recovery tool which even works when your hard disk crashes because it boots from a live CD. Redo offers many other tools which are really helpful if you are performing a system restore. It sports a web browser, IM tool, a Facebook app, hard disk manager, and Google apps. In short, Redo is a complete package of must-have tools required at the time of a disaster.
SimpleBackup is free backup software, which adds the backup option to the right-click context menu of files and folder. SimpleBackup makes it easier for you to backup your files and folders regularly and very quickly on the fly!
Auslogics BitReplica is another free tool for backing up files stored on your Windows 7 PC. The tool is so intelligent that it lets you specify file groups to back up, such as Internet Explorer favorites or Windows Mail contacts, or select individual folders to back up under each profile you create.
Genie Timeline Free
Genie Timeline Free is a Metro UI inspired Backup Tool for Windows. Using Genie Timeline Free one can easily backup images, videos, music and of course, documents!
Handy Backup Free
Handy Backup Free comes with a basic set of features. It lets you back up your files and folders locally, or to their Online Backup service. Let me know if I have missed out any or if you have any favorites.
AOMEI Backupper offers three main functions: Backup, Restore, and Clone. It is easy to find them on the left side of the main interface.
Ocster Backup is a user-friendly application, and no technical knowledge is required for installation. You can backup the whole data of the computer with this tool. It saves the data in a compressed format so that the backup will occupy less space on your computer. Incremental backups and encryption of data with AES are the other special features of Ocster backup freeware.
Cobian Backup has so many options included in freeware. It has a lot of options which we mostly find in commercial backup software.
JaBack is a free backup software with automation and email notifications.
MiniTool ShadowMaker backup software offers an easy way to backup and restore data.
Renee Lab Data Backup software
Renee Lab Data Backup software lets you backup, recover and clone your Windows installation easily.
Also, check out our old post on Free Acronis True Image Alternative & Norton Ghost Alternatives.
If you are looking for cloud options, you might want to check out these Free Online Backup Services.