Most secure way to create a backup

What do you want advice about?
What is the most secure way to create a backup of important files before formatting an hard disk?
I need to save them before installing windows again.
In brief, tell us about your privacy threat model?

You don’t specify what it is that you wish to back up, but in general, you can secure your local backups by making them to an encrypted hard disk. To this end, you could use BitLocker on Windows, FileVault on macOS, or Veracrypt on either system.

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Or OP can use an encrypted file storage service like Filen, Tresorit or Proton Drive.

By the way, BitLocker is only avaliable for Windows 10/11 Pro

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pCloud is also a good option

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The problems with PCloud is that it isn’t open-source and not encrypted by default

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Following along with the OP scenario. Just use some file transfer system, a thumb drive and copy the files over to the other PC which you plan on building a new Windows installation. Verify the files are good.
After you build your new system you can transfer your files back to the new Installation on your old PC.
This will give you three copies all offline, in your possession. This is secure.

You do not need to make this over complicated, or you can secretly bury the thumb drive in a time vault in a national forest.


Thanks for the reply! They are mostly documents :slight_smile:

I see! Is Proton Drive safe to use? I’d use it only to transfer the files from a potentially infected pc to the same pc but with a new windows installation and then delete them from the website.

Correct however there are still benefits. How to Encrypt Your Data for Cloud Storage - YouTube. I think this video explains it well

Haha thanks for the reply! I didn’t understand jn which computer shoud I scan the files :frowning:

Just to clarify, I have to save work data before doing a hard disk reset since the computer they are in might be infected with spyware. The bad news is that the other computer I have might have spyware too. Spyware everywhere haha

Also I don’t know if that’s the case but thank you for taking the time to read my other post!

You mentioned you have used win Defender and other programs you trust. Use those programs on your vetted system and scan the thumb drive before you copy the files over to the vetted system. Vetted being the PC you plan to use to repair your old PC.
Windows defender has “fixed” an infected file on my thumb drives by deleting the entire thumb drive. This is why I say do not delete or format your hard drive on your PC which you are concerned. Verify your transfer is good then get to work on that old PC.

Resolve one issue at a time multi tasking is a lie.

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You could back them up to an encrypted external SSD or HDD. Toshiba, Samsung, WD, and SanDisk all have tools that allow you to encrypt their respective external storage media. If you have the pro edition of windows (as opposed to the home edition) you can also use bitlocker. Alternatively you can use veracrypt if none of the above is an option for you.

Yeah, Proton Drive (like all their products) is safe to use. Techlore has made recently a video about their products :