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Backing up 2 computers (one with Win7 & one with Win 8.1)

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I would appreciate some advice and sugestions. My wife has a desktop with Win 7 which has a 1TiB HDD and a Laptop running Win 8.1 with a 700 Gig HDD. She has purchased a 2 TiB external hard drive and asked me to back both of her computers up on it.

My gut feeling is to partition the external hard drive and use each computer's back up program to back the computers up to separate  partitions. However, I would like to be able to occasionally bring these backups up to date without having to wipe the HDD and start all over again. So, in order to keep her happy, I'd appreciate some advice.


I need to add that she considers her computers to be tools and, like her cars, she wants them to work without necessarily understanding why. 


However, I am pretty much a Linux guy, giving up on Windows several years ago, but I've tried to stay as up to date as possible with Windows since my wife is wedded to them. 


I would appreciate advice and suggestions, please. I am reposting this on the in 7 forum also.




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