How to Backup Hard drive?

Recently my friend gave me a hard drive and I plan on reformatting it so I can use it as a backup. How would I turn this hard drive into a backup for my existing drive? Is there some sort of software? Do I just copy the files over every now and then? Do I put the drives into raid 1?
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  1. Best answer
    If you just want to keep your data backed up, you can do that manually, either by Copy/Paste, or drag-and-drop with two windows open.

    If you want to back up the entire drive, use disk-imaging software. Free ones here:
  2. Best answer selected by Raxbar.
  3. You can use the windows backup (start / programs / maintenance / backup&restore). Beside that there are a bunch of free backup programs out there. Don't use raid1! Raid1 is not a backup, because it will mirror all your accidental deletes and viruses to the second drive.
  4. Don't try RAID 1 cause you'll erase everything on the existing drive.

    You can simply copy everything every once in a while. Windows does have a simple backup program that you can use to schedule what and when to back up files. There are plenty of free ones that work well. Use Google and do some research for those.
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