What's your backup strategy these days?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Threedog, Mar 11, 2010.

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  1. Threedog

    Threedog Registered Member

    Mar 20, 2005
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    In the same vein as "What's your security setup these days?" only dealing with the software and strategies we use to back up our important data so in the event of a malware wipe out or hardware failure we can be back up and running in no time with minimal data loss. We are always discussing what software we use to try to prevent getting hit by malware but seldom discuss what we use and do to backup our data.

    With that in mind, here is mine.

    Backup software used:
    Acronis TI (for operating system backup)
    Karen's Replicator (for data backup) http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptreplicator.asp
    Pf Backup (for automatic backup of Outlook's PF file) http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/...3a-b7d0-4b16-b8af-5a6322f4fd01&displaylang=en
    Nero DVD burning software

    Hardware used:
    2nd internal hard drive
    External hard drive
    DVD Burner

    Images of operating system and apps on internal and external hard drives and burned to DVD's. My documents backed up to internal and external hard drives via Karen's Replicator with important data burned to DVD. Outlook PST file backed up to internal and external hard drives via Pfbackup.

    Restore image, drag and drop files back into place, import backed up PST into outlook. 20 mins tops.
  2. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

    Jul 22, 2006
    Syncback Free for routine file backup to internal hard drive(s) and network RAID1 Server.

    Image for Windows/Image for DOS/Image for Linux for periodically imaging the Windows System Partition:

    Monthly: Full System Partition Image
    Weekly: Differential System Partition Image
    Monthly: Image to Dual Layer DVD+R, I use Dual Layer DVD's to keep the image on one DVD (Less Mess).
  3. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    for my desktop:
    1. daily full image of C: to second internal hard drive using image for windows command version.
    2. I do a daily backup of data using karen's replicator to second internal hard drive.

    at somepoint I intend to get an external hard drive.
  4. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    May 9, 2005

    Essentially, the main stuff:


    2 production machines, with two internal hard disks. Important data kept on first disk and replicated to second disk on both the same machine and the neighbor, daily. Additionally, replicated to two external disks daily, once a week to the third external disk, and once a month to the fourth and fifth external disks, plus two full DVD copies.

    One DVD copy kept in a separate room, one external disk carried with me, kind of offsite, if you will.

    Laptop grsynced to external disk occasionally.

    Test machines not backed up.


    Once a month or before any major change, including ATI for Windows and CloneZilla for Linux.

  5. OldMX

    OldMX Registered Member

    Sep 1, 2005
    Hey lodore, how often you flush old backups? i mean, daily images should take a good ammount of gbs?
  6. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

    Nov 6, 2009
    Reformat LOL :D
  7. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

    Sep 2, 2006
    With FDISR + Shadowprotect i can happy face any disaster,whatever the reason i'm current in no time with these guns.
  8. midway40

    midway40 Registered Member

    Jul 24, 2006
    SW MS, USA
    I use Windows Home Server for my backups. I have it set for nightly incremental backups. If I ever need to recover one of my machines I just pop the WHS Restore disk in, select the date of which backup I want and in about 20 minutes I can restore the computer (except in the case of the laptop I have to hard wire it to the router before restoring because it won't do it via wireless).

    I also use WHS as a central "repository" of all my files--docs, pics, video, etc so I can access them through Win 7's Libraries in both computers.
  9. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Jan 28, 2005
    NSW, Australia
    I create a full backup every month or so with IFW. I also create twice daily differential backups and keep these for 15 days. Any differential backup over 15 days old is automatically deleted. As each differential backup is only 100 MB, I can keep a lot.
  10. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    around once a week roughly. system partition isnt using a huge amount of space.
  11. andyman35

    andyman35 Registered Member

    Nov 2, 2007
    Using comodo Time Machine for daily snapshots of C drive,which only contains OS + software.Weekly full disk image with Macrium reflect in case of HD failure.All saved data,documents,etc. goes to one of 2 external drives.
  12. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

    Sep 30, 2008
    Paragon Backup and Recovery Free v10.1 with a 1.5Tb Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM HD.

    My initial plan is to not fubar the OS or get infected in the first place.
  13. GlobalForce

    GlobalForce Regular Poster

    Jun 30, 2004
    Garden State, USA
    I've got absolutely zero business posting mine - always hungry for that next, fresh install.
  14. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    I keep 2 images of every system on 3 USB HDs. I only do full backups every fortnight of my main machine and certainly before any Windows update. Private data is also kept on USB HDs, DVDs and Flash Drives. I have only laptops and I usually load data that is necessary for the week. It is not so practical at times, but easy in terms of security.
  15. quintile

    quintile Registered Member

    Apr 26, 2008
  16. stackz

    stackz Registered Member

    Dec 27, 2007
    Sydney Australia
    I always have my abacus on standby along with a pen and paper.
  17. pajenn

    pajenn Registered Member

    Oct 26, 2009
    Software used: Acronis TI Home 2010 (and Drive Snapshot trial at the moment) + Fastcopy 1.99 (freeware).

    Backup location: 1.5 TeraByte external hard drive so space is not an issue.

    Frequency: Full backups after defrag or at least every 2 weeks. Aronis incremental backups of system partition every day or two.

    Strategy for non-system partitions: I use Fastcopy to copy everything in synchronize mode to a directory on the external hard drive. I use the following command line shortcut to copy my Z: partition to the external hard drive T:
    This is just a copy, no compression, but with 1.5 TB space is not an issue, and the advantage is that backups are always "incremental" in the synchronization sense, and therefore always fast (~5 min for 66 GB partition) even after defrags. I use USBDLM to maintain USB drive names, so T: refers to my 1.5 TB external hard drive whenever it's plugged in.

    Strategy for system partition: After a defrag or at least every 2 weeks, I make a fresh backup with Acronis (~30 minutes) followed by incremental backups each day that take ~3 minutes each. I try to keep the system partition small and only install programs to it that I either use daily, or that need to operate in boot mode or such.

    The reason I've been playing around with Drive Snapshot is because it can do a full backup in ~15 minutes in VSS mode (Acronis can too, but only if I run it from BartPE). However, Drive Snapshot doesn't have the incremental option so that's why I don't switch to it altogether.
  18. Threedog

    Threedog Registered Member

    Mar 20, 2005
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    A lot of programs and ideas. I might change my strategy a little bit. Thanks for posting.
  19. thegoat

    thegoat Registered Member

    Mar 12, 2010
    Mine is very simple, and doesn't involve any imaging software.

    I pretty much only ever save files and folders worth keeping to either Desktop or My Documents. Therefore I simply make copies of these 2 directories on to an external offline hard drive every so often.

    If my primary hard drive dies, I'd need to re-install Windows anyway, and more than likely update all my programs, as newer versions of various programs are released all the time.
  20. Defcon

    Defcon Registered Member

    Jul 5, 2006
    I'm currently using a very simple solution which is not as sophisticated as the others here -

    - OS is on C:\ partition, all user profile folders are on d:\Data, all portable apps are on d:\Apps
    - all data is backed up online using Live Mesh (to cloud and laptop), dropbox and Mozy
    - all static data (music, movies etc) is backed up periodically to external usb using SyncToy.
    - I took a Windows image backup after everything was installed

    That's it. I don't have a single restore, but if things go bad, I will simply reinstall my apps (Office, Visual Studio etc) and the data gets resynched when I go online. It will take longer than a simple restore but I don't have to worry about anything and the backups happen automatically. Using online services also lets me keep multiple pc's synced so things like my documents, bookmarks, firefox profile are all shared.
  21. dcrowe0050

    dcrowe0050 Registered Member

    Sep 1, 2009
    Macrium Reflect Full: Full Image every two weeks with daily incrementals, always keep 1 copy of the backups on an external Hard Drive, and another copy on a network shared computer. Also I always keep an updated full system image on a DVD and a copy of the latest system image on a separate partition within my main HDD.

    Backup4All for file backup. It is used to backup everything from my important projects and documents and settings for just about all apps on my computer.
    Important Files or documents are backed up twice daily to an external hard drive and a network share.
    Settings, apps, all files that are related to a specific B4All plugin are backed up twice weekly to network shares and external hard drives.

    Pretty basic I think, but a setup that I will probably keep as long as these two programs are around.
  22. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    • The main players: ShadowProtect for Windows ; Clonezilla for Linux
    • Hardware: One internal h/drive & one external h/drive for system images and data.
    • When: usually on a whim, basically just when the time feels right.
  23. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

    May 15, 2004
    Eastern PA, USA
    Three desktops and three laptops LANned at home:

    - Retrospect Pro backup for system and data drives 4 days a week to USB externals with my desktop as server
    - Daily system drive secondary snapshots on each with FD-ISR with refresh of archive snapshots for all to desktop secondary internal drives the 3 alternate days
    - Windows Live Sync among secondary internal drives on desktops of documents and data for all
    - Image for Windows for all occasionally, including before significant changes or repartitioning

    I've had a few hardware failures over the last five or six years but have always been able to get things back like they were with this strategy during that time.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
  24. Hugger

    Hugger Registered Member

    Oct 27, 2007
    Hackensack, USA
    I'm using SP Desktop for system images and am taking a look at Backup4all.
    I'd like to know what you all are using for syncing your backups.
  25. 58115

    58115 Registered Member

    Jan 8, 2010
    I have most of my important data online. Personal Videos and pictures are saved at flickr and mails at Yahoo Mail (where I also save some other documents). Videos, pictures, docs and music are saved locally on my hard drive and USB sticks as well.

    I don't keep unimportant data like movies or so. I watch them and then delete them so there is not that much data that I have. All my data fits on two 32 GB sticks.
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