Advice for backing up my system and data

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by soyelmango, Oct 2, 2006.

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  1. soyelmango

    soyelmango Registered Member

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    Hi all,

    I've learnt the hard way that I should backup my data, after suffering a lost .pst last week!

    My set up is:
    PC with AMD Athlon X2
    2gb RAM
    C: 80gb, OS and programs only
    D: 2x150gb, as a mirrored hardware RAID, data only
    Windows XP pro, SP2 and up to date patches
    Antivir Personal Edition Premium and various on-demand anti-spyware progs.
    Day to day running in a user level account

    I tried to install a trial of Acronis True Image, but that BSOD'd my system during installation. Add to that the fact that many people at the support forum are having trouble with it, and I'm quite certain I want to use a different product.

    I need something that will do the following:
    - daily scheduled incremental backups of my system and my data to an external drive.
    - keep dated backups so that if I accidently alter/delete a document, I can revert to a previous backup of that file.
    - backup and restore my system, applications and data for all my accounts [1x administrator and 2x user]

    I'm certain that I don't want to use Symantec Ghost, because... because it's a Symantec product!

    Paragon Drive Backup Personal [http://www.drive-backup.com/home/personal/] looks good to me - does anyone have any experience [good or bad!] of using it?

    Or other suggestions?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. ravin

    ravin Registered Member

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  3. ravin

    ravin Registered Member

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    upon further investigation of the above link it's free to try and $147 to buy.
     
  4. nexstar

    nexstar Registered Member

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    For what it's worth, I'm currently using the following strategy:

    RollBack RX which can be configured to take hourly snapshots if needed but I tend to let it take daily snapshots and at other times based on events eg when a file called setup.exe is executed.
    Drive Snapshot images my partitions locally. The images are copied to a removable disk and also archived to DVD and stored remotely. It doesn't have a built-in scheduler but can be simpy automated using the Windows scheduler. It does differential backups if required.
    Handy Backup I use to backup and/or synchronise files and folders to another location, normally on a second disk locally but also to a networked PC and also to some ftp storage online which I use to synchronise between home and work. It is very versatile and has a good scheduler. I tend to synchronise important stuff to one PC on the network and then let Mozy archive it online.
    Mozy backs up your selected files remotely. It includes 2GB for free and 30GB for not much more! I've not been using this for long but I'm quite pleased with the way it works.

    None of this may be of any use to you, but it may be food for thought:)
     
  5. TheQuest

    TheQuest Registered Member

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    Hi, soyelmango

    No advice as such.

    Most products do not have Support Forums they are to scared. :rolleyes:

    Acronis does as you know, to help solve almost any problems. :eek:

    So what best? o_O

    Take Care,
    TheQuest :cool:
     
  6. soyelmango

    soyelmango Registered Member

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    Hi Nextstar,

    Thanks for the recommendations.

    Drive Snapshot looks like the right thing, as it fulfils my need to do differential image backups. And I particularly like that it's a standalone executable - good and clean.

    Rollback RX looks even more powerful - though I'm less keen because it looks like it hooks deep into the system, which often worries me. In your experience, has it been stable without impacting performance much?

    Best wishes.
     
  7. soyelmango

    soyelmango Registered Member

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    The problems I read about there are too serious: invalid backups, BSODs...

    But yes, it's true, at least they have a proper Acronis-supported forum, unlike Paragon, who charge a ridiculous US$99 per separate issue. That's enough to make me avoid buying a Paragon product.
     
  8. nexstar

    nexstar Registered Member

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    They both have fully-functioning demos so it is always worth testing them out first in your own setup.

    I have used GoBack in the past and stopped when the usable history became so short that it was out-weighed by the impact that GB had on the system resources. RollBack works differently. It doesn't set aside a buffer and it doesn't constantly monitor the hard disk activity. It just takes snapshots when you tell it to do so or have scheduled it to do so. Those snapshots typically take less than 10 seconds to record and so the impact on the system is negligible.

    I may be wrong about this, but I think it works by making sure that sectors on the hard disk which contain files connected with any snapshots are not overwritten. That way, it only uses the disk space that it needs to, without duplicating any data.

    I can only speak from my own experience, but I have not had any problems with it at all....so far:)
     
  9. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    There are several long threads on the subject. I'd read them carefully, and then you can draw your own conclusions.

    Pete

    PS I've stopped using Rollback because I share your same concerns, and also it doesn't officially support Raid 0. You might also consider FDISR, but remember these aren't backup programs. Another very reliable backup program is Image for Windows/Image for DOS. Terabyeunlimited
     
  10. Johnny123

    Johnny123 Registered Member

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    To back up your data to another drive download SyncToy from the MS XP PowerToys, it works very well and the price is right (free). If you haven't already done so, partition your drive so that you can store files like your .pst separate from the OS partition. Unless the whole drive dies, you'll still have your data even if C:\ gets hosed.

    I wouldn't dismiss Ghost just because it's from Symantec. I've been using Ghost 2003 for quite a while and although it doesn't have all the bells and whistles TrueImage has, it does what it says on the tin. I've never had a corrupt image and it's never screwed up a restore, and it's faster than TI. If you google around you can get very cheap copies of SystemWorks 2003 (at Amazon, for example) and you can extract the Ghost setup files from the .iso so that you don't have to install any of the other junk.
     
  11. soyelmango

    soyelmango Registered Member

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    Thank you everyone for your very helpful tips.

    At the moment, Drive Snapshot looks like my favourite. I like that it makes differential images, and has an image explorer to pick out what I'd want to restore.
    The only thing I'll have to do now is learn how to write MSDOS batch files for Task Scheduler :blink:

    I want to make a batch file that will make a weekly full image and daily differentials, and then delete old image files as the backup disk gets too full. Wish me luck! I think the server-grade backup products do that kind of thing out of the box, but as a home user, they're far beyond my budget...
     
  12. nexstar

    nexstar Registered Member

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    Not wishing to spoil your fun;) , but you might find it helpful to look at this post.
     
  13. soyelmango

    soyelmango Registered Member

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    Geez, THANKS Nexstar, that's cost me a few weeks of fun :p
    That might be just what I'm looking for. I'll have to investigate and modify that to do what I want, and I'll post the results here.
     
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