Am I planning for PDM 12 correctly?

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by howdego, Jul 29, 2012.

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  1. howdego

    howdego Registered Member

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    I am about to purchase PDM 12 and I have scanned the user manual to help me set a backup strategy thereafter. Still, I remain confused about a couple of things that I hope the group can help me to clear these things up.
    I have installed a new 1TB hard disk in my computer (Disk 1) as a second drive and I have a 1.5TB external drive (disk 2) dedicated for file and folder backups. I thought I would first move all my obvious data folders (pictures, music, docs, etc) from the primary drive (300 Mb disk 0, which is nearly full) to internal drive 1. Internal drive 1 would become the repository where I will save all my date files and folders. Then I would defrag the primary drive (I guess with the Vista defrag tool as PDM 12 apparently does not have one) and then copy all the system and application programs to a backup capsule on internal drive 1 using PDM 12. I guess that I would manually replace this copy of my system once a quarter or so.

    I would set up PDM 12 to establish a base of the folders I save data to on disk 1 onto on the external drive 2, and set it to automatically save changes to that base every couple of days. Every 6 months, I would copy all the folders again from disk 1 to disk 0 to establish a new base and delete the old base, so I never outgrow my external disk.

    So my questions are as follows:

    1. Am I using the software properly and far as functionality and strategy for use?
    2. When I move my data to the internal drive, can I tell Outlook from then on save the PST file to disk 1?
    3. When I establish the backup capsule, and copy from my primary disk 0 to it, does PDM just copy the files, or does it copy everything on the disk, thereby requiring a 300 MB folder?
    4. If it copies everything, could I build a partition encompassing all the software on disk 0 (say 100Mb) and just put that partition into the capsule?
    5. Can I replace the system in the backup capsule periodically as I plan?
    6. I figure I would use the backup folder option rather than the sectors option. When I backup from internal disk 1 to the external drive 2 using the backup folder option, does PDM use the differential scheme or the incremental scheme? I was told that the non-pro version only does differential, and I guess that would be OK.
    7. If I have the recovery disk made by PDM, would I restore the primary drive from the capsule if it crashed? Should the internal disk crash, I would use PDM to restore the folders onto it or the replacement from the external drive.

    I know that this is a lot of help to ask for, but I am very concerned about backing up properly and can’t get myself to purchase the software until I know how I will use it. Your information would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Paragon_Matt

    Paragon_Matt Paragon Moderator

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    Could you please clarify what PDM 12 is? I am unfamiliar with that TLA for paragon products.
     
  3. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    There seems to be little interest in answering your post so I will subject you to my opinions. Yes, that is exactly what they are and there is no single right way of doing backups. The main thing is you do have backups and I emphasize the plural because nothing says a backup is always perfect or the device it is on can develop bad sectors - which has happened to me causing me to go back 3 backups for a good one.

    For important files:
    First thing to remember is that your personally created data files are not available anywhere at any price so they must be backed up with care.

    If you have paid data files such as music you may or may not be able to re-download them if necessary.

    Windows and Apps can always be reloaded if you have your installation media, downloaded app files and necessary serial numbers etc stored where you can find them. May be a PITA but it can be reloaded.

    You mentioned the backup capsule. It is not necessary to use it to store archives but it may or may not provide you with some functionality. I can't comment further because I never use it. The capsule is really intended for people who have one HD on their PC and it is all one partition. Setting up the capsule just creates a second partition out of the free space. Remember that if the HD that the capsule resides on fails the backups are gone as well.

    In post 15 of the attached link you will see how I do things which may give you some insight into the backup process as I see it. Feel free to disagree because backups are not a one-size fits all.

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=328009

    If yo want to restore a bootable system you have to make an image not just a file backup. Restoring all the files onto a new drive will not make it bootable.

    When an image is made, Paragon only copies the in-use sectors so it will be smaller than the partition size even if you don't compress. If you use Raw mode then the program will copy all the sectors - this is useful if Paragon can't make sense of the disk structure because it is unsupported or corrupted but normally is not done.

    Hth
     
  4. howdego

    howdego Registered Member

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    Matt,

    I should have said PHDM 12, I guess, to mean Paragon Hard Disk Manager 12 Suite.
     
  5. howdego

    howdego Registered Member

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    Seekforever,

    I much appreciate your response to my post. I want to do my backups correctly the first time and I was really getting frustrated. But your link to a previous well constructed post of yours has been a great help. Clearly, your approach is much like the one I am proposing, as I described. I do have some questions however:

    1. I read that the advantage of the backup capsule is that it acts like a hidden partition, thereby giving it the advantage some additional protection from malware, etc. which a separate basic partition may not enjoy. It also appears that it can be placed on a second, non boot drive (my second internal drive in my case) where I will keep my files and folders. Hence, I could do an image copy to the capsule on that drive, and in case of a need to restore, start my computer from the recovery disk and use the Paragon restore program (or not, I am not there yet in my research) to replace the corrupted OS with the one from the capsule. Maybe you or someone else who may read this post could verify that that will work?
    2. As I stated in my original post, I thought I would use paragon to backup my files and folders from my internal second hard disk to my external drive automatically, using Paragon. I see you backup your files with Synchback. If you have Paragon, why don’t you use that?
    3. I was looking at the Paragon manual again and found another utility called the Split Partition Wizard which would help to separate, gather and move files and folders for relocation to another disk. But the instructions seem to say that it cannot get folders from the Users folder, which is where I have the MY documents and My Pictures stored. Maybe I am reading it wrong. Have you any knowledge of this function?

    Thank you again for your attention to my dilemma. I hope to hear from you again
     
  6. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Yes, the capsule will offer a bit of protection from malware but the risk of it attaching itself to an archive backup is very low particularly if it is not on the C drive. Restoring the corrupted OS will be done with the recovery disk as you describe and the archive will be selected regardless of where it is stored. Acronis called their "capsule" the "Secure Zone" for the reason that it also is a hidden partition which means it was not likely to be accidently fooled with. Unfortunately the name gave many a false sense of security which is why I mentioned if the disk crashes it is gone too. Putting the capsule on the second drive is a good idea.


    I don't want to put my files into a proprietary container file where there is a risk, albeit small, that a problem with the file can render all of the archive unreadable. I also like to be able to go to my backup location and without any extra steps see my files and folders in their native format and structure.



    Sorry, no knowledge of this function at all. Although I haven't done it I've heard that some people do move their My Documents etc to another location and IIRC the instructions on how to this are on the Microsoft site and possibly others. As you probably saw in my referenced post I just use these areas as temporary locations and anything important I move to my own folder setup.

    You're welcome.
     
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