Disc Back-up / Image

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Longboard, Nov 19, 2004.

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  1. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Hello.
    Here I am here to try and pick your brains again :)

    I think my comp is about as "clean" and "organized" as it might get.
    (mostly thanks to advice and knowledge gained in these forums)

    I have been saving and gone off abd bought a little USB portable hard drive.
    Fantastic piece of hardware. Smaller than a ciggie pack, 40Gb.
    I am hoping for some advice about the best back-up, recovery, or imaging software and advice

    I would prefer not to have to re-load all my apps. Rather, hoping to be able just to re-load whole set-up . If possible.

    How long do hard drives last physically; spindle, media etc?

    Thanks
     
  2. nod32_9

    nod32_9 Guest

    Check out my posts on this thread:

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=55036

    Don't have any hands-on experience with those midget HDs. However, I doubt if they will last longer than a regular internal IDE HD (3 to 5 years).

    Performance, reliability, and price are at the top of my shopping list. That's why I only recommend internal IDE drives. You can put the internal IDE drive in a quick-release bracket for additional security.

    I have the ability to store my backup data on a removable HD. But I still rely mostly on the extended logical partition in the master HD for backup. A proactive approach is to replace the existing HD in your PC every 4 to 5 years. This strategy works well for me unless there is a fire or direct hit by Zeus! Actually, if the PC is properly connected to an earth-grounded receptacle, then your HD should remain safe.
     
  3. nod32_9

    nod32_9 Guest

  4. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Thanks.
    I appreciate your input.
    Not so worried about security, more concerned with proper back-up in event of hardware catastrophe or infestation and subsequent need for reformat/reload.

    Probably/possibly also occassional need to reformat to really clean out system?

    I'll check your threads and links.
     
  5. nod32_9

    nod32_9 Guest

    A sudden HD failure can happen, but this is very rare in a desktop environment. The user will often see a SMART alert prior to total HD failure. Restoring a good image file will overwrite PC bugs and gremlins.

    WXP is pretty resilient. Make sure you image the OS prior to any hardware/software modification. I simply restore the good image file to remove a bad application. No need to struggle with editing the registry and removing rogue DLLs.
     
  6. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Funny you should say that

    I have just been getting a S.M.A.R.T. message saying 'HD Bad replace"

    I have run disc check and all clear
    HD is about 18 months old

    Problem?
    Urgent problem?? :eek:
     
  7. nick s

    nick s Registered Member

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    Hi Longboard,

    I would treat it as urgent. If you have floppy/CD based diagnostics from the HD manufacturer, I would use them. I had two new Western Digitals fail within one year (no SMART alerts), which is why I only image to external drives. TeraByte's BootIt NG, Image for Windows, and Image for DOS are all working very well for me.

    Nick
     
  8. nod32_9

    nod32_9 Guest

    Definitely time to replace the HD. Could be a bad batch of WD HDs. The quality control on newer WD drives can be spotty. We used to call IBM drives "Deathstar". Maxtors and Seagates have always performed well for me.

    There is very little difference between internal and external HDs. External HDs may contain a more robust spindle to absorb shock during use. Vertically-mounted HDs tend to fail more often than horizontally-mounted HDs due to the load pattern on the main bearing assembly. You will find horizontally-mounted HDs in cheap and/or compact PCs.

    Here's another 80GB WD with 8MB cache for $40.... I normally look for a drive with 5 yrs warranty.

    http://www.circuitcity.com/ccd/cate...BV_EngineID=ccckaddddljegjmcfngcfkmdffhdffk.0
     
  9. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Thanks guys.
    Appreciate your time.
    As time might be running out for my disc,
    What do I do now?
    How can I get my finally composed, protected, adjusted and speedy little system and apps with all data etc off to another drive??

    Help!!!

    I have a new version of Ghost in the box waiting to go, I am willing to shoot off to the shops or the web to get other software if there is another option,( have cable) and I have new USB HD with 40GB (more than enough) just out of the box waiting for an excuse!
     
  10. nick s

    nick s Registered Member

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    Since you have Ghost, install it and see if it works with your USB HD. Ghost 2003 always worked well for me and my USB 2.0 Seagate HD. Image your HD and look for a replacement. HD manufacturer's diagnostic disks can often generate RMA requests, which you can use to replace HDs under warranty.

    Nick
     
  11. bigbuck

    bigbuck Registered Member

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    Saw those little HDDs when I was buying my external Seagate 80Gb, they are quite nifty..very portable too. I opted for the big fella. I think I would get an image down quick in any case. I am using Network Ghost V8 INTEL which I got from work .Anyway it came on two (only) floppys. I boot from 1 then put in 2 and twenty minutes later I have cloned the HDD....I can clone back anytime I've got a problem. It is a great way to backup..and quite inexpensive too...cost me about $200 for the external drive in a caddy with usb & firewire.
    Cheers,
    Brad.
     
  12. nod32_9

    nod32_9 Guest

    I just read a horror story about the new GHOST software. My advice is to return Ghost ASAP.

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?p=304846#post304846

    Get another brand new HD and connect it to the slave connector of the primary IDE cable. The primary IDE cable connects your current HD to the motherboard. The primary IDE cable has a master connector (hooked up to your master HD) and a slave connector (should be unused if you have one internal HD). Set the jumper on the back of BOTH HDs to CABLE SELECT.

    The new HD should come with a disc cloning software. Follow the EXACT instruction to copy data from your old HD to the new HD. Generally, you will need to shut down the PC after disc cloning. DO NOT REBOOT YET. Remove the old HD and replace it with the newly cloned HD. Reboot PC.
     
  13. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Thanks for the responses.
    Have read that last thread with some alarm.

    ( I dont even know the difference between RAID and SATA, get the picture)

    Used Ghost. 90 minutes to create back-up of 16GB to USB2 HD.
    Looks ok on browser.

    Obviously many people unhappy with Acronis and Ghost

    Had not realised that "copy disc" meant the whole disc, free space and all, ie need bigger hard drive than current internal drive.

    Will investigate other software Terabyte? and may have to check on second proper external drive for copying.

    Thanks again guys. Keep the suggestions coming or should we just continue following the textbook growing at the other thread?

    The Maxtor disc with the "one button copy" sounds interesting.

    Always so many little bits of extra complicated info hiding inside the packet!! and so much to find out after getting the software and then talking to other users.
     
  14. nod32_9

    nod32_9 Guest

    Most disc cloning software will only copy the data. Therefore, you could transfer 20GB of data in a 200GB HD to a new 30 GB HD.
     
  15. jwcca

    jwcca Registered Member

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    Here's what I use:
    a) Primary HDD is Raid 1, provides instant protection from failure
    of a single drive
    b) I use Western Digital 36GB Raptors, 5 year warranty for reliability
    c) a spare WD drive in case one of the Raid 1 drives fails, installed
    immediately in array awaiting replacement of failed drive
    -plus-
    d) Copy Raid 1 image to bootable IDE HDD of 'same' size (40GB),
    weekly, in case both Raid drives fail at the same time or
    malicious code corrupts entire Raid array contents.
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    To Copy:
    Power OFF, connect IDE backup, insert V-Com diskette or CD
    Power ON, (change BIOS to boot from CD if appropriate),
    run Copy Commander (DOS MODE app) and
    copy (my time=45 minutes, total=7.4GB for 4 partitions
    c:=4.5GB, d:=692MB, e:=2.2GB, f:=64MB)
    Power OFF, disconnect backup IDE,
    Power ON to a normal session with primary Raid
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    If the Raid is totally messed up, boot to backup IDE:
    Power OFF, disconnect Raid drives, connect IDE backup,
    Power ON and your up and running. Time=5 minutes.
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    Reverse the Copy process if you need to copy the IDE to the Raid.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    There is an option to ignore empty space, but the Copy copies all data, incl.
    the MBR, so the source can't have more data than the target can hold.

    Jim
     
  16. nod32_9

    nod32_9 Guest

    RAIDs consume CPU clock time. And you need a powerful PC to run RAIDs. If you have limited time, $, and PC know how, then the best option is to backup things that OFTEN GO WRONG...the OS! By keeping the OS as small as possible, I can QUICKLY backup/restore my PC with MINIMUM amount of user input. KISS.

    I see people on this forum looking for a 100% solution. Well, there ain't no such thing. I think it's silly to bog down my system by running multiple applications in the background to filter out 97% of baddies. Use common sense and don't play with fire if you don't want to visit the hospital. My strategy works well for 99% of the time. Yeah, your HD could fail. Yeah, your PC could blow up. Yeah, you could die tomorrow.

    Do the right thing, take responsibility for your actions, and live below your means. Always remember that what goes around, comes around.
     
  17. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    NOD32:
    THanks for following this.

    Agree that one can be too paranoid about hardware failure.

    What copy software do you like?
     
  18. bigbuck

    bigbuck Registered Member

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    Really? Takes me about 25mins by firewire to clone my 16Gb of data from 80Gb HD to ext 80Gb HD
     
  19. nick s

    nick s Registered Member

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    Could have something to do with compression level. Never tried high compression with Ghost 2003. At medium compression, I image and verify 17Gb of data in less than 30 minutes.

    Nick
     
  20. nod32_9

    nod32_9 Guest

    I use Bootit ng. A modern system should be able to process data (high compression) north of 1.5GB/min (partition to partition transfer...same HD). I don't mess around with Hi-Speed USB or Firewire when working with image file. They are too slow. A removable internal IDE HD is fast and convenient. Did I also mentioned the low cost?
     
  21. nick s

    nick s Registered Member

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    Although BootIt NG is my imaging app of choice, it is not able to image direct to CD/DVD without using BingBurn (free from TeraByte) within Windows. If the additional functions of BootIt NG are not required, Image for DOS works just as well and can burn images directly.

    Nick
     
  22. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    I will tell you what I use for backups and what I think of it:

    I use Dantz Retrospect (and just a free semi-stripped down version that came with my external firewire/USB 2.0 drive).
    Apparantly I am the only one who posts at Wilders who uses it, but...
    They have been making backup software probably as long as anyone.
    Its very simple to use, and I must say I cannot understand the focus on HOW MANY MINUTES TO MAKE THE INITIAL BACK-UP. I don't know about other software, but with this software, subsequent backups only the changes. So I could to a "complete backup" now in 2 minutes.
    You have the option to verify (wise)
    to compress (preference)
    password protect (actually, never tried it)
    you can schedule backups, for every shutdown, or period of time (i like manual)
    you can backup a partition or partions to another harddrive or partition or CD's (sorry but i'm not into feeding a couple hundred CD's)
    technicly it does not backup to DVD, however nothing to stop you from copying the backupset from a hard drive to dvd provided it fits on a DVD.
    Recovery is quick and easy (my standards)

    It has saved my A__ many times.
    will not require hours of study to figure out.

    If this is the stripped down version, someday I want to see what the full version can do!

    okay, thats enough selling for Retrospect.


    I liked Nod 32 9's advice twice in one thread!

    1 about duplicating the hd drive with a second internal (if you feel the end is near for the first drive.

    2-about a 100% solution being not practical.

    [a backup preferably not on the same physical drive is more than most people have]

    Oh, I will say this, while external drives may have some disadvantages, they have a Major Advantage as I see it. They do not need to run at all except when you use them. Compared to an internal HDD that will run every time you boot up until...well, it wears out.


    - HandsOff
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2004
  23. nod32_9

    nod32_9 Guest

    You can convert an internal HD to a quick-release external HD by mounting it in a $15 quick-release bracket. I don't run two HDs at the same time...too noisy and too much heat load for the PC.

    I'm not a fan of "incremental imaging" because if the MASTER image file goes KAPUT, then you're in a world of hurt. It's much safer to have a bunch of 350MB windows image files to restore from.
     
  24. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    nod32_9

    Since I have never used another backup method I was unaware of how different they can be! I don't know if incremental backup quite describes it. In Retrospect if you back up a 5 GB partition the result is usually a little over 5 GB. this is the "back up set". a small component of it is the "catalog file" and it does create what the program refers to as an "image".

    What the second and later backups do is to

    - read all the files on the partition being backed up
    - compare them to the catalog of files of the backup set
    - then copy the changed or new files to the target drive and update the catalog.
    - then it actually compares each file (even the unchanged ones, i believe)
    - then it builds a new image file to save

    I guess, considering this it is not practical to do any other way than HDD to second HDD. Maybe thats why i'm the only one who uses it!

    but......

    again not knowing how the others do it, there are several huge benefits.

    i'll just name one. If I delete ANY file on my system I can go to my backup and retrieve just that one file.

    -HandsOff
     
  25. richrf

    richrf Registered Member

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    I am using Image for DOS by Terabyte to create an image on an external USB hard drive. Seems to be very reliable (the image is copied under DOS instead of Windows) and straightforward. I think the documentation could be a bit better though.

    Rich
     
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