Free backup/restore software I should check out?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by HJO, Apr 1, 2010.

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  1. HJO

    HJO Guest

    Hi,
    Can you please give me a list of reliable free backup/restore software
    that I should check out?
    Thanks in advance. :oops:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2010
  2. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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  3. Dermot7

    Dermot7 Registered Member

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  4. mistycat

    mistycat Registered Member

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  5. pajenn

    pajenn Registered Member

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    If by backup/restore software you mean programs that make a complete image of a partition or hard drive, then the best free one at the moment is in my opinion is Macrium Reflect Free Edition.

    Other free ones include: SelfImage, DriveImage XML, and Easeus Todo Backup
     
  6. HJO

    HJO Guest

    Macrium Reflect looks interesting.
    How is its performance?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2010
  7. pajenn

    pajenn Registered Member

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    Performance is very good - fast and relatively light on resources - the only software that I've seen outperform Macrium on some computers is Drive Snapshot, which is not free.

    The main limitation of the the free version is that you cannot make incremental backups (only full ones) and the BartPE plugin for it doesn't let you create offline backups - but you can start with a 30-day trial of the full version and make the BartPE plugin with that (not sure if the plugins functionality expires too after 30-days). Or you can just use SelfImage with BartPE for your offline backup needs.
     
  8. andyman35

    andyman35 Registered Member

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    +1 :thumb:
    The plugin doesn't cease working after 30 days.;)
     
  9. Dregg Heda

    Dregg Heda Registered Member

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    By offline backups do you mean "cold" imaging, ie creating an image via the recovery disk?
     
  10. pajenn

    pajenn Registered Member

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    Yes.

    But to clarify, Macrium offers 2 types of recovery disks. The first is a small ~8 MB linux-based recovery disk that just let's you do recoveries even with the full version. The second is a BartPE* (Windows XP based) recovery disk which is at least 120 MB, and with the full version at least, can be used for backups.

    An activated full version also let's you download a ready-to-go WinPE recovery disk builder so you don't have to deal with BartPE.

    *BartPE builder is a free program that let's you convert Windows XP source files into a Windows Preinstall Environment recovery disk. Most backup/recovery softwares offer a BartPE plugin to let you run their programs off your BartPE disk. I've heard of VistaPE and maybe there's Win7PE too, but I haven't tried builds based on those.
     
  11. Dregg Heda

    Dregg Heda Registered Member

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    Alright, thanks for clarifying Pajenn!
     
  12. Zeena

    Zeena Registered Member

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    Hi :)

    Despite having a spare 320 GB hard drive just sitting in my bedroom cupboard.
    So Far.. I've never been brave enough to try Disk Cloning / Disk Copying etc :oops:

    But for normal Files, Folder, Photos, etc.
    I Use... Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTU3NTM2MzE5
    Dropbox = Back Up - & - Sync! :cool:
     
  13. Dundertaker

    Dundertaker Registered Member

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    Hi;

    If you have either a Seagate or Western Digital hdd then you can download their freeware version of Acronis True Image. Works fine with me.

    Try it.
     
  14. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    .
    I like the free version of Paragon Backup & Restore 10 which I use mainly for full disk imaging. It includes an ISO for creating a boot CD/DVD for image Restore.
     
  15. HJO

    HJO Guest

    OK.
    Man, I do not know which to use.
    Paragon Backup & Restore 10 or Macrium Reflect.
    Are both reliable?
    Thanks in advance,
     
  16. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    Both Paragon and Macrium are good names. No backup program can be guaranteed to work on your system. I mean there is only one way to find out, namely to create an image and restore it on the spot. I wouldn't do it though if you don't have the original Windows installation CD, just in case the restore would fail.
     
  17. HJO

    HJO Guest

    Thanks.
    I guess I should try it out myself.
     
  18. GlobalForce

    GlobalForce Regular Poster

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    Is there any other way? Don't guess. What works for you might not work for me - shoot!
     
  19. HJO

    HJO Guest

    +1
    I totally agree.
     
  20. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    For imaging, I've tried out both Paragon Backup and Recovery Free Edition 10.1 and Macrium Reflect Free v4.2.2525 on Windows 7 x64. After detailed testing of both products, I've decided to use Macrium Reflect Free. Paragon Backup and Recovery Free has some important features that Macrium Reflect Free doesn't, such as differential backup. However, Paragon Backup and Recovery Free has various bugs, annoyances, design issues, and other issues. Macrium Reflect, on the other hand, is good in all areas IMHO. If anyone wants further details, I'll post more information on my experiences with these two programs.

    For file-based backups, I plan to use Areca Backup.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2010
  21. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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  22. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    Hi Mr Brian

    Ref the link to the article on Imaging software http://dottech.org/featured/11628

    I found this article in general weak and insubstantial and potentially quite misleading to those seeking genuine advice.

    Although one of his conclusions ie that of being supportive of Macrium Reflect I wholeheartedly support it. It's simple reliable and relatively bug free.

    Where I do take issue with the author, is Paragon Backup 10 Free. It is extremely buggy and this is from personal experience. I have reported several examples of bugs on the Wilders forum. If you look at the number of issues raised in the forum I draw the conclusion that Paragon is poor beta quality. Bearing in mind the initial release was October/Nov 2009 many bugs still remain

    With Paragon backup you cannot easily produce or download a BartPE plugin (unless it has changed in the last few days) you have to jump through hoops to modify a download from their website to get it it to work as a plugin. That is if you can find the download.

    All in all, if you compare the professional approach of Macrium wherebye from one download you can install on PC and produce a recovery CD that works, the BartPE plugin is injected into the BartPE installation folder, with that of of jumping through hoops with Paragon its a no brainer which is the better.

    Yes Paragon Backup 10 Free has much more features than Macrium, but that is only beneficial if you need them, and if they work. For example on the plain vanilla recovery CD and installed Paragon it is only possible to produce an image that splits images. There is a bug that stops you producing a single file.

    The only way round this is to upgrade and download the WinPE ISO and use this recovery CD which will make a single image instead of a split image.

    So don't assume that these reviewers do actually use "due diligence" when reviewing. Finally, I found Todo Backup much less buggy than Paragon, but agreed with the author on all other aspects of Todo.

    Terry
     
  23. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    Hi Terry,

    Thank you for your feedback. You and I seem to agree on our personal observations about both Macrium Reflect Free and Paragon Backup and Recovery Free. IMHO, Paragon Backup and Recovery Free has too many bugs and other issues, while Macrium Reflect Free is a high quality product. My personal opinions weren't influenced by the article that I referenced.
     
  24. Technic

    Technic Registered Member

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    Macrium Reflect. I have restored my images successfully several times.
     
  25. presrc

    presrc Registered Member

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    I've been using (both backup and restore) the utilities included with windows 7. It's fast, easy and so far reliable. So if you are using windows 7, try it.
     
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