How best to configure backups?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by David07666, Oct 27, 2006.

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  1. David07666

    David07666 Registered Member

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    I'm new to TI and just installed TI 10 and I'm still a bit confused on some things. My goals are (1) to be able to restore the complete system in the event of a catastrophic failure, of course, but also (2) to be able to get back previous versions of files or files that were accidently deleted, and I'm not clear on how best to do this. I understand that I can mount the disk image and get back individual files, but is this the best way to achieve my second goal? In other words, should I simply backup the partition image and keep incrementals/differentials of that........or should I ALSO do folder level backups of, eg, the MyDocuments folder, in addition to the partition image

    I have a fairly low volume of updates on my system and would aim to be able to go back, say, 2 weeks or maybe a month looking for old documents.

    My system is as follows:
    XP Pro
    PC's HDD = 80 gb
    USD HDD = 250 GB

    Also, do most people run incrementals or differentials? How long of an incremental chain is thought to be reasonably safe?
     
  2. Ralphie

    Ralphie Registered Member

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    It's really tough to define "reasonably safe" when talking about True Image backups. Personally I do not like incrementals because of the "chain" of files that is produced. And you know what they say about a chain and its strength. I also do not like backing up files with True Image. I simply copy the folders and files I want to backup, using windows explorer. If I want to compress those folders and files to save space I use the built in winzip in XP to do so.
    And to answer your first concern, do a complete disk backup to another hard drive, either internal or external. If you have the resources, you can also try a Clone, instead of a disk backup, to see if that will work for you. Whichever method you use, be sure to give it the acid test. In the case of a disk backup, Restore/Recover the image to another drive (not your original) and make sure it works. And for the Clone, make sure the Clone boots just like the original.
     
  3. David07666

    David07666 Registered Member

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    I guess that the only way to do that in my environment (1 internal HDD, 1 USB HDD) would be to partition my USB HDD into 2, eg f: and g:, write the image to f: then recover to g:? Does that sound right?

    And I guess I would have to try the same thing --- is it even possible to boot from a USD HDD?
     
  4. Ralphie

    Ralphie Registered Member

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    Booting from a usb hard drive has to be a feature in the bios. Recovering to a partition (g) on the usb drive will not work. Really, for peace of mind, it is best to get another hard drive that you can install in the computer for these tests. If you want to make it easy to install and remove the drive, there are removable racks for about $10 to $15 that would facilitate this.
     
  5. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    You can boot a USB drive if like Ralphie says the BIOS supports it. However, Windows XP does not support being booted from a USB drive.
     
  6. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    If you image your drive infrequently, chances are that after a restore you'll be missing some personal files.

    To avoid that, you can either separately copy My Documents more often (with Explorer or TI files/folders) or you can create a new disk/partition image just prior to restore. No problem if Windows is by then corrupted or you have just contracted a virus: that last image will only be needed for later mounting and copying back the personal files missing in the image you will restore. After that the last image will be discarded, being unfit for restore.

    In the case of infection, you can even scan the appropriate folders on the mounted virtual drive to verify that the virus hasn't spread to the files you are going to copy.
     
  7. David07666

    David07666 Registered Member

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    But is it better to do incrementals/differentials of the image vs of eg MyDocuments/
     
  8. bVolk

    bVolk Registered Member

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    I prefer frequent imaging, so it's all there and I can apply the same procedure every time. No pondering over what should be done when. Also, I always do full images, but for me it takes only 3 min to image the system partition (with My Documents within it) and 3 more to validate.

    If your My Documents change much while the Windows and programs settings do not (the opposite of my case) you may go for a combined approach.
     
  9. foghorne

    foghorne Registered Member

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    Hi David07666

    I personally prefer to use backup imaging. I believe this is better for a system partition, but I understand why some might want to file-backup their personal data.

    However I have all my personal data on a different partition (e.g. Outlook files, address books, My Documents, I.E Links, History, Cookies etc). It is possible to keep this partition relatively small - even though there are five or six user accounts on the system. This makes daily full image backups very quick. I image backup my system drive less frequently about once a week.

    It is important that you don't save you backups to the same physical drive as the one being backed up - if it crashes it will take your backups with it. Also, I suggest making periodic second (or third) copies of important backups to another media again - Perhaps CD/DVD or another disk drive. They can sometime fail to restore.

    F.
     
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