Looking for backup software that does the following..

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Defcon, Nov 9, 2007.

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  1. Defcon

    Defcon Registered Member

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    I have tried a few backup/imaging products and still haven't found something that meets my needs. I would like the ideal software to have the following :-

    1. backup in non proprietary format - I should be able to browse the backup through other tools like explorer

    2. CDP - my data should be backed up continuously. If its being backed up to an external drive/network, the backup should combine all changes when the backup drive is connected.

    3. Point in time recovery - should be able to combine incremental backups to show me the backup state at any given time

    4. automatically manage backup sizes - hourly backups for a day, daily for a week etc.

    5. reliable and robust with no performance impact

    I realize this sounds like the feature list of TimeMachine in Leopard or previous versions in Vista. Is there any backup program for Windows that comes close?
     
  2. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I would start with trialing ShadowProtect Desktop v3 of StorageCraft. Always begin at the top, then the comparison is easier with other Image Backup softwares.
    http://www.storagecraft.com/products/ShadowProtectDesktop/
    "Request Full Evaluation" otherwise you won't have a Recovery CD.
    The Recovery CD also allows you to install SPD under Windows, so it has a double usage.

    SPD is fast and very reliable. Clock the backup and restore time and write them down and compare them later with other Image Backup softwares, there are so many of them (I couldn't find a faster one).
    See if it meets most of your wishes, if not you can always trial another one.
    It has full, incremental and scheduled backups, you can mount and dismount image files to restore individual files (explorer).
    It does more, but I can't write the complete User Manual in a post, no time. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2007
  3. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    Your first requirement is a hard one IMO.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2007
  4. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    You can't browse through an image file directly with Windows Explorer :
    1. You first have to DISMOUNT the image file to a drive letter of your choice. SPD has a wizard to do this comfortable.
    2. Then you can use Windows Explorer to browse through the folders and files under the chosen drive letter.
    3. After you are finished, you have to MOUNT the image file, which is even more easier. The drive letter is gone in Windows Explorer after mounting.

    I've done this a few times and it works. Peanuts :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2007
  5. Pinga

    Pinga Registered Member

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  6. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    At first sight, this is a backup software for DATA files only.
    Can you backup your system (Windows + Applications) with it also ?
     
  7. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    No need to answer my question, quote from the FAQ :

    So it can't do a reliable backup of your system, it's a file backup software, not an image backup software.
     
  8. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    With the imaging program DriveSnapshot it also mounts the image and then you can BROWSE/COPY/CUT etc. to your heart's content.

    But it won't help you with #2, 3 or 4 though i'm afraid.

    Although #5 is another of it's complimentary advantages.

    I use it in combo with Paragon Drive BackUp Pro which is contains many useful features to keep images updated regularly etc.
     
  9. Defcon

    Defcon Registered Member

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    I looked at some imaging programs like TrueImage, Paragon, ShadowProtect etc and they all seem fairly similar as far as the feature set goes. Let me try and explain what I want -

    Lets say I have a data partition of 300GB. I want to backup to a 500gb external drive. I can setup the program to take incrementals every day. Now lets say its a week later and I want to find a file from 3 days ago.

    Will I be able to just mount the incremental from that day and then see all 300gb of my data, or will it only show the changed files on that day?

    What if I wanted to restore my system to that date - will the backup program have to combine the incrementals with the baseline and is this process reliable? What if an incemental in the middle goes bad? I have read recommendations on this site that due to this very reason its advisable to take full or at least differential backups.

    The reason for #1 is simple - unless the program is doing compression/encryption a container for the data servers no purpose and even then its better to use EFS/compressed folders in NTFS.

    I am now also looking at a few sync programs such as SyncBack which seem to function well as backup tools too.
     
  10. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    As far as syncing programs, the best one I've found is GoodSync. http://www.goodsync.com/ It's easy to use, fast and thorough. (It's the only one I found that properly tracks everything, including empty folders.) It is a paid program. (The free one has very limited usage restrictions.) (These are the same folks that make RoboForm.)
     
  11. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    SP will do the incrementals exactly as you state. You can set to continous incrementals as often as every 15 minutes, and at the end of the day is collapse them to a daily incremental. You can choose to keep or delete the intermdiate one. At the end of the week, the daily incrementals are collapsed to a weekly one, and the dailys are kept. At any point you could mount an incremental and recover a file from that point in time.

    Another program that will help with point in time recovery of data files is AJCSoftwares Active Backup. You can specifiy folders and data files and length of time they are kept. A copy of the file is made anytime you save when working on it or you exit the program. So for example a spreadsheet I use daily, and that constantly changes thru out the day is archived everytime I save it or exit excell. I can today go back and retrieve any version of that file by data and time.

    Pete
     
  12. forty

    forty Guest

    Take a look at this http://www.tgrmn.com/ . I have never had it let me down and I just for get it till I need something. I back up a 160 gb to a160gb. Hope it fits the bill . Rocky
     
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