Need backup advice

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by acr1965, Jan 1, 2011.

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  1. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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    I am looking at several programs for a backup strategy. (This is part of my 2011 New Year resolution) Anyway- Genie Timeline Home edition (paid) has what looks like a backup program plus disaster recovery and RollbackRX seems to take snapshots...not sure how accurate that is.

    Anyway, I'm trying to get a strategy of making regular backups of documents to my portable hard drive, make document backups online and have disaster recovery such as an image or snapshot recovery (in case of malware infection or system crash).

    RollbackRX and Genie Timeline look fairly user friendly, which is a must for me. I guess I'm wondering if these two are a lot similar or if they have important differences. Also, if there is another easy program that would suit my needs, please suggest it. I think I am going to be checking on some online storage info (although I love Skydrive, it just doesn't seem to cut it with no quality app for backing up documents that I can find).
     
  2. Creer

    Creer Registered Member

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    You can use Windows Live Mesh (one of the part of Windows Live Essentials packet) for keeping up to date on MS servers your files and documents.
    For regular backup your data on another partition/drive you can use freeware SyncBack software.
     
  3. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    For file backup, GFI Backup is another good alternative. It is free for Home use.

    http://www.gfi.com/backup-hm

    I am using Syncback free for file backup and am happy with it.
     
  4. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    I prefer Imaging over RollbackRX. Imaging is much more important because if you have a hard drive failure, Imaging allows you to fully and easily recover to the replacement hard drive. With RollbackRX and a hard drive failure, I "think" that you lose everthing if the hard drive fails, but I am not sure.

    I have never used RollbackRX. From what I have heard about RollbackRX, it is an excellent program for what it does. The two things that I do not like about RollbackRX are:

    1. To do a disk defragmentation you have to uninstall RollbackRX first which results in the loss of all snapshots.

    2. To Image the hard drive containing the RollbackRX snapshots you have to do a "Sector-by-Sector" Image which takes a lot more time and makes the Image file size very large.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  5. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the info everyone. Does Genie Timeline paid version look like it could do disaster recovery plus regular backups?

    http://www.genie9.com/home/Genie_Timeline_Home/overview.aspx

    I noticed it claims it can :
    What's people think about the above? I've not heard of a virtual partition for bootable startup disk. Does the disaster recovery mean it creates an image? Or just creates a way to reboot a computer then re-install backed up data?
     
  6. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    I am not sure. I browsed through the manual, and it is still unclear. I am "guessing" that the "Disaster Recovery" is just either bootable WinPE or bootable Linux with a file manager that allows you to recover the data to another location. If Windows will not boot, what would be the point in recovering the data to an unbootable Windows System Partition.

    If you look at both the Paid and Freeware Genie Timeline Editions descriptions you will find the following statement:

    This statement "implies" to me that you can use your own bootable disk (i.e., WinPE, Ultimate Boot CD for Windows or just about any Linux distro) to recover your data to another location/hard drive.
     
  7. Hugger

    Hugger Registered Member

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    Since this is important to you, why not contact them and ask them specific questions so that you can have a proper understanding of the software.
     
  8. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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    I don't mind communicating with their help/sales dept but I prefer hearing from users of the programs because they can be better versed in whether something works or not or if some specific feature is available or missing.
     
  9. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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    FWIW- I'm also checking out online storage-
    Trend Micro
    SugarSync
    IDrive
    Mozy
    Carbonite

    I really liked SugarSync then checked out Mozy and it seemed to offer more. Then I checked out Trend Micro and it seemed to offer pretty much what all the others did, except also unlimited back up and a lower price (~$35 annual). I am guessing retrieving files from TM would not call for some proprietary format, as they don't mention the files being compressed? Some online backup programs offer "right click" instant back up of some files which I like. Hopefully TM does that as it appears the first one for me to try out.

    Live Mesh is also going to be tried/used for some files as it has a 5 GB limit.
     
  10. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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  11. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    My recommendations:

    imaging: Macrium Reflect
    file-based backup: Areca Backup
    online backup: SpiderOak
     
  12. TraumaDoc

    TraumaDoc Registered Member

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    This is what I want to know.

    I want to make an EXACT image - sector by sector of my disk.

    What I want to happen is to be able to make a backup and THEN WHEN I RESTORE that image to the same drive/disk - that it will be a precise CLONE of the disk so that Windows believes there was NOTHING that changed and THUS I STILL HAVE my restore points from before the backup !!!!

    I've done backups with all the mainstream apps and some others, but when I restore the image there are no restore point, "previous file versions," etc. from the Windows System Restore functionality.

    Understand?

    I want to keep my restore points, etc. from the image prior to backup and keeping after restore of the image

    Anyone comment on this ?
     
  13. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    Image for Windows. www.terabyteunlimited.com
     
  14. TraumaDoc

    TraumaDoc Registered Member

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    This will give me exactly what I had before the image? My restore points and files layout on the disk will be 100% precisely what it was and still be able to use it all as prior ?
     
  15. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

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    Did you try the raw mode that some imaging programs offer?
     
  16. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    Active@Disk Image says that it will do a sector by sector copy of hard drives or disk partitions.

    http://www.disk-image.net/features.htm

    I have never used Active@Disk Image. I use Image for Windows/Image for DOS/Image for Linux.
     
  17. Boyfriend

    Boyfriend Registered Member

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    I use Active Boot Disk Suite (Active@Disk Image) on weekly basis via bootable USB. It has never failed me for last two years and offers plenty of additional tools for other sorts of works. It offer RAW backup option and will backup OS restore points too. It also offer differential and incremental backup.
     
  18. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    Indeed. I just did it over the weekend on a Win7(32) laptop using IFW to back up to an external drive and IFD for restore. All was there, including restore points, although I didn't use raw mode so didn't check precise physical layout but all was there. Try it out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2011
  19. Ned2865

    Ned2865 Registered Member

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    I'm using Rollback on my laptop and Eaz-Fix on two of my desktops for years now. It is true to say that you cannot use Windows buit-in defrag, but Rollback and Eaz-fix has their own built-in defrag. It's because those softwares are using free space to store their snapshot (invisible to Windows) so if you're going to use windows defrag, chances are that you're gonna mess up the snapshots, but then again, just use the Rollback defrag, that's the purpose of that

    I also use Ghost and Acronis for imaging, but then again, I don't use Sector-by-sector. I ever I have to restore with Ghost or Acronis, it will work but Rollback and/or Eaz-fix will have to be reinstalled. I experienced this many times and it always worked for me this way
     
  20. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    This (I believe) is not correct. it is possible to defrag the drive with Rx installed but you will need to create a new baseline after you have done so. This point has been made by aronhere a number of times. The reason you don't want to do a defrag or have a continuous defrag running (as with Diskeeper) is that you are creating much larger snapshots because of the movement of the files and data around the drive. The files themselves have not changed (the content that is) but Rx does not know this.

    You would not be affecting stored snaps when doing the defrag because Windows and thus the defrag program does not see the snaps on the drive (they are hidden). Thats why you would need to do a sector by sector image. If you don't the image will only contain your OS files and your data files, not the snapshot files. In addition, according to Horizon support, 3rd party imaging programs don't understand snapshot files. I never understood why its the case that sector by sector will work if this is the case,,,,,but thats one of the reasons Horizon says not to image with Rx installed.

    As to the built in defragers in Rx and Eaz-Fix they just defrag the snaps, they do not defrag the full drive. Defragging them makes it easier for Rx to take note of data changes and its faster if you want to pull files from a snap but it is of no value for organizing (defragging) the drive itself. If you create a new baseline after doing the defrag this problem is avoided (or rather eliminated). Of course you will be losing are your stored snaps by creating the new baseline.

    At least thats my understanding.

    My understanding is that you can have a problem with the MBR if you do it this way, its not nec the case that you would need to simply reinstal Rx or EF. You may not be able to (or may have trouble) booting after the restore.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  21. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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    Is there any problem to saving an image to a FAT32 formatted portable hard drive as opposed to a dvd or cd disk?
     
  22. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    Yes. Storing an image on a harddrive won't protect you from losing that drive completely. If that image is stored on externally, that's ok. But, with FAT32 formatting, the image cannot be more that 4 gb. If that is going to be a problem you'd need to either format to NTFS or split the image.
     
  23. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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    I'm thinking my image is going to be more than 4 GB, if the image is going to be 1/2 the size of what's on my drive now....more like 35 GB if that's the case
     
  24. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Yes, you can definitely do a disk defrag with RB installed so long as you update the baseline afterwards - otherwise your current/next RB/EF snapshot will be abnormally large because RB/EF sees the resulting file movements as file changes (if you are getting short of free disk space, it's a good idea to also update the RB/EF baseline before doing the disk-defrag).


    That HDS remark was regarding a standard disk-image (from within Windows). Btw, the only way sector-by-sector imaging does a accurate job of capturing the RB/EF environment is by performing it from outside of Windows (i.e., from a 'live' boot-disk). That way the imaging program doesn't know or care about the file system it's backing up, it's simply imaging every sector of a disk partition.


    That's correct.


    It seems that any MBR problem when restoring an image created this way depends on whether or not the MBR is restored when the image is restored (some programs do this automatically, while others do not). If the MBR is not restored with the disk-image, there should be no resulting MBR problem. But in any case, you will have restored only your current snapshot and, as you say, RB/EF will have to be reinstalled.

    Aaron
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  25. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Thank you
     
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