Please read!

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Okanagan, Nov 25, 2006.

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  1. Okanagan

    Okanagan Registered Member

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    Tuesday, October 18, 2005 10:13 PM PT Posted by Lincoln Spector

    We Need Better Backup Software

    PC World
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2006
  2. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    sounds like a good question to me...

    maybe around here everyone thinks the answer is "True Image". Dantz Retrospect (the only such software I have used) is excellent. They do a very poor job marketing to the home user. It's their loss!


    By the way, the sub-powered comment seems very insightful to me. When I was looking for info on the web a few years ago when I was trying to find out if Retrospect was good, what sold me was when some idiot, and time waster, in one of the major computer publications said that "Retrospect was overkill for the home user..."

    How can a backup program be overkill? I want as close to perfection as I can get in this kind of software. LOL, his criticism made up my mind for me. The fact that I had a free copy included with some hardware didn't hurt either!

    -HandsOff
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2006
  3. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    I gave up using Dantz and other traditional backup solutions at the time Acronis True Image was on sale. File based backups just took too long. As I have had no
    real problems with ATI 6,7,8,9,9.1 and now 10 I haven't used any other program since that time.

    So would there be any real benefit for an Acronis user to buy Dantz Today just for data backup ? Can Dantz make a system image in 5 minutes or less ? if so I would be interested.

    When I stopped using file backups I read that somehow Imaging programs were not so good, less reliable, that sort of thing. That has not been my personal experience - so have to ask - Is the any benefit to going back to such programs ?
     
  4. CatFan432

    CatFan432 Registered Member

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    “But when they ask me to recommend a backup program, I'm stuck. They're all either badly designed, sub-powered, needlessly difficult, or all three.”

    Well gosh. There is a whole host of backup programs that do exactly what they say they will do. Do they take some effort to learn how to use them? They do indeed.

    As for imaging programs, if a person can get past possible hardware conflicts (does anyone expect any imaging program to work flawlessly out of the box on every possible hardware configuration?) and takes the time to learn to use them, why, they’re just life savers.

    There are so many reliable ways to back up data, the above quote seems just plain silly to me. Sort of like saying there are no good photo editing programs available.

    As for the documentation that comes with most programs being top notch, well, not so much.
     
  5. irvdk

    irvdk Registered Member

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    I will only say this...I have been using acronis 8 and 9. I have needed it 3 or 4 times only because I was experimenting. Everytime I have need it, it has failed although the program said it was good .tib file. For the home user it's not the right program. It's very confusing especially when it changes the drive letters. There is nothing in the documentation to explain why or how it does this. There is no customer service. When someone is down and trying to get back up, they have no computer to ask for help by e-mail. It's just badly designed and I will never tell anyone to use it.
    Irv
     
  6. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    "There are so many reliable ways to back up data, the above quote seems just plain silly to me. Sort of like saying there are no good photo editing programs available."

    LOL- The question is a great one! Think about it. Your valuable files and settings, and the prospect of starting from scratch. If I had tried a couple backup programs and they failed to deliver, the LAST thing I would want to do is to keep learning by trial and error

    "As for the documentation that comes with most programs being top notch, well, not so much."

    LOL-Retrospect came with two pdf documents totalling about 900 pages. It is surprisingly readable.

    "(does anyone expect any imaging program to work flawlessly out of the box on every possible hardware configuration?)"

    Like every program I use, I expect an imaging program to do exactly what it said it could do. If problems are not unusual for some software, I don't plan on using that software at all if, avoidable.

    "Can Dantz make a system image in 5 minutes or less ? if so I would be interested."

    -Well that would depend on the system I guess. I certainly does mine in less than five minutes even for a full backup starting from scratch. But at this point I have to say that I have never been clear on what an image is and how it differs from a file backup. I know Retrospect uses a "snapshot". it also backups the files, which can be retrieved either as a complete restore, or just a specific file. from a user standpoint it goes like this:
    1 copy files
    2 make snapshot
    3 verify files

    I'm not saying R is better than T, only that I'm not sure of the differences between the two approaches (if any) and I would be interested to know if there are differences what are they? But you did ask about the five minutes, so I answered.

    BTW I wasn't recommending so much as stating my belief that yes, there are good programs out there! Last time I checked Dantz seemed to be focusing on corporate products. It's strange they have such a good (in my opinion) product, but don't really seem interested in selling it. Maybe they have licensed the technology to someone else...maybe even to Akronis.


    HandsOff
     
  7. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    Thanks - I guess my point is that since version 6 I personally have had very few problems with Acronis True Image. Before acronis I tried "File" Backup programs including Dantz and although they all worked they (a) took far too long and ( b) could not ,as far as I was aware, copy and restore systems.

    But it looks like Dantz is now also making images or snapshots. Like you I have no idea as to the technical differences but having made literally thousands of images and restored many times - without issue I can see no reason to use a "file" backup system.

    I recently bought ATI 10 to work with a new lap top. Having removed everything from the laptop, reformatted I then started again. I was trying out various wireless printer drivers yesterday and was able to quickly try drivers and then rstore an image 8 times during the course of the day. I wouldn't dream of trying a new program, new hardware or new drivers without first makinbg an image.

    For the record and just for fun - The fastest time I have for making a bare windows Xp image is 45 seconds.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2006
  8. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Hey Long View,

    I guess we are both sort in the same boat. We haven't kept up with the competition because the home team is still winning every match.

    It does bother me that I don't know much about the nature of "Rescue Disks"
    I'm not sure if I even need to know. My philosophy has been that I can reinstall windows in 30 minutes, then install retrospect and restore a backup. There may be faults in that logic, but I really don't understand. but, for the sake of the argument, lets say with O and O I don't even have to make an "emergency disk". I can use their universal one. Stick it in the drive, then restore a full back up from right there. I would say IMHO that is a damn big deal! does it work? I would guess you could find out by booting to it. If O and O comes up and asks you to point it at your restore files, I'd say that it would be pretty safe to assume that you are home free. So, that's why I was trying to say, let's compare features. Personally, I think I have everything I need except the emergency disk. I have the info, but don't quite know under what circumstances they will fail. A universal one that works? I'm sure it would allow me to do restorals that I cannot do today...without reinstalling windows.

    -HandsOff

    P.S. - 45 seconds seems possible...for a bare bones install. It sounds like Dantz and Akronis are taking possibly a similar approach.
     
  9. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    I have no idea how the Acronis "rescue disk" works. I know that it uses Linux and that it was easy to create the CD originally. Every now and then I do something really dumb and my pc will not boot. I pop in the cd, boot click on the
    last good system image and I'm back in business.

    As to which is best ? - I'm sure we both agree that - who cares - if it works that's all that matters.

    FWIW - I tend to operate with (1) a system drive/partition + (2) a data drive/partition and (3) an Image partition. Acronis allows me to make images of both system and data and to restore both in the same way.

    I'm sure that there are a number of companies now does much the same thing. then important thing is not the company used or even the method but that backups or images are made on a regular basis.

    All the best
     
  10. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Long View - I think our philosophies are the same.

    1 - It has to be reliable
    2 - It has to be painless enough that you don't mind doing it.

    Unfortunately I still find that software reviews tend to be really inadequate. They list features without usually giving you a feel for which are important and useful. All too often it's not till you install and use a product that you realize what is missing. LOL - I guess what is needed is reviews of reviews where people write in and say, 'It would have been nice if you mentioned...'.

    -HandsOff
     
  11. Capp

    Capp Registered Member

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    What I've done for myself and have recommended to others is this:

    1) I use Ghost 2002 every month. It isn't full of bloatware like the new versions and it works every time, for me at least. Plus, I bought it for $6 on ebay unopened.

    2) I use MS Backup Utility and run a backup of all my important files, emails, databases, etc..

    3) I run a systembackup and registry once a week.

    4) I have a second hard drive I use internally to store these backups and images. I also setup a second computer running NASLite+ and keep copies of everything there.

    Total cost ~ $50 for all hardware and software.
     
  12. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    The PC article is space filler
    No good back-ups ??#$%^&#@

    Rubbish.
    It's hardly worth replying to that tosh.

    There are dozens that realistically fill his criteria from filebackup utilities with syncing and differentials to full disc imagers with mounting.

    The author would have been better off linking to some useful tools rather than bignoting himself in the face of thousands of useful tools and publishing that useless whinge.
    Heh: "I'm so cool no-one can give me what I need"

    Right.
     
  13. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    That article is more than a year old. And yes, there are great backup softwares: dd, Partimage, ATI to name a few.
    Mrk
     
  14. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    One that some may appreciate is Mozy. It's been mentioned on Wilders before, but I think it's worth repeating. It's an online backup service, 2GB for free and more for cheap. It's very straight-forward; you choose what files you want backed up and it encrypts and uploads them when your computer is idle (unless you specify a schedule instead). You could use this as your sole backup, or do like I do and just use it to keep backups in an external location. I personally use a network backup program (along with Acronis True Image) to move important files to a second hard drive on one machine, then use Mozy to back them all up from there. No removable media necessary. You can use their encryption key or your own (by choosing your own password). It's worked really well for me and does all I could want within the scope of what it does.

    If you have a network you could try FolderShare, Stardock's ThinkSync, or the MS sync-toy to move files across the network, or possibly even the built in NT Backup.
     
  15. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    Since no one asked, I am wedded to ImageForDOS. She's NOT just another pretty face -- boring GUI; rather slow. But she has rescued my gluteous maximii several times so I loooove her, I does.:D
     
  16. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    @Bellgamin
    Not the cover girl: the girl back home who was always there ;)
     
  17. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Relative to Dantz Retrospect I used it for a while, but had two issues with it.

    1) Slow compared to others.
    2) The bare metal recovery is akin to scratching your left ear with your right hand.

    I Like IFW/IFD, Drive Snapshot, and actually Acronis, but Shadow Protect although slightly more expensive is just a cut above. It's my main program now.
     
  18. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I use Acronis True Image Home since March 2006 and it never failed until now.
    It meets all my wishes, so I don't need another image backup software.
    FirstDefense-ISR is my second backup solution, in case Acronis fails, which is quite impossible because I have 7 images in total per harddisk. So the loss of data will be very small.
     
  19. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    I keep hearing about Shadow protect and may give it a try.

    On a typical machine I have C: for OS and programs F: for data and G: for images from C: and F: Images from G: are then transfered to other parts of the network, External drives or DVD.

    I'm not interested in differential or incremental images, automation in any way nor secure zones i.e just full images when I want. After reliability speed is the most important consideration.

    So would you still recommend that I buy Shadow Protect ?
     
  20. sullivanacctg

    sullivanacctg Registered Member

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    I used to (and still do when it works - hardware issues sometimes) Powerquest DataKeeper & Drive Image. These are really good programs, easy to use and efficient. Never had a problem with restores until V2i.

    However, I suggest using at least 2 types of automated backups. Not only should you image your drives, but you should keep some type of individual file backups as well. In particular, backup up data files so that you have multiple copies as the files were changed. (i.e. if the file changed on 11-21 and 11-19 and 11-17 there should be a copy of the file for each of those days.) Keep as many "versions" as you deem necessary in case you need to quickly go back to an early version. DataKeeper was really good at this, unfortunately it went to Norton (Symnatec) along with Partition Magic and Drive Image. No further development or support.

    so another good program is SyncBack. It is simple, uses a quick backup (and you don't need the program to restore since it makes a true copy of the file.) You can use windows explorer to restore!!! What's easier than that!?!?!?

    I've used Acronis True Image, and found it to be complicated and definitely not quick to use.
     
  21. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    definatly agreed and thats why i use my maxtor's one touch button to backup my data as files as well as a acronis true image.
    lodore
     
  22. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I would recommend you try it first. TO verify the restore you have to request a full evaluation. Then they will send a link. (There is a good reason they do this. They use Win Pe, and have to pay Microsoft for every copy)

    Pete
     
  23. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

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    Have just tried and briefly tested Shadow Protect. Looks very good.

    One of the few problems I have found with ATI is that backup to USB and network can be slow.

    So on an old pentium 4 with one 75 gig IDE drive I used ATI to image C: to a
    Maxtor network drive ( 6 gig of files) - 22 mins Then Shadow Protect - 12 minutes.

    Normally I would image to a disk partition. Shadow Protect 9 minutes. ATI 6 minutes.

    As I have working versions of ATI 8, 9, 9.1 and 10 I will stay with ATI . If I had no imaging software I would be tempted by Shadow Protect - not sure that $69 is good value compared to $49 but neither program is all that expensive. Although I do not cheat on software I'm not a big fan of activation
    - just one more thing to go wrong.

    Perhaps one day Acronis can sort out their USB problem ?
     
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