Setting up an "easy" disaster recovery scheme

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by MaxDreamer, Oct 14, 2012.

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  1. MaxDreamer

    MaxDreamer Registered Member

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    I just got B&R 12 Home and I want to set up an easy-to-recover-from disaster recovery scheme where the scenario is Catastrophic System Boot Drive Failure, as in when one gets a bad hard drive crash and there's nothing to do but replace the drive.

    I want to be able to get back up and running quickly with minimal data loss, and without the hassle of having to use Windows Inatallation or Recovery DVD's. I want to be in a position to just simply restore the expired hard drive's data onto a new one and boot from that new hard drive without any hassle.

    To that end, I think that I need to know what type of First Backup or First Disk Image Copy to perform, followed by what type of routine backup procedure (for the followup backup routine, I assume a full backup followed by daily incremental backups would suffice to bring the initial, First Backup or First Disk Image copy up-to-date after being restored onto a new hard drive, but, please, advise either way)

    Thank you kindly for your expert advise!
     
  2. SIW2

    SIW2 Registered Member

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    I would make an image - include all the partitions on the HD , you can restore all, or any one you like - or simply just files from the image - depending what you need to.

    Entirely up to you how often you want to update that.

    You will need to run off the Paragon bootable recovery media - winpe has better overall hardware support , and you can load drivers - the linux based recovery media works well too.
     
  3. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    Whatever you decide on doing, beg, borrow or steal a spare HD and do a test restore on it. Until you know for certain the recovery works on your machine, you cannot have any confidence in your backups.

    When you are trying to restore to your new HD after a crash is not the time to find out it doesn't work.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012
  4. MaxDreamer

    MaxDreamer Registered Member

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    Thank you for your reply, SIW2!

    What sort of image would you make: a full clone that is an exact duplicate of the original hard drive, including all of the unused space at the end, or an image that is a clone but which does NOT include the empty space that trails the last bit of data? I ask because, for example, MiniTool states "For operating systems such as Windows Vista/2008/7, only after using Copy partitions without resize would the computer boot from the newly copied disk." (See it at the end of this page: http://www.partitionwizard.com/help/copy-disk.html)

    That's a drag because I'm only using about 20 GB on a 500 GB HD. It'll take me a while just to get up to 50 GB of usage, if that. So it pains me and my wallet to waste all those gigs just to have a truly identical cloned image on an external HD. However, wasting all that space is still worth it to me in exchange for saving myself all the trouble and aggravation of potentially having to recover Windows from an Installation or Recovery disk, then reinstalling apps, then restoring data, etc.

    I was hoping that B&R 12 Home would be capable of perfectly rebuilding an entire HD starting from a full backup of it's own making, to the point of bootability. I don't know of any backup software that can do that, though, but I can't understand why that just isn't possible for the programmers to figure out how to accomplish. That way, there'd be no massive wastage of backup storage space.

    Anyway, let me know what type of imaging you'd recommend.

    Thanks! :)
     
  5. MaxDreamer

    MaxDreamer Registered Member

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    Absolutely correct, SeekForever! Once I settle on a strategy, I will certainly be testing it on the desktop. In the case of the notebook, well, that's another story, as it is not nearly so easy to plunk in a blank HD there. Hopefully, if it works flawlessly on my desktop PC, it'll work just as well on the notebook. If not, well, hopefully my NB's HD will not crash until I'm ready to migrate to a new device some years hence. Otherwise, it'll be on with the Win Recovery DVD and all the attendant time-wastage and headaches!
     
  6. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    You want to make a sector-based image (not a files and folders backup) and you only need to make a normal image. Paragon also allows you to make a RAW image which includes all of the sectors, used and unused, in the partition but this is normally for the case where Paragon doesn't support the file structure or the file structure is damaged. Sector-based images don't use the filesystem in the usual manner but they still have to understand it to perform some functions.

    Cloning as disk where it makes a copy of the disk on another physical disk is really intended to be used where the disk is being replaced at that moment but since it is a copy of the disk some people do use it as a backup tool but it is, as you point out, a waste of the second disk. It also has the severe disadvantage that only one "backup" can be created on the disk and having only one backup is not an ideal strategy. I had a disk fail once in a one disk laptop and the most recent backup was on another partition on the same drive. I had to go back about 3 images before I found one that was good because of bad sector problems. I did have backups on an external but they were older and this caused me to pay more attention in copying images to another physical drive.
     
  7. SIW2

    SIW2 Registered Member

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    You will be fine to do a sector based image, Paragon will always correct drive letters and bcd entries - perhaps minitool doesn't do that.

    Here's an example of paragon copying a partition - again, it does everything for you:

    COPYPART-PAR.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  8. MaxDreamer

    MaxDreamer Registered Member

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    Thank you for your valuable input, SeekForever! I'm glad I don't have to do a true clone image as the initial backup of the drives in question. In all cases, that would mean wasting hundreds of gigs in unused space, as well as needing more external HD's. I'm on a tight budget as it is: that's why I only got B&R Home 12 on a $20 weekend special instead of plunking down the $100 for Paqragon's gem, HDM 12 Pro!
     
  9. MaxDreamer

    MaxDreamer Registered Member

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    Thank you, SIW2! I really appreciate the help and info that you and SeekForever have so kindly been willing to impart upon me!

    I'll come back to this thread to describe my exact backup setup and routine once I've nailed it and tested it for validity on the desktop machine. Hopefully, others will be able to benefit from it and thereby avoid going through the torture of having to recover by starting from scratch with a Windows Installation or Recovery disk!
     
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