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Backing Up Hard Drive


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#1 Keith1

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 09:02 PM

What my intent is - to backup my hard drive to dvd in case of a crash. i have a dual layer dvd burner and want to use it. by the way, i'm still in the novice stage so please consider that in your answer.

system - custom built computer - 1.66 processor - 512 ram - 40gb hard drive. using windowsxp-sp2. i have about 27gb free space. actually i dont know what information you really need.

i recently purchased a backup program called Acronis. it was highly recommended by several people. so i created a folder called mybackup on my desktop, then ran the backup to the folder. when i check properties on the folder it shows 7.63gb which seems about right. under contains it shows 1 files, 1 folder.

so i went to nero6 which is alredy on my computer to burn it to dvd. i've never used it before so i was kinda guessing - and i finally got to a point where it showed that it was ready to burn the file to dvd. when i clicked burn it only ran a minute or so then ejected the disc. looking at the disc it only burned a very thin line. i deleted everything several times and retried but got the same results.

so i dont know if the problem ( probably operator problem ) lies in Acronis or Nero6. i took my disc into work and had our IT person check it and he said it only burned info about the file - no content.

at this point i have paid for the program - wasted a few dvd discs ( and two double layer discs ). i'm so confused right now. please let me know if this will work - or should have i followed my original idea of purchasing an external hard drive and going that route. i'm sure this is a string of broken information so please let me know what additional information you need to evaluate this problem - Keith

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#2 Rimmer

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 09:44 PM

I don't know Acronis software so I'm generalising here:

Firstly - there is no point in having a backup folder on your desktop, the desktop is just a folder on your C: drive and if the drive dies your backup goes with it. I'm sure you realise that but I'm just clarifying.

Secondly - you don't need to use Nero at all. Windows XP has its own burning software - just drag'n'drop the files to the drive.

I think you should have a look at the Acronis package again for their recommendations, I would have thought it was capable of directing the backup direct to the DVD drive without putting it in a folder first.

hth :thumbsup:

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#3 Keith1

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 10:26 PM

thanks for the info - i need to check these points out - gonna do it right now - Keith

#4 Enthusiast

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 12:17 AM

If you're planning a complete backup of your drive and not just data, ie "my documents", etc, you're going to need lots and lots of DVDs.

The best thing to do would be to install a second hard drive and back up there, or use an external hard drive for it.

#5 usasma

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 12:07 PM

I love Acronis software! (I beta test for them) - but there are limitations on what it's designed to do.

Acronis True Image (which is what I presume you have) is designed to create an image of your hard drive's contents.

An image is different than a backup copy in that it is a huge file that contains your entire hard drive AND the locations of the programs on the disk. This is very important if you're going to restore things like your boot sector. It's main drawback is that the files are HUGE and unwieldy.

BUT, it's massive overkill for daily backups of data. For that I use a free program called SyncBackSE. Other folks that I know prefer the free Cobian Backup. You can find both with a google for them.

The backup software will copy files to a CD/DVD. But it will only copy what you tell it to - so you can backup your documents and files easily.

What I do with my system is to use SyncbackSE to backup my files on a daily basis. And I use Acronis to image my hard disk when I first install my system - and then when significant changes occur in the programs/system files. I have a separate 120 gB external USB hard drive for this purpose (because of the size of the images that I retain).

The benefit of Acronis is that you can crash the software on your hard drive completely, restore the Acronis image in about 20 minutes, and you'll be up and running again! BUT, your system will be as it was when you last made an image - so all your recent documents/files won't be there. The daily backup with SyncBackSE covers this lapse and conserves your space.
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