Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Backup Hard Drive


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Anonix

Anonix

  • Members
  • 188 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:03 PM

Posted 18 July 2011 - 12:48 AM

Really risky, but I never have backed up my computer. Since I recently found out just how much more difficult life would be without data at my fingertips (I was locked out of my computer for a day+), I've decided to get that done. What about backing up to the Cloud? Are others here relying on online storage services? I would rather not spend $100 on an external HDD. I am running Windows XP Pro. I don't have a ton of data, but I don't want to risk losing it either. With all the data breaches, maybe this is a nutty idea.

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 USN Vet

USN Vet

  • Members
  • 190 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:03:03 PM

Posted 18 July 2011 - 05:16 AM

External hard drives (USB) are notorious for going bad - don't waste your money. And I don't think it is the drive as much as it is the cheap little usb board in the device. Better off to add another internal drive, or if you really want external, you can buy a USB external enclosure, and if you have an extra HD laying around, insert it.
Feel free to ignore my comment, just another user !

#3 Allan

Allan

  • BC Advisor
  • 8,646 posts
  • ONLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Jersey
  • Local time:03:03 PM

Posted 18 July 2011 - 07:27 AM

I couldn't disagree more with the above posts. I use a bunch of external drives (the oldest of which is 8 or 9 years old) and have never had a moment's problem - they are an ideal solution for backup purposes. Just handle them carefully and do not leave them connected when not in use. Here's what I do for backup:

Disk Imaging software takes a "snapshot" of your drive as it exists at the time you create the image. You can then restore the entire image or any file(s) or folder(s) you choose. It is a virtually foolproof way of backing up your system and providing a safe haven in the event of a catastrophe that requires you to blow away your system partition and restore it to a previous state. It also allows you to "test" various software and be confident that you have a the ability to return to the prior state any time you choose.
I use Acronis True Image. It is the best of breed, but it isn't free. The best free alternative is Macrium Reflect.

1) I create an image of my system partition once a week to a second hard drive and keep the 2 or 3 most recent images. I also image my other partitions about once a month. I always enable "verify image" in the options. It takes a little longer, but insures a valid image.

2) I also create an image before performing any drive level function (ie, changing the size of a partition) or making any significant change to the OS (installing a service pack, upgrading IE, etc). Also sometimes before installing new software.

3) Images may be created on any medium (cd, dvd, external drive, etc). For obvious reasons they should not be stored on the same drive you are imaging. The best option is a second internal hd if you have one.

4) Images may be created "in the background" within the OS. If you need to restore the system partition, that will need to be done before the OS loads. You can start the process within the application in the OS and it will then tell you it needs to reboot to finish the process. Alternatively, you can boot to a "recovery disk" which you can create when you first install the software (or to the application disk itself if you have one). Other partitions can be restored without a reboot.

Edited by Allan, 18 July 2011 - 07:27 AM.


#4 bloopie

bloopie

    Bleepin' Sith Turner


  • Malware Response Team
  • 7,927 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New York
  • Local time:04:03 PM

Posted 18 July 2011 - 10:02 PM

Hello Anonix,

I agree with Allan, I've had my system saved on an external HDD for quite some time now. They go bad about as often as any internal drive would...which is NOT very often!

The fact that is uses a USB port makes no difference on the life of the drive.

Solid State Drives are your best choice for an external drive. There are NO moving parts, and it loads much faster than an added HDD. It's also USB compatible.


bloopie


P.S. For small amounts of online stored data, you could use Dropbox. You may also use (for larger databases) Adrive.com.

Edited by bloopie reborn, 18 July 2011 - 10:12 PM.


#5 USN Vet

USN Vet

  • Members
  • 190 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:03:03 PM

Posted 20 July 2011 - 05:20 AM

I must have just been unfortunate to acquire two externals that went bad on me within a year of each other.
They were on a separate power source, and only on for backup or restore, and I always used "safely remove"
prior to turning them off. After several months of use, the backups were corrupted. As I stated in my post, wasn't the drives malfunction, as I have both of them installed internally in two computers with no problems.
Feel free to ignore my comment, just another user !

#6 strolln

strolln

  • Members
  • 400 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:N. Calif.
  • Local time:12:03 PM

Posted 20 July 2011 - 06:47 AM

I also agree with Allan, to a certain extent. I don't feel it's necessary to do image backups as often as he does. I take an image no more than once a month but in between do frequent backups of critical data. The data is most important, I could always reinstall the OS if I needed but data is gone unless it's backed up.

I prefer Acronis True Image over Macrium Reflect since Macrium Reflect only does image backups. Images are fine but they take longer to do and take more disk space.

I started out doing backups using floppy disks which became very cumbersome as drives got larger, then went to tape backup which was slow for backing up and even slower to restore. When the cost of disk drives dropped enough to make it affordable to be able to use an external drive, backing up became virtually effortless.

I don't use the on-line backup services, mostly because my internet connection isn't all that fast and it would take days to backup and days to recover. Not to mention that you have to be able to boot your machine and establish an internet connection before you're able to restore anything so they aren't useful for catastrophic failures where you have to replace the HDD. In that situation it's imperative to have an image backup.

Using external drives for backing up has been the most reliable and cost effective method of backing up I have used over the 27 years I've been using personal computers.

Edited by strolln, 20 July 2011 - 06:50 AM.

To Err is human; to really foul things up requires a Bleeping Computer!

#7 Allan

Allan

  • BC Advisor
  • 8,646 posts
  • ONLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Jersey
  • Local time:03:03 PM

Posted 20 July 2011 - 07:00 AM

I also agree with Allan, to a certain extent. I don't feel it's necessary to do image backups as often as he does. I take an image no more than once a month but in between do frequent backups of critical data. The data is most important, I could always reinstall the OS if I needed but data is gone unless it's backed up.

That's your personal preference, and that's absolutely fine. But the bottom line is that creating images on a regular basis certainly can't hurt anything and by doing it weekly I am assured of having an image that is no older than one week.

#8 USN Vet

USN Vet

  • Members
  • 190 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:03:03 PM

Posted 20 July 2011 - 08:26 AM

I am on Allan's Schedule, and and incremental in between if I have need of it.
Feel free to ignore my comment, just another user !

#9 strolln

strolln

  • Members
  • 400 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:N. Calif.
  • Local time:12:03 PM

Posted 20 July 2011 - 09:47 AM


I also agree with Allan, to a certain extent. I don't feel it's necessary to do image backups as often as he does. I take an image no more than once a month but in between do frequent backups of critical data. The data is most important, I could always reinstall the OS if I needed but data is gone unless it's backed up.

That's your personal preference, and that's absolutely fine. But the bottom line is that creating images on a regular basis certainly can't hurt anything and by doing it weekly I am assured of having an image that is no older than one week.

I didn't say you were wrong, just that I didn't feel it necessary to do them that often. Everyone should decide for themselves what the right backup plan is for them, one size doesn't fit all. If the OP ever has a catastrophic drive failure he will certainly regret having no backups.

Edited by strolln, 20 July 2011 - 09:50 AM.

To Err is human; to really foul things up requires a Bleeping Computer!




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users