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Imaging Software Features


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7 replies to this topic

#1 rfxcasey

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 02:56 AM

Hey all, I've been using Macrium Reflect Free Edition for some time now to safeguard against catastrophic failure. I'm considering getting a licensed version of either it or something like Acronis True Image that will support incremental backups. As it stands now, with the free version backups take many hours which would lead me to think the process is putting undue wear and tear on my backup drive. I've also seen some free software that folks claim to be excellent, Clonezilla comes to mind. 

 

To get more to the point, I'm noticing features listed in comparisons for various backup software packages, some of which don't seem to be explained very well. I've read a bit about 'Restoring to dissimilar hardware' features and the like but I'm wondering if all of that is really necessary or can you just implement a Windows recovery and get the same effect?

 

If anyone has any recommendation or would like to share their personal backup formula that would be appreciated. Network backup would be helpful as well.

 



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#2 hamluis

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 12:33 PM

I don't know what you are backing up...but I find my backups using Macrium Reflect Free take minutes.  I just back up the Windows partition (which also reflects programs installed) and I don't include data files (I already have duplicate copies of all).

 

I keep it simple :).

 

Louis



#3 ranchhand_

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 12:41 PM

Another vote for Macrium Reflect (free). I only reimage each time and do it at night before retiring. Enable the "shut down when completed" checkbox. There are a lot of programs out there, and if you have found one that is rock-dependable best stick with it. My reimage takes about an hour, but I have a 1-TB drive. My Windows8 drive is only 250gigs and takes only a few minutes.


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#4 rfxcasey

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 03:22 AM

Do you all think it is worth getting the Standard Version? I like the idea of incremental backups. Also, the backup times mentioned seem very short compared to mine, though I have a modern system, i5 3570K @ 4.2Ghz, 16GB RAM ect. ect. I am backup up about 1.3TB of data and use compression. Are you guys using compression on your images as this might explain the time difference? Are you all using an E-sata or USB 3.0 connection to your backup drive or is it network storage?


Edited by rfxcasey, 21 October 2013 - 04:52 AM.


#5 AngryRaisin

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 05:16 PM

I personally use Acronis and have been a big fan of it for years.  Macrium is also a great product. You would be on solid ground with either one. The incremental backup would definately cut down on your backup time.

 

1.3 TB of data is a huge amount of data to do a full backup of each time and the time your backup takes sounds consistent.

 

I use network storage to do my backups but that is because I have an 8TB storage server and gigabit ethernet connections to the server.  For most common uses you would want to use esata if you can.  But it is generally more a case of what exists on the computer you are using.  I would not want to back up 1.3TB of data over a wireless network connection it would take days.

 

I use standard compression on my backups which saves a couple gigs of space but takes a little more time, which is acceptable to me. If you want the fastest backup select no compression which will use more space.



#6 hamluis

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 07:12 PM

I see no value in incremental backups...I use my systems for leisure activities and losing a hard drive would be far from a catastrophe for me.  If my systems were for buiness purposes, I could see value in doing incremental backups.

 

Compression settings should be a default on any backup/imaging software.  Years ago, I made uncompressed backups (for point of comparison) using whatever I was using then...it certainly takes longer, as I recall and the result is an unnecessarily large file.

 

If you are not going to use compression, you wind up basically copying the partition/drive...which is not necessarily what is desired.

 

The only files that really need imaging software are the O/S and programs, IMO.  Data files can simply be copied to other media/drives/partitions, rather than included in the backup.

 

I'm speaking from the perspective of a person who does not store any meaningful data files (not even emails) on my Windows partition and I always have multiple hard drives and partitions.  I know that many users seem to think that a single drive is a "good solution"...well, I differ with that opinion.  All my video files, music files, etc. go on other drives and I have duplicates of them on other drives which are not used daily.

 

Louis


Edited by hamluis, 21 October 2013 - 07:13 PM.


#7 rfxcasey

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 11:13 PM

Thanks for the help guys. I purchase the standard edition just to lay this issue to rest. With a coupon code found online it came to $36 dollars. Well worth it if you ask me and the time saved by backing up incrementally will be significant. 



#8 TsVk!

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 01:01 AM

I vote for Acronis personally... lol. But Macrium has a load of fans too. Both are top notch. :bananas:






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