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Suggestions about Backup


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#1 donisonleague

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 10:45 AM

I've Windows 8 on my PC now and i've seen that there is the new function "History File" but it doesn't replace completely a true backup.

I haven't got that much free space on my external HDD so i'd like to know if you can suggest me a Backup program (or eventually a Windows function) to backup my files without occupying the same space on the HDD of the one occupied on the PC.



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#2 SpywareDoc

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 11:28 AM

EaseUS Todo Backup Free



#3 quietman7

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 04:57 PM

Glad to hear you're on top of this. Backing up your data and disk imaging are among the most important maintenance tasks users should perform on a regularly, yet it's one of the most neglected areas.

Disk Imaging Software:Free alternatives include:Note: If you have Western Digital hard disks, then you can download Acronis True Image WD Edition Software for free.
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#4 Didier Stevens

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 01:24 PM

Most backup programs have an option to compress backuped files.

 

But the compression factor depends on what you want to backup. If you are going to backup ZIP files, jpeg images, AVI files, ... then yopu wont see much compression, as these files are already compressed.

But if you are going to compress text, you'll see a high compression factor.


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#5 Aberrant

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 10:45 PM

Pardon my ignorance. I haven't tried any third-party program that was posted above for backing up files of my clients. Hesitation prevents me in installing such programs, because I am worried if it will post any data corruption? Since it compresses the file and other alteration perhaps during the process? I mainly do manual back up, like I manually 'drag & drop' the files using TeraCopy and copy it into my 1TB external drive, though it really takes time, especially with large backups. So I never had the chance of using a program that automate the backup process.

My question is, what's your favorite/preferable program for backing up data? It doesn't matter if it's free or paid program. 


Edited by Aberrant, 08 October 2014 - 10:48 PM.


#6 Didier Stevens

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 01:52 AM

Backup programs do not compress your files, they compress the backup fole.

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#7 Scoop8

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Posted 09 October 2014 - 10:42 AM

Aberrant

 

I use my paid product "Acronis True Image 2011" program for Cloning and "Macrium Reflect" free program for Imaging.

 

I like Acronis for cloning since it clones my HDD faster than Macrium.

 

I prefer Macrium for Imaging since I like its user interface a little better than Acronis.

 

I've used both products to Clone and Image since I like to be familiar with a couple of Backup programs in case I encounter problems with one of the programs.

 

I've also used "Clonezilla" for Cloning and Imaging.  I rarely use it as it's a 3rd-choice program and it can be a little confusing for novice users with more "command prompt" dialog screens vs "Windows" type dialog screens that are used for many other Backup programs.

 

 

With Acronis, you can automate a wide variety of backup schemes.  Some of the free Backup programs offer automated scheduling as well.

 

I use Acronis to Clone periodically and I also have a twice-daily automated backup that copies specific items to my external HDD.

 

As Didier Stevens mentioned, the compression rate will vary dependent on the type of files that are being backed up, particularly when full-HDD Imaging is performed.

 

I recently moved my video files and most of my photos/picture items to a 2nd internal HDD.  By doing that, I reduced my "C" HDD cloning time (using Acronis with Sata III speed) from about 45-50 minutes to about 12-15 minutes

 

This is convenient for me since I have a fast recovery method for my OS HDD in the event that problems are encountered (malware, OS issues, user error, bad download's, failed HDD).

 

Redundancy is a good strategy with backups, having multiple copies in multiple locations as that should protect you against most malicious scenarios such as ransomware, delayed encryption infections, etc.



#8 MelonBird

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 10:16 AM

I recently switched from Mac back to an old PC, and immediately got hit by Cryptowall. Everyone advises "backup, backup, backup" as the solution, but I had what was considered a good backup strategy last year, and it was pure luck that I caught Cryptowall before it got to the backup and destroyed it.

The company I used to work for did disk imaging so that if some end user got malware, they could just install an old image. We were supposed to store all files on the servers, so the imaging only removed your personal settings and any files you were silly enough to store on the C drive. I was planning to mimic that in my home setup - most files on an external drive, apps and OS on the actual computer - but now I realize my old company is vulnerable to having Cryptowall wipe out their servers. My guess is they'd catch it fairly early in the process, and I know they had some kind of company in another location backing stuff up, so they'd ultimately be fine - but they'd lose a day or so to the restore process, and no one would really be able to work.

 

So today I'm getting a laptop with Windows 8 delivered. I'm guessing the first thing I should do is back it up in its factory-direct state, just in case. Then as I add my apps - antivirus (Emsisoft IS) and CryptoPrevent, and the apps I use for my work - I should do more backups of the entire system. But I have no sense of how big these are going to be because I'm not that familiar with Disk Imaging, and also I've been using Mac for a while (Time Machine backups aren't that huge, but they do restore absolutely everything, as I discovered when I had a hard drive replacement on my laptop). I don't know if I should go out and buy several more hard drives, or if thumb drives can handle some of it.

I'm keeping more and more of my files in the cloud. My email is all IMAP, with archive-worthy stuff being sent to Evernote. My business spreadsheets are mostly in Zoho or Dropbox. 

I'm guessing, as Scoop8 mentions, it's still best to have multiple backups, so I'm also looking into Carbonite. But their "mirror imaging" backup is done to one of your local drives... so I'm guessing that's not worth paying for, because the local drive would be compromised by CryptoWall? Sigh.



#9 rp88

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 01:52 PM

There are 2 types of backup you can do:

The first is normal backups, placing documents (your documents, videos, images, music, zip archives etc) individually one by one or folder by folder, onto an external drive, a cd or dvd disc or into cloud storage/an online email account. This protects your files from more or less anyhting if done properly.


The second is a system image, on windows 8 this is done from within "windows 7 file recovery" (yes i know it's called 7 despite being on an 8 system) which backs up your whole system status, all your settings, your programs, your operating system but usually not your files (your documents, videos, images, music, zip archives etc). System image backups let you restore the whole system to an earlier point in time incase of: malware, crashes, deletion of crititical files, bloatware, poorly coded updates, uninstalling a program you liked, installing a program you regret installing,altering a system setting, having windows refuse to boot. They are not efficient ways to protect your personal files but thye are good to get your system running again after a crisis. They do the same job as reset/refresh and other system recovery options but are sometimes more reliable. there are also thrid party programs for making system image backups, things like macrium or acronis but windows 8 contains the ability internally. windows 8.1 has issued with system imaging, i've heard rumours that system images from 8 won't work on 8.1 and that 8.1 doesn't offer internal system imaging at all (but i can't confirm or disprove those rumours, the risk is one of the reasons i avoid going to 8.1).


File history does a job a bit like manual backing up of documents, but as far as i know it only does it for certain file types. It is an automated process so saves you some bother but doing manual backups yourself is more reliable and gives better redundancy, file history backups would be saved onto your main harddrive or onto an always connected external one, a totally separet device would be a safer place to save them. Don't worry about compressing, just get a cheap new external harddrive or onoine backup service when your current one is full. Placing stuff in zip or 7z files can be helfpul though if you are trying to get maybe 720 megabytes onto a 700 megabyte cd-rw, and neither of those processes will cause any long term change to file quality. Also unless you are backing up to an online location it is quicker not to cmpress the files, compression of a large file will often take longer than copying it onto a usb drive or external hard drive.
below are some links to threads on which i have placed long posts about methods of backins up:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/539046/best-practices-for-backing-up-files/
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/548802/best-external-backup-program/
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/548636/help-with-general-backup-info/
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/546738/question-about-external-hard-drives/

Edited by rp88, 17 November 2014 - 01:57 PM.

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#10 MelonBird

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 06:32 PM

Thank you for this! I was thinking I'm going to be spending more time backing up my work than actually doing my work, but it's starting to make sense now. The images are a "square one" I can live with if there's a big mess and I just want to start over. So, make one when the computer's brand new, make another when I've installed apps and tweaked settings and know the system is clean. Make another in the future if I make significant changes to settings or apps, or upgrade the OS. I'm assuming these are too big to store in the cloud, so you just rely on local backup and hope for no meteor hits? :D

 

I like the idea of manual backups, and of separating data from OS/apps. It's an old-school approach, but that means you never have to worry that your synced mystery backup didn't back things up right.

This is why my "documents I change every day" are all in Evernote or elsewhere in the Cloud now. They are backed up almost with every keystroke, no worries until they get hacked (and I do back up what's in the cloud to a local drive periodically). My "documents I'll never change" such as old photos, scans, contracts, can just go into a local archive backup and somewhere on the cloud for redundancy.

 

This, combined with what some other people have shared with me, is starting to make sense of it all for me. Thanks again!



#11 rp88

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 12:33 PM

your stratergy looks fairly good. If you want ot protect against "meteor hits" (well those of less energy than the tunguska event) then give one of the USB drives or hardrives with a system image to a trustworthy friend or relative who lives a few hundred miles away. Once you have backed up your current stuff to a few locations you only need to back up more recent stuff or stuff you edit as time goes on, so though you might spend ages with the first round of backusp after that it might take up 10 minutes each evening when you finish working on something (if you've done many things that day) but probably no more time than that.
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#12 MelonBird

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 02:56 PM

RP88, I don't have such a friend I'd trust not to lose it, and no family, but I'll think of something.

I got my new Windows 8.1 laptop and went to its System Image control panel. It does have the feature, but the feature fails, saying it can't write to the back up disk. Lots of people have complained about this online and someone at the Microsoft for him says it's because Microsoft did a bad job implementing it. So I think that does confirm at least that part of the rumor you've been hearing. Now I'm off to download Macrium instead.

Edited by MelonBird, 18 November 2014 - 03:14 PM.


#13 donisonleague

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 03:13 PM

A bit necroposting @MelonBird.

This can be closed for me, i've solved the problem



#14 quietman7

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 03:18 PM


As a general rule Bleeping Computer does not close (lock) topics in this forum. An exception to that rule is malware related topics...we close topics when a member has been asked to (and does) start a new topic in the Malware Removal Logs forum and posts the required logs. Another exception is when we refer members to post their questions or comments in an existing discussion topic such as those for various ransomware infections.
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#15 MelonBird

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 05:10 PM

With my new laptop today, I discovered I could use the free WD edition of Acronis (since Windows 8.1 apparently doesn't like to do system images). I've made a bootable media download on an external hard drive, and now I'm doing a general backup. I also want to do a system image, and I'm confused because Acronis keeps using the word "image", but my understanding was that a system image should be much smaller than the files it's backing up, but the Acronis backup I did came out to about the size of the occupied space on my laptop's hard drive - 89 gigs.

 

I've put the bootable media and the backups on the same hard drive for now, just because it's all I have that's ready for use at the moment. If I ever need them both, would that be a problem?


Edited by MelonBird, 18 November 2014 - 05:14 PM.





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