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What backup solution do you use?


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#1 silentmonolith

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Posted 02 March 2015 - 03:10 PM

I have been using various backup programs in the past and I'm curios to find what are you guys using. After testing several programs, I came to the conclusion that these work best:

 

Rollback RX

PROs:

 

Backup speed is incredible: 3-4 seconds/snapshot

Snaphots take little space (hundreds of megs usually)

You can lock the snapshots of your choosing to prevent beeing automatically erased

 

CONs

There is no recovery CD

If something damages/overwrites the MBR, the program can't start and basically all is lost

if the main HDD dies, Rollback dies as well

The snapshots cannot be moved/copied

 

Macrium Reflect

PROs:

 

-Traditional way of backing up: select destination and a large file will be created; you can move it to whatever location you want

-Rescue CD available in case application cannot be started from the HDD

 

CONs

 

-Snapshots take a longer time to create (~minutes) and they tend to be large (~GBs)

-Not too impressed with the snapshot management feature: you can set it up to erase backups older than xyz days or just to keep a certain amount of full backups; my ideal management is: have a baseline system snapshot then take incremental consecutive shots; after the incremental shots reach a certain age, they get erased and a new set will be created (baseline shot remains untouched)

-if one of the shots in the chain gets corrupted, you can't do the full restoration; since these volumes tend to be quite large, corruption is a real concern. It happened several times in the past, when I used a similar software (Acronis TrueImage);

 

BackBlaze.com

PROs:

-backing up in the cloud

-easy to install software (install it and forget it)

-unlimited storage space

 

CONs

$50/yearly

 

So I use - Rollback in combination with Macrium plus a cloud storage option.


Edited by hamluis, 19 October 2015 - 05:52 PM.
Moved from Tips/Tricks to All Other Apps - Hamluis.


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#2 Scoop8

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Posted 03 March 2015 - 08:59 AM

I'm using Acronis 2011 for my Cloning and Macrium Reflect free version for Imaging.  I process all of my full-HDD backup processes from RAM with the boot/rescue media.

 

I used to run a RAID 1 array but discontinued it since the mirrored drive will also duplicate malicious intrusions so that negates it as a fast recovery path in the event of such occurrences.

 

I decided to go with periodic Cloning and (full-HDD) Imaging instead of real-time or near real-time HDD backup plans.  That suffices for my current home PC requirements in addition to running an automated twice-daily Acronis backup task for my frequently-updated files and data items.

 

I also run a manual backup script occasionally for those same specific items to a couple of target Flash Sticks for redundancy.

 

Thanks for posting your info, particularly about Rollback.  I had been considering that one a while back but I'm a big believer of using backup tools that provide bootable media, independent of the OS status (MBR's corrupt, can't boot into the OS, etc) so I decided to pass on that one.  Additionally, you mentioned another important point about it since it's not a protection path in the event of the Source (OS)  HDD failing.



#3 silentmonolith

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Posted 03 March 2015 - 09:29 AM

Thanks for your reply. I used Acronis as well and it's quite similar to Macrium (maybe Macrium it's more of a slim down version of Acronis). Do you keep a "factory settings" snapshot though? Let's say, after months of removing and installing programs, you want to revert back to a fast "fresh OS". I used to do that but after a while (4-5 years) this baseline will get corrupted (imagine a 30GB single archive file) and iit will be useless.

 

Don't dismiss Rollback yet - yes, it's main limitiation is the lack of a recovery CD but it's OS independent. It loads up at boot and for a few seconds you get the option to press "Home" for recovery.



#4 Scoop8

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Posted 03 March 2015 - 10:10 AM

Factory Settings:  It's a mixed story for me.  The answer is I'm "halfway" ready for that :)

 

I have 2 Win 7x64 PC's at home.

 

My Desktop PC is a built PC with an Asus MoBo with the standard 2-partition Win 7 OEM version OS installed.  When I bought it in 2010, I wasn't up to speed with full-HDD backup tools.  I had my critical data backed up but wasn't educated enough with terms like "Cloning" and "Imaging".  Since then I went to "HDD backup school" learning from online info and now I have several paths for PC backups available.

 

I have several full-HDD Images that are stored on an external USB HDD, a couple which date back to a couple of years ago so it's not an actual factory restore path but it's fairly close since it goes back in time to a point where I didn't have a lot of programs installed on the Desktop PC.

 

I have a Toshiba Laptop that includes the "recovery" partitions so that one's ready in case I ever need to perform a factory restore process.  I burned a set of factory-restore DVD's in addition to having 2 spare HDD's that I rotate with my periodic Cloning schedule along with a few Images so I have redundant paths for factory restoration if necessary.

 

Rollback: Thanks for the info.  I might take another look at that one.  I recall being interested in it when I was reading about it recently. It sounds like a good program for a near real-time HDD snapshot tool.   I remember reading about the boot sequence ('home' key, etc).  I like that concept.  It's a fast way to restore the complete HDD and it would provide me with multiple restoration points in time that I don't have with my bi-weekly Cloning schedule.

 

How does Rollback install in a Win 7 HDD?  Does it add specific boot information into the Master Boot Code sector of the HDD to achieve OS independence (ie, launch the recovery option menu before loading Windows)?



#5 silentmonolith

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Posted 03 March 2015 - 10:55 AM

Sounds like your back is covered. I'm not an expert in Rollback, but I believe yes, it does alter the MBR record to by-pass the OS. I understand they have a novel way of backing up, hence the incredible speed. It puts "hooks" to existing files and this information is stored in the snapshot. I think just these states are stored in the snapshot rather than actually files. Maybe that's why the snapshots are so small.

 

These shots are hidden though as they're stored in a particular area of the HDD. Careful when you install it  - I'm not sure how your other backup programs will co-exist. I've heard some horrible stories of things going wrong. Personally, I have used it for a 4-5 years and it saved my bacon many times. I've used several versions, never had a real problem with it. It works fine along with Macrium.

 

The only serious problem I've known was when a friend of mine had it removed. Some techie guy thought that the program looked shady (=had no idea what the program was for or how it worked) and he uninstalled it. I have no idea how it was uninstalled but all my friend's personal files disappeared. I've uninstalled it before and never had an incident like this happening. 

 

Finally, I also played with DeepFreeze. It's an interesting program, ideally for people that are computer illiterate - the kind of people that click on things they shouldn't and realize after "oh, how did I become infected?". It creates a virtual HDD where all the modifications take place - when the user reboots the computer, all those modifications are gone and it's back to "factory settings"; to preserve the personal files,  I would create a "thawed" partition for those special folders.(ie. Desktop, My Documents, etc). Think of it - the computer will always be fast as long as the hardwware doesn't fail plus there is no need for antiviruses or firewalls. Have a problem? Reboot!



#6 RolandJS

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Posted 03 March 2015 - 02:57 PM

With two external HDs, I've used Acronis True Image 13, 14, 15.  So far, as long as the external media is sound, the backups are sound, the restores are sound.  While the menu is not really beginner-friendly, I've learned to live with it and use it successfully.  DeepFreeze, would it not need lots of HD space for its Folder/File duplicates, OS & program configurations, etc.? I heard lots of good reports about Macrium!  Maybe later, I can download, install, and use both Acronis and Macrium, and still using my two external HDs.


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#7 silentmonolith

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Posted 03 March 2015 - 08:47 PM

DeepFreeze is actually quite resource-friendly. I recommend it for systems that struggle with Windows 7 along with a firewall, antivirus and additional background running processes. If I remember well, DeepFreeze would create a large file (~1-2GB) where all the changes/modifications would take place. At reboot, I guess all those changes will be flushed away.



#8 Patricia Williamson

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Posted 16 May 2015 - 06:58 AM

Now I have been using this two backup programs like AOMEI backupper and EaseUs Todo Backup software which both are freely available over internet and also supports in windows 7 and windows 8 operating system.



#9 Idiotme

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 09:12 PM

DeepFreeze +1



#10 achek

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 01:37 PM

Deep freeze thumb up!



#11 G_Money

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 12:36 AM

I'm using Acronis 2015 that I got free from a rebate earlier this year. It works pretty well so far. 



#12 j9ksf

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 08:39 AM

I run Shadow Defender as needed and I have never had a problem. For back-ups I use Aomei Backupper - simple and effective.



#13 Aura

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Posted 06 July 2015 - 01:38 PM

Right now, all my important files are stored on Dropbox. I have several hundreds of data that I wish to keep as well (like movies, .iso, installers, etc.) but if I were to lose all of it, I would just re-download them all since they aren't worth taking space on an external hard drive for it. Maybe I'll just back them up once and that's it (for the music and a few select .iso).

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#14 Firehouse

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 01:11 PM

Anyone used AOMEI / Paragon ? They are also good choice,i prefer more AOMEI because it has a lot of features :)



#15 brainout

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 08:32 PM

CLONE.  Better than backup.  Problem is, the big houses no longer clone well when there is a logical partition (did fine prior to last September, I don't know what happened to Macrium then, but its updated program suddenly couldn't clone my logical drive).  So the key is, if cloning, not to have more than 3 partitions on the disk.  Clone is a live bootable copy so there's no 'restore' to go through.  In fact, by mistake I hooked up a Win7 clone to an XP machine at boot, and the Win7 turned it into dual boot in seconds!  So now I can boot in Win7 or XP on that machine.

 

Cloners are many, but the simplest is Clonezilla (follow Windows Method B to make the usb).  EaseUS doesn't work well, I don't know why, but it keeps getting the MBR wrong, in its latest 'free' edition.  I had to stop using it.  However, it copies the logical partition well enough.  So will Macrium Reflect, but again cloning no longer works well with either of them if logical partitions are on the same disk.  I don't know why.  Worked fine until last September on the same computer, for over 2 years.  But still okay for image or traditional backup.

 

Better trick, clone one drive to a stick or vice versa.  I cloned a 60GB external drive to a 64 GB stick in maybe 20 minutes.  Stick to stick takes much longer (overnight, from one 64GB stick to the other).  This way you have multiple copies of the same thing, without resorting to 'backup'.

 

However, backup is better if incremental, and because it's automated.  You can't reliably automate cloning, so far as I know.

 

When in doubt, back it up or clone.  Can't be too thin, too rich, or have too many backups/clones. :)


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