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Looking For A Proven-good Backup Utility

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#1 tos226



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Posted 11 September 2006 - 04:32 PM

I was just checking what BC suggests for good backup
It's a good link, very good, except that the websites didn't give me sufficient info to base the decision on.

Computer is WindowsXP home. I've been using NT backup, system and all, but I hear that it's not an image backup, which would be good to make every once in a while.
I have 80gig USB harddrive, Western Digital or somthing similar. I think it's NTFS, but might be FAT.
The universal standard for imaga backup seems to be norton's ghost, I've seen it used at work, but I don't want it.

What I'm looking for is a solid performer, i.e. tested under disaster recovery procedures. It gotta be easy to use, but the key thing is what it takes to recover in the event of trashing the computer hard drive. Did it boot, dit it lose files, did the computer worked afterwards - that sort of thing. I'm not looking for ads or magazine review type text, where I know they don't really test under circumstances where backup is so vital. Just real experience please.

Free would be best. Reasonably priced - acceptable.

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#2 rubiconeye


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Posted 11 September 2006 - 05:40 PM

hi, tos225,

i use a prog 'driveimage xml'


it's free, easy to use, and from experience i know it works. you can install it on your computer to make your backup image to another drive, whatever. if you are restoring an os partition tho, you need a copy on a boot disk. i use the copy in 'ubcd4win' which is also free, but you can put a plugin in a bartpe or i believe any kind of linux boot disk.

definately worth a try!

good luck

#3 dc3


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Posted 12 September 2006 - 01:06 AM

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#4 usasma


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Posted 16 September 2006 - 09:50 AM

A solid backkup strategy requires a lot of thought and preparation.

First, there's backups and then there's images. Given unlimited time and unlimited disk space, IMO the image route is the best.

But, most of us can't afford unlimited time (to do the backups in) and unlimited disk space (to store them) - so other solutions are called for.

Here's what I do for my wife's business.

Backups (I use SyncBackSE) -
1) Backup and verify data to another drive on the file server daily
2) Backup and verify data to another system in the office daily
3) Backup and verify data to home hard drive (12 miles away) daily (I use pcAnywhere for this)
4) Backup and verify data to CD (at home) monthly
5) Looking into an out of region backup in case of a natural disaster (we live near the coast, so a hurricane is a possibility)

Images (I use Acronis True Image Enterprise Server)-
1) Image and verify all computers initially to a separate hard drive (on single drive systems I set up the Acronis Secure Zone).
2) ReImage and verify those computers that are affected by updates as this happens
3) Periodic (monthly) images (also verified) of the one computer with Internet access.
4) Images of everything are verified and duplicated to a USB hard drive.
5) I have not developed a solution to store these images anywhere else at this time. I'm looking for an automated solution - but there are some limitation on the transfer of these large files over our current web connections.

This scenario hopefully addresses all the possible disasters that could affect the business and will allow us to reconstruct the data in the event of a disaster.

Also, I'm looking into RAID1 to mirror the drive on the file server. I've actually purchased the second drive and a RAID card but haven't installed them yet. What I'm looking to do here is to provide instant recovery in case of a hard drive crash.

The next thing I plan on doing is configuring 2 of the systems (the file server and another identical computer) for hot swapping of the drives. This way, if the main system goes down we can hot swap the drives to the other system and keep on working.

Hope that this helps you out!
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#5 tos226



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Posted 18 September 2006 - 08:58 PM

This is much help, more than I expected. Between this thread and Larry's
I should be able to figure out the rest of the strategy.

Work situation is always different. I don't have to think about it :thumbsup:
Your wife's business is as business should be - a server, RAID arrays, mirror drives and all.

At home - no such luxuries, and the patchwork of data backups I do does not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling that it will work in disasters. The data part is easy, as is a similar schedule to yours.
It's the visions of having to reinstall Windows back to 2 years ago and then fight with over 100 patches that scares the heck out of me.
I'll check out the other imaging utilities you mentioned. I wish I understood the computer better to appreciate some of the stuff you mentioned about Toshiba things. In safe mode I can read USB external drive, I just checked, but whether it would work in reimaging, who knows.

Thank you very much.

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