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Backup - Am I doing this right ?


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#1 Steve-1

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:57 AM

I backup regularly, but just want to double check with the experts that I am doing everything correctly.   Would not want to find out the hard way that my copied system image is corrupt because I was doing something wrong.

 

I am running Windows 7 and nightly backup a system image to an external hard drive using the Windows "Backup and Restore".    This would protect me from a drive failure, but unlikely to protect me from malware, since the external drive is always connected.

 

Weekly, I copy the WindowsImageBackup and MediaID.bin to a second computer and then shut down that computer (second computer is only used for storage)    I copy and paste the files using Explorer.    The Image folder contains sub folders Backup-date, Catalog, SPPMetadataCashe, and file MediaId.    I don't see any sub-folders in these folders.    I also copy my raw data to the second computer (just in case).

 

Every couple of months, I copy my backups from the second computer to a portable hard drive,  using Copy and Paste in Explorer.    I keep the portable hard drive at a different location.

 

All this sound proper?     Is there any way to validate the integrity of the copied system image, other than actually doing a full restore?



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#2 RolandJS

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 03:04 PM

I'm not even close to being an expert, however, I'll add my comments   :)

 

"...nightly backup a system image to an external hard drive..."   Excellent!  Any backup is better than no backup; you do disconnect this external HD when the backup is complete, correct?  My OCD has me doing two full images of my OS and data partitions onto my two external HDs, however, that does not mean you have to   :)

Using Windows built-in backup/restore has been a boon to many and a bust to many others,  some in here will suggest moving to any one of a number of excellent free and fee 3rd party backup / restore / clone programs such as:  EaseUS ToDo, AOMEI Backupper, Macrium Reflect, just to name 3 of many.


Edited by RolandJS, 15 July 2017 - 03:07 PM.

"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)


#3 RolandJS

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 03:11 PM

"...copy my backups from the second computer to a portable hard drive..."  in conjunction with your earlier paragraph leads me to this comment:  this too is excellent; many suggest having backups not only on external media, but also having one of two external media backup devices at another location -- I trust you already vetted that location.

 

You have done a good part of the famous recent 3-2-1 strategies being floated around The 'Net.


"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)


#4 RolandJS

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 03:14 PM

Concerning ransomware possibilities, the only thing that comes to my mind is eternal vigilance, cautious / careful browsing, in short, you are the most important part of any and all security, monitoring, backing up strategies.  Quietman7 has loads of threads and posts that you can search for and read at your convenience.  Be aware you are doing much more than what many others are doing, press on! 


"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)


#5 Steve-1

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 04:06 PM

Thank you.

 

Actually, I don't disconnect the external hard drive.    I do a backup and a virus scan every night, so I would be connecting/disconnecting too often and probably forgetting to do one or the other half the time.   I also use it occasionally during the day.

 

Maybe I am not too trusting, but I wonder if the system image is fully valid and complete.   That's why I also backup the raw data. 

 

Actually, I got hit by ransomeware once, maybe 5 years ago.  I had reasonable backups so it would not have been the end of the world (trust me, you start doing much better back-ups after you have been hit).   Took my computer to a big chain and they said they would have to re-format the hard drive, "that's the only possibility".    But they were busy and could not get around to it for a day or two.

 

So I took it the the one man shop down the street.   He said he would unlock it.   I asked if he was going to reformat my hard drive.   He said no, he would just unlock it.    "You can do that ?"  I asked.   He asked did it say "we are the international whatever police....."   I said yeah that it.   He said just going to unlock it --- done it a hundred times.   And he was cheaper than the big chain.    I think the ransomware is more sophisticated these days, however. 


Edited by Steve-1, 15 July 2017 - 04:06 PM.


#6 RolandJS

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:22 PM

"...Actually, I don't disconnect the external hard drive..."  Then, remember, whatever hits your main internal hard-drive, whether viri, malware, ransomware, will very likely hit your attached external backup hard-drive.  I forced myself to learn to remember to plug/unplug my external hard-drives.


"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 mightywiz

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 05:23 PM

we backup to 2 different drives alternating them every other night.  so one is always disconnected, so if something happens then we have a backup that wasn't online when it happended.  and have a clean restore image.



#8 dropbear

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 06:18 PM

@steve,

just to throw in my 2 cents worth.

 

Although I'm a huge believer in backups too, there is a point where they can rule your life.

You don't won't to spend more time doing backups than the time it would take to reload your OS and data from scratch for example.

Don't get me wrong, I backup to a NAS nightly, to an external drive weekly, and offsite monthly and image the system every time MS releases a new build.

The longest of those is the image which only takes 8 minutes (gotta love Macrium Reflect).

But the time spent doing and managing your backups should be proportionate.

 

Also, with validating your backup integrity, I'd recommend doing a 'test run'.

Come D-day, the chances are you'll have to use your backups when you can least afford to.  These things never happen at a good time. :)

So why not control that and dictate the day yourself, set aside a quite day/period where you can do your backups, then pretend it has all hit the fan and go through your recovery process.

Actually do a restore from your backups - it's the only way to discover what you have missed.


Instead of reading this, why not do a backup of your PC.

You won't regret it.


#9 RolandJS

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 09:53 PM

+1 dropbear!  Backups should not take so much time that such becomes a major burden.  On the average, each rollerstoller computer gets backed up approximately every 2 weeks, sometimes less, sometimes more -- depending upon major OS/3rd party programs' changes or real important data changes.


Edited by RolandJS, 09 August 2017 - 08:18 AM.

"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)


#10 britechguy

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 10:30 PM

I have always told my clients that their metric for when to do a backup is to ask themselves the question, "Would I wail, pull my hair out, and be beside myself if I had to redo the work I've done since the last time I backed up or lose the new files I've added since the last time I backed up?"

 

For some people, and in specific instances, the answer could be "Yes" on a daily basis (perhaps even more) but for most of us, most of the time, the answer is "Yes," only once every few weeks or even every few months.  For folks who use their PCs primarily for web browsing and reading e-mail the backup frequency is a lot less frequent than, say, someone writing a novel who's generating new chapters every day or a photographer who's just uploaded those wedding photos from last weekend and has spent five hours today alone in doing touch-up, cropping, etc.

 

But you have to be honest when you answer that question, and I've seen a lot of folks lie to themselves, fail to do backups even when they have the drive(s) to do them, and have a nervous breakdown when their computer melts down and they lose more than they really wanted to cope with losing.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

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    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#11 RolandJS

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 08:25 AM

Britechguy, it does not hurt to backup the OS partition on the average twice-monthly.  Many changes happen within the Windows/3rd parties combine.  And it's been my experience:

-- less backup = the more hassle if/when that combine has a major problem

-- too much backup = un-necessary work

-- right amount of backup = not much hassle at all to fix the combine if/when it has a major problem

Data?  Well, what you excellently posted in your previous post covered that :)


"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)





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