System backup in a cloud?
Thread poster: Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro

Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro
Germany
Local time: 00:46
Member (2011)
English to German
+ ...
Oct 28, 2011

I was going to post this in today's poll discussion, but so many questions came up that I thought it would be better to open a new topic.

I am trying to find the best way to backup my data and my system.

I looked at this online backup system named Carbonite - it is not too expensive, but stores only files, not system and software. I am looking for a solution that lets me backup all the system.

I don't like external hard disks - we live in a rough place and I managed to ruin one external hard disk before - with beloved family photos on it. Irrecoverably lost.icon_frown.gif

So I would be glad if you could tell me of your experiences with online backup systems - how safe, how expensive? Or are there still other ways?

Regards
Anna


 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:46
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Carbonite Oct 28, 2011

Dear Anna,

I don't think there is an online backup system that protects your OS and software installations as well, but maybe there is.

I used Carbonite for a couple of years and was very happy with it, but I didn't extend my contract because I found out that Studio 2009 doesn't work well with it. Carbonite tries to backup files that have recently been changed, and if that happens to be the sdlxliff you're working on, or the TM, or whatever, there seemed to be a conflict of read/write rights. I don't know who's to blame, but Studio was the only software that had problems with Carbonite. I had to disable Carbonite while working with Studio, which isn't quite what I want.

Kind regards,
Erik


 

MartinPorto  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 23:46
French to English
+ ...
Backup! Oct 28, 2011

What about putting another seperate hard drive into your PC, its childs play, drives are not expensive, and you have a physical seperate location, better still, that setup, with say NovaStore backup installed, then you could save a system image to the new hard drive.

ALL my machines are setup like that as a minimum! and they are also raided, mirrored drives, just in case.

Hope that helps!


 

Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 00:46
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Not practical Oct 28, 2011

Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro wrote:

I was going to post this in today's poll discussion, but so many questions came up that I thought it would be better to open a new topic.

I am trying to find the best way to backup my data and my system.


Anna, I am afraid that total system backups and online archives do not go together well... As Erik mentioned, most of the systems do incremental backups, i.e. they try to find the files which were indeed changed. With system discs the sheer amount of data and the peculiarities of the Windows system (temporary files, logs, registers, etc.) make it rather impractical.

I think a better solution would be to make a "ghost" backup of your system file with everything installed (either on a local external drive or as a one-time online upload) and then update just the working data (with "User" files, which include browser profiles, document templates, software settings and most of the things that you would actually need in case restoration is needed etc.). However, you should really know where and how each program saves its settings, files, etc.


 

Michael Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:46
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Dropbox + Dropbox Folder Sync (+ Macrium Reflect) Oct 28, 2011

I keep my system safe using:

1. Dropbox + Dropbox Folder Sync for my data and program data, and

2. Macrium Reflect (nightly backup to an external HD) for the entire OS.

Just remember that for some programs it is necessary to Pause/Unpause Dropbox syncing, and that it is occasionally necessary to close a program to allow Dropbox to sync it to the cloud.

Figure out where your important programs (primarily memoQ and TO3000 in my case) store their data, and use Dropbox Folder Sync to sync this with your Dropbox:

http://wiki.dropbox.com/DropboxAddons/DropboxFolderSync

'Lets you sync any folder outside dropbox with just a Right-click and Selecting "Sync With Dropbox". So simple .
Moves the original folder to dropbox and creates a symbolic link for the folder using the junction utility(installs automatically with the setup) from Sysinternals. Thus you can access the same folder from two locations.'



[Edited at 2011-10-28 19:00 GMT]


 

Claudio LR
Local time: 00:46
Member (2007)
English to Italian
+ ...
Acronis should do the job Oct 28, 2011

This one should do the job, I have not tried it personally, but you can have a free trial and let us know if it works well.
http://www.acronis.eu/backup-recovery/online/
It doesn't seem very expensive

Best,


 

Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro
Germany
Local time: 00:46
Member (2011)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Excuse me if I do not answer each of you in separate... Oct 28, 2011

... but thank you all, this will help!

I am using Dropbox since a couple of weeks, so I am not yet very familiar with it. It is great to know that I can sync even folders that are not in the Dropbox. Has anyone tried this with the data from TOM?

Good to know as well that Carbonite does not play well with Studio 2009 - I work with that for most of my projects, so it might not be a good option.

I think that considering the amount of thunderstorms, heavy rainfall and forest fires we experience all year round in our beautiful Portuguese house I will have to opt for any kind of online storage - something like Jabberwock was describing - anyway backing up all the system every day would be pointless and unnecessary.

Now here's the stupid question of the day, of someone that spends all day in front of her computers but never, ever has made a backup: How big is the average system backup ?

Kind regards
Anna


 

FarkasAndras
Local time: 00:46
English to Hungarian
+ ...
External drive Oct 28, 2011

The most convenient way to do full system backups is to save an image of your drive onto an external HDD. The data is too much for cloud storage (well over 10GB, it could easily reach 50-100GB if you have a lot of stuff on your computer). Note that an external HDD is a lot safer than a drive that's mounted in your computer; if it's not plugged in, a lightning strike won't take it out.
It would also make sense to keep one backup HDD at a different location; that way, your data is safe if a burglar takes all your electronics or a house fire destroys them - although this might seem a bit too paranoid.
I use DriveImageXML because I'm too cheap to use a paid solution. DImgXML works fine, I have used it several times to clone my system to a new drive.


 

Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:46
Finnish to French
DriveImageXML is very slow Nov 5, 2011

FarkasAndras wrote:
I use DriveImageXML because I'm too cheap to use a paid solution. DImgXML works fine, I have used it several times to clone my system to a new drive.

Last time I tried it, DriveImageXML was extremely slow, about 4 times slower than other solutions like Acronis. There are other free image backup programs that are as fast as the paid ones, eg. Windows own (if you have Windows 7) and Macrium Reflect Free (http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx). The problem with the free solutions is that they don't support incremental backups, so they waste time and disk space. If you want to stick to a free solution, give Macrium Reflect Free a try, and compare the time it takes to complete a full image backup with DriveImageXML.

[Edited at 2011-11-05 13:35 GMT]


 

FarkasAndras
Local time: 00:46
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Not a factor Nov 5, 2011

Dominique Pivard wrote:

FarkasAndras wrote:
I use DriveImageXML because I'm too cheap to use a paid solution. DImgXML works fine, I have used it several times to clone my system to a new drive.

Last time I tried it, DriveImageXML was extremely slow, about 4 times slower than other solutions like Acronis. There are other free image backup programs that are as fast as the paid ones, eg. Windows own (if you have Windows 7) and Macrium Reflect Free (http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx). The problem with the free solutions is that they don't support incremental backups, so they waste time and disk space. If you want to stick to a free solution, give Macrium Reflect Free a try, and compare the time it takes to complete a full image backup with DriveImageXML.

[Edited at 2011-11-05 13:35 GMT]

Honestly, I don't care about how quickly a drive image is generated. It's never going to be done in 20 seconds, so I obviously don't sit at the computer and twiddle my thumbs while I wait... I start DimgXML at a time when I have something else to do while it completes; I don't care if it takes 20 minutes or 45. I make backup images once or twice a year at best, so it's not a daily time sink by any means.
I also like that DimgXML allows you to poke around in the image and extract individual files instead of restoring the whole thing, and that it can compress data. Any advantages other tools may have aren't worth the time I'd spend researching them.


 

Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro
Germany
Local time: 00:46
Member (2011)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
more functions Nov 5, 2011

I downloaded DIXml and it seems to have a few more functions than Macrium. I can live with it being slow, as well.

The internal Windows Backup always asks me to which external Drive I want to save my Backup - it won't make a backup file or folder that I can save on a safe location later, and DIXml does that.

After looking around a lot I decided to try Livedrive Briefcase. It is not an automatic backup solution, but their offer is so good that I can just keep all my personal data there and don't have to think about space at all, it syncs between my computers and I can access it from the web as well. So right now I am in the process of copying all my files to there. Well, is it safe? I guess we never can be 100% sure.

I really like the idea that I bought this nice online home for my files. Of course I will keep a copy at home, as well, but the ease of working with data between different computers and to know that my files are not going to simply disappear in the next heavy rainfalls or thunderstorm is a relief.

Thank you for all your input and ideas!


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:46
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Two-pronged approach Nov 6, 2011

Jabberwock wrote:
Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro wrote:
I am trying to find the best way to backup my data and my system.

With system discs the sheer amount of data and the peculiarities of the Windows system (temporary files, logs, registers, etc.) make it rather impractical.


I think there is room for a two-pronged approach whereby one backup is a critical (or basic) system backup and one backup is a data backup.

In this scenario, one might start by doing a complete (but minimal) re-install of your computer, and then creating a backup of that. This would allow you to get a new computer back to the needed state quickly so that you can continue working without having to spend time reinstalling software.

Such a backup would contain only the programs that you really, really need for your business, e.g. the operating system, your CAT tools, any utilities that you regularly use, and your internet and office software. No user data except for the basic settings. This backup would be created only once. Presumably the backup would be restored to an ISO file that you can burn to a set of DVDs so that you can copy it back onto an empty harddrive (but I don't know how that would work).

The second backup would then be your user data, which is backed up incrementally and continously. This would include all your e-mail and your previous jobs' files. A third, separate backup would be non-business related data, such as holiday photos, videos and games.


 

FarkasAndras
Local time: 00:46
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Boot disc Nov 6, 2011

Samuel Murray wrote:

In this scenario, one might start by doing a complete (but minimal) re-install of your computer, and then creating a backup of that. This would allow you to get a new computer back to the needed state quickly
Presumably the backup would be restored to an ISO file that you can burn to a set of DVDs so that you can copy it back onto an empty harddrive (but I don't know how that would work).

With DiXML, you can just leave that backup on an external HDD. You can create a bootable CD that contains the DiXML software. Put your new hard drive in the computer, plug in the external drive that contains the backup image, boot the CD, launch DiXML and restore the image to the new system drive. You need a Windows (XP?) install disc to create the bootable CD (BartPE). I'm sure other backup vendors offer similar arrangements (bootable disc with backup/restore sw on it).
Of course it's recommended to create the bootable disc and test it when you do your first backup.


 


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