Back up and restore: newbie questions
Thread poster: Samuel Murray

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:04
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
May 1, 2009

G'day everyone

A colleague of mine got himself a new harddrive for backing up. It's a normal SATA drive in an external casing, which I cannot open myself (fancy screws). He'll be accessing it via USB. It's one terabyte.

He wants to use it to make backups once or twice a day. The main thing is Documents and Settings, which clocks in at 60 GB (just My Documents alone is about 55 GB, so he might as well backup the entire parent folder).

However, with this big a drive he might as well also backup the entire hard drive to a restore point. I suspect backing up an entire laptop may not be ideal because a replacement laptop is likely to be a different model and therefore not compatible with the image, but I'm not sure.

With a drive this big one might as well back up some of the other computers in the house as well.

So my questions are:

1. What sort of partitioning scheme would you recommend?
2. Can he do a full "mirrored" style backup onto a subpart of the physical hard drive (i.e. onto a partition)?
3. What backup and restore programs (free or cheap) would you recommend? Simpler is better. Preferably incremental or differential, since he'll be using USB and 60 GB is not a small amount of data.

Anything else you think I should know? Oh, the operating system of the important computer is Windows XP, but one of the other laptops in the house has Vista Home on it.

Thanks!


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Frederic Lievre
Ireland
Local time: 12:04
English to French
+ ...
Partition May 1, 2009

Hi there,

I would use something called "Partition Magic" so you can actually create a primary partition that in case of probleme with the extended partition on which the OS is installed, you can delete that partition without any risk for the data.
As for the restore I would use something like GHOST. Norton used to ship that free when buying an antivirus from them. Pretty fast


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:04
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Previous ProZ.com posts May 1, 2009

Samuel Murray wrote:
Anything else you think I should know? Oh, the operating system of the important computer is Windows XP, but one of the other laptops in the house has Vista Home on it.


Some programs mentioned in previous threads:

http://www.proz.com/forum/translator_resources/8327-backup_is_a_must_but_how_to_do_it.html
* Norton Ghost (positive and negative reviews)
* SmartBackup

http://www.proz.com/forum/safe_computing/9897-best_way_to_backup.html
* Powerquest

http://www.proz.com/forum/safe_computing/30875-whats_the_best_back_up_program_for_translators.html
* Bounceback
* SecondCopy 2000
* UltraBackup
* Novaback
* 2 Brightsparks
* Retrospect

http://www.proz.com/forum/windows_operating_systems/36858-backup_with_win_xp.html
* (use built-in Windows XP tool)
* File Backup Watcher
* Karen's Replicator

http://www.proz.com/forum/windows_operating_systems/41079-external_hd_strategies.html
* SyncToy

http://www.proz.com/forum/poll_discussion/42955-poll:_how_often_do_you_make_full_system_backups.html
* Abakt
* Acronis True Image


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 14:04
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
For last 3 or 4 years May 1, 2009

I use

http://www.cobiansoft.com/cobianbackup.htm (free, donations welcome).

First it was Cobian Backup 8 Version 8 Black Moon, now it is Cobian Backup 9
Version 9 Amanita.

It has 4 basic options (incremental or differential and 2 more), as well as many more customisable settings (file selection, timer, exclusions, whatever).

I have 2 external HDDs which are backed up by Cobian (one is 1 terabyte WD "My Book" for full backup, the other one 80 GB slim-case for basic data backup- which I take with me when I go to my summer place).

I have to say I'm very satisfied with this soft.

As to backing up the System- IMHO, Acronis is the best, but backing up the system is different story altogether (it can't be backed up in a normal mode, but only in DOS mode- or whatever you call this pre-start mode in Vista ).

Uldis


[Rediģēts plkst. 2009-05-01 11:00 GMT]


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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
acronis HOME May 1, 2009

USB SATA? AFAIK USB2.0 interface is limited up to 10 MB/s. So, your colleague wastes his time and the only benefit is the HDD doesn't require any cooling

As for me I prefer Acronis HOME (free) to restore 100+GB partition using the incremental backup. It proved to be really useful when I also bought a new 1TB HDD and had to transfer the system. A piece of cake.

For my documents I use a 16GB flash, but for everyday prevention I would consider SandBoxIE (per-application virtualization) or ShadowUser (virtual account).

Cheers.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 13:04
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Well, e-SATA only works if... May 2, 2009

DZiW wrote:
USB SATA? AFAIK USB2.0 interface is limited up to 10 MB/s. So, your colleague wastes his time and the only benefit is the HDD doesn't require any cooling


True, but although the casing comes with an e-SATA port, one can only use e-SATA if there is an equivalent port available on the laptop... and there isn't. The fastest connection to the laptop is 10/100, but the hard drive doesn't have a 10/100 port (nor do I think one get such hard drives). So the optimal one is USB.

We did a backup with SyncBack and the initial backup of 60 GB took about 2 hours, but after than the increments take between 5 and 10 minutes depending on the amount of data change. It's a single-copy incremental backup (similar to mirroring, in fact, except that obsolute files are not deleted on the target). And it's not as if you're going to wait while the backup completes, right? One can simply continue working while the backup takes place.

We eventually decided against backing up the entire hard drive because such a full backup would only be useful if the laptop itself crashes (because then you have the same laptop), not if it is stolen (because then you have a new, different laptop).

As for me I prefer Acronis HOME (free)...


The latest version of Acronis Home isn't free anymore:
http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/


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