Backup confussion (novice)?

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ard_2_da_bone

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Oct 21, 2009
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To anyone that can help.

I recently bought a WD Elements External Desktop hard drive to back up my laptop (I bought the WD Elements as I have recently been made unemployed and needed a low cost option). I was told by the sales assistant in my local shop that their would be some backup software on the WD website I would be able to download (such as WD Smartware Software), unfortunately through trawling their website and emailing their customer help this was not the case. I was advised by WD (Western Digital) to use the Microsoft Vista OS Backup & Restore facility (mine is Vista Home Premium 64bit) or seek a third party software. I looked into the option of using the Microsoft Vista Backup & Restore function and found that their are normally 2 options, 'backup' & 'full computer backup'. Unfortunately with my Vista Home Premium OS I don't get the 'full computer backup' option and I'm unsure of the difference between the 2 options through the vista backup & restore function.
I decided to look up the term 'backup' in wikipedia and in general on the web. I am now even more confussed and baffled with all the different types (mirror, full, incremental, differential, continuous, image copy, drive level & full system types, etc).
I am now not sure of what type of backup I need, let alone a software that I can search for to do it. I simply thought their might be a software I could get that would copy my system and files to start an then backup changes their after, with a start button and scheduled backup on connection of my hard drive.
As I am completely baffled now, by what I need & should be looking for, I wonder if anyone could help spell out what I need and should be searching for should the worst happen so that I could get my computer back as it is with all my stuff.

Please, please, please, any help would be awesome.
 

Stoner

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Oct 26, 2002
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I separate my data backups from my operating system backup using different applications.
Since you have chosen a WD brand for your external hard drive, you do have the option of downloading from WD, a free version of Acronis True Image, to make a drive image of your system...preferably stored on that external drive. That is a backup of your operating system and the file generated is called a drive image. Typically, new drive images are only made when there is considerable change of my system.....for me, maybe ranging from 6 months to a year apart.
You can download it here for free: http://support.wdc.com/product/downloaddetail.asp

For regular backups of data, there are several apps that I like ......Syncback Free
here: http://www.2brightsparks.com/freeware/
I like this for it's range of options and speed.

Karens Replicator:
http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptreplicator.asp
Also free and simplistic to set up......you'll probably feel more comfortable using it for it's simplicity.
 

ard_2_da_bone

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Oct 21, 2009
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Hi Stoner,
Cheers for the very quick and prompt response. So are u saying I need 1 software 2 take a complete backup of system (Acronis) and a different software to make regular backups (Syncback Free) of changes to my files, etc? And this will cover me in the event of problems with my laptop dying or similar with hardware/software probs?

Sorry, really need it spelt out for me, all the stuff I'v read & terms on backups baffle me. lol

I bought a 1TB external drive, my laptops drive is 500GB & I think I'm using 350GB of it. Will I have enough space to back up this way and regularly?
 

Stoner

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Joined
Oct 26, 2002
Messages
44,931
Hi Stoner,
Cheers for the very quick and prompt response. So are u saying I need 1 software 2 take a complete backup of system (Acronis) and a different software to make regular backups (Syncback Free) of changes to my files, etc? And this will cover me in the event of problems with my laptop dying or similar with hardware/software probs?

Sorry, really need it spelt out for me, all the stuff I'v read & terms on backups baffle me. lol

I bought a 1TB external drive, my laptops drive is 500GB & I think I'm using 350GB of it. Will I have enough space to back up this way and regularly?

So are u saying I need 1 software 2 take a complete backup of system (Acronis) and a different software to make regular backups (Syncback Free) of changes to my files, etc?
That's my preference as the software is free in that respect.
There is a full version of Acronis ( paid version) that does both. But I have no experience with it.


And this will cover me in the event of problems with my laptop dying or similar with hardware/software probs?
As far as a hard drive failure or corruption like from malware or even a bad MS critical update which recently happened to me.......yes.
The data will, of course, transfer from your external drive to another computer in case of a catastrophic failure of your laptop.
Just remember there is no 100% safety and even an external drive can fail.


Will I have enough space to back up this way and regularly?
Looks like you should.

I don't know your system configuration.......mine is set up so that I save all data to 'My Documents' which I have moved to a different partition than my operating system resides in.
To image an OS that includes 'My Documents' would result in a very large drive image file in a case where there is as much data as 300GB.

If you don't want to move 'My Documents' to another partition, the full Acronis might be a better choice for you.
Since I've never used it, I can't comment other than people that use it to back up their OS and data together, seem satisfied.

Sorry, really need it spelt out for me, all the stuff I'v read & terms on backups baffle me. lol
Yeah....:D....there are a lot of ways to set up what you are looking for and only you will know what best suits you.
I like simplicity....but it took me a while to test and see what suited me the best.
 
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