Understood.brendandonhu said:A full backup will completely revert your computer, including your personal files and documents. System restore can only revert Windows system files and settings.
Is Norton's Ghost on a separate [hardware] drive? Or is it a partitioned local drive? Is your webmail server's 10GB storage the same as a good backup?kiwiguy said:It really depends just what you want to backup.
I do a backup daily of all documents, emails etc.
I do a "disk image" using Nortons Ghost at Windows install time, after the main applications are loaded.
In the event of a failure of the hard drive, installing a new drive, reloading the image and then the backed up data is all thats needed, apart from any programs subsequently installed to the imaging, which I reinstall.
But backing up the data is the critical issue, even Windows and the applications can simply be reinstalled, its just the matter of the time it takes.
I backup to a separate drive, putting the image on a partition on the same drive is not useful if the drive controller fails. I also backup to DVD.
The external hard drive sounds good. Is this the same as a flash drive? If an external drive is plugged into a USB port, is it a separate drive, that has to be mapped, OR, is it a partition of the local [C] drive? How is it protected from viral infection, in either case...dmullen said:You will not have to do either if you want to backup to CD or DVD disks. This is slow if you have large amounts of data or files to backup.
Partitioning is easy nowdays but the problem with that is that if you only have one hard drive and it fails, you may lose everything on that partition too. You can add a second hard drive easily and that is not too bad and gives a little extra security for your backups.
It would be best to have USB 2.0 available and if you don't have that, PCI cards are available at a low cost that will add them to your computer. My computer is old and that is what I had to do and it works well/
Adding an external hard drive is easy and relatively cheap now. You can easily build your own cheaper than buying one that is already assembled, especially if you get hard drives on sale. I recenly bought 4 large ones (160 gig to 200 gig) for $19 to $59 each. Then I used external USB 2.0 enclosures bought over the net and assembled them into external hard drives for my backups.
There are a couple of kinds of backups and I do both.
First is an image of my hard drive. I do this with Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image. I prefer Acronis but have Ghost and a lot of free drive space so use both but not at the same time. I alternate them every couple of weeks or more frequently sometimes.
The image is a complete backup of everything on the hard drive at the time the image was created. If there are any problems on the drive, those are backed up too. Restoration of this is much quicker than reinstalling everything. It used to take me 16 hours to restore my hard drive. Now, if it ever failed, I could be up and running in 45 minutes or less and only be a little out of date.
I used to back my drives up to CD's or DVD's but now use external USB hard drives because I have bought several really cheap and then put them into USB 2.0 enclosures.
I backup to them and then leave them off until needed again so that if a problem such as a virus causes damage to my computer, the external drives are not often exposed to hazards and never all at the same time.
My hard drives are partitioned into C: drive (program files only), D: drive (data files only) E: drive (maps and things that never change), F: drive, and several external drives for backups (images and others).
The downside of imaging if there is one is that the backup is at one point in time and they get old in a hurry if you add programs frequently. It is not a downside if you seldom add programs.
This can be overcome by doing them frequently so that you are never very far out of date. The new version of Acronis will do incremental backups but I have not bought it yet (waiting for a sale). This would keep the images current without using much more file space.
The other type of backup that I use is done with freeware (Cobian Backup) and it is used to backup my data files that change frequently. This particular program does it's backups in "Zip" format so no proprietary program is needed to open and restore these files.
I do these backups every day or two for most files and daily for those that are very important.
This program can be scheduled to backup at any time you want and will backup to multiple locations. It can also be run manually which is the way I now use it.
I have the data sent to at least two destinations each time so in the event of a failure, I do not lose any data due to disk failures.
I used to use "BackUpMyPC" and it is a good program but if you need to restore a file, you have to use only this program. In the days of Windows 98, I had frequent crashes so the BackupMyPC catalogs were often lost and this made it really time consuming to find and recover lost data.
I still put the Cobian data on CD's occasionally just to make sure that I have a hard copy or two.
These are tracked by a CD and DVD cataloging program (I think it will also catalog Zip disks too) called "WhereIsIt".
This program allows you to scan and catalog your removable diskettes so that any file or folder you want can be found immediately. It is an excellent program for this purpose.
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