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Hard Drive backup- advice please!!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Mike66, Mar 16, 2006.

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  1. Mike66

    Mike66 Thread Starter

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    Hi all, can anyone help. I want to do a complete copy of my internal hard drive on my pc and create a schedule to back up any files etc that have been changed. I dont know whether to use an external hard drive, software or an online back up system.

    I use many images created in Paint shop pro/adobe cs2/word etc... every day & these are my business & if lost them it would be devastating. I'm not tech minded so thought if had a crash I could have a complete back up of everything on my hard drive including all stuff on my desktop like firefox & bookmarks etc...as well as the important images etc..

    Can I use an external hard drive & set up an automatic backup/copy when I turn my PC off at night or can anyone suggest another more logical way?

    Is Acronis true image 9 the way to go? If I have a crash/hdd mechanical failure will I still be able to use this acronis copy? How can I acess it if I have a virus/ failure? This is probably such a stupid question but I dont know it.

    Hope this is the right place/forum to ask but I know you lot are the right people to help.

    Thanks all

    Mike
     
  2. bigbear

    bigbear

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    You can go the way you suggested with the external drive etc, this is good if anything happens to your pc, what happens if you have a fire?
    The cheapest and safest is backing up to DVD's, take them home with you and put them in a fireproof box.
    It really does depend on your budget and how much you value your data.
    I have just setup a system at work with an external drive that is hooked up to the network, it came with some useful software that you can set to backup daily or weekly.
    We have two of them which we change over weekly and there only ever one on the premises, if the worst happens and the firm burns down the most we loose is a weeks work.
    We did look into the online backup and found it a bit expensive.
     
  3. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I use Acronis True Image for scheduled image backups of my boot partition, Cobian Backup for data backups, and Beyond Compare for large directory synchronization. All of these products will work scheduled and with external USB/Firewire disks. Cobian Backup is free, the other two cost $30/ea.
     
  4. Mike66

    Mike66 Thread Starter

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    Thanks Bigbear & JohnWill,

    Bigbear- the external hard drive hooked up for daily backups sounds like what I was looking for but now not sure which is easier/better. Do you need software like Acronis to schedule a daily backup & can it copy just the files that have been changed? JohnWill mentioned Acronis which I had read about. Would this be overkill or just not necessary? What software would you recommend to use as a schedule backup if I went the hard drive route?

    I don't want to go the route of back up to discs as it took forever & when infront of PC for up to 18 hrs a day just want a safe & reliable system!!

    JohnWill- if I use Acronis, can it back up my total PC (with applications etc..) as in a mirror image? It stores it on my PC hard disc also doesn't it? What happens if I have a system crash or a virus or hard disc failure- can it be recovered & how easy is it to get my PC back up running? Would it be better to have an external hard disc to have completely seperate from PC & reboot/upload back onto PC from there?

    Thanks all,

    Mike
     
  5. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Personally, I'd forget about trying to have another bootable hard disk, since it only takes minutes to boot the True Image restore CD and restore the image from the external drive. :)

    Yes, True Image will make mirror image compressed files of any partition, obviously I use it for my boot partition. Cobian Backup will allow you to schedule periodic backups of data files, it's quite flexible. I use Beyond Compare to synchronize large folder trees, since I like to trim the deleted data from the mix.
     
  6. bigbear

    bigbear

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    The drives I purchased came with backup software which I have found more than adequate for our needs. I have it set to backup every day from all pc's on the network, no problems so far at all.
    I haven't actually had the need to use Acronis yet so can't really comment.
    I chose this drive because it will connect to the network or USB, Click link for drive used.
    http://www.microdirect.co.uk/ProductInfo.aspx?ProductID=9100&GroupID=1427
     
  7. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    Myself – I prefer external hard drive ”Enclosures” … the hardware without the Hard Drive.
    Good ones can be found for about $30 > $40.
    Then – I can shop for sales on Hard drives.
    Sometimes, I can find 160gigs for around $40, after rebates.
    Last week, I found a name brand 250gig with 16mb cache for $69.

    Besides possibly getting more gig for the buck, there is an advantage of being able to change HDs or swap them with your computer.

    You can have a fully operational “Cloned” HD, in the enclosure (as a spare) .. and still use it for data backups.
    You can also extract data from a BSOD HD … if you can move it to an External.

    Enclosures also come without Software .. maybe you can save enough to get Acronis TI to go with it ~ $30
     
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