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Windows backup utility or Ghost?

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by KingElvis, Feb 17, 2004.

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  1. KingElvis

    KingElvis Thread Starter

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    Hi everyone,

    A friend and I set up a little network for this guy we know and we're just having a little debate which to use to back up his data.

    Network setup;

    He has 4 pc's, all running XP Pro. He's main machine, we call server, has two 200 GB Hds. This machine stores all the data from the other 3 client computers. He wants the first 200 Gb drive which stores the partitions for the client computers to be backed up into the second 200 Gb drive.

    Question;

    Which is better to use Norton Ghost 2003 or Windows XP Pro backup utility?

    Thanks inadvance for any replies and it is appreciated.
     
  2. wedor

    wedor

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    Sounds like you would be better off with a RAID 1 set-up instead.
     
  3. LONGHAIR

    LONGHAIR

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    I totally agree with wedor on this one. You wouldn't even have to run back-ups then.
    If it is "vital" information, you may need to look into a way to make a back-up to take "off-site".
    If you don't need it to be removable though RAID1 is the best way.
     
  4. KingElvis

    KingElvis Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the replies guys. Any links on where I can find some useful information on how to set up this up? Thanks.
     
  5. steve65

    steve65

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    Woa - You do need backups! Always back up your data. Raid only protects you from hard drive failures but does nothing to protect against accidental deletion, viruses etc.

    For the best recovery you can ghost you system drives and backup your data. That way you can recover your windows installation and then restore your data with the least amount of downtime. You can also just backup your system drive, but the restore procedure takes longer.

    Raid is a necessary and powerful tool, but it is NOT a backup solution.

    Steve
     
  6. LONGHAIR

    LONGHAIR

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    From what I got from the original post, the "server" IS the back-up from the "clients".

    So RAID1 is the best way to "duplicate" that.

    It goes w/o saying that there should be a Firewall and Anti-Virus on board as well. GoBack will eliminate your "accidental deletion" worries.
     
  7. steve65

    steve65

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    It's unclear, he states that the server holds the data for the client computers on drive 1. He wants to use drive 2 as a backup to drive 1 not to the client computers. Now if by data from the client computers he means that he is backing them up to the server then you are correct.

    If on the otherhand, the server holds a shared database or shared files and folders which otherwise do not exist on the client computers then he needs to have a backup which would preferably be on removable media but, could be run to another HDD.
     
  8. OOOOOO8

    OOOOOO8

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    IF you buy 2 200GB drives, it makes sense to set them up for RAID 1 (mirroring) but it provides no performance boost - not that great with the pagefile of a server being on one of the disks too. I think it is too late to do all that, and you DO need to be an expert - especially with a server. Lets face it you are probably not quite an expert yet - otherways you would not be asking to do it - you would know how to!

    You normally have to choose to install 3rd party raid drivers during the installation of an operating system (XP or a Server). I'm sure you dont want to have to set up the server again, and your system might not have RAID capabilities anyway. If you must set up RAID volumes on the server, then look it up using Help.

    If you back up data to the same system (unsound) then I would use the windows backup tool. It is important to back up the system state to enable you to perform an Automated System recovery if the operating system fails, never mind file loss. But it can also be used to back up files.

    I strongly suggest you come up with an additional idea to backing up all the data to another hard drive in the server, or setting up RAID-1. Take a backup off site on a weekly basis. Use a tape drive or something.
    GL
    Why 2 * 200GB drives?
     
  9. steve65

    steve65

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    Yes, if your system does not have a hardware raid controller (like Promise or other brand) then you would need to have Windows 2000 server. Without either of these you are out of luck to set up raid anyway.

    Steve
     
  10. KingElvis

    KingElvis Thread Starter

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    This setup was requested by the client. He doesn't have enough funds to actually buy a server os therefore he wants to use xp pro for all the machines including the "server" machine.

    This is correct;

    "the server holds a shared database or shared files and folders which otherwise do not exist on the client computers then he needs to have a backup which would preferably be on removable media but, could be run to another HDD."

    I explained to him that this setup does not provide him with a true back up but under the situation that he is in right now it will have to do. In other words he can't afford to do anything about it right now.

    We've decided to go this route;

    "If you back up data to the same system (unsound) then I would use the windows backup tool. It is important to back up the system state to enable you to perform an Automated System recovery if the operating system fails, never mind file loss. But it can also be used to back up files."

    It IS "unsound" and the client knows that. Until he is able fund a better solution this is what he is settling with.

    I appreciate all the responses.

    Thanks!
     
  11. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    RAID is NOT the way to go here, you need real backup.

    Quite frankly, you need something better than a one level backup of the data.

    If this were my situation, I'd buy a $30 USB 2.0 disk case for a real off-line backup, that way it's also portable to take the backup off-site.
     
  12. wedor

    wedor

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    I agree with the need for off site back-up, my answer was directed at the situation presented, it was not in my opinion the best suggestion.
     
  13. LONGHAIR

    LONGHAIR

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    Oh, I agree totally about the "off-site" back-up. It just depends on one's willness to actually do it. The place I used to work for did Tape back-ups. They were supposed to be done twice per day. One was to be done a noon and the other was an automatic overnight. This requires someone to remember to do the noon job and to install the tape for the overnight. The overnight was useless as an off-site, but it would be there for a daytime failure. Too many times though, it was forgotten. There was no IT department to focus on this, so the office personnel were responsible for it. Plus someone has to "take-it" out of the building, or the concept is worthless.

    With RAID the "off-site" is not there, but the dupliate will save your data from a physical failure.
    I would think that a combination of the two would be the best.
    You could use an "external" USB2/Firewire drive or a "pull-out" unit to make an "off-site" back-up.
    It is somewhat a function of $$$, The cost of implimentation/use vs the time/recovery/data loss cost. Even if you do less frequent "off-site" back-ups to an external unit, you are not starting from scratch.
     
  14. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    RAID will not save your data from many hazards, that's my point. If you have a program go south, or a virus/Trojan eat the disk, it gets both copies on the spot!

    I'll say it again, RAID is NOT backup, it's only purpose is to provide greater reliability and/or speed, depending on the RAID configuration selected. Some sort of backup solution is what's really needed, even if it's not taken off-site.
     
  15. LONGHAIR

    LONGHAIR

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    Oh, I agree with you johnwill, in a stand alone system especially.
    I just figure in a server situation where the drive is basically for back-ups of three clients, that it is less likely for that to happen. Whereas the server is being written to from 3 other machines, I figure that hardware failure is more likely.
     
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