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Best Back-up/Restore Program for Windows XP?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Sgt. Mike, Apr 30, 2009.

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  1. Sgt. Mike

    Sgt. Mike TS Member

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    I'm looking for a great back up/restore program for all of the files on my computer. I would like to back up to an external hard drive and have the program be able to do incremental back ups. Please advise of approximate price and where to purchase. All help is greatly appreciated. Michael
     
  2. wireguy

    wireguy TS Member

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    Windows Live One Care backs up to your external hard drive at regular intervals and a lot more for I think 29$ a year.
     
  3. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    Mike, you don't want to screw around with amateur backup programs. EMC Retrospect is a serious backup, restore, imaging program. It flat out works, and you can take that to the bank. There is a small learning curve, but I find it easy to configure and set up backup and image scenarios.

    I use Retrospect Professional and backup onto an external eSata drive. I've told Retrospect to duplicate all the data files on my D: drive daily. I've set it to back up (image) my C: drive every Fri evening and the D: drive every Sat evening. After the first image/backup, everything else is done incrementally, up to a limit you set. Then, keeping the original set, a new set is created and then incrementally backed up. Grooming is automatic. Everything is logged, so you can see exactly what it did. I've been using it for years without a hitch. For me, that says a lot. Every other program I tried previously had a problem, or did not back up all the files, or something happened that made me toss it within a year. Nor so with Retrospect.

    If you take a look at Retrospect and for some reason don't like it, consider Norton Ghost. It does work, but it tends to be infuriating and a resource hog. I've used several versions in the past, but always got fed up with them. I'm told the newer versions are not so much of a pain. Ghost is more of a drive imaging program, and it's superb at that. All the backup stuff was added later and IMO, they didn't get it right.
     
  4. Carol Lister

    Carol Lister TS Member

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    About the most popular program around here is "Acronis True Image", either the Home 2009 version or Version 11. We recommend that students use Acronis with an external hard drive to routinely back up their systems. We recommend that backups be stored in a "secure zone" partition separate from, and inaccessible by, Windows.

    Acronis offers the choice of making either full backups (complete images of the entire system), differential backups (a single file containing all changes to the original, full backup) or incremental backups (only the data different from the data in the previous backup).

    One of the most valuable features of Acronis is that the source disk is bootable. That means that if Windows crashes completely and will not start in any mode, the Acronis disk and be inserted into the system and the system booted from that disk and then instructed to rebuild itself from one of the backups in the Secure Zone.

    Backups can be scheduled to occur at your convenience.

    Carol Lister
     
  5. larrystrollo

    larrystrollo Member

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    Another satisfied user of Retrospect. I've been using it since the late 80's on my macs and when they brought out a windows version I jumped on it. Supports just about any sort of tape/dvd/cd writers, and they're always updating it to support more.


    Also very expandable - let's say you get a laptop, you just install an agent on in it and your desktop can backup your laptop.



    LMS
     
  6. Hauxfan

    Hauxfan Well-Known Member

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    I have to go along with Retrospect too.

    When my son left for Iraq a couple of years ago, I wanted something to back up my computer as I knew he could not help me over in Iraq, and so I bought a back up Western Digital External Hard drive to back up everything.

    My son is back, but I'm still using the backup............just in case. My oldest son set it, and that was over 2 years ago and it's still running.

    I never really messed with it, but I do know my files are backed up at least once a week.

    Hauxfan!
     
  7. Didreckson

    Didreckson Active Member

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    Another vote for Retrospect. It simply works, and is pretty easy to get rolling. I don't remember the pricing, but it did not break the bank. I have used several over the years, and believe Retrospect to be bullet proof and reliable. When you really need a backup copy, that is the most important feature in the end.
     
  8. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    If using Acronis, or any other imaging or backup program, my advice is to use another, separate drive, for ANY backups. I've had to "repair" many drives that were hosed when Acronis did it's install procedure and reconfigured the drive partitions. It was usually older versions that were the culprits, but I had one recently with the newer home version. Also remember that hard drives can fail, even the ones that you have your backups on. I usually get involved AFTER someone has experienced a drive failure. Externals can become corupted when they are improperly disconnected.

    I usually image the original install and then backup the data on a regular basis. There are some pretty good "free" programs like "Cobian" that can backup to a separate drive, a network, or over the net by ftp. An imaging program that can make a decent image of almost any file system, would be a free program called "CloneZilla". It can image or restore over a network to many machines, simultaneously. It can also create or restore an image stored locally.

    If you install Windows initially with a partition for the operating system, one for a swap file, and one for data, you can do selective backups/images of the different partitions.
     
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