I use Acronis True Image 10 Home and it works great for me.
Any recommendations on personal backup software? I'd like to back a growing photo collection and photo catalog setup, as well as music files, etc. Instead of just copying them over all the time, it'd be nicer to have backup software only backup and compress the files, etc. I have a large external drive, now I need to figure out the best way to copy to it.
So, what exists for the average user that is fairly inexpensive, and that doesn't get in the way? Doing a quick search yielded a lot of ads and old reviews it seemed.
I've been using Ghost 9.0 (part of SystemWorks 2005 Premier) and it does a great job. Just because Symantec is annoying me more and more, though, I'd want to recommend you go with Acronis. The new SystemWorks 2007 Premier includes Save & Restore, which is a new program based on Ghost, but it seems to do more. Or you can just get Save & Restore on it's own.
Acronis is black magic. You can even download and buy it online.
Do backups while playing Oblivion. No reboots. Don't know how it does it, but it works.
What kind of backup HARDWARE do you have? When you have a 120 gig hard drive, even DvDs arn't a very good medium choice. Is there some ultra-high density format for backup data now?
I use cwRsync. Totally free. Works great. Doesn't do graceful background backups, and takes a while because it examines the whole directory tree every time you do a backup, but it's scalable (handles 100 GBs and millions of files without breaking a sweat) and reliable. Took a bit of juggling to get the options right, but it wasn't hard.
I have four SATA 160GB drives in my main system -- two in RAID 1 as C:, two in RAID 0 as E:. It's crappy NVidia motherboard RAID, so I wouldn't do it again, but it's actually pretty solid. I have all my main files on C: so I have automatic redundancy from the mirroring, then I use rsync to periodically back the files up to E:, and sometimes to an external 160GB drive that I keep in a fireproof safe. Definitely the best backup situation I ever had.
I think that I will probably go with a 3Ware or other rock-solid RAID controller in my next machine, and skip the RAID 0 altogether. I like knowing that I've got automatic and continual redundancy for all my most important files (including all my coding projects), and I don't want to lose that. The RAID 0, though, is no big deal.
Tape drive back ups cant still be the most reliable longest lasting way to back stuff up these days... or are they?
Probably not for home users. At the office we use 400gb LTO tapes. The write speeds are very fast, unless you're dealing with a lot of small files. I store my mp3 collection in a digital locker at mp3tunes.com. That way if there is a fire and/or my harddrive gets tanked, I can restore them all.
Yeah but is that realistic for someone that has 100gb of MP3s?
I just use Synctoy and an external hard drive. Super-easy, and with it copying everything over as individual files, it's less risky than a utility that compresses everything to a single image file that can be corrupted. And easier to go grab an individual file if something happens to the original.
No compression, but (1) MP3s, videos, and pictures are already compressed, and (2) if you really want compression, you can just turn on file-system compression on the target drive.
External USB hard drives are the way to go for home backups, perhaps with DVD-RAM as a second backup for very important stuff.
External harddrive and Acronis.
I use Acronis because that's what I've been using for some time now, but the similar programme from O&O is really impressive and scored like Acronis in our latest review - both beat Ghost, are avaliable to try and are cheaper too.
Hey Hanzii, have you tried out the Symantec's new "Save & Restore" product? I'd be interested to know how it matches up to Ghost (and TI).
Sorry no. I know we reviewed it (but I only edited the review), but since I recently changed jobs I can't look up the review. It didn't score as well as Acronis True Image or O&O DiskImage which the reviewer liked even more than True Image.
You might want to check out Microsoft's new command-line imaging tool, imagex, which is part of the new Windows AIK. It does file-based images, as opposed to the sector-based images of Ghost and it's rivals, making the images smaller and allowing for more flexibility, including reduced file size, multiple images in the same file, and the mounting of an image as a folder in an existing operating system.
They are working on a GUI frontend using AutoIT over at the CD forums in this thread here: ImageX as a backup tool
Link to Technet article on ImageX: What is ImageX?
I have a 160gb of mp3s. You can go to www.lockerenvy.com and look for Dispatcher in the list. I have somewhere around 20,000+ songs uploaded. I have a few thousand more I need to send up.
The nice thing about the service is that you can get at your music from anywhere, stream it, or download tracks, and it applies the cover art.
Sure, it might take awhile to download all my music again, but it's not like I'm expecting my harddrive to fail every week.
And it has no capacity limit, so I don't need to upgrade backup hardware as I get older and my collection gets larger and larger.
I'm not saying it's superior to using a dedicated backup medium with an offsite storage place (Like your office). But it's convienient and a good option.
Do you use the free service? I am curious if the 39.99 a year is really worth it.
I pay for it, but I paid before they made the entire thing free. The free service is pretty complete. I'd start there and upgrade if you think you like the features and want to pay for them.
I tried Acronis, and it seems okay. It seems to break down the backup into almost dvd sized chunks. I do worry that they could be corrupted. Later tonight I'll try to update the backup files, and see how that goes.
I currently have a 500 gb external hard drive for backup. A lot of my photos can change at times with new keywords, etc., so it'd be nice to not continually copy all the directories each time. Music is also a pain keeping track of.
I also make sure the photos I take are backed up to DVD, and keep them in roughly 4 gig folders to let me easily rip them to DVD. I don't fully trust either the hard drive or DVD backup, so its nice to have both.
Acronis can be set up to make incremental back-ups and thus only back-up what's been changed.
I thought Acronis might suit my needs, but it just wasted an hour and a couple of DVDs, when Acronis incorrectly complained that one was bad, giving up entirely without option for using a new disk, and rendering the disks that did burn OK useless.
Aside from Ghost and Acronis, is there any other (commercial or open source) product that will simply capture a partition or disk to bootable media with minimal hassle? I just had to rebuild my work computer after rebuilding my home computer a couple of times recently, and feel it's time to start restoring from images again. I don't really need all the management suite stuff, just something quick-and-dirty. Oh and I lack a secondary hard drive at work, so writing directly to bootable media is essential.
For the love of mike do not buy this piece of shit program. I've been trying to install this thing for 2 hours, it's always "Installation is interrupted" and then it uninstalls. When I went to the Acronis forums, there were dozens of other threads with people having the same exact issue. Support calls would take weeks for Acronis to even respond.Originally Posted by JMR
On top of it all, people who did get the software installed often wound up with a corrupt backup file.
I also tried Ghost 10, but that just gave me a headache because it doesn't seem to let you make bootable DVDs, and I couldn't use my SystemWorks 2006 CD to boot into recovery mode. Right now I'm trying to use Save & Restore but the recovery mode also doesn't seem to support any SATA drivers. Come on now, surely SATA has been out longer than Save & Restore?
The thing I want to try next if all else fails is Amanda, it's open source, uses Linux as a backup server, so it can't be all that bad right? Anyone try it?
What would be ideal for me is to make full image of my C drive to a network folder, unfortunately most programs assume you are a dumbass and want to save to another drive (at least thats how it seems like). My computer is using both SATA drivers and needs special nvidia motherboard drivers for network to work.. so is there any hope for me? Any tools that will let you load storage+networking drivers when booting from a CD?
Last edited by Igor Muravyev; 03-22-2007 at 07:57 PM.
I had zero problems getting it installed on a few machines while I was trying it out. It's the actually backup process that made me drop the tool (not just what I reported above).Originally Posted by Igor Muravyev
Indeed, I found Ghost to be lacking in some areas when I used it several years back, and ended up having to compromise on my requirements (similar to yours above), and later stopped imaging altogether.I also tried Ghost 10, but that just gave me a headache because it doesn't seem to let you make bootable DVDs, and I couldn't use my SystemWorks 2006 CD to boot into recovery mode.
I'm finally jumping deeper into Linux for some of my projects, so I'll probably be giving Amanda and a few others I've seen a try in the next week or so. I'll need both a personal and a small enterprise solution, there.The thing I want to try next if all else fails is Amanda, it's open source, uses Linux as a backup server, so it can't be all that bad right? Anyone try it?
Ironically, I believe Ghost can do this.What would be ideal for me is to make full image of my C drive to a network folder, unfortunately most programs assume you are a dumbass and want to save to another drive (at least thats how it seems like). My computer is using both SATA drivers and needs special nvidia motherboard drivers for network to work.. so is there any hope for me? Any tools that will let you load storage+networking drivers when booting from a CD?
With or without the server based enterprise system I mentioned above, I still need pretty much what Igor's seeking for XP Pro. UNC path, SFTP or ideally, bootable-DVD.
Last edited by barstein; 03-22-2007 at 08:42 PM.
You can make a BartPE/UBCD4Win bootble CD with the SATA drivers built in that also has the Ghost tool on it, because we use one at one of my sites.
Screw imaging. Back up your key data files, not your entire disk image, people. Trying to restore a bootable image is probably five times trickier and riskier than just backing up the files and then rebuilding the machine from scratch.
Sure, a rebuild takes longer, but you wind up with a healthier machine. And in the meantime, you're not flailing around for months with no backup solution at all.
I've used Acronis since version 8, not only on my desktop, but to roll out images at a school where I freelance. Never had any issues. Once you create an image, you can use the Acronis client to dig into that image and cherry-pick individual files to restore. The boot-cd also lets you backup or restore an image over the network or via a local or USB drive.
I currently have a Vista and an XP image of my desktop PC, and it pretty seamlessly allows me to backup my current desktop, and roll on the other OS (ie to see if Nvidia's latest drivers for Vista show signs of progress).