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PC backup
Old 07-07-2008, 05:33 PM   #1
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PC backup

When I do a PC backup to a DVD, what should I backup?

I have the Roxio free version.

Thanks
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:10 PM   #2
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Sort of depends on what you'd like to have if you suffered a disk failure or accidentally deleted everything.

Thats what you want to back up.
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
Sort of depends on what you'd like to have if you suffered a disk failure or accidentally deleted everything.

Thats what you want to back up.
But I don't know.

How do I know?
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khan View Post
How do I know?
First save your porn. You might do daily back-ups on this.

Ha
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Backup Solution
Old 07-08-2008, 09:00 AM   #5
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Backup Solution

First, it is good you are thinking about this. I can't tell you when your computer will die but I can say with certainity that all computers eventually crash.

Second, you have a decision to make. Do you just want to backup certain files and folders or do you want to backup everything? Speed is the reason to backup just files and folders but if you lose everything, you'll have to restore Windows, reinstall all the software, and then restore the files and folders you backed up to DVD.

In my case, I backup everything to an external hard drive. In fact, I backup everything, every day and rotate the backups between four external hard drives. This is my work PC and that might be over kill for most people but it guarantees I've got a copy of everything and still allows me to restore individual files and folders as needed.

Back to your DVD question - you should be able to copy the files and folders to the DVD then burn them all at once to the DVD. Try right click the individual files/folders and click on the Sent To menu.

You can buy a backup program (I use Norton Ghost 14) that will make the process easier. Keep in mind backing up to DVD will be slow and you'll need a supply of DVDs.

Mike Honeycutt
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:20 AM   #6
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Most versions of windows have a 'files and settings transfer wizard' or 'windows easy transfer' tool under start/accessories/system tools (or thereabouts).

This will copy your desktop and system settings and everything windows THINKS is user files, mostly whats in the 'documents' folder and subfolders.

No applications or app settings that are non microsoft, no files you put in funny places it wouldnt know to look for.

To recover from a hard drive fail, you'd have to reinstall windows, reinstall your apps, and then restore the backup file the wizard made.

I prefer an image backup from a product like acronis true image or ghost. I dont like backups to cd's or dvd's because I've had too many problems with bad media producing a bad backup that I didnt know was bad until I tried to restore it.

External disk drives larger enough to backup to are ridiculously cheap. You can buy a 500-750gb drive for under a hundred bucks any day of the week. Many come with a full featured backup program.

Unless you throw it around while its running, most external drives will last for many, many years and fail slowly with plenty of clinking and clunking sounds.
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Old 07-08-2008, 03:54 PM   #7
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Thank you for being patient and explaining stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
Most versions of windows have a 'files and settings transfer wizard' or 'windows easy transfer' tool under start/accessories/system tools (or thereabouts).

This will copy your desktop and system settings and everything windows THINKS is user files, mostly whats in the 'documents' folder and subfolders.

No applications or app settings that are non microsoft, no files you put in funny places it wouldnt know to look for.
Did that.

Quote:
To recover from a hard drive fail, you'd have to reinstall windows, reinstall your apps, and then restore the backup file the wizard made.
What do I need to create on what media to prepare for this?
A boot disk/drive? A windows install drive?
In what sequence should I backup and reinstall?

Quote:
I prefer an image backup from a product like acronis true image or ghost. I dont like backups to cd's or dvd's because I've had too many problems with bad media producing a bad backup that I didnt know was bad until I tried to restore it.
I have ghost; what media does it back up to?

Quote:
External disk drives larger enough to backup to are ridiculously cheap. You can buy a 500-750gb drive for under a hundred bucks any day of the week. Many come with a full featured backup program.

Unless you throw it around while its running, most external drives will last for many, many years and fail slowly with plenty of clinking and clunking sounds.
My Dell PC(XP3) has:
C: 108G(main)
D:~35G(backup)
F:5G(mini external HD)
G:1G(flash drive)
H:~35G(external HD)

Should I purchase some specific additional ?
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:51 AM   #8
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Seems like your backup drives are a lot smaller than your main drive. You might consider a new external disk in the 250gb and up range. A 35G external disk seems like it would be pretty old. A larger drive would let you store 2-3 backup images just in case you discover six months from now that you accidentally deleted a file 3 months ago but wrote over the backup from six months ago that had that file on it.

I havent used ghost in a bunch of years, but generally you want it to create an image backup, send the image file to an external disk, and create a bootable recovery cd. Perhaps the person who mentioned ghost could explain the steps to that.

I use a version of acronis trueimage that comes with apricorn external hard disks.
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Old 07-09-2008, 03:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
Seems like your backup drives are a lot smaller than your main drive. You might consider a new external disk in the 250gb and up range. A 35G external disk seems like it would be pretty old. A larger drive would let you store 2-3 backup images just in case you discover six months from now that you accidentally deleted a file 3 months ago but wrote over the backup from six months ago that had that file on it.

I havent used ghost in a bunch of years, but generally you want it to create an image backup, send the image file to an external disk, and create a bootable recovery cd. Perhaps the person who mentioned ghost could explain the steps to that.

I use a version of acronis trueimage that comes with apricorn external hard disks.
Okay, any particular brand to seek or avoid?
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Old 07-09-2008, 04:38 PM   #10
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I havent had a lot of problems with any of them, from premade ones from seagate and western digital to ones I made myself from an enclosure and disk drive.

If you've got a favorite electronics store or web site, see what they have on sale in the 250-500gb range that includes backup software and snag it.
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:00 PM   #11
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I have a Western Digital and I back up everything, although only every month or so. I have never lost my main HD however, so I don't know what would actually happen and I am sure most mainstream brands are all fine. However, the external drive is used so rarely I can't imagine it would also fail when my main HD goes. The external cost me a grand total of $80, cheap insurance IMO...
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Old 07-09-2008, 08:19 PM   #12
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I have a Western Digital and I back up everything, although only every month or so. I have never lost my main HD however, so I don't know what would actually happen ...
If you have not actually tested your backups, I wouldn't count on 'em.

I've heard so many horror stories about people who were backing up every night, but guess what? They leaned the hard way that the backups were not 'recoverable'. Oops!

That's one reason I like to do a clone of my entire drive onto an external that I can boot from. After I back up, I boot from it, check a few things just to see if it seems to be functioning as expected, then I disconnect and put it on a shelf. I don't want a power spike to wipe it out, I think it's safer turned off, and a few feet away from any outlets, just in case.

The beauty of having the entire drive cloned, is that in an emergency, you boot into it and you are up and running. No trying to find out which data to put where, re-installing programs, downloading the updates, etc. I hate to shell out $100 or whatever for the ext HDD, but I also can't see cutting corners when I have so much stuff on the computer, that I use every day.

One of these days, I'll actually get around to putting one in the safety deposit box like I know I should. I occasionally will put my data on a DVD and store that offsite at a relatives.

-ERD50
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Old 07-09-2008, 08:20 PM   #13
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Of course, theres a free option. Make sure that nothing you do or say has any value to you or anyone else.

Then ya dont need a backup...
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