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Recommended Computer On-Site Backup Software (FREE)
Old 07-13-2008, 03:13 PM   #1
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Recommended Computer On-Site Backup Software (FREE)

Looking for recommendations on good (free) Windows Vista compatible backup software. I want to back up a 160GB disk to a 320GB external hard disk. Looking for something that will backup the entire 160 (full image) but leave remaining space for incremental backups. Any suggestions? Or should I just go spend the money to BUY a package? If so which one! Thanks.......
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Old 07-13-2008, 06:28 PM   #2
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I haven't used any of these,but it's a starting point.

Best Free Drive Imaging Program | Gizmo's Tech Support Alert
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:53 AM   #3
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I have three (actually five, but for this discussion...) computers. One is Vista Ultimate which has the perfect backup solution built in to the OS -- it makes a mirror image in a very easy, simple to use, process. (I believe Vista Business has the same option.) The other two machines are Vista Premium, which does not have that option, so I use Acronis' True Image ( Complete hard disk drive copy, cloning and image backup software: computer files and disk copying.)

In addition, I use Retrospect ( http://www.emcinsignia.com/assets/ds_win76bus_en.pdf). I use this program for two reasons: One, I have used it for years and have too much invested to throw it away, and two, it is easier to extract individual files from its backups than from a mirror image. (Although, this may not be entirely accurate -- I haven't had opportunity to find out.)

In any event, it is difficult to understand Microsoft's treatment of such a wonderful product. A Backup facility should be a "basic" element of any OS. Why they put it in only two of the five versions is silliness to the highest. Well... having five versions is even sillier, I guess.
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Old 07-14-2008, 11:16 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
In any event, it is difficult to understand Microsoft's treatment of such a wonderful product. A Backup facility should be a "basic" element of any OS. Why they put it in only two of the five versions is silliness to the highest. Well... having five versions is even sillier, I guess.
Don't even go there.

I agree 100%. Should be a seamless free backup capability in every OS.

I use Norton Ghost - not free. Like Ron, I use it because I'm familiar with it and have it. When I used to coordinate the Broadband testing lab in the Megacorp where I w*rked,the testers would run their tests on their myriad of machines, then they had to return the machines to the original configurations before they started the next tests. So we took Ghost images, and restored from those.

So remember, whatever you do end up using, you haven't backed anything up until you've tried to restore and had it work.

Harley
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Old 07-14-2008, 03:39 PM   #5
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So remember, whatever you do end up using, you haven't backed anything up until you've tried to restore and had it work.

Harley
Good advice harley - Everyone, read the above and understand it!

I'm constantly amazed at the people that tell me they are backed up, because they run a back-up program. When I ask if they ever tried to actually *recover* anything from the back-up, I get a blank stare.

Kind of like that old Seinfeld skit, :
Quote:
Jerry: I don't understand, I made a reservation, do you have my reservation?

Agent: Yes, we do, unfortunately we ran out of cars.

Jerry: But the reservation keeps the car here. That's why you have the
reservation.

Agent: I know why we have reservations.

Jerry: I don't think you do. If you did, I'd have a car. See, you know how to take the reservation, you just don't know how to *hold* the reservation and that's really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody can just take them.
Anybody can *make* a back-up, it's really the *recovery* of the back up that is the most important thing.

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Old 07-14-2008, 03:49 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
I
In any event, it is difficult to understand Microsoft's treatment of such a wonderful product. A Backup facility should be a "basic" element of any OS. Why they put it in only two of the five versions is silliness to the highest. Well... having five versions is even sillier, I guess.
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Don't even go there.

I agree 100%. Should be a seamless free backup capability in every OS.

Harley
well....

Apple - Mac OS X Leopard - Features - Time Machine
Quote:
Time Machine is the breakthrough automatic backup thatís built right into Mac OS X. It keeps an up-to-date copy of everything on your Mac ó digital photos, music, movies, TV shows, and documents. Now, if you ever have the need, you can easily go back in time to recover anything.

Anatomy of a backup.

For the initial backup, Time Machine copies the entire contents of the computer to your backup drive. It copies every file exactly (without compression), skipping caches and other files that arenít required to restore your Mac to its original state. Following the initial backup, Time Machine makes only incremental backups ó copying just the files that have changed since the previous backup. Time Machine creates links to any unchanged files, so when you travel back in time you see the entire contents of your Mac on a given day.
Timing is everything.

Every hour, every day, an incremental backup of your Mac is made automatically as long as your backup drive is attached to your Mac. Time Machine saves the hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for everything older than a month.
I'm still on the older OSX 10.3 and 10.4, but I use a freeware 'clone' program (SuperDuper) to make a bootable clone - and yes, I boot from it when I'm done to make sure I can read the files, etc - and do a disk check on it after.


-ERD50
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Backup Software (FREE)
Old 07-15-2008, 07:06 AM   #7
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Backup Software (FREE)

XXCLONE, A New Way of Cloning the Windows System Disk
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Old 07-15-2008, 02:09 PM   #8
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There are some interesting limitations there:

Quote:
Q: I cloned my main ( C: ) volume to a volume on an external USB disk. In the BIOS settings, I chose the external disk as the first boot device. But, the external disk always fails to boot correctly. Please help.


A: Apparently, Microsoft does not like to see a Windows booted from an external disk.&nbp; We suppose this deliberate design is to prevent software piracy. Under normal circumstances, you cannot configure Windows to designate an external disk to be the system disk.


Q: After a successful XXCLONE operation, I rebooted the system using the newly cloned disk. Then, I discovered that my Office-XP says it needs a new installation. What should I do?

A: It is best that you re-install the application as required. Although the cloned volume created by XXCLONE is capable of booting up the system to a Windows operating environment very much like the original environment, it just cannot be 100% the same.
So, how do you *really* know your backup is good? Like I said earlier, I boot from it and run it as a real world check. If my internal drive were to get hosed, I can be up and running in as little time as it takes to hook up my backup and reboot.

Seems like you would need to copy the backup to the internal boot disk, over-writing it (which somewhat defeats the purpose of booting from the backup to check it out?). Plus, with the time that takes, people are less likely to do it. Maybe you can boot from a second internal? But still, most home users probably don't have that.

I never had to reinstall any Office, or anything - though I suppose some stuff with hefty protection schemes might resist.

-ERD50
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