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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    663

    Your smart way of backing up your PC data?

    Was wondering what software do you guys use to backup your files? I have an external harddisk and I don't use any software. I simply just drag the files I need to backup to my external HD.

    But for now, my files are getting more and more and I need to use some kind of (Preferably FREE) software to synchronize the backup files. Any ideas?
    Member Since 2003.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Southern California
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    1,125
    I have a home server that run RAID 1, then I back up things to DVD once every few months. I know your pain, right now I have about 200GB of stuffs that are kinda essential on the server. I can add about another 900GB of HD space on that machine.

    I decided to invest in a home server because I'm always too lazy to do those full backups, and with a RAID 1, I'll be protected against HD crashes, which is the major danger. The problem with any form of manual backup is you'll eventually get lazy and don't do them often enough.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Belgium
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    I try to archive all backup files on my external 120 GB maxtor hard drive.
    But I'll probably need another external hd soon.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    If you invest in an external backup solution, like an attached storage drive from Maxtor, it will come with some backup software.

    For my servers I use rsync, for my clients I use Retrospect from EMC.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    paradise
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    You can try using Mehul's backup/sync tool

    http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/fil...scription.html

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Illinois
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    RAID 1 is the best and it's cheap
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Newport Beach, CA
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    2,920
    I do it a little differently

    I have 3 500 GB drives and one 120gb. I store my backups on one of the secondary drives (using either norton ghost or acronis) I image to that drive. the 120 is used as my O/S drive

    My downloads, databases mydocs and outlook files are all on another drive.

    So if I crash my system I can install from scratch, change the locations of the mail file, my docs etc and be back online with everything. Or I can image my machine back to one fo the backups I made. Doing it this way means about 15 minutes of downtime and when you're done imaging you end up with the pc set exactly how you want it.

    I've also toyed a bit with slipstreaming but right now imaging is by far the best for me.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Butler,TN
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    2,413
    Hi!
    I can't afford no RAID... Anyways..with my luck...I'd mess up one copy on it..and..presto...I'd have *two* messed uo copies! Nope..external hard drives work fine..just copy files over. And..thanks to the really nice people @ Solidworks..
    I even have one of those usb memory thingies...I put stuff on there too.

    All told...I have at least two copies of everything...on at least two different drives..and backup everything..2 modems...8 hard drives (interchangable)..and only three complete computers currently (I know..sad).

    >>Oh..and twelve OS's currently. I know..twelve is certainly not enough..

    Now..if Santa will only bring me that T1 I so need..I'll be *really* in there.

    Bryon
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    China
    Posts
    350
    just an external drive whenever you have new important info to protect. I don't need to do it that often so I don't really need software to synchronize it. Though it would be convenient.


  10. #10
    Norton Ghost. Pretty good stuff, nice compression features.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Under Your Skin
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    5,875
    Acronis true backup.

    I backup to several hard drives... swap them out each week, bla, bla... keep several copies at different locations, etc... if you were to search my name and backup, I'm sure you will find my several posts on this subject... I list in detail how I backup... but acronis is the foundation of my backup solution.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    663
    Wow, everyone seems to have their own way of backing up! And no one is using any online backup tools? Mehul's Backup looks cool but no one left any reviews for the software
    Member Since 2003.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    State of Disbelief
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    22,951
    I use a 500GB Buffalo NAS, with SecondCopy maintaining copies of data files regularly from several systems here. Weekly I do a full image using Acronis to a second drive on the system(s), and duplicate that image to the NAS box. I've only just moved over to using the Buffalo, and had been using a 180 GB SnapServer for this. I'll probably now use that Snap for backing up just the images from the Buffalo or something of that nature.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Goleta, CA
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    5,550
    I also use norton ghost to image.
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    North East UK
    Posts
    36
    Veritas (now symantec) backup exec at the office.

    At home, Raid1, rsyinc really important stuff to the colo servers, and every couple of months or so burn DVD's. I rely on memory to do the DVD's or im usualy prompted by an odd hard drive sound to panic and quickly burn! Really should setup something automated for DVD burning, but raid 1 and rsync should take care of me in the worst case.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    5,875
    Quote Originally Posted by anlene
    Wow, everyone seems to have their own way of backing up! And no one is using any online backup tools? Mehul's Backup looks cool but no one left any reviews for the software
    I don't think we are there yet. Problem is, most people who are smart and do backups, have a lot of data to backup!

    The online services start (normally) at 5 GB free, which is not enough.

    The one thing I would note is that part of your backup plan should include an off-site backup. If your house burns to the ground, or someone steals all your computers, what good will a backup in your house do?
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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    3,139
    I Have my documents and many "stand alone" apps installed on a different drive and windows on a drive all by itself. Since my windows drive is only using 3.5GB of diskspace, I can create or restore my windows drive in 4 minutes so when something chokes I can reboot, spend about 5 mins in Acronis and be up and running. On occasion though, I will format the machine and reinstall the essentials and since many of my apps have been tweaked, I can run them without reinstalling them but I have to re-associate filetypes which is no biggie that I use an install creator for those mundane tasks...

    As far as my other files,my "important" files are copied onto a machine with HW based RAID-5 (4 drive setup), copied onto my C: drive, copied onto both drives on the network server, burned to a DVD and a CD. Little extreme? Yes, I have despite the odds, I have experienced simultaneous critial drive failures on several machines resulting in me losing data. For the past 4 or so years, having at LEAST 7 backups of my files seems to be sufficient, of course not compressed.. compressing adds another POF (point of failure). I also do these backups manually since doing it myself I can verify md5 checksums and update as necessary manually to verify all my backups are in good condition. Luckily, this is only but 4.5 gigs worth of irreplaceable files. This drive is also in a high-quality removable caddy, so If I go somewhere I can take it with me if I need to use my apps or data.

    It takes time, but I have lost NO files and the VERY few times I had to restore, I have a multitude of places to get my files back.

    Everything else, the only copy I have is whats on the machine... After all, they can always be reinstalled. When I add another HD, I'll actually buy 2 drives and RAID-1 them if I can find a half decent hardware raid card.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    257
    Quote Originally Posted by MGCJerry
    I Have my documents and many "stand alone" apps installed on a different drive and windows on a drive all by itself. Since my windows drive is only using 3.5GB of diskspace, I can create or restore my windows drive in 4 minutes so when something chokes I can reboot, spend about 5 mins in Acronis and be up and running. On occasion though, I will format the machine and reinstall the essentials and since many of my apps have been tweaked, I can run them without reinstalling them but I have to re-associate filetypes which is no biggie that I use an install creator for those mundane tasks...

    As far as my other files,my "important" files are copied onto a machine with HW based RAID-5 (4 drive setup), copied onto my C: drive, copied onto both drives on the network server, burned to a DVD and a CD. Little extreme? Yes, I have despite the odds, I have experienced simultaneous critial drive failures on several machines resulting in me losing data. For the past 4 or so years, having at LEAST 7 backups of my files seems to be sufficient, of course not compressed.. compressing adds another POF (point of failure). I also do these backups manually since doing it myself I can verify md5 checksums and update as necessary manually to verify all my backups are in good condition. Luckily, this is only but 4.5 gigs worth of irreplaceable files. This drive is also in a high-quality removable caddy, so If I go somewhere I can take it with me if I need to use my apps or data.

    It takes time, but I have lost NO files and the VERY few times I had to restore, I have a multitude of places to get my files back.

    Everything else, the only copy I have is whats on the machine... After all, they can always be reinstalled. When I add another HD, I'll actually buy 2 drives and RAID-1 them if I can find a half decent hardware raid card.

    Talk about paranoia!

    I just use online backups like Mozy. It's painless. It does incremental/differential backups automatically in the background. It's not a solution to backup all your media files but more like important documents; financial, work, or otherwise. Plus it's all encrypted as it should be for all backups. For people like me it's best to keep it simple or I won't do it.

    I've also created a Norton Ghost boot disk. You pop it in and it will reinstall Windows plus the applications that I included. C: Partition for OS files and apps installations. D: Partition for Data. Best if you can put your Data in a different HDD but I use a laptop so there's not so much flexibility.

  19. #19
    Anyone know of a backup software that will run the same backup, but rather than amending the old backups, it will make complete backups of all the files you selected and date the directory?

    Ie.

    Files for Backup = My Documents

    On the backup drive the software would create a directory with the date as the name (ie. 2006-11-24) and copy My Documents to it. Then the next day, it would create 2006-11-25 and copy My Documents to that.
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  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Newport Beach, CA
    Posts
    2,920
    any backup software does that. the more complex way is to do incremental backups once a complete one is done.
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  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    663
    I always delete the "old" backup files when I do new backup. Because of the fact that I only have a 60GB portable HD
    Member Since 2003.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    paradise
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    6,201
    Quote Originally Posted by anlene
    Wow, everyone seems to have their own way of backing up! And no one is using any online backup tools? Mehul's Backup looks cool but no one left any reviews for the software
    I am using Mehul's only for backing up bookmarks of IE, Opera and Firefox so I cant really say how reliable or fast it is for backing up entire drives.

  23. #23
    how to play with norton ghost?

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