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  1. #1
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    I love my Iomega external USB hard disk, but the backup software with it is awful.

    Does anybody have any good recommendations for a program that will reliably back up files (they must be individually recoverable) and can be scheduled?
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  2. #2
    You are in, or you are out ... choose!
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    I have a few listed here that have been recommended to me along the way. My personal fave is Handy Backup.

    Woz

  3. #3
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    try out Stomp's Backup My PC - its essentially Veritas for the workstation.

  4. #4
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    This might be a daft question from someone who has lost all his info I don't know how many times over the last 7 or 8 years.

    But.. How does a backup work? I'm certain all the contents of my computer will not fit on one (1) disc. I have put all my programs like Dreamweaver, Paintshop Pro on my harddrive, am I not suposed to install the programs on my hard drive but put them on a disc? and just put a shortcut on my comp?
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  5. #5
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    Generally speaking, most people only backup important data -- usually documents that they've created using their favorite software. When tragedy strikes and their hard drive dies, they have their hard work backed up but they still have to reinstall all of their software. If you are looking for a better alternative, there is hard drive imaging software out there which will do the trick. I often recommend that home users purchase a large second hard drive and a copy of Symantec Ghost or Drive Image. Drive Image was made by a company called Powerquest but Symantec recently bought them out and I imagine most of the nifty features that Drive Image had will work their way into Ghost. As it is now, you can get either piece of sofware from Symantec. The advantage of Drive Image is that you can create images of your hard drive from within Windows and do not have to reboot. Also, you can schedule backups.

    The way imaging software works is that it takes a complete copy of your hard drive and compresses it into one big file. Let say you have 5 Gig of data - with moderate compression that would probably make a 3 - 3.5Gig image. You can take as many images of your drive as you have space to store. If your primary drive ever fails, you can just restore from the image and its as if nothing ever happened.

    If you already own Norton Systemworks, then you already own a copy of Ghost as it is bundled in.

    Let me know if you want a better explanation on any of that....

    Cheers,

    B.

  6. #6
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    There are many different scemes for backing up data, but basically, there are three different types of backup operations:

    Full Backup - Backup up all files on your system, including registry info, etc.

    Differential Backup - backs up all files that have changed since the last full backup

    Incremental - Backs up all files that have changed since the last full or incremental backup.

    When you need to restore data, you first restore your last full backup then restore differential or incrementals until you are up to date. There are different tape rotations schemes depending on how many tapes you are using.

    Its also a good idea to keep at least one recent full backup tape off-site, in case of disaster. We do a full backup once per week, and a differential every day. Full backup tapes are stored off site.

    Something else very few people think of is to do a test restore...you don't know how well your backup is working until you have to use it for a restore.

    We use Veritas Backup Exec, it's a great package, but probably not suited or priced for the home user.

  7. #7
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Thanks.. HandyBackup (on Woz's list) looks good. The StompSoft looks good too, but HandyBackup is cracking value for money.

    I *do* have a Ghost backup too, it comes with the Iomega drive for free.
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  8. #8
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    quick update to the drive imaging backup solutions - I checked Symantec's page today and it looks like all the goodies from Drive Image made it into Ghost 9 along with support for incremental backups. Ghost 9 is supposed to be available the 1st week of September.

  9. #9
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    slightly OT but Windows XP has no problem backing up to DLT tapes if you don't mind the expense. I got lucky and ended up with some leftovers from a consulting job. The drive is capable of a little compression and the tapes are 15 or 30 GB.

    getting down to file-level may be possible as I see a directory tree showing while it backs up, but I don't go closer than that to it because I want a complete backup including state anyway.

  10. #10
    Outsourced Program Manager Jorge - SHOPiMAR's Avatar
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    One of my first computer jobs was performing Backups for TCI Cable TV.

    Since then many things and many backup procedures have changed. To effectively perform a proper backup some things have not changed:

    1 - as DIYRos says: Full Backup, Differential Backup, and Incremental

    2 - backup off-site or to external drive

    I've seen many mirrored drives, and tapes over the years go bad or not even work at all. if you really want to be protected follow DIYros advice.

    Keep your "data" either off-site to a different location or on a separate hard drive, but not mirrored, actually duplicate data to another drive, just look at what happens every time there is a hurricane, tornado, etc.

    > We use Veritas Backup Exec, it's a great package

    This is a great package indeed.

    But these others are great too and have been around for many years.

    http://www.veritas.com/

    http://ironmountain.com/

    http://novastor.com/

    http://xdrive.com/

  11. #11
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    While we're on backup - I've been burning files on CDs - I know, not ideal but so far, it's worked for me.

    I have a question though about saving emails stored in my folders in Outlook Express - the ones with all your passwords, link exchanges etc...how do you back those up? I can't seem to locate the file. A friend mentioned using email saver XE 2.0 - anyone have other ideas?

    Oscar
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  12. #12
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    I downloaded HandyBackup and it looks pretty good. The only thing is that it doesn't really understand about external hard disks - it's pretty much based on CD/DVD, FTP and making a duplicate folder on your local hard disk. You can use the last one for an external HD by typing the drive letter and path (e.g. F:\Backup) but frustratingly you can't Browse to it.

    Still, not a bad bit of software for thirty bucks.
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