How Do YOU Back-up?

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by alfred01, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. alfred01

    alfred01 Well-Known Member

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    Hi. I want to start backing up my system so I don't have to spend a day reinstalling all my programs if I have to reinstall my O/S (like I've had to do :mad: twice this week). I was hoping I could get some advice from people who know computers better than I (basically everyone). I know some people use programs to do back-up disks, but there is also a back-up feature built into Windows 7. May I ask you knowledgeable folks what you do to back-up your system (mainly the programs installed as I can restore O/S no problem)? Does anyone use the Windows back-up feature and what do you think of it?

    Happy Birthday Canada July 1st :redface:

    Happy Birthday U.S. July 4th :usa:

    Thank You
    David
     
  2. kaos

    kaos Senior Member

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    in all honesty
    i dont back anything up, the reason why?, i never download anything that would infinge my files or damage them in a way that would stop my pc from working ( virus's) if my pc did stop working id use my windows disc to repair the files, ive never backed up in 8 years and never once had to format my pc due to it stop working :D

    this is my opinion, however im sure people will disagree with me however , use windows own backup utility
     
  3. alfred01

    alfred01 Well-Known Member

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    Thank You kaos, that's what I'd like, people's opinion. :)
     
  4. Joe S

    Joe S Excellent Member

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    I use Acronis True Image. I boot from the CD to avoid problems with things running in background. I have the HD partitioned with Windows and software on one and data on the other. Reinstalling from image takes less than 15 min. Windows 7 backup works for some but not for others.
    Joe
     
  5. alfred01

    alfred01 Well-Known Member

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    Thank You Joe.
    David
     
  6. Adamsappleone

    Adamsappleone U.S.Navy D.A.V.

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    Hello David,

    I just started using EASUS Todo Backup and Paragon System Backup 10 for testing purposes, although like Kaos, have never had to or needed to use a backup tool before and for the same reasons as Kaos.
    If I had to do a re-install, which I have done a few times, I have not had to re-install any of the programs I run due to I have them installed on a separate drive.

    Don
     
  7. Joe S

    Joe S Excellent Member

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    Well in the past year some of the AV makers have issued database updates that have trashed people's PCs. Mcaffee,Norton,Avira and Avast come to mind. Not to mention some bad drivers that get issued from time to time. As far Windows backup it's debatable.
    Joe
     
  8. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

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    Hi

    As far as I know Windows 7s own backup utility works fine.
    I have a Windows 7 boot disk and my C:\ backed up to an external hard drive.

    However since I'm paranoid I also back everything up using Norton Ghost.
    And I do have years of stuff I don't want to lose.

    I do a lot of online stuff, and have never had a virus or anything that killed my computer.
    but I have seen hard drive failures that wiped all the data, as far as the user was concerned.
    They could probably have sent the hard drive off to a recovery place, but it's very expensive.

    Mike
     
  9. Ciara

    Ciara New Member

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    Hi David :)

    I use Paragon Backup & Recovery Free Advanced Edition 2011 and I backup my complete OS (operating system) thats Windows 7, all my programs, music, videos ... everything to a compressed archive that can be reinstalled outside of Windows ... this means even if I cant boot in to Windows I can boot from the Paragon rescue disk and replace my damaged operating system with a healthy exact copy including all my programs in a few minuets.


    I am happy to say I can replace my operating system any time I have to with Paragon :) ... it works !

    Paragon Backup & Recovery (Advanced) Free Edition - Free Download

    Paragon Backup & Recovery (Advanced) Free Edition - User Manual
     
  10. Joe S

    Joe S Excellent Member

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    Ciara
    With Acronis it is simple to copy just one file from the backup file. You just go into backup with explorer and find it and copy it. Is Paragon the same? Some backup software isn't easy to retrieve individual files.
    Joe
     
  11. catilley1092

    catilley1092 Extraordinary Member

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    I run Todo Pro (desktop) & Todo Workstation on my notebook. Both were snatched up on Giveaway of the Day. Todo Backup, even the one that can be freely downloaded & installed, does file & disk/partition backups, and recovers well.

    Prior to using Todo, I was using ATI Home 2009, which was OK, but slow. Before that, Macrium Reflect, another free goodie.

    The backup program that ships with Windows 7, I've used it, and recovered with it, but my gripe with it is, it's way too slow. Really. Any of the backup software mentioned above can do the job in less than half of the time, except Acronis, but even that one is faster than Windows Backup. But, I'm happy that Windows took backup more seriously in Windows 7 than prior versions.

    The main thing, one I always stress, is that no matter which one is used, use one of them. Because, it's not a matter of if, but when, we'll need a recent backup. I keep the original backup after a new (or clean) install, plus 2 recent ones. Generally, I try to make backups no longer than 2 weeks apart.
     
  12. Ciara

    Ciara New Member

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    Hi Joe S, Yes with Paragon you can backup just one file and up to a full disk including partitions.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
    Staff Member Premium Supporter Microsoft MVP

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    Acronis True Image every time. If Acronis didn't exist I'd have to write it. Powerful, flexible, reliable, Restore a complete partition in minutes, mount an image as a virtual drive and browse it to restore individual files or folders and lots more. Would have thrown my lappy through the windows years ago without it. Run triple boot system with Linux, XP and Win 7 64 bit on 3 partitions and all my data (including backup images of the three system partitions) in the remaining fourth partition. The data partition is copied regularly across to an external usb drive in case my hard drive ever totals or my lappy gets nicked. (There's more reasons for backing up than just recovery from malware ;)
     
  14. Ciara

    Ciara New Member

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    I think whatever software you may prefer (and anyone new to backing up do try them all and see what you prefer) the act of backing up is a good sensible computing and a good habit to form :)
     
  15. Super Sarge

    Super Sarge New Member

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    I actually us 3 backup programs. The first one is the Native W7 backup which is scheduled for a daily full backup, I allow W7 to manage disc space, this backup is done to one of my 3 other internal drives.
    I also back up using Macrium Reflect Pro and Easeus TODO on a weekly basis again to different internal hard drives so all backups are on separate hard drives in case of a failure of any one HD I should always be able to restore my oS in a C: Drive Failure. Viva redundancy
     
  16. alfred01

    alfred01 Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to Thank You all for your contributions. My problem is that I just don't know very much about computers and don't like to do anything that I don't absolutely understand what I'm doing. Even in a number of the responses here, I don't understand what your saying. I guess I'll just have to figure something out, but Thank You again to all. :)
     
  17. alfred01

    alfred01 Well-Known Member

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    ...............
     
  18. Mitchell_A

    Mitchell_A Excellent Member

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    I backup all my computers to one central computer used solely for storage.

    I do this via Windows Live Mesh (www.download.live.com). A copy of all my files is also uploaded to my SkyDrive incase something goes wrong with my computer. The files are synced actively, however this program is intended to be used as an actual sync program, not a backup program. It can also become quite a bandwidth hog and as a result send my latency times through the roof.
     
  19. OldTimer

    OldTimer Banned

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    I'm going to go along with "Mike" on Ghost.
    Since, like, forever, long before there was Acronis, or any other backup system, even Windows 7, there was Ghost (circa 1997).
    Before that, there was the DOS Backup command and PC Tools (Central Point Software) Backup.
    But I got a copy of Ghost, directly from the writers in New Zealand in 1997, fell in love with its simplicity and I've been using it ever since.

    Ghost 2003 (late version) works a treat to back up any MS OS up through Windows XP. For Windows Vista or Win-7, Ghost 11.5 (DOS, or Windows) works great. It looks and acts the same as Ghost 2003 to there's no re-learning curve when upgrading to it.

    There's a lot to be said for just backing up the entire C: drive and doing that from a DOS boot disk. That takes windows completely out of the equation. I have Ghost 2003 on a floppy disk, CD and Flash Drive. I have Ghost 11.5 (DOS version) on a CD, Flash Drive and SD Flash memory card.

    Doing a very thorough cleanup on your HD before starting a backup will keep the resulting Backup File as small as possible. So, with that in mind, when I built my DOS boot disk for Ghost, I installed a Ansi-Color DOS menu system with a number of batch files to clean out most all of the junk files on the hard drive, even old System Restore files. I even use NTFS4DOS on my Ghost 11.5 disks, to open up an NTFS drive so I can access and remove all the junk files, before actually running Ghost to start the backup.

    I shouldn't have to remind any knowledgeable user about the benefit of totally cleaning out their HD every week and then backing it up.
    NO ONE knows the day or hour, that their HD will go up in a big puff of smoke. I've had several drives do that to me over the past 30 years, but do to an aggressive backup policy, I've never lost anything important.

    I do a full Drive C: backup at least once a week, to a Storage drive. I force a System Restore Point to be created every time I boot up my PC and I have to rely on System Restore at least once a week, to fix some little X'up or another. I test a lot of software and some is good, some not so good and some just plain rotten.

    Daily I create or modify several data files on my PC. I guess I'm what you'd call an "Active" user. :p
    So to protect myself against file loss, between Ghost backups, I use a simple batch file, to copy all new or modifies data files to my storage drive. Since it copies only New or Changed files, it runs in just seconds. I run it manually from a desktop shortcut, but it could also be run from the Task Manager, the Startup folder or as part of my shutdown routine. A batch file is extremely flexible. DOS Rocks!

    Well, that's MY backup strategy. The only BAD backup is the one you decided you didn't need to do. rofl

    Cheers mates!
    Old Timer :cool:
     

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