best prog to backup hd with

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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aowen512
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best prog to backup hd with

Post by aowen512 » Wed Mar 22, 2006 12:35 pm

I basically know nothing about backing up my hd. I have a 300gb hard drive and want to make a backup if anything happens. I do have a random 120gb lying around, would this be big enough? What programs do you consider the best at making backups? Are they simple to use? Is there another thread/forum that maybe I should be looking at that I have not found?

a lot of questions.... looking for some kind of direction

thx as usual you guys are the best

TomZ
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Post by TomZ » Wed Mar 22, 2006 1:13 pm

Kind of depends on the kind of backups you want to do.

I do full, nightly, automated backups using WinZip command line. This is set up as a scheduled task in WinXP. The newest version of WinZip, 10.0, has batch capability and scheduling built-in, which may be even easier. Although I do full backups, you can also use WinZip to do incremental backups.

The reason I use WinZip for this purpose is that it has good compression, and because I also use WinZip for lots of other purposes (no other program to buy and/or learn how to use). Also, it is quick and easy to restore a file if that is needed. WinZip will also properly handle locked files (unlike Windows Explorer that quits a copy operation on the first locked file).

If you want to do incremental backups, a dedicated backup program may be a better choice.

aowen512
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Post by aowen512 » Wed Mar 22, 2006 1:20 pm

so what kind of compression ratio are you getting

would my full 300gb fit onto my 120...?

TomZ
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Post by TomZ » Wed Mar 22, 2006 1:33 pm

aowen512 wrote:so what kind of compression ratio are you getting

would my full 300gb fit onto my 120...?
I'm getting an average compression reduction of 31%. That's across around 78,000 files totalling around 16GB. These files are my "data" files, and don't include Windows install or any installed applications.

The compression ratio will depend a lot on what types of files you have or plan to have.

aowen512
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Post by aowen512 » Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:31 pm

is it bigger files compress better, or more total files compress better

yea im only using 200gb and prob half that is movies etc

so prob only need to backup about 100

TomZ
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Post by TomZ » Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:37 pm

aowen512 wrote:is it bigger files compress better, or more total files compress better
Depends more on the type of file - what it has in it. Files that contain really random data (like WAV files), or are already compressed (like ZIP files and compressed movie or sound files) don't compress much more. Executables compress decently well, maybe 50%. Text files compress really well, up to 99% in some cases.
Last edited by TomZ on Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

aowen512
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Post by aowen512 » Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:24 pm

ic

thx for the replies im going to look into that program

keep the replies coming!

IsaacKuo
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Post by IsaacKuo » Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:43 pm

aowen512 wrote:is it bigger files compress better, or more total files compress better
As TomZ says, it's the file type which matters, not the size.
yea im only using 200gb and prob half that is movies etc

so prob only need to backup about 100
If you only need to backup 100gigs of data, then it will fit on a 120gig drive, obviously.

If you want to back up those movies also, then it won't fit at all. You get hardly any compression on a movie file.

Most of my data is photos and movie clips which are already compressed; I use rsync for backups. It's very efficient because it only backs up updated files. It doesn't use any sort of compression.

TomZ
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Post by TomZ » Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:54 pm

IssacKuo's post also reminded me of another program I sometimes use, SyncToy from Microsoft. It is designed to synchronize files using one of several methods. It has no compression. It has a pretty simple GUI.

Info/Download: SyncToy for Windows XP

Erssa
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Post by Erssa » Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:17 pm

Norton Ghost is also handly, if you have a drive of the same size available. It can create an image of your hard drive. That way, if your hard drive fails, you can just switch the back up hard drive in and act like it never happened.

Dutch2
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Post by Dutch2 » Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:29 pm

I use Iomega QuickSync. I'm not sure if it is still available, but it lets you select files and/or directories to be copied at a selectable time or interval. You can also select to keep x number of revisions of the files.

No compression, just a straight copy to another drive in your computer, or other drive on a network.

Works well, but may be somewhat outdated.

aowen512
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Post by aowen512 » Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:36 pm

interesting replies im very interested now

will be looking into those programs

keep the replies coming

NeilBlanchard
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Post by NeilBlanchard » Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:12 pm

Greetings,

Second Copy is what I've used for a while now.

kovvoy
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Post by kovvoy » Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:47 am

I do different types of backup, depending on what I'm dealing with.

Disc images
This is for my operating system/installed programs, which I keep on one partition. Usually once month or so. If anything goes wrong, restore and I'm back on the road in 15 minutes. You must have a second partition for this. A seperate physical drive is best. Mine is external.
Software
I use Norton Ghost 2003, always from the boot disc, never from the Windows GUI. Have heard it can be problematic with SATA drives through Windows, but in DOS is sees everything fine. Did a clone of my system from a PATA to a SATA drive a few weeks ago, no problems.
DriveImageXML is pretty good freeware, will do images of drives in use as well. Worth looking into: http://www.runtime.org/dixml.htm

Simple copy
I keep my files (desktop, my documents, e-mail, personal photos or movies and whatever else) on a seperate partitions for ease of backup and so I can restore a system image without touching any of them. I do an incremental backup, actually a straight copy with no compression, on an external drive. This way I can just grab the files with or without the software I used to back it up. And I can grab the disk and run if necessary, everthing is there.
Software
Tried lots and found SyncBack to be the easiest to do what I wanted. I think it there's a commercial version too now, but check out the freeware version first:http://www.2brightsparks.com/syncback/syncback-hub.html

That's how I do it, anyway. Nothing automated, but I could with SyncBack, actually, if I bothered.

Oh yeah, about movies, I just burn them to CDs or DVDs to back them up, especially if it's something I don't watch every day or even every week. That way my file backups aren't too big.

Have fun deciding. :D

dfrost
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Post by dfrost » Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:06 am

I use Argentum Backupfor scheduled daily data backups. Very easy to use, incremental backups, choice of compressed or not (I don't), inexpensive, and good default selections for data to be backed up. It only works with another HDD. The free trial version is fully functional, but doesn't let you change the default data selection.

So I also use Neroto copy data to DVD every few months. The OEM version came bundled with my DVD burner, and I upgraded to the Ultra. Not quite as easy to use as Argentum, but it can do many other functions.

Unfortunately, I can't find the backup application comparison that I used for this question last year.

widman
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Post by widman » Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:16 am

TomZ wrote:I do full, nightly, automated backups using WinZip command line. This is set up as a scheduled task in WinXP. ....
For full backup/restore, winzip will have problem in short name. Winzip doesn't store fullname with corespondent short name. Here a scenario

you zip eg
c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\office.exe= C:\Progra~1\Micros~3\office.exe
when you restore become
c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\office.exe=C:\Progra~1\Micros~1\office.exe

so resulting you wont get a "full restore", you need to relink back or reinstall the program.

Use a correct backup tools that backup short and long name like symantec ghost or powerquest (symantec now) drive image.

here a screen shot I mean
Image

TomZ
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Post by TomZ » Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:40 am

widman wrote:For full backup/restore, winzip will have problem in short name. Winzip doesn't store fullname with corespondent short name.
I only backup data, not installed programs. Short names aren't important at all for data directories, at least in my experience.

I don't back up installed programs because it's easy for me to just reinstall my OS and all my apps (takes ~2 hours). I do this 1-2 times a year already as I transition to a new PC, new HDD, or new OS version, so I am set up to do this very efficiently.

My view is that the OS and application installs are easy enough to redo that it isn't worth backing them up. What is important is my data, so I put in place a good, simple, automated system to protect that.

JVM
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Post by JVM » Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:14 pm

I use Backup MyPC Deluxe, came with Roxio software, and copy to a DVD. I also occasionally use Roxio to backup certain data to a DVD.

In the very near future I will be doing RAID 1.

Pauli
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Post by Pauli » Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:39 pm

aowen512 wrote:is it bigger files compress better, or more total files compress better

yea im only using 200gb and prob half that is movies etc

so prob only need to backup about 100
Most popular digital video formats do not compress at all with lossless compression programs like WinZip. Many people do not realize that digital video files like MPEG2 and Divx, are already in a super-compressed format. In fact, the quest for smaller video files is the reason that there are so many different digital video formats.

If you consider that true uncompressed video takes up about 85GB of disk space per hour of video, you can see why there is a need for super-sophisticated compression schemes. Lossless video compression formats, e.g. MJPEG and huffyuv, can only compress typically by a factor of 3-5x which still results in HD space of 15-30GB/hour -- still way too large for most consumer applications. Only very sophisticated "Lossy" compression algorithms are suitable for consumer digital video. Formats like MPEG2 can maintain high-quality video at only 2GB/hour and MPEG4 or Divx much less.

So, in summary, you probably won't be able to use the 120GB drive to back up your 200GB of used hard disk space if, indeed, half of that is movies.
Last edited by Pauli on Fri Mar 24, 2006 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

TomZ
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Post by TomZ » Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:20 pm

JVM wrote:In the very near future I will be doing RAID 1.
In my case, I use WinZip to automatically back up to a remote server, and I also use RAID1. I don't consider RAID1 as a suitable replacement for a backup system. I see RAID1 as a way to decrease the probability of having a data loss, but that probability doesn't go to zero, so I feel that backups are still necessary. For example, if I delete a file by accident, I can restore it from a backup, but not using RAID1.

I realize that others, possibly including you, see RAID1 as reducing the probability of data loss down to a small enough chance that you feel that a data backup is unncessary. I also understand this view.

But maybe you aren't saying that RAID1 and backups are mutually exclusive...?

JVM
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Post by JVM » Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:29 pm

TomZ wrote:
JVM wrote:In the very near future I will be doing RAID 1.
In my case, I use WinZip to automatically back up to a remote server, and I also use RAID1. I don't consider RAID1 as a suitable replacement for a backup system. I see RAID1 as a way to decrease the probability of having a data loss, but that probability doesn't go to zero, so I feel that backups are still necessary. For example, if I delete a file by accident, I can restore it from a backup, but not using RAID1.

I realize that others, possibly including you, see RAID1 as reducing the probability of data loss down to a small enough chance that you feel that a data backup is unncessary. I also understand this view.

But maybe you aren't saying that RAID1 and backups are mutually exclusive...?
Oh, I am certainly not saying RAID 1 precludes the need to do backups. You can get a virus and such that could wipe out both drives. I still intend to do backups after going RAID 1.

rei
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Post by rei » Sat Mar 25, 2006 11:42 pm

the best program to backup hd bar none is acronis trueimage.

zhenya
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Post by zhenya » Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:11 pm

rei wrote:the best program to backup hd bar none is acronis trueimage.
I'd agree if you said "the best program to image a hd bar none is Acronis True Image. It's very difficult to make a real long-term backup plan with Acronis, as your incremental images grow and grow and grow. The best imaging program I've ever used by far though.

link1896
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Post by link1896 » Tue Mar 28, 2006 8:52 am

re norton ghost, I used to be a devoted user until I discovered Acronis True Image

gud4u
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Post by gud4u » Fri Mar 31, 2006 7:38 am

Terabyte offers excellent imaging solutions: http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/

Least expensive solution is 'Image for DOS' at $18.

Better solution is 'Image for Windows' + 'Image for DOS' combo for $27, which is faster and provides image_Windows_from_Windows capability.

Full byte-for-byte image verification is included.

I've used IFW and IFD for over a year for weekly image backup of my Windows partition. I've flawlessly restored my Windows partition 5 times.

Reliable, inexpensive and bloat-free imaging solutions.

Hope this helps!

toNka
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Post by toNka » Sat Apr 08, 2006 11:37 pm

I've tried Ghost and a few other popular tools.
I really like Acronis True Image.
It's really easy to use for beginers and has all the advance features for all the geeks.
It's pretty cheap considering what it can do.
Here's a link to the official website:

http://www.acronis.com/

You can read a review here:

http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/article/ ... 202,00.asp

flyingsherpa
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Post by flyingsherpa » Sun Apr 09, 2006 5:22 am

i use Norton Ghost to make a full disc clone to an external drive. i like this idea because you can just swap HDs if your main one has a failure... no need to spend time restoring any data. the disadvantage is that it takes around 2 hours to do each time (mine goes over USB 2, maybe the firewire interface would be faster), so I usually only do it once a month or so. but i think i read somewhere that MikeC does this same backup method, but he has it auto-scheduled every night. i like to leave my external drive in a separate room... so in the unlikely event that someone breaks in and steals my PC, they would not get the cloned one too. yes, that may be a bit paranoid :lol: .

edit: typos

erikm5150
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Post by erikm5150 » Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:56 pm

if you are comfortable with the command line and making batch scripts, ROBOCOPY is a free M$ executable and works very well.
it's like the equivalent of rsync in linux/unix.

mr. poopyhead
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Post by mr. poopyhead » Thu Aug 03, 2006 7:45 pm

do any of these programs verify the integrity of the data after copying? i want to move files from my old storage drive to a new one and i want it exactly the same, bit for bit...

all these years i've just been using windows to copy from one drive to another. is that safe? or do i need one of these cloning programs?

DanW
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Post by DanW » Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:06 am

Ive been using microsoft sync toy for a while now.

I've got a network drive mapped to my backup pc which has a 250gb drive in. My main drives are a pair of raided 200gb discs. All I do is now and again run the sync toy and it'll trasfer the data from my drive to the other PC. Works a treat and is fairly simple. I suppose I could do something fancy but I know most of my settings and passwords by hand anyway. Might start thinking about backing up other things in the future like my SpeedFan logs. But they're fairly easy to sort out.


SyncToy and I guess all those other back uptilities are handy for phones too. Each time I go out and take pictures with my phone, I'll connect it to my pc when I get back via usb and use the syncToy to automatically add the new photos to my PC.

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