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  1. #1
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    Hard Drive Backup Strategy

    So, I just got a big old 1 TB external HD (great deal, too...ask if interested). I'm wondering if I should:

    -Just back up docs, music, photos, etc.

    -Back up the entire main HD of the laptop

    -Make an image

    -Something else I haven't thought of

    What do you guys think is the most effective/painless way to plan for a data emergency??



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    Re: Hard Drive Backup Strategy

    As long as space isn't an issue on the external, I'd do a complete backup or make some kind of image of the laptop. Would be the easiest way to restore...


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    Re: Hard Drive Backup Strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by jbhtexas View Post
    As long as space isn't an issue on the external, I'd do a complete backup or make some kind of image of the laptop. Would be the easiest way to restore...
    That's what I was thinking, but part of me would like to de-crapify if I reinstalled the OS, and not having everything in my backup would certainly accomplish that. I know that's backwards, but whenever I reinstall and slim down my system, it feels so good!



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    Re: Hard Drive Backup Strategy

    I personally would just back up docs and keep drivers on there for my NIC (internet card) rather than make an image of the machine.

    This may not be the better option for you depending on how tech savvy you are, but I generally would rather just keep my data and start over with a fresh install when things go wrong



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    Re: Hard Drive Backup Strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by isucyfan View Post
    That's what I was thinking, but part of me would like to de-crapify if I reinstalled the OS, and not having everything in my backup would certainly accomplish that. I know that's backwards, but whenever I reinstall and slim down my system, it feels so good!
    Depends how much time you have to get things back up. If you can reinstall the laptop at a leisurely pace, then you can take the de-crapify approach. However, if you need to get the laptop back up quickly, and image seems better...


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    Re: Hard Drive Backup Strategy

    I personally would get another 1TB drive and a Drobo, and then make all your backups. The Drobo will then duplicate your data so if 1 drive goes bad, you will still be okay. One backup drive is really not the ideal situation.


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    Re: Hard Drive Backup Strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by jbhtexas View Post
    Depends how much time you have to get things back up. If you can reinstall the laptop at a leisurely pace, then you can take the de-crapify approach. However, if you need to get the laptop back up quickly, and image seems better...
    That's a good way of thinking about this. I would probably have the luxury of time, since I can use my desktop in a pinch.



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    Re: Hard Drive Backup Strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by jbhtexas View Post
    Depends how much time you have to get things back up. If you can reinstall the laptop at a leisurely pace, then you can take the de-crapify approach. However, if you need to get the laptop back up quickly, and image seems better...
    I'd just backup the docs & data (and drivers/utilities as mentioned too!). If you've got to reinstall the machine, it's just as easy to to a nice clean install, decrapify it, and then move your stuff back in to where it belongs.

    When backing up, don't forget to back up the stuff that likes to sometimes hide in different places than the "My Documents" folder - grab everything in the Documents and Settings area so that you get your e-mail and other stuff like that as well. And some programs (Quicken used to do this) like to store their data in their own folders - so be aware of that.

    If space isn't an issue, it might be worth while to keep several generations of backups on the disk - set up jobs to auto copy stuff on Monday to one folder and on Tuesday to another. Or set the backup software to keep several revisions of a file when changes are detected. That can be a lifesaver if you make a mistake and accidentally delete or change something.



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    Re: Hard Drive Backup Strategy

    I use Acronis® True Image. The software allows allows you to do about anytinhg.

    You can do things like backing up just certain folders or everything, certain partitions, rollback to a previous date, Incremental and Differential Backups, etc.

    It takes a little bit of studying to figure everything out but the next time I build a new PC here is what I plan on doing:

    1 partititon for the OS
    1 partition for music/pictures/video
    1 for everything else

    The I'll probably just back-up everything on the 1st 2 partitions. Like you said, it's nice having a clean install.



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    Re: Hard Drive Backup Strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by TykeClone View Post
    When backing up, don't forget to back up the stuff that likes to sometimes hide in different places than the "My Documents" folder - grab everything in the Documents and Settings area so that you get your e-mail and other stuff like that as well. And some programs (Quicken used to do this) like to store their data in their own folders - so be aware of that.
    Hidden stuff...that's why I like images for backup. But I usually take some time every few months to de-crapify my PCs...


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  11. #11
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    Re: Hard Drive Backup Strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by dmclone View Post
    I use Acronis® True Image. The software allows allows you to do about anytinhg.

    You can do things like backing up just certain folders or everything, certain partitions, rollback to a previous date, Incremental and Differential Backups, etc.

    It takes a little bit of studying to figure everything out but the next time I build a new PC here is what I plan on doing:

    1 partititon for the OS
    1 partition for music/pictures/video
    1 for everything else

    The I'll probably just back-up everything on the 1st 2 partitions. Like you said, it's nice having a clean install.
    I got a free beta copy of Acronis, and have used it a bit. I plan to set it up with this new drive. Any suggestions on the best way to configure the software on an existing system?

    Edit: My copy is Acronis True Image Home 2009



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    Re: Hard Drive Backup Strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by isucyfan View Post
    I got a free beta copy of Acronis, and have used it a bit. I plan to set it up with this new drive. Any suggestions on the best way to configure the software on an existing system?

    Edit: My copy is Acronis True Image Home 2009
    To tell you the truth, I'm not really concerned if I lose something that's a couple weeks old so I just schedule it to do a full backup(not incremental) every couple of weeks and only keep 3 backups at one time(it will delete the oldest one automatically). I also schedule a separate backup of my photo and mp3 folder to my back up drive.



  13. #13
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    Re: Hard Drive Backup Strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by dmclone View Post
    To tell you the truth, I'm not really concerned if I lose something that's a couple weeks old so I just schedule it to do a full backup(not incremental) every couple of weeks and only keep 3 backups at one time(it will delete the oldest one automatically). I also schedule a separate backup of my photo and mp3 folder to my back up drive.
    I need to incrementally back up large documents I work on regularly for grad school, but I've been using Mozy for this, which works well.

    I'm starting to think I'll image the entire HD through Acronis, and also keep a separate backup of just my data.



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    Re: Hard Drive Backup Strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by isucyfan View Post
    I need to incrementally back up large documents I work on regularly for grad school, but I've been using Mozy for this, which works well.

    I'm starting to think I'll image the entire HD through Acronis, and also keep a separate backup of just my data.
    Probably a good plan. Like I said, Acronis gives you so many options that it can be confusing but once you have it set-up and scheduled you'll see that it's working. It sounds like doing daily incremental backups on your grad school documents and entire image backups every couple of weeks.



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    Re: Hard Drive Backup Strategy

    Quote Originally Posted by dmclone View Post
    Probably a good plan. Like I said, Acronis gives you so many options that it can be confusing but once you have it set-up and scheduled you'll see that it's working. It sounds like doing daily incremental backups on your grad school documents and entire image backups every couple of weeks.
    That's what I'm going to try. Thanks for the suggestions everyone!

    dmclone, have you ever restored anything through Acronis? I'm pretty sure that there's nothing proprietary about the way it saves backups. One thing I didn't like about Retrospect is that it created one big lump of a backup that you needed the software to decode when you wanted to restore. That's not ideal. I want to see my files.



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