Confab 13:36 07 Mar 2007

I have quite a few times in the past had to reformat my HD and re-install all my software. Not a massively difficult task but time consuming and it always seems to take days to get everything back to just how I like it.

A couple of months ago, after reading about backing up on this site, I bought a copy of Acronis True Image 10. To be honest I really didn’t think I’d need it but it wouldn’t do any harm to have a copy. Last Friday I had a day off from work and decided to do a full back up. The process took about half an hour and basically it backed up all my O/S/software/data and settings to a separate secure partition on my hard drive. On Sunday my compute crashed, not so that I couldn’t use it but OE wouldn’t start, IE came up with an error message every time I tried to do a search and would then close and my Sound Blaster software wouldn’t work. I have absolutely no idea why this happened but my three children went very quiet.

I tried messing around for a good hour and only managed to fix the sound issue. Even then I wasn’t convinced it was running properly. So I tried a restore using Acronis. It was really easy.. About 5 mouse clicks and half an hour later my computer was restored exactly as it was on the Friday, with everything working perfectly. I lost one file that my son had downloaded that morning and that’s all.

I’m now going to buy an external USB hard drive. I think about 300GB should do. I want something that can hold say two or three back-ups. That should be enough for me.

So if you haven’t got any back-up software go and buy some today. It just makes things so much easier cometh the crash.


  JoeC 15:18 07 Mar 2007

Used to back up to countless CD's then moved on to backups on DVD. I was using Drive Image software and restored twice then for some reason the programme would not recognise the backups I had made. Numerous emails followed but to no avail. I "lost" everything - although I still have the CD's / DVD's and occasionally try to recover some files. I then bought an external hard drive and back up to there. Absolutely bags of room for backups - mind you, even that can fail ! (Reaches for lucky white heather)

  Diemmess 18:15 07 Mar 2007

"Software grows just a little faster than the space available for it"

A current thread mentions Jaz (1Gb) drives.
I had one of those about the end of my use of Win 3.1.1.
It was just too small to use Ghost to backup a 1.5Gb C: drive which included applications but not data.

Now XP on my main system has to cope with 4.2 GB.
Data of all sorts resides elsewhere.
I use the niche product HyperOs, which serves much the same way as Acronis.

I'm really sorry for those who have a nice new computer, but little idea of planned storing of their data.
Huge HDs only add to the confusion, and the same unfortunates often having downloaded lots of music and taken a portfolio of pictures, suffer a malware infestation, or an OS glitch and lose practically everything including their pleasure of a once smooth running outfit.

  Confab 18:28 07 Mar 2007

So how often do you do a back-up?

I’ve got into the habit of cleaning my PC about every other day. I run a couple of HD cleaners, a couple of spyware/adware progs and and a couple of registry cleaners. I then defrag the HD. It’s probably overkill but at least it keeps my computer free from garbage.
But one thing I have not yet got into the habit of doing is backing up my whole system. I’ve got some DVD with data on them and an external HD that won’t hold everything so it also had just data on it.

What I really like is the fact that within a very few mouse clicks and a cup of tea later I can have my Pc back to how it was – fully restored.

I was thinking that a once a week full back-up to an external HD would be enough. What do you think?


  pj123 18:57 07 Mar 2007

I use xxclone (free) from click here.
to backup (clone) to an external hard drive.

Not had any problems with it so far.

  €dstowe 19:00 07 Mar 2007

How often you backup depends on how often you add important data. In a work situation, we back up files every day, sometimes twice a day if we've something very, very important going on and do a full system backup weekly on a Friday afternoon. My machines at home get backed up once a week.

I don't do incremental system backups nowadays as I found that a full backup only takes a few moments longer than an incremental and you have the added confidence that a full backup gives you (I did, once, have an incremental backup fail on me).

Be careful you don't overdo the cleaning up - it shouldn't be necessary to do that any more often than your system backups unless you visit dubious sites.

  Pine Man 19:20 07 Mar 2007

I have used Acronis for a long time and have just installed it on my new Vista PC.

I did a full back upon delivery and then another full back up when I had it set up to my liking.

In the future I will do as I did on my old PC, which is to do a full back up once a month usually after the Microsoft updates, or if some new soft/hardware is installed.

I tend to keep about 6 full back ups and delete the oldest each time a new one is made.

  Monoux 20:38 07 Mar 2007

Pine Man -- What version of Acronis are you running. I ask because I have tried to install Acronis ( Version 8 build 768) on my daughters new laptop running Vista Home Premuim and it refuses to install.

  Confab 20:45 07 Mar 2007

visit dubious sites"

I don't know what you mean!

I'm doing a bit of research now for a good quality external drive. I don’t mind paying a bit more as it’s the reliability I’m after. I’ll probably do a once a week full back up and keep two or three backups on the drive. As for the cleaning bit, its something I’ve always done. I’m one of these sad people who actually finds cleaning their PC therapeutic. I have no idea why.


  €dstowe 21:08 07 Mar 2007

The "dubious sites" I meant were things like P2P and such semi-legal music download sites where it is possible to pick up all sorts of things that you wish you didn't have.

  Confab 21:17 07 Mar 2007

I hope you didn’t take any offence to my comment because there was none intended. I knew what you meant.


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