Backing-up, synchronising and imaging software

  Maughan1967 20:50 23 Jun 2008


My brand-spanking-new PC is being delivered this week. The 1st HDD will be partitioned between OS (Vista Premium) and data. I intend to partition the 2nd HDD and make copies/images of 1) the OS as installed, 2) the OS in its current state from time to time and 3) all my data/docs. (I will also have an external HDD in a caddy to do further data back-ups for remote storage.)

My question is:
What is the difference between file synchronisation software (such as "Super Flexible File Synchroniser") and drive imaging software (such as "Acronis True Image")?

Am I correct in thinking:

- synch software only replicates/copies/backs-up data files (e.g. photos, documents, mp3s etc);
- imaging software also enables you to back-up the OS and/or the System State; and
- imaging software may also enable you to image/copy data files?

Is imaging the "clean" OS (i.e. as installed) redundant if I have the Vista installation CD? Or is there any added advantage to having it available on the 2nd HDD also? (I guess I am less likely to lose the 2nd HDD!) Will Acronis True Image (or similar) also do all data back-ups (automated if required) or do I also need to continue with file synchronisation software (such as Super Flexible File Synchroniser)?

What does True Image do that Windows' "System State back-up" does not do, and/or that System Restore does not do?

(On that note, what is the difference between Windows' "System State back-up" and System Restore?)

Thank you!


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