Backup advice

  Bebee 08:42 04 Jun 2004

Backups are becoming a chore, and we all know how important they are. I have 120Gb HDD and have been using a small 6Gb internal drive to back up the partitions with the OS (ME) and the Programs installed - but it's no longer big enough. I take an occasional CD backup aswell, but it is becoming too time (and CD) consuming. Digital photos on another partition are becoming a chore to. Other data is not too much of a problem on CD.

Would an external HDD be a reliable backup solution? (e.g. Maxtor One Touch). Other options would be an internal drive (cheaper) or a DVD writer ( I wouldn't need it for much else than backing up). I would still double up to CD for vital data.

Any comments gratefully received. Thanks.

  €dstowe 08:51 04 Jun 2004

A new HDD would be preferable - they are easier to use if installed internally and potentially more reliable than optical storage (CD, DVD).

I wouldn't recommend external HDD backups - they depend on your setup and they require the operating system installed in order to function, so if your machine refuses to boot up into the O/S you have a problem. I know some backup systems get over this but by no means all do this and, from my experience, even those that do aren't particularly easy to use.


  Bebee 09:06 04 Jun 2004

Thanks €d. I see your point. I use Ghost which can load USB drivers, although I've never tried it and wouldn't assume it's reliable, but generally the Ghost floppy seems to get things going.

I installed the 6Gb HDD from my old PC as a backup with no real probs, though I did have a problem with drive letters, I seem to remember, because I wanted it as drive I.

I must admit that internal seems a neater solution - I was tempted by the flexibility of external but have never known anyone who has used one.


  rawprawn 09:28 04 Jun 2004

Have you considered Acronis True Image 7 which makes it's own partition on your existing HD (the size to suit your needs) then backs up automatically no problems. If you want to restore you just hit F11 on boot & it's as easy as that. There are lots of alternatives if you want to use them.

  Bebee 09:34 04 Jun 2004

Thanks. I did use Acronis for a while but had problems with the images corrupting. It seemed to be a particular problem when backing up to the second HDD. I also want the reliability of a seperate backup device(as well as digital photos meaning that in the future I'll need a lot of the space on the drive). If the hard drive were to stop working any backup on it will be if no use.


  €dstowe 10:36 04 Jun 2004

I would strongly advise against loading your backup files on to the same physical drive as the one you are backing up as suggested by rawprawn. If the drive goes base over apex - which they most certainly do - your backup will be lost as well as everthing else on the disk.


  Bebee 10:47 04 Jun 2004

Absolutely. It's fine if you are playing around with configurations and want a quick restore, but no good in an emergency.

Thanks again for the responses. I'm making some backups between CD and 2nd HDD while I finish making up my mind.

I'll tick as resolved but check back in case anyone has their ideas/experiences to add.


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