Backup options - or not?

  Housten 16:18 12 Aug 2012

Good Afternoon,

Some may remember tat I tried, and gave up, trying to write my own backup programme. What I have now done is to use a backup and a sync programmes. These work quite well but I would like some information about the use I am putting the backup programme to. I will not mention the programmes I am using at the moment because I think my questions are not related to the particular programmes I am using.

I did a ‘full backup’ of my ‘C:\’ partition, and what I had wanted to do was differential backups in between a full backup once a month. Well I now appear to have managed this except, I am not sure! When I did the first full backup some things appeared to be missing – such as ‘page file’ – and I would like to know if these should be recorded. Also the programme – backing up 3 ‘parts’ of my hard drive does these independently and then ‘merges’ them at the end. Is this something worth doing? I ask because the length of time this ‘merge’ operation takes is considerably longer than the time for the three ‘parts’ that make up the ‘differential backup’ takes.

The programme also reminds me that I should make a ‘recovery’ disk. Would this be better than using my OS? I have Windows 7 64Bit Home Premium? I know my Windows 7 utility for making a recovery disk still works, so I could use it, but is the programme likely to be better than MS? I am prejudiced – obviously against - as regards MS but I would like to know what other people think. Also when I make a recovery disk, should I then update it regularly, or only after every programme alteration that I make?

I have what are called ‘recordable’ CDs and DVDs, as I do not know what size this ‘recovery disk’ set of files are which would be the better? Also if a CD would be acceptable – in size – then is it OK to record straight over the top of an existing copy, or should I clean the disk – format or whatever – prior to it being re-used?

Sorry to be such a pain, but many thanks for taking the time to read this, and even more thanks if you reply.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:39 12 Aug 2012

Several types of file are excluded from a backup as they are temporary pagefile is just an area of disc space put aside to use as temporary memory when all the RAM is in use.

I never do differential backups I always do a backup weekly using two different file names so if one get corrupted I have another to fall back on.

Recovery media is basically the program on a boot disc so that you can restore an image if the machine fails to boot. A MUST DO

Only needs to be done once however if you upgrade the program make a new recovery disc with the latest version as old recovery media may not access newer program backup files. The recovery disc does not contain your backup images these need to be on a separate hard drive preferably external as a PSU failure may take out all internal disks.

Only ever used the program in anger once and needed to do it from the recovery media as the machine would not boot and windows was non accessible even to an experienced system restorer.

  lotvic 17:53 12 Aug 2012

Wouldn''t it be far easier each time just to save a copy of the files under a different name (have the date as part of the file name and change the date) each time you updated them?

You could then not save the changes of the file you have been working on which would then be a back record of that file with the date in the file name.

Or alternatively and easier, work on a copy of the file and rename it to reflect the current date. (End result would be the same as my first suggestion)

  lotvic 17:57 12 Aug 2012

My post reflects the past history of the 'batch file' backup prog you were making to make dated files. (anyone puzzling have a look at profile and past threads)

  gel 18:01 12 Aug 2012

I have recently bought a new lap top and was surprised that it needed 5 disc's to make a Recovery set up. Since I normally use memory sticks for saving items I had to go out and buy the disc's So my advice would be to certainly make recovery disc but ascertain how many disc's are required before starting gel

  rdave13 18:40 12 Aug 2012

gel , if you purchase a program such as Acronis or Paragon you can make an image of your drive to another external drive. You will need to make a recovery disc for these kind of backup programs but only one. This disc will be bootable and use the ram of your PC to "re-insatall" the image. As Fruit Bat /\0/\ , I also make an image every week or so and keep the last three or four images on the external in case one turns out to be corrupt. Best thing is, is that your image recreates exactly your last state of the hard drive unlike the recovery discs required to create by the manufacturers. These recovery discs can be handy, though, if ever you think of selling the PC as it will be restored as if new.

  gel 07:20 13 Aug 2012

I am very grateful rdave13 for your comment and will look at your suggestion Thank you gel

  Housten 11:58 13 Aug 2012

Thank you everyone for your replies!

I am, however, still a bit confused. As I said I have Windows 7 64Bit Home Premium, and - at least to me - there seems to be a conflict between using a 'commercial' backup programme and Windows when making a 'Recovery' disk. Also, does anyone have any idea what size of disk is needed using either of the two methods above.

Many thanks for any replies.

  gel 15:25 13 Aug 2012

Hi Housten When I began making a recovery disc for my new lap top (an ASUS) it gave me a message to say in needed aprox 6 discs Since I only had 1 disc I stopped the process and bought additional discs In the event it took 5 discs I hope this helps gel

  rdave13 15:56 13 Aug 2012

Had to use 5 DVDs for HP laptop recovery discs. Bit ridiculous I think but had to be made. I also use Paragon Hard Disc Manager (most use Acronis here I believe) and burnt their bootable recovery disc. I image the OS drive on to an external drive every so often. To restore the drive I connect the external drive with the images on and boot from Paragon's recovery disk. Following the prompts I find the image I want and simply restore. My OS drive is 64 GB and only half full. It takes about 11 minutes to create an image.

  Housten 12:59 14 Aug 2012

gel and rdave13,


Many thanks for your help. I am very grateful for your comments.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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