Decent File Back-up System

  jimforrest 19:59 06 Oct 2013

In another Post I have been trying to recover data from a corrupted HDD. Woollwell asked about a back-up (and there is a back-up - but guess where it is!! If I tell him there will be toys all over the floor!) Anyway, lesson learnt (take note any readers). Now I need a decent Back-up system. I can use a DVD in the optical drive (can you back-up onto a DVD?), but an external drive would be better. First problem - the Windows Back-up prog seems to take ages and I suspect backs up everything each time (not just the files that have changed). Is there a better program for this? Second - is backing up to DVD OK? Third - does anyone know of a wireless Back-up system rather than through a USB cable (the available USB ports on my laptop are on the same side as the mouse - so the cable gets in the way)? I have a caddy where I can plug an HDD into but it uses a USB cable.

  jimforrest 20:15 06 Oct 2013

Something I forgot - the Win Back-up files the data which is only accessible by Win Back-up - I would prefer it if the prog simply copied the files and folders so I can identify and read files as I wish.

  rdave13 20:52 06 Oct 2013



Most prefer Acronis on this site. Whichever you choose you will need to do a bit of reading. As your buisness information is important I think you will have to backup twice. One hard drive for incrimental backups and once a week do a full backup on another external drive. That way if one backup fails you will at least have another one albeit possibly a week old.

  rdave13 20:57 06 Oct 2013

The second hard drive you can create an image, it takes less space than a clone, and the Acronis/Paragon rescue disc will restore that image. That's if the backup hdd fails,as they sometimes do.

  john bunyan 21:13 06 Oct 2013

A bit longer to initially set up, but faster in use: I partition my HD into about 120 gig for System (Windows plus installed software) and a Data partition with a main folder (I call it My Documents) and all the usual sub folders - my pictures, My Word Docs, My music and so on. If you only have one external HD it could be similarly partitioned (I have more including in a tower), Then use Acronis for the system partition image(s) as others state above. For data I use Freefilesynch . It has a number of settings but I use the "mirror image" so that my "My documents (and its sub) folder is copied to the data partition of the external HD. This is very quick ( a minute or so) as it only copies new (or deletions)when yoy synchronise. See Freefilesynch

There are others for data (not system) such as SynchToy

  jimforrest 02:06 07 Oct 2013

Cheers guys - I chose Acronis. Sorted

  mole1944 05:54 07 Oct 2013

It may be to late jimforrest but if you have a western digital drive attached or on your system you can get a free cut down copy of Acronis from there website, i use it to clone my drives

  Woolwell 09:52 07 Oct 2013

I'm probably too late but I use a different method. I have 2 external harddrives for back ups. On one there is an Acronis backup and on the other I use a WD back up plus a SyncToy copy of my important files. The snag with Acronis is that, as far as I am aware, you need Acronis to recover the data. I have important data that I need instantly. Recently I had to have access to my back up data when I had major problems with my main pc which resulted in a fresh install of windows and an extra SSD drive for the OS. Whilst it was down I needed access to the data. I connected the external HD with the synctoy synced data to my laptop and had immediately all of the data I needed. I could have used a cloud system but that depends on internet access at all times. Alternatively I could have set up a NAS. Back up of emails is critical too but that is less of a worry for me as 2 of my main accounts are imap and data is held on the server (effectively in the cloud).

It is important to have back up data off your main hard drive and not on a partition as the entire drive can fail (happened to me once and once was enough). I don't think that is a good idea to use a secondary internal hard drive as potentially a major power snag could blow both. Every now and gain I burn photos and important data to a DVD (effectively an archive). The reason for doing this is that I used to run just one external harddrive. I got a problem with my pc's hard drive and then found to my horror that the external hard drive had corrupted a few photos but luckily I had them backed up on a DVD. That external hard drive was disposed of not long after.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 12:59 07 Oct 2013

The snag with Acronis is that, as far as I am aware, you need Acronis to recover the data

I have Aconis images of my HDDs on an external HDD and use My computer to access them, any file can be copied from the image and pasted to whever you like.

I only need Acronis or the rescue disk to completely restore the whole image to the or another drive.

  Woolwell 13:27 07 Oct 2013

Fruit Bat /\0/\ - thanks I hadn't dug deep enough. It also made me realise that when I recently reset up Acronis I made an error and missed my data drive.

  john bunyan 17:04 07 Oct 2013

*Fruit Bat /\0/*


My Tower has a couple of caddy mounted HD drives that can be slid out but otherwise act as SATA internal drives. I do the occasional Acronis clone on another one which I then keep elsewhere so the problem of a total failure (or fire) is avoided. My Acronis System partition images (more frequent)are on a USB HD. Freefilesynch of data partition (daily) is on another slide out caddy mounted drive which can be switched on an off with a key. You can make a boot disc using Acronis, or use the CD.

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