What's the best way to back-up to HD

  Mjones68 18:58 10 Jan 2007


I’d really appreciate someone’s help on backing up to an external hard drive as this topic really confuses me.

I have a laptop (60G internal HD) and have just purchased a 250G External HD.

My whole business/life is on my laptop and my two main worries are

a) Someone will break into our house and steal it
b) The Internal HD will die

Both of the above would be a catastrophe. I’m absolutely terrible at remembering to do scheduled back ups to CD, hence why I’ve purchased the external HD, but I just don’t know the best way to back up my main files (Outlook file: 500 meg. Quicken, word, Excel files 1000 Meg) automatically to the external HD (it’s a LaCie and came with a very basic back-up program)

I’ve heard about ‘mirroring’ and I’m not sure if this is what I should do and I suppose that the ideal thing would be that the whole drive is backed up each night, so that if my laptop was stolen or the drive died, I could then just buy a new laptop and move everything from the external Drive on to this. I’ve heard about Norton Ghost, but was told that I’d then have to buy EXACTLY the same laptop again (not sure if they even make my model of Dell now). Lastly, I presume that the sensible thing would be to always take the external drive with me, when I left the house so that both Drives couldn’t be stolen at the same time. I’d really appreciate someone’s helpl

  Technotiger 19:03 10 Jan 2007

Hi, in my opinion the best way is to use Acronis True Image and backup to the external drive. Acronis makes a complete backup of everything, including all your personal settings etc.

  skidzy 19:04 10 Jan 2007

A pretty good backup program,if the link is not dead..its for True Acronis 7 Free click here

  Technotiger 19:06 10 Jan 2007

click here|780459677&gclid=CK3Bk7vF1okCFQ1dMAodNSq53g

I bought it recently, very easy to use and also quick to make the backup(s).

  Technotiger 19:07 10 Jan 2007

Yes, take skidzy's link - you will then get it with a 40% discount.


  cocteau48 19:10 10 Jan 2007

Now I am no expert in this area but I bought my first external HD yesterday , downloaded Acronis 7 for free from here:
click here
and mirror imaged my entire C drive to the new external drive in less than 20 minutes. It was a doddle. Just follow the Acronis instructions and help file.

  nagonlouse 20:44 10 Jan 2007

cocteau48. As Mikey T asked, If he had his original Comp stolen and was left with the "Acronis Mirror Image" on his external HD can he then put that image on his new Comp. If so How?

  Technotiger 20:46 10 Jan 2007

image on new computer - Yes, when making the original backup, you are also prompted to make a Bootable rescue cd, which you could then use to restore the backup to another hd.

  Mjones68 08:07 11 Jan 2007

Hi I originally asked the question. Thanks a Million guys. I downloaded the software last night and it seems perfect for my needs. I'm now getting a little more ambitious and I wondered if anyone could answer the following:

1) I know that after backing-up, the program probably verifys the data, but is there any other way of checking that it's all OK. I'd hate to do back-ups over a long period and then find that when I actually needed to restore it to another machine, it didn't work
2) Is is easy to partition an external HD into two parts, so that I can back-up two different PC's up to the same drive
3) I quite like the idea of buying a smaller portable external drive, which I'd always take with me when leaving the house. Is it possible to use alternate external drives to back up the machine, so that if for example a deadly virus gets onto the PC and one of the external drives, you can at least bring everything back from the other drive. I presume that I'd need seperate full backup files on each external drive and would then just do incremental backups.

  €dstowe 08:27 11 Jan 2007

As well as making a full system backup (which would recover your system), you could also copy all important files to another partition on your external drive. These copied files could then be used on any other computer with the same programs installed in the event of a catastrophe with your main computer - loss, destruction, total failure etc.

You must do this on a regular basis, though, if it's to be of any use.

  €dstowe 08:33 11 Jan 2007

To answer your questions in the post of 8:07

1. There is a verification procedure in Acronis - your will see it on the main page at left.

2. Acronis can make its own partition (Acronis Secure Zone) on a drive and leave the remainder of the drive available for other uses.

3. You can arrange your Secure Zone to be large enough to keep several backups in it so if there is a virus in one, you can revert to an earlier one. Better, though, is to ensure there is no virus on the machine prior to backing up.

Remember that backup files are normally compressed so they take up much less disk space than the original.

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