Backing up machines and storing it on a network drive

  Technoob 16:32 19 Dec 2011

Hey guys, So recently my boss asked me to have a setup in place to be able to backup everyone's machines once a month (XP, Vista, 7) and if needed, could be restored as well. So basically creating an image of the machine, maybe zip it and put it on the network drive. Now there's an insane amount of freeware out there and that's where I am lost. What should I go with? Any advices or experiences anyone wants to share would be helpful. Thanks.

  robin_x 19:16 19 Dec 2011

Easeus Todo or Macrium Reflect Free or Paragon Backup and Recovery Free will do individual machines.

But they are free for Home Use. Check licence agreement for work.

They, in conjunction, with a Boot Disk that you make, will restore each machine.

(You would need to make Marcium or Easeus PE discs to restore from Netwrok, dunno about Paragon)

But that's only to get a machine bootable. You should have Network Backup as well for day to day stuff.

Also, once a month is rubbish and is not Industry Standard. Should be every night. And off-site backups. I can't advise on that.

  Technoob 19:42 19 Dec 2011

Yea I saw Easeus todo backup as the popular choice of software nowadays. What I plan on doing it on the network share, have a folder for backups. Then install this software on each machine and set up a schedule which would do incremental backups every night or so. There are maybe 15 machines all together in the office, I'm not talking about a big company here. As for the boot disks, I have to do that separately? Easeus doesn't have that feature?

  robin_x 21:15 19 Dec 2011

All Imaging programs allow you to make Boot CD/DVD.

The image can be on the Network. I got it working with Macrium PE Disc but not Easeus PE Disc.

Apparently the paid for version sets you up automatically.

ie Restoring Image from a Network location is tricky with Easeus Free but a bit easier with Macrium.

  Technoob 21:44 19 Dec 2011

So you would suggest going with Macrium? What you're saying is that once I do a full system backup on the network drive, it would be easy doing a restore with Macrium vs Easeus? Most likely if something goes wrong, they have XP cd's here that can reformat a machine and then maybe I can download Macrium, grab the image of the network drive and restore it. Would that work? As for creating a boot cd, wont that need to be done every night since the image is changing everyday? Im just sort of getting confused between a boot cd and an image. So let say I create a Macrium boot cd and the computer goes down. I boot from the Macrium cd, right? What would it exactly boot to? Just a plain fresh factory settings of windows or would it take me to the point when I created the cd itself? Then how would I get the latest image on it? By downloading the macrium software again and looking for the image on the network?

  robin_x 22:06 19 Dec 2011

The Boot CD just loads Macrium or Easeus app.

Then you select Restore an Image and point it at the Image file.

Download and have a practice at home. I can't advise on a work/network situation.

Are you the sole IT? Or do you have a colleague to advise? May be permissions issues and all sorts.

  robin_x 22:08 19 Dec 2011


The Boot CD just loads Macrium or Easeus app. on a non-booting computer.

Otherwise you can run Macrium or Easeus within Windows from the download/install.

  Technoob 14:21 20 Dec 2011

ok thanks for the clarification. There are a couple more guys here in IT, but the manager gave me this little project so I thought I'd do as much research myself before bothering them. I see Easeus also has many features which can kinda get confusing but I'll do some more reading for now. Actually I'm gonna look into Macrium more since you mentioned its easier to restore from that vs Easeus. Thanks for your help

  Technoob 20:32 20 Dec 2011

ok so I started playing around with Macrium and ran into an issue. The freeware doesn't have incremental or differential backups!! That sucks!! So I have to do a full backup everytime which take close to 3 hours!!! I guess not much can be expected of the freeware version

  robin_x 21:00 20 Dec 2011

Macrium takes 1 hr for me on mine (60GB to USB2.0 ext HD). Incs and Diffs on Paid for version

Easeus takes 2 hrs for same, but it does do Incs and Diffs (free version)

  Technoob 14:23 21 Dec 2011

I'm not sure why it took so long on mine. With Easeus it took me over 5 hours to do my machine which has a few drives attached but theres like maybe 50 GB of data on them. Macrium took just over 2 hours. These are for full backups

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