Backup Solutions

  spras 16:40 13 Nov 2007

I'm a little confused as to the available backup solutions and what will fit me best.

I currently have a 200GB data drive (OS in on 80GB drive), it failed a year or so back, fortunatly I managed to recover most of the data (it wasn't backed up). My 200GB is fast filling up and I'm looking to put a bigger drive in to complement it within the year (probs 500GB). Ideally I would like to have a solution that would backup all this data although I realise the cost may be restrictive. I'm think atm of buying a removeable HDD, maybe 200 or 300GB and backing up on to that in the form of a drive image. Does a drive image compress the data? is there other/better ways of fitting data on to a removeable drive? Obviously I wouldn't need round the clock access to the backuped data, I'd only need to reload my data from it in the event of drive failure

  johndrew 16:59 13 Nov 2007

Many (including me) swear by Acronis True Image. It will backup either complete drives or individual files and do a number of other jobs as well.

The use of a separate drive (external/removable) is essential as it is the only way of ensuring your data is safe when you backup. The constraint is the amount of data you want to backup and the drive you are saving to. ATI does compress data but a bit of extra space is always worthwhile.

I have a second drive in the PC and an external - belt, braces and probably a bit more.

  keef66 17:01 13 Nov 2007

I use a 250 gb Western Digital Mybook external usb hard drive, and use Acronis True Image to make the backups to it. (Mind you, my entire backup is only 80 gb.)
The ext. HDD lives somewhere else when I'm not doing a backup

I'm sure you could do the same thing to a larger external HDD

  johndrew 17:04 13 Nov 2007

Sorry forgot the link click here You can also try before you buy.
If you are prepared to take the earlier version its cheaper here click here

  spras 17:05 13 Nov 2007

Sounds good, so whats the compression like? Essentially do I need (for instance) a 250GB backup drive to backup by 250GB actual drive?

  spras 19:48 13 Nov 2007


  keef66 21:24 13 Nov 2007

My backup seems to be just about as big as the original, so I'd say you'll need a 500gb ext drive

  DieSse 22:35 13 Nov 2007

The amount of compression depends a lot on what you're compressing. My backup file only takes just over a half of the regular space. If you have a lot of already compressed data (which I don't) - such as music/picture/videos - then you're much less likely to see such high compression ratios.

In my version of ATI you can choose extra compression - which takes a little longer - but I tend to see little difference in the backup file size, so now I just use the standard compression.

  johndrew 14:24 14 Nov 2007

I save maybe 10Gb on compression of a 60GB partition using the standard compression. But as DieSse says, depends on what is on your drive; mine is mixed with the OS, programs, some photos and other documents, however I already use compression to save space so extra compression is out of the question.

I would go with keef66 and make your backup drive at least as big as your main drive. If you have more than one drive in use you may even be wise to go larger or have two backup drives.

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