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    Need help with computer backup please.

    I would be grateful for any help on the following:

    I recently bought an external hard drive with the intention of backing up my existing computer hard drive.

    I though I would be able to just mirror the computer hard drive onto the external hard drive so that if the computer hard drive fails at any stage I can then use the external hard drive until I replaced the failed drive.

    I also wanted any backup programme to be able to schedule itself to backup but only files that had changed since the last backup.

    Now all that seemed perfectly logical and easy to me until I came to actually do it. Basically I have failed miserably and got myself very very confused. It needs to be said that I am not that clever with computers :oops:

    Can anyone point me in the right direction please. Any instructions would need to be fairly simple and any software needed preferably freeware or low cost.

    [U Many thanks to anyone that can help.

    I am running Windows XP home edition SP2
    Hewlett Packard Pentium 4, 3.0ghz, 512mb ram, 80gb hard drive.

    The external drive is a WD Mybook 250ghz which I have partitioned to 180g and 70g

    11 Comments

    Hi,

    What package are you using to backup your computer ?

    Original Poster

    Cyrus

    Hi,What package are you using to backup your computer ?



    None came with the external drive so eventually I managed to get Windows XP own backup facility to install and I tried using that.


    Thanks for your response

    I would advise against mirroring because if file system will become corrupted on main disk, it'll become corrupted on backup disk too.
    IMHO, the best backup strategy is incremental backup. Then do full backup once per month and save it to DVD disks or so.

    Another consideration is electrical faults. I had a problem with power supply, which went on fire and killed everything which was connected to it, including most of USB things attached to computer. Since then I am using network backups only (via switch as these are inexpensive).

    As to software - I am using Acronis TrueImage 9. I bought it off their Russian branch as it was much cheaper (10 quid vs 30).

    Norton Ghost is a good one. It will do incremental backup for you and you can backup a "know its working" version to DVD when you like. Cant go wrong with that in my eyes.

    Original Poster

    Thanks guys, I'll read up on those options.

    very grateful for any advice.

    PartImage is an Open-Source equivalent to Norton Ghost...

    I use Windows Backup myself.... For most peoples purposes, it's fine and it handles incremental backups too.

    But magazines like PC Pro often have backup software (albeit the next-to-latest version) free on the cover disks.

    For my 2 cents worth, I recommend Norton Ghost. It's never let me down!

    Acronis True Image better but not free only trial

    Original Poster

    Many thanks to all who helped. Rep added to all

    Still open to suggestions, especially free ones !

    Hi hottoshop

    I think you have been given excellent advice above. I have used Norton Ghost and Acronis Trueimage. I am slightly concerned with PartImage as it only partially supports NTFS but it does have the advantage of being free.

    Between Trueimage and Norton Ghost - TrueImage wins hands down. Why? I have had failed backups with SATA drives as Ghost seems to only partially support SATA. I have also had failed Ghost images. I have never had a failure with TrueImage (For me, Ghost was successful on 2 out of 7 occassions, TrueImage on 17 out of 17).

    PCPro had a free copy of TrueImage as a cover disk a few months ago. You may be able to subscribe to the magazine and get a copy - speak to their subscriptions department. Alternatively, some kind sole in hotukdeals may have a copy of that cover disk they could send you. Unfortunately, I threw mine out.

    Original Poster

    Lowtrawler

    Hi hottoshopI think you have been given excellent advice above. I have … Hi hottoshopI think you have been given excellent advice above. I have used Norton Ghost and Acronis Trueimage. I am slightly concerned with PartImage as it only partially supports NTFS but it does have the advantage of being free. Between Trueimage and Norton Ghost - TrueImage wins hands down. Why? I have had failed backups with SATA drives as Ghost seems to only partially support SATA. I have also had failed Ghost images. I have never had a failure with TrueImage (For me, Ghost was successful on 2 out of 7 occassions, TrueImage on 17 out of 17). PCPro had a free copy of TrueImage as a cover disk a few months ago. You may be able to subscribe to the magazine and get a copy - speak to their subscriptions department. Alternatively, some kind sole in hotukdeals may have a copy of that cover disk they could send you. Unfortunately, I threw mine out.



    Many thanks for the help and advice. I'm still trying to get my head around the whole thing.
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