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How do you backup your system?

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  • How do you backup your system?

    I just saw an ad for a 500gb USB hard drive for $180, and that inspired me to ask how you backup your system?

    I use Retrospect to backup my Documents and Settings folder every night to an external USB hard drive. I chose Retrospect because it automatically shuts down Outlook to insure a perfect copy (I live in Outlook, it stores all my information). And backing up the Documents and Settings insures that My Documents and all app data is backed up (including my desktop, which is unfortunately where I store most of my current documents).

    The only trick is to choose a directory under Documents and Settings as your data directory anytime you install a new app.

    My backup is about 1.5GB and takes about 20 minutes. It used to take twice that, but I turned off auto-verify (if I found out the next day there was a backup error, what would I do?). Plus it gave me a lot of noise errors due to my using a browser while it's running.
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  • #2
    Re: How do you backup your system?

    Maby an interesting link:


    • #3
      Re: How do you backup your system?

      Symantec Ghost has a feature which allows you to make an initial complete image of your hard drive and then it makes quick smaller backups which only take into account any changes since the last backup was made. Fast and small file sizes but still gives you a complete image of your hard drive.



      • #4
        Re: How do you backup your system?

        On the Mac side....I use SuperDuper once a week to make a bootable copy of my entire main hard drive.

        I also use ChronoSync daily to back up all document files.

        Both of these programs are shareware and can be scheduled to do incremental routines. Once they have been configured and completed the first backup session, they only take seconds to do the incremental backups.


        • #5
          Re: How do you backup your system?

          A few ways that I backup my system. I'm on a mac running OS X 10.4.7 and I use the .mac backup utility from Apple. I back up to an external hard drive every night, and to DVD every other week or so. I utilize smart folders in OS X to keep a record of recently modified items and folders and back those up regularly. for music...iTunes 7 has a built in backup feature now that I use to back up to disk about every other week. Cycling hard drives every month or so when i backup to disk, I keep the static bags, and keep a rotating backup at my father-in-laws house (in case of fire).

          some say it's overkill, but i live in an apartment, and don't want some idiot to burn the building down and kill my data.


          • #6
            Re: How do you backup your system?

            Ghost is what i use now. i used to use Retrospect but it wouldnt completely back up Windows. if certain system files were open in windows, which they always are, Retrospect wouldnt touch them and subsequently pass over them.

            i use an external usb harddrive, 120 gigs, and Ghost. Ghost will back up EVERYTHING. and i only turn the external drive on on the day i'm going to be backing things up.

            also, just a note. the Windows restore points are a very good way for emergency fixes. i know some dont like this and even turn this feature off in Services, but it's saved my bacon MANY times and is a lot quicker than a full external backup to restore. you shld still have an external device for backups. harddrives fail and if it's your system drive your restore points are gone also.

            also, i'm not sure how cd's and dvd's are today, but a few years back it became apparent that these were, at least in part, very unreliable for long term storage. at point it was so bad that the life expectancy was only about 18 months for some cd's. i dont have any recent data on this, but it's why i always do my main backups on harddrives now. and, by leaving the backup drive turned off, it shld increase the life expectancy of the drive itself... some.

            also, Retrospect does do incremental backups and comes free with some hardware and software, at least the lite/oem version.



            • #7
              Re: How do you backup your system?

              I do it slightly bass-akwards on my Macs. I carry around a 200 gig Maxtor FireWire drive with my photo/audio/data archives and current working files on it, so I can go between home and office and have the same data with me.

              Then I manually copy the important files/projects in progress onto each local hard drive, which act as backups for the external. My email files are downloaded to my office computer; I carry them home on the Maxtor and place them on the local hard drive there. At home I access email only via the web and don't download the messages from the server until I get back to the office.

              Of course each computer has its own local apps installed; I have everything on CDs so I can reinstall if necessary. And all my audio and photo projects end up on data DVDs eventually.

              PS: I've still got my first CD-Rs from 1997 that still work fine. This was back when no one had them and those that did charged 5 bucks a pop for them! I think keeping hard drive AND disc copies of data is important; both have their instabilities and weaknesses.


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