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Backup software?

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  • Backup software?

    Please don't yell at me for taking so long to get around to this... but I've finally decided that I need to have a consistent backup plan for my system. Right now, I remember every so often (could be two weeks - could be two months) to back up my data, but I'm getting nervous that my system is a walking time bomb. And since I'm using my computer more and more for "real work", I need to schedule weekly backups (and possibly daily increments?)

    So, I'm wondering what software (if any) people use for their system backups - and whether they backup to a second hard disk or to CDs or ?? If I back up to CDs, I will need a backup application that will let me span multiple CDs. Otherwise, I do have a second disk, but it's only 13G while my "working" hard drive is 60G. And I'd like to be able to schedule it (using the Windows scheduler?) so that it just gets done automatically - or at least REMINDS me automatically.

    Any advice/experience is appreciated!

    Thanks, Jeanie

  • #2
    Right now I am double saving. I save to both of my disks and the disk I don't save permanent on is called my back up file which I just copy every so often. That way if one disk breaks down it's still on the other. I can also transfer on to my son's or husbands computer for temp storage also but I like to save permanent on to CD. I have been recently caught in a near disaster where I thought I lost all my client photo files and then later found them in some obscure file called Found 000. I don't know how I managed to find them. Just dumb luck but after that I back up regularly and make sure to double save. You should even back up your e-mail address book and e-mails you want to keep. Lost those once too.


    • #3
      Jeanie, I would yell at you but I don't have a good system in place either. I do have everything backed up on a 20 gig hard drive on another computer. But like you, I need a reminder!



      • #4
        DJ - Believe it or not, my e-mail folders are what get backed up most often! I think I would just die if I lost those. I do have my client files backed up to my other hard drive - until I'm able to find time to get them onto a CD. So, I'm not TOO bad - but it's things like my "favorites" folder and other user files that I'm not nearly so consistent with - and I really need to be. It's scary (and perhaps a sorry statement) that my life is pretty much summed up by what's on my computer.

        Ed - Hopefully this thread will give you some ideas too then!



        • #5
          I think that's why I got in the habit of double saving everything. It saves alot of work later trying to figure out whats backed up and what's not. Then as soon as I can fill some CDs, which in photo files is quite often, I do that. Otherwise I would have the same situation where it becomes a monster task. You find out you take the time usually after a disaster. That's what happened to me. OUCH


          • #6
            Depending on how often and how much you want to back up, you might consider adding an external DVD burner via Firewire connection. Regular DVD's can store up to 4.7 Gigs or so of data and high density discs with around 9 gig storage are avaliable. Backing up all data should, in theory anyhow, be done daily to an external storage source to avert the loss of everything in the event of a catastrophic system failure. The advantage of DVD storage is the huge amount of data one disc can hold vs. the 650mb or so on a regular CD, which leads to piles of 'em rapidly forming around your work areas. Yamaha puts out an External DVD burner which has received good reviews... Tom


            • #7
              Interesting thought Tom, but I don't have a Firewire card - and I don't have room to add one. And as much as I'd like a new system, that isn't in the cards right now. (I have to prove that I can make some money at this first. )

              So, the tools I get to play with are:
              1. a 13G backup hard drive (primary HD is 60G)
              2. CD-RWs (which makes more sense to me that a bunch of CD-Rs that I'll just keep throwing away)

              I realize that if I use CD-RWs, it won't be a truly automatic backup, since I'll probably have to put in multiple (pre-formatted) CDs as the backup spans across multiple ones.

              But, what I'm really wondering is, what application do people use to do their backups? Do you just use Microsoft backup (which doesn't support spanning across CDs)? What have you found that works for you - for both system backups and incrementals?

              Thanks, Jeanie


              • #8
                Hi Jeanie,

                I back up all my data files to cd-r (cheaper in the long run than cd-rw). Then when I need to reformat, I just reinstall my programs along with Windows..Any programs I've downloaded, I make sure I save those to cd also.

                I don't use any back-up program...just save the data files and reinstall the programs. It's easy for me that way.



                • #9
                  I back up everything in my "my documents" folder every morning to another hd on my lan. On Sundays it does a full backup, and the other 6 days it does an incremental. This works out well because everything gets backed up that I want backed up, but nothing that doesn't matter.

                  I use Backup Exec by Veritas (I don't even know if they're still around).

                  Client work I save to a ZIP disk (I don't have a CDR, which would be a much better solution).
                  Learn by teaching
                  Take responsibility for learning


                  • #10
                    I've learned this lesson the hard way! I backup my entire system once a week. I use a program called PowerQuest Drive Image. I also find it absolutely necessary to partion my hard drive so that all my data is kept on another drive other than my C drive. If a virus has disabled your system and you cannot reboot - then all your data will be lost - for me all my photos and music would take years to replace. On occassion after installing a new software program or even removing one, I find it can effect my system. If the effects are negative... I simple run a restore from the image I made and I'm back up and running in less than 20 minutes. I have had via email several viruses that even Norton and my firewall did not manage to get. Instead of losing everything, I go back to an old image that has no virus and I'm saved. That being said, I restore my C drive which doesn't take long and nothing on my D drive - which is my data is damaged. That's why it is necessary to make an image weekly and also store it on another drive. You can also store the image on CD if space is an issue. Burn the image and then clear the space. You can do the same with your data drive or simply burn a CD weekly of your data. Again, if it is on another drive other than your main C and your system went down, it generally won't be lost once you repair C. I store all my Outlook Contacts on D drive and even my Internet Explorer Favorites on D. You'd be amazed how much work it is to set it all back up again if you don't do this!

                    Research backup software. Veritas has one that is simple to use called Back Up My PC that is similar to PowerQuest.

                    Remember it will save you time in the end to be safe - Not Sorry.



                    • #11
                      I also wanted to mention another advantage to backing up your system this way: As Sharon mentioned she ends up having to reinstall software. For me, that would be about 40 programs. Not a small task. With backing up your system with the above method, this is not necessary. It restores all your programs and system with the image that was made. It saves hours!



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