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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    data backup software

    I am now the proud owner of an external hard disc, and want to maintain an exact copy of my laptop's hard disc for data security. Backing up the entire contents every week would be time consuming. Any recommendations for data backup software (ideally freeware) that will simply back up any new files, and any files that have been edited since the previous backup? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: data backup software

    If you search this forum, you'll find the subject of backup and/or imaging discussed often. I won't go into free choices because my software of choice is Acronis True Image, but you'll find recent discussions on another product called Shadow Protect. Good luck.

    BTW, disk imaging on my hard drive, about 30 gig of actual files, takes ONLY about 20 minutes, and I do it every Saturday, the destination is an external USB hard drive.

  3. #3
    Lounger
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    Re: data backup software

    Hi.

    My approach to this subject is simple:

    - working files (docs, etc) are irreplaceable, so should be backed up or copied regularly.

    - Software (programs, and even the OS) are replaceable simply by reinstallation: the only problem there is hassle, but you can also, if necessary, buy a replacement copy: something you can't do with your latest tax spreadsheet.

    I regularly make a data disk of my Documents folders (and anything else I wish to include) using, eg, Nero.

    As for the system...
    My experience with free programs has been disappointing.
    Acronis is good, dependable and comprehensive (I believe - I never got past the Help files, but then, I'm sometimes very impatient, and it seems to do a gazillion things extra to my need, which is a simple image of my system).

    I have Backup MyPC ('BUMP') from Roxio. It simply and easily makes a compressed copy of the C: drive, and System State, (plus or minus whatever I wish to include or not...).

    I make a backup of the OS and installed programs, excluding document folders. So I can restore my PC to, say, last month... last week... (whenever I made the backup).

    If disaster strikes (as this very morning - I do tend to play around a little...) my last resort with an un-bootable PC was:
    - reinstall WinXP (over-write, NOT reformat), without bothering with custom settings or anything, just a working system; then I immediately,
    - installed BUMP (it was already there, of course, but the reinstalled Windows couldn't see it)
    - used BUMP to restore the whole shebang to how it was last month (or whenever I made the backup).

    All my documents and other folders were still in place.

    My version of BUMP, unfortunately, will only make a Disaster Recovery set on floppies! Hence the roundabout approach.

    But it works - every time! (As I said, I do tend to play around, and "Oops!" can happpen quite often - twice this year, so far).

    BUMP can be scheduled, and will make differential backups as required.

    Last word: we all have our favourite programs and methods, usually (and mostly) based on habit and familiarity: chacun a son gout...

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: data backup software

    Al,
    I think some people should look up the real definition of a "Backup" and an "Image".
    As you know, there is a world of difference!
    BOB
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  5. #5
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: data backup software

    I've been using BounceBack Express, which is bundled with certain Seagate external hard drives (the older, bulkier design). It compares the current contents of the C drive (or selected folders thereof) with the contents of the destination drive and copies over any missing or changed files.

    PRO: This method creates an easy-to-understand and easy-to-navigate backup I can access from any computer simply by connecting a USB cable. This gives me more peace of mind than programs that use a less accessible or proprietary file format.

    CON: It's slow because the software needs to build a huge catalog of files, seemingly every time it runs. (It is scheduled to run at midnight if the computer is on.) It does not "clean up" the external drive in any respect. As a result, the backup drive contains duplicates in different locations when I have reorganized the C drive, as well as files I have deleted. Unless I upgrade to the PRO version, my backup is not bootable.

    I am not in a position to compare this program with others that work in a similar manner, but the interface is a bit odd. There may be others that are easier to configure and manage, and perhaps even free.

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: data backup software

    The trouble is that "definition" has gotten a mite blurry in recent years, what with the popularity and low cost for imaging software such as True Image. Many people of late use the terms interchangeably without realizing there's a difference. Backup, as we know, can mean anything from "copying" a single file to a safe place for archiving to making a complete copy of everything on a drive. But, it is NOT the same as imaging a disk! Well, that's what we're here for - to help out. In this case <!profile=devo>devo<!/profile> hasn't been back since he made the original post, so we don't know what HE thinks of all these responses.

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