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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Has the time to switch to Online Backups arrived?

    I currently use Norton Ghost to do images of my standalone desktop system to 3 different Western Digital My Essentials external hard drives (one 250 GB & two 2 TB). I alternate the External drives on which I save the image.

    Has online backup developed to the point where that is now a better solution.

    It certainly would save time in not having to do the images.

  2. #2
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    I am sure others will have different opinions, but I don't think it's time to go that route, while abandoning your obvious current good practices. Online backup can be good for non full image backups (documents and such), but not for full imaging, IMO. Would you want to be without a recent image backup that you could resort to?

    Why isn't online backup up to it, for full imaging? Network bandwidth. It's not feasible to think a few tens of GB can be uploaded on a regular basis with the current technology. I would also think online backup to be another layer in your backup strategy, but I wouldn't count on it to be the only one. Just imagine how hard it would be to get your image data in case of need...

  3. #3
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Cool

    Yup, That's the biggest problem.
    How are you going to get your stuff off of a Cloud, when your hard drive has gone up in smoke?

    First you need a backup image file that you can get your hands on, Quickly. Then you MUST be
    able to boot up your PC with something like a Flash Drive or CD/DVD with your Restore program on it.

    I've been using Ghost long before Symantec/Norton got their hands on it and began corrupting it.
    Even up through Ghost 11.5, which some Symantec engineers deny even exists, Ghost will still run
    from a DOS boot disk.
    I have Ghost 11.5 on a Flash Drive, CD and even a SD Flash Memory card. (all bootable)
    I boot into a DOS menu, from which I can run programs (batch files) to remove every bit of junk off of
    my hard drive that I can identify. That keeps my backup image files as small as possible and allows me to do a full C: drive backup in around ten minutes, to my backup hard drive.

    Doing a full drive backup should be an event, like going to a movie, not just something that goes off in the background that you hope goes off correctly. Because, when you really need that backup, you might find that the last backup image was corrupt and is un-usable.

    When a backup image is needed for a restore, and the backup/restore program is on the hard drive that just crashed, well, it's another "Bad Day in Black Rock" (old movie with Spencer Tracy)

    I store six or more backup images on my backup drive, so if for some reason one won't restore, I have others to fall back on. I actually do several different backups.
    ..I back up to a second partition on my main drive.
    ...I back up to a physical Second Hard Drive.
    ....I back up to an external USB/Firewire drive.

    At least once a month, I back up to DVD(s) If Ghost fills one DVD, it will stop and ask for an additional disk.
    Ghost 2003 will ask me if I want it to put itself on the backup DVD, thus making it boot up to Ghost. NEAT!
    * Doing a very aggressive disk cleanup before a backup will keep the backup image file(s) as small as possible and shorten the backup time. Automatic backups won't do that!

    Backing up C: to a second partition is the quickest backup you can do. To a second internal HD, the second fastest and to a DVD, probably the slowest, using HIGH compression to use the fewest number of disks.
    Somewhere between the slowest and fastest modes, would be the USB external drive.

    I've had several external drives given to me when they completely quit working. They were all WD drives. They seem to be the most UN-reliable. I'm glad to see you have TWO of them, for safety.

    JFYI,,,, I get rid of over four gigabytes of junk, before I do my Ghost backups, by doing a massive cleanup, including deleting the Pagefile and old restore points, before I start the backup.
    By not doing a thorough Cleanup before you do your backups, you're increasing both the time and size of your backups.

    On-Line backups do you absolutely NO good at all when you're HD has crashed and your OS as well as your internet connection is GONE.

    I boot up in DOS and do my cleanup and backup at least once a week, and I've been doing that for YEARS.
    At least once a month, something mucks up my C: drive and I need to do a Ghost Restore to set things right.

    If you're not installing new programs, but you're creating new documents, pictures, etc, you can simply run a little batch file to copy your new and changed files to your external drive.
    I do that every day and the file runs in about three seconds. No big deal.

    Good Luck,
    The Doctor

    PS: This whole subject can get as simple or as complicated as a person wants to make it.
    I prefer SIMPLE!
    Last edited by DrWho; 2011-09-04 at 10:45.
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  4. #4
    3 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWho View Post
    Even up through Ghost 11.5, which some Symantec engineers deny even exists, Ghost will still run
    from a DOS boot disk.
    I have Ghost 11.5 on a Flash Drive, CD and even a SD Flash Memory card. (all bootable)
    I boot into a DOS menu, from which I can run programs (batch files) to remove every bit of junk off of
    my hard drive that I can identify. That keeps my backup image files as small as possible.
    The Doctor
    I acquired Ghost 10.0 several years ago & have been using it ever since.

    Every once in a while, I consider updating to the latest Version of Ghost, but less than stellar reviews makes me stay with the Version 10.0

    I understand that my current backup procedures are better, but I was just hoping that online backups had reached the point where they could replace images - just to save the time I spend doing the images.
    Last edited by StevenXXXX; 2011-09-01 at 18:17.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Online or "cloud" based backups will never likely replace images, and no one should ever expect them to.
    ...So get yourself a cup of coffee and put the time in. If you don't have time then make time.

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I would hate to have to borrow a PC to download my Image stored in the cloud. That WOULD be scarry. I will always have my Images stored locally, in my case on an ext USB HD. If fact I just created a new Image today. I always want to keep them up to date.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevenXXXX View Post
    I currently use Norton Ghost to do images of my standalone desktop system to 3 different Western Digital My Essentials external hard drives (one 250 GB & two 2 TB). I alternate the External drives on which I save the image.

    Has online backup developed to the point where that is now a better solution.

    It certainly would save time in not having to do the images.
    "X man"

    Hello... I am not sure how fast "Ghost" is but even Macrium Reflect Free is pretty darn quick (slightly behind Acronis 2010 v7046) Macrium Free And why would you trust your backups to an offsite online backup, when you can have the image in your hand? Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  8. #8
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    It's time to get rid of Ghost, both Macrium and Acronis create images without requiring down time.

    cheers, Paul

  9. #9
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    You can get rid of all images, backup data only either online or off or preferably, both, transfer from one computer to another with barely a hitch and keep right on trucking...oh, and backup the master VM.
    Cost? One fast SSD per system. The host OS only need be essentially a shell, probably can use LINUX no problem and of course a good free VM player like VMWare Player. Data resides on a shared or captured device and is backed up from there. OS and apps. reside in the VM on the SSD (gotta have that speed to make it work).
    Something happens to the VM? Big woop, copy the master in and away ya go again. Something happens to the drive? Big woop, replace it, load the host, copy in the master VM and away ya go again. Something happens to the computer? Big woop, replace it, install the host, copy in the master VM and away ya go again. Lets see you try that last one with an image.
    As stated though, the only stipulation is the drive has to be fast, really fast, or the VM just doesn't perform like a native install and I save the gaming for the host of course..but I don't care about installing a few games here and there vs the time it would take to image all the time.
    Images are so....2010!
    Last edited by Infinicore; 2011-09-03 at 19:49.

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