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  1. #1
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    Back up, back up, back up

    In my case I'm referring to imaging the computer system but cloning is just as well another option
    Anyway, why do so? I personally am grateful for such recommendations when they are included in appropriate posts and have been doing so on a monthly basis on my own computer thanks to those constant recommendations.
    What I'm hoping is that if this post helps someone to implement a backup schedule it's worth bringing this up as a decent reminder

    A couple of months ago I helped someone clean up their computer to a new state and the result was it was running perfectly. Although the person wasn't in favor of me creating an image of her computer, I did so anyway. With the way the computer was being used by their family I knew it would be just a matter of time before their computer would essentially be to put it mildly "not in good shape". Well last week they called me because not only was their computer "not in good shape" but they thought they had lost all of their pictures which to them was the disaster of the century. The backup image I had created onto my own external hard drive was recovered very quickly and all turned out well including remaining maintenance items that were needed. When I saw their sigh of relief it was great and this time they ordered an external hard drive from WD and when it comes in, I'll show them how to maintain a schedule. So please if anyone reading this is still procrastinating to back up their systems, make this a new year's resolution to do so

    BTW, in addition backup your data/pictures also. I backup my data & pictures separately because if the computer does in fact crash and recovery isn't possible, the separately backed up data & pictures can be installed into a replacement/new computer. In my case I use a batch file to keep up and maintain what I need. I'm sure there are programs that will accomplish the same plan but in summary: backup, backup, backup

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  3. #2
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    As I've said before, my data is much more valuable than my computer, or a bunch of other things I own. It doesn't make sense to not have it backed up.

    cheers, Paul

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  5. #3
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    cmptrgy, thanks for the reminder! I use Acronis True Image for my cdrive and ddrive backups. ddrive contains anything/everything created, i.e. - data, pics, DOCs, mp3s, etc. Because my images can be anywhere from a month-old to a week-old, I've added a daily creation of a System Restore Point and a daily creation of Registry backups [7 days worth], in case a rollback is needed. Even my experience with SRPs has been less than ideal, the advice of many techs in here convinced me they are right! to have some SRPs in stock.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

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  7. #4
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    Paul I remember you saying that before and that's what helped me recall exactly that same idea.

  8. #5
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    There is a large number of problems/predicaments/conundrums that are posted in the Lounge, particularly in Windows and its sub-forums, that could be quickly and easily solved simply by restoring a recent drive image. I also have multiple copies of my data scattered across several drives/partitions of a couple of computers and my NAS.

    I prefer drive imaging over cloning because of the compression available; more images in less space. A batch file to run Robocopy on your data files to spread them out in separate places can be setup to be run by Task Scheduler. Getting a backup regimen setup requires some time and thoughtful planning, but once one gets is going, it isn't difficult at all to keep it going, and the payoff is in saving your bacon when chaos strikes.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2014-12-29 at 14:14. Reason: "your" bacon
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
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  9. #6
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    Mmm, Robocopy...

    cheers, Paul

  10. #7
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    I've said it before here in different words, but I'll add my 2 cents again.
    BTW, I'm an old retired non-techie, whose computer experience is grounded in IBM mainframes from years and years ago.

    I use the paid version of Macrium Reflect. I have my data on a separate partition.
    I have a 2nd hard-drive that I use only for images; and an external hd that I alternate to also.

    Anyway, here's what I do (being anal-retentive):
    When I sit down to breakfast, I image my data. I know from doing it so much that it takes me less than 9 minutes.
    So, getting up from breakfast part way through, I then image my op. system partition.

    On days when M'soft releases updates, I won't do anything with these updates until I have imaged my op. system partition.

    If an old fa#t like me can do this, there's no excuse for someone to not establish a backup/imaging regime and follow it religiously.

    Dick

    PS,
    2 more things:
    I like to play around with my system to learn new things. My imaging regime has saved me more than a half dozen times. it takes me less than 7 minutes to restore an op. system image.

    Also, a long time ago, one of the helpful people here suggested that people test out the restoration of an image to make sure it works. At the time, I was using Acronis, and wouldn't you know, but on my older Dell 4600 I couldn't restore it.
    After many attempts at resolution by Acronis tech. support didn't help, I switched to Macrium Reflect.

    This isn't a plug for Macrium. It's a plug for TESTING that you can restore an image that you've taken BEFORE you are in a crunch and need to do so.

    Happy New Year to all the helpful people here!

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  12. #8
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    Dick-y, thanks for the backup/restore routine encouragement! I do the same thing concerning having backups on two external hard-drives. I used to use Norton Ghost; post-Windows 7, switched to Acronis True Image, which has been working great for many backups & restores. I found out that having perfect-working [& OS-recognized] external hard-drives, perfect-working read/write heads make for restorable Acronis backups. Did you ever find out exactly what went wrong with your Acronis? I'd like to learn from your experiences.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

  13. #9
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick-Y View Post
    Also, a long time ago, one of the helpful people here suggested that people test out the restoration of an image to make sure it works. At the time, I was using Acronis, and wouldn't you know, but on my older Dell 4600 I couldn't restore it.
    After many attempts at resolution by Acronis tech. support didn't help, I switched to Macrium Reflect.

    This isn't a plug for Macrium. It's a plug for TESTING that you can restore an image that you've taken BEFORE you are in a crunch and need to do so.
    I'd like to reiterate Dick-Y's point here by saying that until you have restored a drive image, you don't have a backup—you have a hope of a backup.

    Testing is absolutely vital to a successful backup regimen. There is no other way to confirm a viable backup, no other way to turn that hope into reality. I don't use Macrium or Acronis, but I use a tried-and-true, for me, drive imaging utility. I don't verify each and every image by restoring it, but I do restorations on a fairly regular basis to insure that everything is working as I expect it to.

    I probably do more tinkering with Windows than most, and I can't count how many times I have totally pooched a system, and had to start over by restoring my last drive image. And as I have said elsewhere a number of times (including post #5 in this thread), there are very many problems posted in these various Windows OS threads that could be very easily resolved simply by restoring a recent drive image.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  14. #10
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    There is one user-created problem with image restores. Unless they are very recent, they will "bomb" you back to The Bronze Age [if backup's more than 3-6 months old], or, back to Star Wars long long ago, post many many updates, additions, subtractions if backups are 1-3 months old. Perhaps we need to encourage weekly backups for total-drive-image-backups?
    Also, unless end-users set up a 2nd, d-drive, for all their created files, text, doc, jpg, gif, xls, dbf, etc etc -- that too will be "rolled back" to whatever date[s] their backup[s]. [No, I do not mean moving My Documents! I mean creating folders.]
    Last edited by RolandJS; 2015-01-12 at 15:16.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

  15. #11
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    No. Even though I dealt with 3 levels of support one after the ever, the problem using Acronis on my machine was never resolved. Acronis tried very hard, but the amount of snap-shots and other material they kept asking for became onerous. I thanked them for trying and moved on to Macrium.
    Dick

  16. #12
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    I guess you could say, that I'm a Backup nut.

    I've gone on way too many PC Service calls, where a HD had crashed, and years of accumulated data files and pictures were totally GONE!
    It brings tears to my eyes, just thinking about the lives that were practically ruined by a hard drive Crash!
    And it's so pointless!

    My own backup strategy is multifaceted and at least in-part, is daily.

    My first layer of Backup is to run a batch file I wrote, that backs up all of "My Documents" and all important data files.....
    to TWO external USB drives. I manually run it, whenever I add new data files to my HD. So I wind up running it almost daily.

    Layer #2 is a script that runs in my Startup folder, that forces a new System Restore Point on every boot-up or reboot of my PC (at least once daily)*
    * Yes, when my PC is not being used, like when I'm asleep or gone, my PC is OFF!

    Layer #3 is a Compressed Ghost Backup Image file, using Ghost 11.5 from a DOS boot CD, to an external 1TB drive. (at least weekly)
    If your Backup and Restore program is ONLY on your C: drive, and that drive crashes, all is lost! For safety and efficiency, your Backup program absolutely must be on a bootable media, like a CD or Flash Drive.

    Layer #4 is a Clone of my C: drive to another 1TB HD, also using Ghost 11.5, which I've used for years, with Windows XP, Vista, Win-7 and now with Win-8.1.
    Ghost 11.5 will even back up Linux, and Windows Server..... or so I'm told.

    NOTE: System Restore cannot run if you have certain AV software running. I use AVG 2015 FREE, and I have to disable the live scan if I'm going to do a system restore, which I sometimes have to do once a week or so. A System Restore is a quick and efficient way to flush an unwanted program (PUP) out of the system.*
    * If a restore point that you want to use, is more than just a day or two old, it's almost useless! My latest restore point is never more than just a few hours old.

    I've had to do a System Restore on a Customers PC, where the last Restore Point was a month or more old.
    It can still work, but the result 'Ain't purty!'
    So much can be lost.

    Cheers Mates, and Keep up the good work!

    The Doctor
    Last edited by DrWho; 2015-01-09 at 10:22.
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

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  18. #13
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    I would like to add another reason for doing backups. Thankfully I do my backups daily because I discovered this other reason over Christmas and on past New Years:

    Good luck trying to get support over the holidays.

    I made a change to my system (after backing up the op system) and 2 paid-for pieces of software stopped working. I prefer not to name them, but I do want to say that after contacting each vendor and submitting a request for support, one has yet to contact me beyond sending a "do not reply" to say that they received my request; the other hasn't even done that.

    If I didn't have my image to restore I would be up the creek.

    Dick

  19. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmptrgy View Post
    <snip>I'm sure there are programs that will accomplish the same plan but in summary: backup, backup, backup
    There's one thing I'd like to add to that: backup, backup, backup!

  20. #15
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    I just started using Acronis to create a clone of my C: drive every week. That way, if the C: drive completely dies, I can just replace it with the clone and boot up.

    I'm concerned about:

    1. I use Dropbox and SugarSync; they sync to my laptop. I also use OneNote and EverNote, which sync to the laptop and my tablet. If I replace the C: drive with a clone made a week ago, these programs are sure to notice that they are no longer in sync with the laptop. Will they take what's on the laptop as the current versions, or will they take what's on the desktop as the current version?

    2. I could be a week behind on the Outlook .pst file, documents, etc. Is there an easy way to recover that stuff if the old C: isn't completely dead, and/or to back up .pst and documents etc.?

    TIA for any help you can give me.

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