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  1. #1
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    Advice on disk-image software

    I've read and searched here about the various utilities available, (Acronis, Macrium,Easeus etc.) but would appreciate an up to date recommendation for my personal needs.

    I probably would only on average do a monthly back-up (vital data is backed up regularly on Flash Drives)but would like the ability to replicate the various apps/progs and settings that I use daily.

    I have Win 8.1 and don't mind paying for software if necessary, as everyone has to make a living.

    My basic question is, what is the easiest/least complicated software to be able to restore to my laptop or a new one in the event of a physical loss?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    That's a question that can't be answered because it will be an opinion that you'll be getting.

    My vote is for Macrium, not to sideline any others, but only because I have been using it for the past 3 years and I am satisfied with it.

    I recommend that you get enough information on all potential candidates by doing the actual work of researching them out individually
    then make your own determination. You will be in a position to rule a few of the choices out very quickly.

    **Moved to maintenance section.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2015-01-12 at 13:40.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  3. #3
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    I said that I'd researched already, but frankly a lot of the terminology was over my head.

    "Imaging", "cloning", incremental back-ups", encryption (necessary or not?)...guess I was looking for an easy answer.

    I don't need or want to be an expert on this stuff, just want an easy way to restore my system in the event of a disaster of some sort. Thanks anyway for taking the trouble to respond.

  4. #4
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    As most backup programs have free versions, you won't lose anything by trying each one. If you like one more than others, then you could consider if the paid for version give you options you would use. As CLiNT says, you'll just get everybody's opinion, but it's your opinion that counts on your PC. All those you mentioned are well thought of by people on this forum, so you don't have to worry about how effective they are.

  5. #5
    Lounger akjudge's Avatar
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    While I use AOMEI Data Backup, here is a link that explains all of those terms you mentioned. Hope it helps you decide, or at least better understand the terminology...

    http://dottech.org/95071/windows-bes...cE5R2J1pHsF.99

    Jim

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  7. #6
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    My 2˘ (opinion).

    I use Image for Windows by TeraByte Unlimited. As access-mdb pointed out, it also has a fully-functional 30-day free trial. I've been using it and its forebears for well over a decade, and have never found it wanting. And I also agree with trying each one. The GUI is different for all of them, even though much of the functionality is quite similar. But you may find one interface more intuitive and preferable to the others.

    You are your own best judge of what will work best for you.
    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

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  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by akjudge View Post
    While I use AOMEI Data Backup, here is a link that explains all of those terms you mentioned. Hope it helps you decide, or at least better understand the terminology...

    http://dottech.org/95071/windows-bes...cE5R2J1pHsF.99

    Jim
    Thanks, Jim. very helpful.

    The Comments bit at the bottom is evidence of the fact that for non-experts, it is a minefield!

  10. #8
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    I've used Ghost, Acronis, CloneZilla, Macrium and Redo Backup. The easiest to use by far (in my opinion) is Redo Backup but there are two limitations: 1) It has no support for backing up/restoring partitions so it's only useful for backing up an entire disk. 2) It has no support for restoring to a smaller hard disk than the one backed up. If these 2 limitations aren't important then the 2-button GUI should appeal.

    Redo-backup-3-600x450.png
    Click to enlarge

    Another advantage is that it's free.

    The Redo Backup website appears to be down at the moment but the latest version can be downloaded from SourceForge.

    I run Redo Backup from a USB stick as it's much quicker than booting from CD. Have a look at Create a Redo Backup, Recovery Bootable USB to see how.

    Hope this helps...

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  12. #9
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    Thanks, Rick, that's what I was looking for.

  13. #10
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    Disk image software is only any good if you can restore your files from the image. Acronis came up short for me in this respect, though it could have been operator error.

    I have replaced it with Macrium, in which I have much greater confidence. I HAVE managed to restore from Macrium.

    Everyone is going to have good experiences with their favourites, and bad experiences with others.

  14. #11
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trev View Post
    I said that I'd researched already, but frankly a lot of the terminology was over my head.

    "Imaging", "cloning", incremental back-ups", encryption (necessary or not?)...guess I was looking for an easy answer.

    I don't need or want to be an expert on this stuff, just want an easy way to restore my system in the event of a disaster of some sort. Thanks anyway for taking the trouble to respond.
    There are no easy answers to your question and there never will be unless you take the time to learn something.
    That does NOT mean you have to become an expert, but it does mean you have to put some effort into figuring
    out what your needs are and then learning how to employ whatever means you decide upon.
    You can check this thread out too for more info.
    There are many many simple step-by-step tutorials out there for just about any application you decide on,
    and just as many forums that can assist.

    Keep it simple but more importantly, base it around what your specific needs are.
    Keep in mind:
    1. Imaging is only ONE form of backup that is very good, but it should not be 100% relied upon alone.
    2. Get the necessary hardware to accomplish your backup goals.
    (This could mean anything from buying and installing other internal drives into your computer or investing in a few external drives).
    3. Don't ever rely on one means of backup alone, especially imaging. Get those extra drives and hard copy important data to them.


    Imaging: Is the fastest and best way to get your operating system up and running quickly, but it is by no means a sole backup regimen
    in and of itself. Imaging applications encompass a wide range of complexity so choose those options that fit your needs.
    Cloning: Most useful if you have a spare drive on hand and are easily familiar with "hot swapping" or working inside your computer's case to add and remove drives. NOT an efficient means of backup for the average user.
    Incremental image based backups: All but useless unless you are a frequent modifier of your data and applications on a single drive.
    Keeping and maintaining data organization is a better alternative to a wasteful incremental form of imaging backup.
    Encryption: Optional and not necessary, but useful if you have higher level security needs. Most people don't.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2015-01-12 at 17:13.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

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  16. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    There are no easy answers to your question and there never will be unless you take the time to learn something.
    That does NOT mean you have to become an expert, but it does mean you have to put some effort into figuring
    out what your needs are and then learning how to employ whatever means you decide upon.
    You can check this thread out too for more info.
    There are many many simple step-by-step tutorials out there for just about any application you decide on,
    and just as many forums that can assist.

    Keep it simple but more importantly, base it around what your specific needs are.
    Keep in mind:
    1. Imaging is only ONE form of backup that is very good, but it should not be 100% relied upon alone.
    2. Get the necessary hardware to accomplish your backup goals.
    (This could mean anything from buying and installing other internal drives into your computer or investing in a few external drives).
    3. Don't ever rely on one means of backup alone, especially imaging. Get those extra drives and hard copy important data to them.


    Imaging: Is the fastest and best way to get your operating system up and running quickly, but it is by no means a sole backup regimen
    in and of itself. Imaging applications encompass a wide range of complexity so choose those options that fit your needs.
    Cloning: Most useful if you have a spare drive on hand and are easily familiar with "hot swapping" or working inside your computer's case to add and remove drives. NOT an efficient means of backup for the average user.
    Incremental image based backups: All but useless unless you are a frequent modifier of your data and applications on a single drive.
    Keeping and maintaining data organization is a better alternative to a wasteful incremental form of imaging backup.
    Encryption: Optional and not necessary, but useful if you have higher level security needs. Most people don't.
    A useful post, notwithstanding the admonitions in your first two paragraphs.

  17. #13
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    I'm now a wiser man and am grateful for the generous advice given by you all.

    I shall now download a 30 day trial of two of the products mentioned and see which works the easiest for my needs.

  18. #14
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    In short, backup/restore philosophy is much like Bible philosophy, the best Bible, the best backup/restore program, respectively, are the ones which you will use regularly and religiously on a systematic basis.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

  19. #15
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    Just as an update, I tried Macrium, Easeus and AOEMI and decided on AOEMI which to me seemed the most intuitive and with the best "help"articles.

    Invaluable help from this Forum, as ever.

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