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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    What's the EASIEST to use reliable Backup system?

    What's the EASIEST to use reliable Backup system?
    Every time I read about Full Backups, I know it's a good idea but I never do it because the instructions are always pages long involving detailed decisions about what to back up, what "libraries" (in Windows 7) are used, which backup program to use, whether the restore function is reliable and easy to use, etc. etc.

    Lately (sigh), I have been worrying about it again and have the following questions:

    1. What is the absolutely simplest reliable free backup (and restore) system?For example, I would envision plugging in a backup drive, then pressing ONE button, and the whole system is backed up,without any other input (or even setup) from me.Isthere any reliable system that can do that ?

    2. How is it possible to know which backup programs are reliable and safe?For example, recently AOMEI wasmentioned in another discussion thread.But it's a Chinese company.Considering various news articles about Chinese cyberwarfare, is it a good idea to use a Chinese company for such a sensitive function like backup and restore?

    Thanks for any comments about the EASIEST to use, reliable backup procedure.


    Last edited by Rfarmer; 2016-03-22 at 08:12. Reason: Editing problems

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP Calimanco's Avatar
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    Drive Clone is about the easiest I have tried (and the fastest). I think its four clicks rather than one though.

    http://www.farstone.com/software/drive-clone.php

    If you just want to back up your data however

    http://snapbackup.org/

  3. #3
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    The easiest way to do backups would be to set up a backup schedule in your backup software, so that it does a backup every day or every week, preferably at a time when you aren't on the computer. And then make sure that your backup drive is plugged in before the backup kicks off.

    So, if you set up the schedule to do a backup at 2 AM every Sunday morning, you should do two things on Saturday night:
    1. Plug in your backup drive.
    2. Make sure that there is enough room on your backup drive to hold a new backup.

    Then, on Sunday when you get up, unplug your backup drive.

    You should consider two additional things to increase the reliability of your backups:
    1. Get two external hard drives, and alternate between the two. Not only will this provide more space for backups, but also, if you get hit with a virus, it won't affect all of your backups; it will affect only the ones on the drive you plug in.
    2. Decide which backups you want to keep, and which you can discard. You won't have room to keep everything, unless you keep buying additional hard drives.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2016-03-22 at 11:23.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    1. What is the absolutely simplest reliable free backup (and restore) system?
    There are only opinions.
    You will need to make an attempt to LEARN what type of backup regimen is right for you.
    Then you will need spend time reading through all those information/how-to pages of the app you intend to use to get the best understanding possible.
    In other words, you have to actually do some work of your own.

    2. How is it possible to know which backup programs are reliable and safe?
    YOU CAN'T
    You will need to test the app of your chosen backup regimen by preforming a restoration. This will mean knowing how
    your system boots, what it takes to access the boot disk, and most importantly, how to use the boot disk.
    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.
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  5. #5
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    To my knowledge there are no one-click backup solutions. You are the only person who can decide on the best solution for you.

    The only way to know if a backup solution is reliable and safe is to make a backup, then restore it. Most here will recommend that you don't rely on a single method. I use drive/partition images for full system recovery as well as multiple copies of my data in multiple places.

    As CLiNT has said, you have to do some work in order to have some security, and you're the only one truly qualified to do it. There are plenty of threads here in the Maintenance Forum on a number of different solutions/problems/how-to's. Do some research, read some reviews, try out some software. There isn't really a workaround for that aspect of choosing a backup regimen.
    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

  6. #6
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    And ANY working backup is better than no backup.
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to wavy For This Useful Post:

    mrjimphelps (2016-03-22)

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calimanco View Post

    If you just want to back up your data however

    http://snapbackup.org/
    I looked at snapbackup once, but it needs Java to be installed...

  9. #8
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    Hi I prefer Macrium Reflect. Very user friendly. Macrium has never let me down and there is a lot help on the web. If I remember; once set up, a full back up requires about three clicks.
    I guarantee there will come a time when you will be very glad you took the time to learn how to create a back up image with a third party image program. The newer version of Macrium doesn't require a Linux boot disk. That's a new feature. You can boot right into Macrium without the disk. I would be happy to help you learn and use Macrium Reflect. I know the program pretty well!

  10. #9
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    The easiest backup is the one that is fully automated. That ensures it is getting done and you don't have to do more than check in on it periodically, to make sure nothing is going wrong.

    Now I have to say, someone I know bought a Western Digital external hard drive as a backup device. It came with software that is literally a one button push. It is data only but that's a reasonable solution for many people.

  11. #10
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    Hi BH! The one thing I don't like about the automated, is it's usually differential and IMHO a image can get infected and you may not know it. Then the whole image is worthless. That's just my thinking. I like to clean up my PC. Make sure every thing is like I want and create the image. That's the way I have always done my back ups!
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  12. #11
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    As far as image backups go, I agree with Paul T that Aoemi is easier to use for beginners than Macrium.

    I use both, but Aoemi is somewhat more intuitive in my opinion.The free version also does file and folder backups.

  13. #12
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    I have heard that Aoemi is very good. I like easier.

  14. #13
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    The one thing I don't like about the automated, is it's usually differential and IMHO a image can get infected and you may not know it.
    Yes it might get infected. In fact if your original data gets corrupted by any means and you don't notice, those corruptions eventually get replicated through your entire backup chain.

    However it's a mistake to think of this as an either/or choice. I rather like fully or mostly automated data backups to online media, done frequently. Then at wider intervals do a full system backup to offline media. Data corruption then has a more difficult time getting to your offline backups, though not impossible. It's never impossible.

    There's no technical or process reason why any backup needs to be differential. Personally I've stopped doing diffs. They complicate the restore process and add a potential additional point of failure when doing so. When doing restores you want simple and dead reliable, not fancy. And the original reason for them, which was to save space on your backup media? That is not a problem in 99.9% of all backup systems now.

    You've got a system that works for you; as such you're already ahead of the game. That's what really matters.
    Last edited by BHarder; 2016-03-23 at 20:43. Reason: Closing comment

  15. #14
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    Easy backup [cause] and reliable restore [effect] -- often does not co-exist. Very often, only a well-thoughtout, well-planned, well-executed backup process, the cause, will lead to a reliable restore, the effect. And, that includes the harmony of working hardware and working software.
    Last edited by RolandJS; 2016-03-30 at 10:40.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

  16. #15
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Automatic is good, because if it's not really easy, most people won't do it.

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