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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Backup software for XP (XP Home)

    Sorry if this is off topic, but I am having trouble deciding which backup software to buy for WinXP. Seems like the magazine reviewers give most of the programs good ratings, but there are a significant proportion of bad user reports about all of them.

    The four I am currently considering are True Image, Retrospect, Nero 6 Ultra Edition (which includes a back up component), & Norton Ghost 9. Have seen many negative comments about the first 3 (& some equally positive). Seem a be fewer negative comments about the latest Ghost, but I previously had a bad experience with Norton Systemworks Pro 2002 (incompatibilities with WinXP, that Symm seemed disinterested in fixing, despite the product being advertised as XP compatible).

    Despite my previous bad experience, I am leaning a little towards Ghost 9. The main negative is that the minimum backup "unit" is a drive (ie cannot restrict backups to certain directories). The Nero backup program does have that facility, but there are some really negative comments about v6(.3) - though mostly about other components in the package. Also, from what I have been able to read on the web site, it is not clear if this program actually offers crash recovering - seems to need a working system in order to recover "affected" files. Or have I misinterpreted this?

    I would appreciate any comments on the relative merits of the programs.

    David

  2. #2
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Backup software for XP (XP Home)

    What is your target backup device? A writeable CD drive (perhaps 800 MB)? A large-capacity USB Flash drive (perhaps 1 GB)? A writeable DVD drive (perhaps 4.7 GB)? A tape drive (e.g. DDS-3) (perhaps 24 GB if compressed)?

    What are you trying to back up? Data? Programs plus data? Operating system plus...?

    Questions, questions...

    John
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  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Backup software for XP (XP Home)

    And after you ponder John's questions, since your post seems to indicate that you're NOT wanting to backup a "drive," you might want to take a look at Backup Now or Karen's Replicator. I do think a number of Loungers would disagree with the idea that Acronis' TrueImage is problematic, including ME!

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Backup software for XP (XP Home)

    I second BigAl's nomination for True Image.
    And I've tried Ghost and Nero just to be sure.
    BOB
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  5. #5
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Backup software for XP (XP Home)

    Thanks for the quick responses

    Two (or possibly 3) targets

    1. HD on a networked (peer) PC for scheduled (weekly?) incremental backups - perhaps monthly full backup(?).
    2. Less frequent (well maybe monthly ?) probably selective backs to DVD RW (on my PC)
    3. Maybe also to a third HD on my PC

    I have 2 - 60GB HD's (near full), plus a new 160GB about to be installed

    For 1 &/or 3, I am attracted to the idea of a standalone "networked disk" (if such can be had), as I have a network connection to a detached workshop / rumpus. Something that can be left unattended for long periods, preferably "wake on lan"). I like the idea of having "off-site" backup, but the (imagined?) cost has put me off seriously looking at this option.

    For 2, the intention is to provide "backup of the backup" / longer term & especially portable backup that I can hold "off-site" (see above). I already do this to some extent manually, but I am not highly disciplined & it is somewhat irregular. Also, the manual backups are primarily targeted at data relating to projects I have recently worked on, plus (some?) critical "system" files (mainly stuff from Doc & Settings, incl .pst etc, but not registry ones - out of comfort zone). In addition I do have more permanent (CD or DVD R) backups of "fixed data" (eg GIS related such as DEMs & orthophotos, as well as completed projects) that mostly do not change over long periods, but which would be a pain to have to "re- acquire".

    I do not see DVD as a sole solution, as I have 120GD of HD space near full (+ the new 160HD waiting to be filled ). I presume any sensible "full backup" would be multiple DVD's, which necessarily would involve a fair bit of intervention. I need a more automated process. There is a lot of stuff that does not need to be backed up (even a directory or three on c: drive - hence the interest in "selective" backup). But I still would like the option to do a full backup (disk clone?).

    I do not have a "system" back-up that would allow me to reinstate my c: drive. I used to consider that I could always reinstall programs if worst came to worst, but I am becoming increasingly conscious of the amount of time that could involve. One recent (new) program installation took multiple hours & then there are all those multiple Windows & Office updates that would have to be attended to.

    BTW this is a "work from home", engineering consultancy / software development situation (specific use engineering programs - not mass use)

    David

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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Backup software for XP (XP Home)

    David,
    It was the prior version of Ghost but one of the reasons I went to TI.
    I read some of the comments on those sites you linked to and some of the responses we all wet. Without detailing them, lets just say that they didn't seem to know what they were talking about.
    I'm not sure about the networking compatibility since I don't use it on a network. I would ask these questions of the Acronis Support group. ( with which I've had very good results )
    They claim it's not for backing up, yet you can incrementely image and also grab individual files from the image.
    BOB
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  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Backup software for XP (XP Home)

    Another option to consider is DriveImage.

    I have been using V7.01 to do network and local backups for some months with no problems. I really like the fact that I can boot the CD, map a disk drive and restore my data - which I have tested on numerous occassions with a variety of PCs and network cards.

    A quick web search suggests that the functionality of DriveImage 7 has been incorporated into Ghost 9 - has anyone tried this version?

    StuartR

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    Re: Backup software for XP (XP Home)

    Edited by Bigaldoc to add URL code.[/i] Please see the Quick Guide or 1-Click TagPanel.

    Thanks to both re the TI comments. Was the Ghost you tried v9.0 or an earlier version?

    Main complaints about TI seem to be around customer support, network issues?, no RAID support?, some "Secure Zone" issues, & backup disk errors - eg.
    http://www.pcmag.com/member_ratings/0,1757...a=126133,00.asp & http://reviews.cnet.com/Acronis_True_Image...21.html?tag=box

    Ofcourse, there are also some very positive comments, but the network issue concerned me.

    Also http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/artic...,117255,00.asp - "Not for general backups".

    Most magazine reviews are positive though ( http://www.siliconpopculture.com/reviews_c...nts/55_0_2_0_C/ )

    David

  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Backup software for XP (XP Home)

    Now that I've "edited" your post to fix the links ( <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15> ) let me add to the above two comments. I also have been a user of Ghost, Drive Image and now TrueImage. Like Stuart, until recently I have made backup images to a machine on my home LAN with both DI and TI. I just recently changed my strategy to a third drive in the local machine, which is in a removable rack (tray) but only because I thought I had a speed problem across the network. That turns out NOT to be true (<!post=see this thread,413357>see this thread<!/post>). In the time that I've been using TI I must say that their support folks have always responded to questions or problems. It obviously isn't instantaneous but they do respond. Like DI, TI uses a recovery CD for disaster recovery and I have, on several occasions already, recovered one or two individual files from a backup image, so I can verify that it works. I don't use the incremental function however.

  10. #10
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Backup software for XP (XP Home)

    One more on the positive side for TrueImage. I also used Drive Image previously and moved to True Image for the ease of use and speed. As for customer support, I wouldn't have any idea. For me, the product has worked so well, that I have never had the need to call them !!!

    If True Image isn't your idea of a "backup program" but more of an IT department toy to reconfigure systems on a network, then you might want to look into Backup My PC from Stompsoft. There's another review with multiple screenshots here.

    As to the media to use for secure, offsite backups, I'm partial to external hard drives that can be removed and stored in a fireproof safe in my home. Always available to me and yet almost as safe and secure as something "offsite". Consider moving some of your "non-critical" data and files to CD or DVD for offsite storage, to free up some disk space on your drives. If you don't use the data on a regular basis, then it's really just clutter on the drive and slows things down. Storing it on a well archived set of removeable media provides security and improves performance. There's an old adage that is probably more true about backups than anything else. "If you don't have the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"
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