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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    Jan 2003
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    Trying to find a simple strategy for backing up both computers (mine and my wife's), including keeping a copies (DVD or USB stick) at work without compromising our privacy.

    Is there a significant advantage to imaging the entire HD rather than file-based backup? If so, is Ghost or True Image easier to use?

    Is there a simple way to encrypt an entire backup or media rather than encrypting individual files?

    Many thanks!


  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    California & Arizona
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    The best approach is a multi approach. Both image and hard coppied usb and DVD, both onsite and off.
    A good imaging software is one that gets the job done. Too many opinions on this topic, you'll have to just
    jump in and try one for yourself.
    Instead of just storing your images and copys at work, consider a safety deposite box too.
    Now a days too, you also have the option of backing up to the internet as well.
    A simple google search can steer you in the right direction.
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  3. #3
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    North Carolina, USA
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    Hi Joel,

    I do not know which Windows you use, but if you have Windows 7 Ultimate or Enterprise editions you can encrypt an entire drive with Bitlocker and you can also encrypt a USB stick with Bitlocker To Go (you cannot encrypt with other editions of Win7, but you can use a USB stick encrypted with Bitlocker To Go on any edition of Win7).

    If you have another edition of Win7 or if you use Vista or XP there are some free encryption programs available for download. I use Encrypt On Click . It works on 32 or 64 bit versions of Windows. You can install it on your computers or you can do a stand alone install on any USB stick so you can encrypt files you copy from any computer.

    The advantage of image based backup is you can restore you entire hard drive contents - OS, programs, program settings, user settings, and user data files very quickly should you have a hard drive failure. Some use Ghost, some use Acronis and some use free imaging software. I have not used Ghost, but I have used Acronis True Image Home 11, and it worked well when I had to restore the backup after a hard drive replacement. No problems at all. I know Acronis True Image 2010 has AES encryption to secure your backups, and I would think Ghost would also, but I do not know for sure. I now use Macrium Reflect Free Edition . It is fast and easy to use, but if you need to encrypt your backup image you have to purchase the full editon, which uses AES encryption.

    File backups are very good to maintain as well so you can quickly replace one of your data, photo, video or music files in case of loss or corruption on your hard drive. I use a combination of file backups and image backups. However I only do a new image backup when I make a significant change on my system. Other posters will share their favorite methods and software.


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  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    I started with the Win 7 built in Back up utility (Control Panel/Back up and Restore) but found it too basic. I have switched to Acronis True Image Home 2010 This is very easy to use, does encrypt your images and is fairly quick. It's not cheap ($49.99) but is very full featured.
    Have a Great Day! Ted

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