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Backing Up Is Hard To Do!

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I just recovered from a system crisis which was actually created by PQ Drive Image 7 (as I reported here), so I'm now looking for more reliable backup software.

I was hoping I could get some user recommendations from this savy group as to the backup software products you are using (in a WinXP NTFS system).

A related question... In general, are imaging (cloning) software products a better way to go than file-by-file backup products? :blink:

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Hi

Sorry to hear about your problems - It certainly is a pain when you find glitches/ conflicts/ etc. I recently had a similar problem with a conflict.

I have been doing a fair bit of backup trials of different sorts.

What you are asking has a lot of questions;

What do you want to backup? (emails and/or personal files and/or the whole drive?)

How do you want to backup (CD/DVD/attached drive/network)

I use both an image backup plus a backup of emails/important files. I find that in the event of minor problems I can restore just emails/important docs, if there is a real catastrophy I can burn the drive image.

The 2 programs I use are Acronis TrueImage and Genie-soft Backup Manager.

The little glitch was actually a problem I believe with backup manager and outlook 2003 but I doubt that many people will experiance it.

While I realize that it may seem redundant to have basically 2 copies (files and images), the price of storage is pretty low and having gone through the price of hard drive failure and data loss, the time in developing an automatic (or close) backup & clone is a pretty small price for the peace of mind.

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Hi

Sorry to hear about your problems - It certainly is a pain when you find glitches/ conflicts/ etc. I recently had a similar problem with a conflict.

I have been doing a fair bit of backup trials of different sorts.

What you are asking has a lot of questions;

What do you want to backup? (emails and/or personal files and/or the whole drive?)

How do you want to backup (CD/DVD/attached drive/network)

I use both an image backup plus a backup of emails/important files. I find that in the event of minor problems I can restore just emails/important docs, if there is a real catastrophy I can burn the drive image.

The 2 programs I use are Acronis TrueImage and Genie-soft Backup Manager.

The little glitch was actually a problem I believe with backup manager and outlook 2003 but I doubt that many people will experiance it.

While I realize that it may seem redundant to have basically 2 copies (files and images), the price of storage is pretty low and having gone through the price of hard drive failure and data loss, the time in developing an automatic (or close) backup & clone is a pretty small price for the peace of mind.

Actually, my backup needs are very similar to yours. But what I'd like to know is why you can't or won't use Genie Backup Manager for all of your backup needs (including the entire drive, if necessary)? What does an image backup do for you in that situation that Genie (or any other good file-by-file backup product) won't do as well? <_<

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Acronis True Image is the only way to go IMHO.

KC

If I do wind-up getting another imaging product (which I'm reluctant to do, after my Drive Image fiasco), I probably will go for Acronis True Image. For online recovery, I use GoBack 3 Dlx and Norton Ghost doesn't work with it very well. :blink:

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I use ntbackup. Works for me. I have recovered everything from Win2kpro to 2000 server running AD/Exchange/TS.

What products are there that reliably (w/ scheduling) allow you to image a machine like Ghost without downing it?

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I use ntbackup. Works for me. I have recovered everything from Win2kpro to 2000 server running AD/Exchange/TS.

What products are there that reliably (w/ scheduling) allow you to image a machine like Ghost without downing it?

You can take a new, blank hard disk and the NTBACKUP output create a duplicate of the original system? How do you do that? How do you avoid reinstalling apps or reconfiguring Windows?

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For Windows I use Norton Ghost and a USB or Fire hard disk as the backup target. These are unplugged from power and the computer afterwards to protect against lightning.

NOTE! I test this by restoring the system onto a blank hard disk. After all, the backup isn't important - it's the restore that counts. Using a restore floppy and the USB backup disk - which contains no code or anything else - it can reproduce a working replica.

For FreeBSD unix I just use the dump command to make a filesystem snapshot. The restore side of the process is fairly manual but it does work and does not require restarting the system (although the snapshot may not be ideal).

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I use ntbackup. Works for me. I have recovered everything from Win2kpro to 2000 server running AD/Exchange/TS.

What products are there that reliably (w/ scheduling) allow you to image a machine like Ghost without downing it?

You can take a new, blank hard disk and the NTBACKUP output create a duplicate of the original system? How do you do that? How do you avoid reinstalling apps or reconfiguring Windows?

Irv~ Why do you question NTBackup's ability to do that? - just curious. :blink:

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Personally i think that ACRONIS TRUEIMAGE SERVER OR WORKSTATION ia really good for the purpose of accurately backing up a system in real-time without downtime. It does say what it says it does!

SCSA

P.S. DO a search on SR to find out the success stories of SR users you have used ACRONIS trueimage. DIsmiss the bad comments!

SCSA

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I use ntbackup. Works for me. I have recovered everything from Win2kpro to 2000 server running AD/Exchange/TS.

What products are there that reliably (w/ scheduling) allow you to image a machine like Ghost without downing it?

You can take a new, blank hard disk and the NTBACKUP output create a duplicate of the original system? How do you do that? How do you avoid reinstalling apps or reconfiguring Windows?

Last time it was a Plastic Surgeon's office. Dell Power Edge 2600. Stopped all services (this was planned). I hooked up a USB2.0 Drive and used NT BACKUP to goto a .bkf. Added three new drives (removed the old)(no OCE on the PERC). Installed Windows 2000 after I created the containers and ran a restore. Restarted. and tested out.

Didn't miss a beat. Running Exchange 2000/TS.

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I use ntbackup. Works for me. I have recovered everything from Win2kpro to 2000 server running AD/Exchange/TS.

What products are there that reliably (w/ scheduling) allow you to image a machine like Ghost without downing it?

You can take a new, blank hard disk and the NTBACKUP output create a duplicate of the original system? How do you do that? How do you avoid reinstalling apps or reconfiguring Windows?

Irv~ Why do you question NTBackup's ability to do that? - just curious. :blink:

Well, to start with, there's no way to run NTBACKUP from a floppy or CD to do a restore. If the disk drive is smoked you have to start with a blank drive and NTBACKUP is nowhere in sight.

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Well, to start with, there's no way to run NTBACKUP from a floppy or CD to do a restore. If the disk drive is smoked you have to start with a blank drive and NTBACKUP is nowhere in sight.

You talking about a disaster recovery (you can do this with LTO and Veritas w/disaster recovery option).

Far as having a smoked drive and having not NTBACKUP in sight, I still don't see where that is a problem. Replace the drive. Perform a fresh install, service pack up to the same rev as b4 and run a restore.

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Well, to start with, there's no way to run NTBACKUP from a floppy or CD to do a restore. If the disk drive is smoked you have to start with a blank drive and NTBACKUP is nowhere in sight.

You talking about a disaster recovery (you can do this with LTO and Veritas w/disaster recovery option).

Far as having a smoked drive and having not NTBACKUP in sight, I still don't see where that is a problem. Replace the drive. Perform a fresh install, service pack up to the same rev as b4 and run a restore.

OK. I need to look at this again. Last I looked NT could not restore a backup a complete drive over C:\

Another objection here is that considerable time & effort may be needed merely to get to the point that restore can be started (install NT, patch, drivers for hardware, etc). Ghost just works.

LTO is much more expensive and slower than a USB/1394 disk. I'm not sure what advantages it provides except for long-term backups (the backups you want to shelve for years).

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Actually, my backup needs are very similar to yours. But what I'd like to know is why you can't or won't use Genie Backup Manager for all of your backup needs (including the entire drive, if necessary)? What does an image backup do for you in that situation that Genie (or any other good file-by-file backup product) won't do as well? 

I could use GBM for backing up the hard drive on a per file basis, but that is not the same as having a drive image like from Acronis TrueImage. The drive image will let you have an exact copy of your drive when you have the same setup. Just having the files like in GBM you would have to re-install all the programs and settings yourself.

Anyhow a drive image and just having the files are two different animals, they are kind of complementry and thats why i keep both.

The difference is that an image will give you your drive (OS, settings, passwords, etc) if you burn that image to another hard drive, GBM saves just the files and it will not give you the OS, settings, passwords, etc if you copy it to another hard drive

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w/ Acronis True Image, does any one know what would happen if you imaged back to different hardware (say the place was flooded in 2 1/2 feet of water on a Tuesday morning, not that it never happened).

Thx.

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Well after you finishing bailing imanginary water ;)

It is not so much trueimage but any drive image software, ghost, etc, that when you transfer to another computer there is different hardware that the OS is not expecting.

it is not unlike taking you hard drive out of your computer and booting it in another computer. That is why it is good to take a drive image when just the OS has been installed without any other drivers. That way most PnP OSs will just ask for the new drivers when you boot it up from the image.

Most of my experience is with windows and in that case if you are lucky it will detect the new hardware and ask you for the new drivers and off you go. Sometimes I've gotten BSOD and found often it is faster to reformat/reinstall.

Problems also with their new OSs ie XP is that WPA usually is tripped and it might also cause other problems.

Obviously it is better to keep the hardware similar or take the image with standard drivers for as may devices as possible

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Well after you finishing bailing imanginary water  ;)

It is not so much trueimage but any drive image software, ghost, etc, that when you transfer to another computer there is different hardware that the OS is not expecting.

it is not unlike taking you hard drive out of your computer and booting it in another computer. That is why it is good to take a drive image when just the OS has been installed without any other drivers. That way most PnP OSs will just ask for the new drivers when you boot it up from the image.

Most of my experience is with windows and in that case if you are lucky it will detect the new hardware and ask you for the new drivers and off you go. Sometimes I've gotten BSOD and found often it is faster to reformat/reinstall.

Problems also with their new OSs ie XP is that WPA usually is tripped and it might also cause other problems.

Obviously it is better to keep the hardware similar or take the image with standard drivers for as may devices as possible

Ya, the problem in some scenarios is that the replacement hardware is often generations ahead of what you are replacing. I will stick with ntbackup.

Thanks again. That is what I thought the answer would be.

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I just use Backup Magic with WinXPs Task Scheduler to backup the files that are important to me every evening (it will save multiple version of files if I ask it to). I back up to a 2nd hard drive and then to another disk on a machine on my network as well.

An added bonus is that it doesn't use any compression so the files are easily accessible from anywhere.

C

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Well after you finishing bailing imanginary water  ;)

It is not so much trueimage but any drive image software, ghost, etc, that when you transfer to another computer there is different hardware that the OS is not expecting.

it is not unlike taking you hard drive out of your computer and booting it in another computer. That is why it is good to take a drive image when just the OS has been installed without any other drivers. That way most PnP OSs will just ask for the new drivers when you boot it up from the image.

Most of my experience is with windows and in that case if you are lucky it will detect the new hardware and ask you for the new drivers and off you go. Sometimes I've gotten BSOD and found often it is faster to reformat/reinstall.

Problems also with their new OSs ie XP is that WPA usually is tripped and it might also cause other problems.

Obviously it is better to keep the hardware similar or take the image with standard drivers for as may devices as possible

Seems to me that if you clone your drive to an external or removable internal drive (with any imaging software), there shouldn't be any problem restoring that image to another drive in any other system - as long as that drive had sufficient space. :blink:

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the problem isn't restoring. it is with the OS when it is started in the new machine. When you make the image the OS is configured for that motherboard and pci, agp cards, etc. When you put it in another computer your OS is expecting to see all that hardware and it has been replaced with other hardware so it needs the new drivers to deal with it.

A little like moving into a new apartment of exactly the same size but all the rooms have switched places

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You can restore the image easily - it's when you try to boot from that image on a new, different computer that the fun starts.

A Windows installation doesn't like being effectively transplanted from one system to another. Not only might it not have the right drivers available, but it will start off loading the wrong drivers, which may cause BSODs etc. It can be done, especially if you have all the new drivers readily available. It could take you half an hour or more just to go through all the driver dialogues, and even then there's no guarantee it'll work perfectly. Believe me, I've tried it myself*. Two times out of three I gave up.

IMO, it's usually far simpler to use the CDs that came with your new hardware to build a basic Windows installation, reinstall your appsfrom scratch and restore your data from disk, than it is to try to graft a ready built installation onto a completely different set of hardware. Disk images are, however, by far the easiest method of restoring a complete installation onto similar hardware. If the motherboard uses the same drivers, it's not too bad; if network, sound and graphics drivers are the same, even better.

*In one case, there was an essential app that we couldn't find the media for, so we tried ghosting it direct onto the new PC. Took me about half a day to decide it wasn't going to work. The fact that the new hardware didn't have native drivers in 98 didn't help. Ended up upgrading the old machine as a stopgap, hopefully the software won't be needed by the time we really have to replace that PC.

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Wouldn't plug & play detect/correct any device issues? How do corporatate IT depts clone an imaged OS to a great many multiple PCs that are not necessarily identical device-wise? :blink:

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I work in a corporate IT department. Taking just the Win98 images, we have one basic image with no extra drivers, just the ones that come with 98SE; then we have images with the drivers for 815, 845, 845G, 865G and a couple of other chipsets, along with the add in cards that accompany those chipsets in the workstations we use. When I tried to graft an 815 installation onto an 865G machine, it complained for ages about all the new devices it couldn't find drivers for. Windows XP won't be quite so bad for driver support, but it's still liable to refuse to boot if you put the wrong image onto a system. If it won't boot, it's pretty hard to install the correct drivers.

I just read a magazine article describing how big manufacturers choose from a library of thousands of images, depending on the particular combination of hardware they built a machine with. Hence why they give you a limited range of options.

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