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Windows 7: Which is the best free backup program?

28 Jun 2009   #11

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

The image option is useful for recovering from a non - booting/ infected pc - puts you back where you were at the time you made the image.

A lifesaver for many who would have a massive amount to set up after a clean reinstall.

Also great for those of us who experiment a lot - hose your install - put the image back in 10 mins - no need to d/l lots of updates, reinstall programs - enter all the product keys, etc.

I advise people that making backups of the drive is the most important thing they can do.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Jun 2009   #12
zay

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

But, to date, which app creates good images that one can restore a Windows 7 machine successfully. I am looking for one that can make an image, then I can just run the image and restore my machine in little time. Not one that you have to install the OS, then run a program to restore your files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2009   #13

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Macrium Reflect - i have used it many times on 7 x64.

The installer contains 32 and 64 bit version - the correct one automatically installs.

Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download

Will image and restore the whole drive - or just your 7 partition - up to you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Jun 2009   #14

XP Pro & Vista Home Premium (x86); Windows Ultimate 7600 x64 Retail
 
 

I have used Acronis True Image Home v11 MANY times to do image backup and restores with Windows 7 v7100, 7127 and 7232. The backups I do from the desktop. The restores, since it is the OS partition, I do from the Acronis "Emergency" Boot disk.

I have NOT tried a network backup/restore.

I have NOT tried a "default" clone operation as Acronis wants to wipe and re-partition the entire hard disk proportionally to the number and size of the partitions in the backup image.

I attempted a "custom" clone operation in Acronis but found it clumsy in allocating space where I wanted it. So I used GParted to re-partition in the order and size I wanted and THEN used Acronis to to the restore operations.

So for local backup/restore operations I can attest that it has worked very well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2009   #15

7264x64/7260x86
 
 

Which of these programs support incremental, and network locations for backups?

I have a nas with 500 gigs, and I want to backup to an external usb.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2009   #16
zay

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Now one thing I can say about Acronis, they have a feature that allows you to image a computer and restore it to a totally different computer (even if all the hardware is different). It is an addittional addon you have to purchase. The addon is called Univeral Restore, but I will look at Macrium as an option. Did the free version have any limitations that had you wanting the full version? I know sometimes free version give you just enough, but leave you wanting. Kind of a like a girl getting naked, then tell you no (don't you hate that.)

@Copernicus: Acronis supports what you are asking. Even the builtin backup and restore for Windows 7 will do network and or incremental backups.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2009   #17

XP Pro & Vista Home Premium (x86); Windows Ultimate 7600 x64 Retail
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by copernicus View Post
Which of these programs support incremental, and network locations for backups?

I have a nas with 500 gigs, and I want to backup to an external usb.

Acronis True Image Home 11 does both (incremental and network), I was just pointing out that I had not actually tried it in the Windows 7 RC XXXX environment.

NAS is something I have never tried even in an XP/Vista environment. The real test would be to try a NAS restore when booting to an Acronis Emergency Recovery cd. The ATI "HOME" version differs somewhat from the ATI workstation version with regards to network support (drivers etc) so you might be wise to investigate further.

For a typical home setup the ATI Home 11 boot disk works fine. For more complex network access I created a UBCD4WIN (Bart PE) boot disk with the ATI Home 11 PE Plugin (actual plugin feature is on the ATI Home Install CD).

Why the need for a Bart PE plugin? The UBCD4WIN (Bart PE) cd incorporates the various network drivers included in a Windows XP SP2 (3?) boot CD. The ATI Home 11 boot disk may not have all of the latest drivers. Once a network connection is established and drive access shared/mapped by whatever means the Acronis backup/restore will function.

The latest ATI is ATI Home 2009. You can download a trial version here:

Complete hard disk recovery solution, backup, drive copy, clone and image computer software

(the specs list network storage supportm but to me that is vague.... )

If you get a chance to test the NAS functionality please post the results!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2009   #18

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

The free version of Macrium is not time limited - you can use it forever for free.

Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download

Obviously it does not include all the functions of the paid version, which are listed here:

Macrium Reflect Disk Imaging and Backup - Features

Another alternative is Paragon.

They have a range of products - depending on your needs.

They have the "Adaptive Restore" feature for moving o/s to new hardware.

The Hard Disk Manager range combines Backup and partitioning in one product.

PARAGON Software Group - Featured Products
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2009   #19

Windows 7 Ultimate, Ubuntu
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
Another alternative is Paragon.
They have a range of products - depending on your needs.
They have the "Adaptive Restore" feature for moving o/s to new hardware.
The Hard Disk Manager range combines Backup and partitioning in one product.
PARAGON Software Group - Featured Products
I have the full Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2009 (I was given it!) - this is an extraordinary program, solid, reliable, unmatched range of features from partitioning, cloning, defragmentation (which I haven't used), all types of back-up, drive management and set-up on different hardware.

Actually getting to some of the tools is harder than using them as the wizards are no brainers (unlike Acronis).

Its $US50 but if there are free components I'd be pretty sure that they'd be excellent.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2009   #20

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Hi Charles,

I agree - I use the Paragon products myself - terrific range of features.

I have used most of the functions, including the Partition Undelete - it worked superbly.

Oddly - the one feature I wasn't keen on was the Defragger. It is very low level - goes into boot time mode and takes a long while.

The average home user doesn't need something like that and may try and stop it during the process ( not recommended). They would have been better putting it only on the server editions.

The image backup and restore functions work very well too.

The bootable disc is also excellent, with all the Backup and partioning functions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Which is the best free backup program?




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