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Windows 7: Recommended backup software


30 Nov 2011   #1

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 
Recommended backup software

I purchased a new Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit and need to establish a backup procedure. I have a 1Tb "C" drive which has the OS, and I have a 2Tb internal HDD I use for media. I plan on purchasing an internal 3Tb HDD and an enclosure:Newegg.com - Rosewill RX358 RX-358-U3B Full Aluminum Cover, metal tray 3.5" Black USB 3.0 External Enclosure
and backing up to it.

I have used Acronis in the past and it has been hit and miss, and now looking through this site and others I see some problems with different size configurations/partitions when backed up with Acronis.

As I understand it partitions are seperate areas of a single disk or seperate disks (I ask so that I may understand the nomenclature) and this would apply to me it seems because I want to back up two seperate disks with a combined size of 3Tb to a single disk of 3Tb.

I've gotta get this right and I dont mind spending the money on a good solution, but first and foremost it cannot fail. I find that some programs are quite buggy with Windows 7 64 bit.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


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30 Nov 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rocks911 View Post
but first and foremost it cannot fail.
But what if it does?

Or do you just mean you really, really hope it doesn't in a crisis. You might want to lower your sights.

Normally, you would back up each of your partitions separately to the 3 GB drive. No need to have more than 1 partition on it.

The images usually take up about half of the occupied space of the source partition....a 1 TB drive with a single partition that is half full would result in an image file of circa 250 GB.

Macrium is probably the favorite here; with Acronis, Windows, and EaseUS trailing, probably in that order.
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30 Nov 2011   #3

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote:
But what if it does?
O.K., How about I would really prefer that it not fail. Which is to ask, does anybody have experience with a product that performs well for them under the same or similar circumstances?

Code:
 
Normally, you would back up each of your partitions separately to the 3 GB drive. No need to have more than 1 partition on it.
Thanks for indicating the proper procedure for backing up seperate partitions, I didnt know, not having done it, how to back up seperate partitions. I'm not understanding the "no need to have more than 1 partition on it" statement though. Do you mean that it is not a good idea to have 2 seperate back ups on my external drive? If I'm supposed to seperately back up my "C" drive which has my OS and my "Z" drive which has my media, wouldnt I have to have more than 1 partition on the outboard HDD

Thanks for the Macrium suggestion I'll have to check into it. I think I recall looking into Macrium and they have a free and purchased version, which should I use?
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30 Nov 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rocks911 View Post
does anybody have experience with a product that performs well for them under the same or similar circumstances?


I'm not understanding the "no need to have more than 1 partition on it" statement though. Do you mean that it is not a good idea to have 2 seperate back ups on my external drive? If I'm supposed to seperately back up my "C" drive which has my OS and my "Z" drive which has my media, wouldnt I have to have more than 1 partition on the outboard HDD

I think I recall looking into Macrium and they have a free and purchased version, which should I use?
The free version of Macrium is fine for most circumstances. I'm not aware of any added reliability by getting the paid version.

All of the imaging applications usually work. Sometimes they don't. Reasonable people can differ on how often they don't work and why. You don't have to look far on this or any similar forum to find horror stories from users of any of the applications. If you want 90% reliability, I'd say you probably can get it. If you want 99%, I'd raise my eyebrows.

You have to be certain that your recovery boot disk will boot and see all partitions as well as the desired image file. That isn't a certainty.

Re partitions: I meant that your backup drive needs only 1 partition. ALL hard drives need at least one partition to function. Images are just files--there is no need to store them any differently than any other file. You can put as many images on your single partition backup drive as will fit. Normal procedure would be to put each image in its own folder, but nothing more than that.
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30 Nov 2011   #5

win 7 X64 Ultimate SP1
 
 
Mac

Macrium 5 free is my choice. I just bagged Acronis which I had used since 2009. I had four ver of it (Acronis) 2009 thru 2012.
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30 Nov 2011   #6

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

As far as I know, the "engine" underneat the MR products is the same -- whether the free or paid version. For basic backup and restore capabilities, the free version is adequate. They now have more than one paid version, I think they are Standard and Pro. Each has added features over the other. I think they have a comparison chart on their website that shows the different versions and their features.

I gave up using Acronis when I migrated to a new PC that uses AHCI for accessing the SATA drives and went to USB-plugged keyboard and wireless mouse. When I then tried using Acronis 2011 products, they had problems finding the drives and the wireless mouse was not recognized. I recently tried a trial version of 2012 and they have appeared to fix both of these. However, I used Acronis products for years, and became well aware of their "new product is buggy" practice -- another reason for moving over to MR.
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30 Nov 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

If you use something like Acronis/Macrium/EaseUs to backup source partitions, they will be compressed backups...thus they won't take as much space. Now, remember that everything is relative to the types of files that you store. So, if you have 2TB of video files/picture files which are already heavily compressed on the source...they aren't going to compress much on the backup. If you have a mix of files, like most people, expect about a 50% reduction in files. Thus, your 3.0TB of drives, (if full), would likely result in a 1.5TB backup file (on the first full backup).

My question to you, is what type of backup and restore that you want. For me personally, I store all of my "data" files on a file server at my house. These are things like documents, emails, pictures, videos, music, internet downloads, etc. For backup of these items, I use robocopy. I simply make a synchronized copy on a regular basis to a couple of external hard drives (which are kept offsite). The beauty of this for data backups is 1). super fast backups as it only copies files that have changed since the last run 2). files are simply sitting on another hard drive..I can mount it anywhere, it doesn't require any software to get to the file, and I have less concerns about corruption since all files are individual. The downfall here is that I cannot "easily" have multiple copies of the data from different points in time without using a lot of disk space since each backup would be a full.

From there, I "image" my C drive on occasion using Acronis myself. This way, I can get my OS and apps back in the even of a catastrophe. Since I don't make too many changes here, I usually only image about once a month or once everything 2-3 months.
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30 Nov 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Macrium 5 free is fine.

I use the standard paid version for 3 reasons

1. You can do Incremental and differential backups.
2. There is a file and folder backup.
3. The WinPE recovery disk in available. (not as important with v5 as you can create it with a free download of the WAIK).
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30 Nov 2011   #9

win 7 X64 Ultimate SP1
 
 
Agreed

I agree Kado. I waiting for a sale price to buy.
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01 Dec 2011   #10

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

Kado,

Their site indicates the free version does not back up individual files and folders: Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download

Apparently it's only the whole drive, in the free version.
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