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Windows 7: Looking for a good Backup utility

09 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Looking for a good Backup utility

I've been running Nero BackItUp for about a year now, using an incremental backup of selected folders from my C drive to a USB drive. I just tried to do a restore from it and failed and I'm looking for something better.

I was never very happy with the user interface in Nero; it seemed to make it unduly difficult to setup the backup and did not (IMHO) adequately explain the choices it was asking me to make at various points. I had however assumed that it was working correctly - it certainly seemed to be "doing its thing" once a week. Unfortunately this seem not to be the case!

I just tried to use the restore facility to restore a single file that I had inadvertently overwritten. I wanted to retrieve a version from the previous week's backup. This has proven to be apparently impossible to do. Despite the fact that the Desktop folder is most definitely one of those selected for back up, the file is not listed. What is in the folder seems to vary according to which of the increments I choose. I certainly have NO desire to go back through nearly a hundred increments to try to find the one that contains it and the main undated version does not. Since the file has only been there for a month or so it should be in the most recent half dozen. It's not. Each one only contains two or three files when I have around fifty on my desktop.

I figure I'm lucky to have found out with only one file that it's a crap program; basically I am NOT impressed and am looking for something better. You guys are the experts, so can someone suggest something? I don't mind a fee as long as it's not too exorbitant; shall we say <$100? I'm after reliability and, most critically, ease of use. An intuitive and helpful interface. I'm running Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit.

Any thoughts?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Jan 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

A lot of folks recommend Macrium, Paragon Backup & Recovery 2012, EaseUS Todo 4.0, and Acronis. Macrium, Paragon and EaseUS have free versions as well as paid. Acronis is pretty much a paid version but they do offer a free limited function version if you happen to have (I think) a Western Digital hard drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by marsmimar View Post
A lot of folks recommend Macrium, Paragon Backup & Recovery 2012, EaseUS Todo 4.0, and Acronis. Macrium, Paragon and EaseUS have free versions as well as paid.
Thanks. If it means getting a better piece of software then I don't mind paying. Which one do you feel is the best (easiest to use)?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Jan 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

I'm using Macrium and EaseUS, each to a different external hard drive. I figure the chances of both images failing at the same time is pretty remote compared to using just one imaging tool all the time. But that's just me.

The learning curve on both is relatively easy and they both have good tutorials.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Thanks. I'll check them both out. :-)

One question: You say "imaging tool" - does that mean that you're backing up the drive as a whole rather than on a folder by folder basis? I'd prefer the folder approach; does that make one of the two more attractive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

I'm doing both. I do daily data backups and full system images once a week. But I'm thinking about doing just system images on a daily basis. I've been testing out an eSATA connection since Christmas and it's doing remarkably well. A full system image takes about 30 minutes (compared to when I was using USB 2.0 and it was taking about 90 minutes.)

Personally, I prefer a full system image. If your computer ever goes down for the count because of a virus or otehr problem, your system image will contain everything on the hard drive at the moment the image was made. If you have a lot of programs, special personalized settings in the operating system, etc you can be full restored in less than an hour with a full system image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by marsmimar View Post
I'm doing both. I do daily data backups and full system images once a week.
LOL. I'm not quite that paranoid; I just do a data backup once a week. Still better than many of my friends though. Most people just don't seem to grasp the need for any backup at all!

Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2012   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Not a problem. Hope you find something to your liking.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2012   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AussieColin View Post
Thanks. I'll check them both out. :-)

One question: You say "imaging tool" - does that mean that you're backing up the drive as a whole rather than on a folder by folder basis? I'd prefer the folder approach; does that make one of the two more attractive?
Here are some "folder" backup programs for you to check out:

SyncToy

Karen's Replicator

Second Copy

FolderClone

GFI Backup Home Edition

Syncback

Allway Sync

I think all of those are free except Second Copy.

For imaging programs, I am using Macrium Reflect Free Edition and EaseUS Todo Backup 3.0, in an alternating fashion.

I'd recommend you avoid "incremental" backups if possible. They just add another layer of complexity.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2012   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

FreeFileSync will back up folders. FreeFileSync | Free Security & Utilities software downloads at SourceForge.net

Macrium Reflect free will do images. Link in my sig. The paid version also does file and folder backup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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