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Windows 7: Which backup program is best? An unbiased opinion, please.

03 Feb 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Which backup program is best? An unbiased opinion, please.

I have downloaded 30day trials on a couple of programs. The more I read online on this subject, the more confused I get. The one I am currently considering is Rebik 5. Well, until I read some of the writeups.

I also tried the built-in MS backup program. Man, it ran and ran and that bar never moved. It ran all night and still didn't finish, so I thought - I don't think so.

I used MiniTool Partition to set up my partitions because I really don't like the Library system that Win7 forces on you. XP was far easier to use - for me, anyway.

I do like the idea of a system image. That sounds like a good thing.

I have a Seagate 2TB external hard drive. They recommend Memeo backup program.

So, tell me. What do you think I should do before I dish out my hard earned money?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

03 Feb 2012   #2

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1

I use Windows own backup (from the Control Panel) and it has yet to let me down. It also can create a system image and a recovery disk and its free.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2012   #3
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64

Keep your hard earned cash for something nice.

Use the Windows ROBOCOPY command in a .BAT file with the /MIR switch to mirror your backups saving plenty of time. If you want super-fast backups, you can also use the /MT switch to force the backup to use more than a single thread.

ROBOCOPY - Create Backup Script

Also consider full system imaging using the FREE version of Macrium Reflect:

Imaging with free Macrium

My System SpecsSystem Spec

03 Feb 2012   #4

Windows 7 Pro with SP1 32bit

It is very difficult to give an unbiased opinion on this subject. A person would naturally be biased in favour of the Program that the person uses.

Since I started making backup images about 6 years ago I have used Acronis TrueImage. I now don't have the program on the C Drive and manage everything with the TrueImage Boot Disk that I have created and updated from time to time.

In the 6 years Acronis TrueImage has not failed me even once and therefore perhaps my biased opinion is that it is about the best backup application. On this Forum however the free Macrium is extremely popular and is perhaps an excellent program. Windows 7's native backup program is not spoken very highly of by Gurus but I have never used it and so am unable to comment on its performance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Re the built-in backup - is there something I should know? I guess you have to close all programs before starting the backup so that the .pst file is saved.

I think I'll give the built-in program another chance. Thanks for your input.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

Not really an unbiased opinion. We all have our favorites. my own is Macrium for imaging and FreeFileSync for file backup.

There is a tutorial for Macrium here. Imaging with free Macrium . The download is in my sig.

I made a short YouTube video of FreeFileSync. Which you can view here. Backup With FreeFileSync - YouTube . The program can be downloaded from here. FreeFileSync | Free Security & Utilities software downloads at
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

I started off with Acronis (years back), changed over to ShadowProtect Desktop before zeroing on Paragon software. ( I use the paid version of Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2011 Suite,though.)

But for those who want a free version, I always recommend Paragon's Backup & Recovery 2012 Free - Free Backup Software: Paragon Backup & Recovery Free Edition - Overview

Try Both Macrium Reflect Free and also the Paragon Free and choose the one which you are comfortable with. (Since I do not use Macrium Reflect, I cannot give a comparative assessment.)

Acronis does not have a free version.

But if you have a Seagate or Maxtor Hard drive you can download the Disk Wizard - which is a version of Acronis. | Seagate.

If you have a Western Digital Hard drive you can download Acronis True Image WD Edition. WD Support
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2012   #8

Windows 7 x64 SP1

As pointed out it is difficult to get an unbiased opinion since if we are happy with our own particular solutions and they have worked consistently then we will promote these.

I have used Acronis TrueImage (fortunately got a free edition given away with a magazine - a long time ago!) and now use Macrium Reflect free edition. Both of these have never failed me (yet!) and I have restored many times using both.

I also am quite happy with SyncBack free edition which again does all that I require.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

We all have different needs, thus differing opinions.

I store all of my "data" on a file server box at my house. For backing up this data, I use robocopy as described above wit the /MIR switch. The first backup copies everything, all subsequent backups only copy very fast. I copy to 2 different external hard drives and I always make sure to keep at least 1 of those drives offsite in case of fire, theft, etc.

For my workstation, i install the OS, activate it and run Windows update. I then use Acronis and take an image. That's my "plain vanilla image". I then load my apps that I use, and take a second image "standard config". From here on out, I image about once a month or once I make a significant change. This gives me an easy ability to snap back if "anything" goes wrong. I don't even hardly troubleshoot problems, I just restore images.

This method has worked great for for years. YMMV.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
..... I don't even hardly troubleshoot problems, I just restore images.

This method has worked great for for years. YMMV.
Same here. I haven't made any System Repair Disk. I do not know how to run Startup Repair - I get amused to read it has to be run three times and honestly I never bothered to know how to start Windows in Safe mode, clean boot and all that trouble-shooting process. Yep, that is the power of backing up.

I just remember richnrockville's mantra - 1. Backup 2. Backup and 3.Backup. And you will never come to grief.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Which backup program is best? An unbiased opinion, please.

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