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Windows 7: Need a new Backup & Storage program

08 Jan 2015   #21
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

It's true that two AVs are a very bad idea but comparing that to two backup systems is comparing apples to kumquats. I actually have three backup systems in place: imaging my OS and programs (the entire boot drive on my desktop rig and the System Reserved and C: partitions on my notebooks), folder file syncing for data drives (on the desktop) or partition (on the notebooks), and Carbonite.com for my desktop to backup data only. Also, keep in mind Norton programs are completely different beasts from what we have been advising (curiously, though, Ghost was the best of the bunch I used). I will not touch anything from Symantec (including Norton) anymore; it's a waste of money when there are programs that are better than theirs. Even the free version of Macrium Reflect beats the holy hairy heck out of Ghost.

If you are imaging your entire computer, that can take an enormous amount of time and space. By separating your OS and programs form your data and imaging just that, your images will be much smaller, allowing you to keep multiple images and eliminating the need for incremental imaging, and will reduce the frequency you need to make images (I image only once a week and before making changes to my system, such installing a new program or updates). Smaller images also means that

Incremental imaging is generally not recommended here because it's much easier to loose much of your backup if one of the incremental images gets lost or corrupted. Full images are much safer.

With the exception of Adobe Acrobat, Western Digital, and Carbonite (and, ironically, they are the ones I've called the least), I've never had good phone tech help. I still feel it's overrated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Jan 2015   #22
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I have already read your posts and understand your desire for proper phone support. I just don't know where you can get that with any product in todays world of computing.

I also understand you don't want to spend days waiting for replies on a forum. That doesn't really happen on this forum very often. All though a few fall through the cracks at times.

If you post in the BSOD or the Activation sections (hopefully you won't have to) sometimes they do get overwhelmed at times. Like the last Windows Update mess are experts had to work through.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2015   #23
XP VM User

Windows7 Professional 64bit
 
 
Quick Reply (Ok I know its long)

Thank you Lady Fitzgerald and Layback Bear for your comments! And speedy replies too!

I'll do Layback Bear's first, its easier, I have a lot to share with you Lady Fitzgerald, knowing of your experience with multiple backups, maybe too much too complicated, we'll see ..

Going over this before sending... I'll include this line from Lady Fitzgerald too before Layback Bear's quote:

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
With the exception of Adobe Acrobat, Western Digital, and Carbonite (and, ironically, they are the ones I've called the least), I've never had good phone tech help. I still feel it's overrated.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
I have already read your posts and understand your desire for proper phone support. I just don't know where you can get that with any product in todays world of computing.

I also understand you don't want to spend days waiting for replies on a forum. That doesn't really happen on this forum very often. All though a few fall through the cracks at times.

If you post in the BSOD or the Activation sections (hopefully you won't have to) sometimes they do get overwhelmed at times. Like the last Windows Update mess are experts had to work through.
I can only speak from personal experience (though I've seen Consumer Reports ratings of phone support, and other sites' too..

Apple (yes I got a old old Mac) was forever the best... I got 3 years of 24/7 unlimited phone support, and when they could not figure it out (these were in the days before remote computing existed) I could always go to the Apple Store for a genius bar for physical help.... Wished for decades and told Microsoft so, about this... maybe that's why today they finally have Microsoft computers, as well as copying Apple's example with brick and mortar stores! [I liked the idea of one stop care/shopping provided by Apple, so why not Microsoft do both its own computer and program, and it seems it did--- (someday maybe I'll get Surface Pro 3 for relative upgrade from SONY--happy I waited for getting the bugs out of the early ones) Not yet purchased one yet... only due to money].

Microsoft Windows software was good on the phone, but only if you had the latest software (so you can get a stupid person (sorry others for calling one of you that) but you can recognize the signs, they are new, reading from the screen too much, making errors, just HANG UP, call again and you'll get a smarter person---no insult intended, but that is how I survived for decades without going to any of these Forums (though I knew of their existence due to my RAID problems, which superseded anything Microsoft intended)....

Other than those, Dell is great (I had---but its not available sorry--don't know what brand I'll get now) 5 year warranties on computers---- Help 24/7 on phone for 5 years up to and including they take entire computer away and ship you a refurbished/new one if it got that bad... I was impressed. I never had one myself until my last purchased computer 2007 model, all the ones at work were Dell's and fixed that way (phone or replacement).

My relative's computer (I suggested them to buy it--in same household-- as Dell no longer had 5 year warranty ones) was SONY for a laptop. Its the one I keep writing about here [see my specs below]... its only one I ever used with Windows 7 in it so that is why I need extra help from you nice people at Windows Seven Forum, to give help to my relative as I'm not "rated" for Windows 7 yet and with 10 almost due out, no reason why I would study or learn more to be more helpful to my relative.

Unfortunately, "SURPRISE!" (I get mixed up the info all the time, when I tell this story to others, but here goes) ::: at the end of the SONY 2 year total phone/replacement support, we were thrown out like garbage. To continue with that level of support, it costs now $200 per year for hardware questions, and $300 per year for software questions (no you can't just get one, as they will bounce you from one to the other anyway [two different phone numbers] when I had the free service, so you need both to get full help..... Now isn't that $500 a year (when we no longer have the funding we had back when got all these computers, can't afford a new one of anything now.... So after 2 years, you could have purchased a $1000 computer!!! and wasted that money on phone care! So SONY is still rated high by me on the quality of their phone service just remember its going to die out after 2 years and cost you.....

So I thought for others to maybe be able to find this information here in a search box, I'd post my experiences here....

Other than that, I should add Western Digital has great set up phone service... (I only use their HDD 100% , though Maxtor had limited phone support but I don't like their HDDs anymore after one got bad sectors and they took out my data!! just in the few blocks... its still working somewhere doing less important duty as a temporary large file holder when I needed to carry large amounts of data back and forth in a portable HDD case a number of years ago before "the cloud" ftp etc.....

That's my two cents Layback Bear...

As for the recent Windows Update problem you mentioned in the quoted lines above, I also have phone help from Norton's AV and Internet Security programs on every computer, so when I was updating one of their virus definitions was when I got hit with the Windows Update problem. Even though it was not in their area, and not their program, Norton people took my name and number and case number, and called me back in three days with all the solutions, saying it was a Windows Update problem, so they did the fixing of their program (which got hit hard by that situation) and fixed up my Windows Update program as well with Microsoft's patches all by remote technology... I just sat back and watched (NO I don't sit idle, I ask questions all the time as I want to learn more---but you got the idea) so that is why I was not here (my second choice if I had not been in the middle of updating my Norton product when it happened to me) and if I could not call Norton about that... so that was just lucky. But again, the phone did all that.

Maybe someday there is a way for forums to assist with or help to do remote repairs, but I do have sensitive stuff on my computers so I always needed time to clear off the items that I didn't want to show Norton, and I'd watch everything they do while they are "inside" the computer....

Writing up Lady Fitzgerald's longer reply I promised earlier about RAID and Partitioning etc (which does effect this SONY computer too in terms of back up needs and I might still need more help than normal....)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Jan 2015   #24
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by XP VM User View Post
...Other than that, I should add Western Digital has great set up phone service... (I only use their HDD 100% , though Maxtor had limited phone support but I don't like their HDDs anymore after one got bad sectors and they took out my data!! just in the few blocks... its still working somewhere doing less important duty as a temporary large file holder when I needed to carry large amounts of data back and forth in a portable HDD case a number of years ago before "the cloud" ftp etc...
The one time I had to call WD for a warranty return, I also had excellent service, despite a bad connection. The guy on the other end was very patient.

There are only two kinds of HDDs: those that have already failed and those that are going to fail. Even brand new HDDs can fail, no matter who makes them (granted, I prefer to avoid brands that have high failure rates). The only way to reasonably ensure you will not lose data is to have multiple backups.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2015   #25
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by XP VM User View Post

Maybe someday there is a way for forums to assist with or help to do remote repairs, but I do have sensitive stuff on my computers so I always needed time to clear off the items that I didn't want to show Norton, and I'd watch everything they do while they are "inside" the computer....
That day is already here, it's TeamViewer...
Some of the experts here offer to help remotely with TeamViewer (and phone), and some offer hands-on help if they are in your geographic area ...

I help friends and family remotely using TeamViewer (and phone calls) to fix their issues.
When I get stuck, I reach out to SF to help me help them ...

The experts here offer free help.
If you would feel better paying for support, call any company you would consider using and decide for yourself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2015   #26
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

I have been using Acronis True Image, from 2011 to 2015. It is not free. It costs for each major version. Acronis does have phone or live web support, fourm support, email support, ticket support. However, the other posters here offered excellent advice concerning free programs.
Concerning OS & programs, data & created files. For a long time, I've either had twin IDE/SATA hard-drives, or recently, one hard-drive split into two partitions, C drive for OS & all programs, D drive for data, music, video, audio files. That way, I can restore OS without once disturbing D drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2015   #27
XP VM User

Windows7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Hi David E and RolandJS:
Thanks for your postings. Was busy writing the two I'm going to post now...
Just for information, wanted to comment I know about Acronis. I have paid version doing backups on the damaged drive XP OS mentioned in the history below... NO other backup would work, so I liked it for that. HATE it for the fact its a closed jar... To confirm that I did indeed copy everything or clone it 100% I'd have to test it by restoring it... and then make another copy... which of course I wonder did it disk image perfectly? (it does it in an encrypted format nothing can read it not even its own program)... so I again would have to restore it to check on if it was done correctly.. and so on and so on... so its just used as nothing else works as a backup on that computer... I'll get back to other things you both said in a bit.. let me post what I wrote first for those who were waiting for it....
Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2015   #28
XP VM User

Windows7 Professional 64bit
 
 
Discussion of prepping HDD for new program or waiting till backed up

Hi Lady Fitzgerald:

You wrote:

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
It's true that two AVs are a very bad idea but comparing that to two backup systems is comparing apples to kumquats. I actually have three backup systems in place: imaging my OS and programs (the entire boot drive on my desktop rig and the System Reserved and C: partitions on my notebooks), folder file syncing for data drives (on the desktop) or partition (on the notebooks), and Carbonite.com for my desktop to backup data only. Also, keep in mind Norton programs are completely different beasts from what we have been advising (curiously, though, Ghost was the best of the bunch I used). I will not touch anything from Symantec (including Norton) anymore; it's a waste of money when there are programs that are better than theirs. Even the free version of Macrium Reflect beats the holy hairy heck out of Ghost.

If you are imaging your entire computer, that can take an enormous amount of time and space. By separating your OS and programs form your data and imaging just that, your images will be much smaller, allowing you to keep multiple images and eliminating the need for incremental imaging, and will reduce the frequency you need to make images (I image only once a week and before making changes to my system, such installing a new program or updates). Smaller images also means that

Incremental imaging is generally not recommended here because it's much easier to loose much of your backup if one of the incremental images gets lost or corrupted. Full images are much safer.

With the exception of Adobe Acrobat, Western Digital, and Carbonite (and, ironically, they are the ones I've called the least), I've never had good phone tech help. I still feel it's overrated.
and;.....

Quote:
I will not touch anything from Symantec (including Norton) anymore; it's a waste of money when there are programs that are better than theirs. Even the free version of Macrium Reflect beats the holy hairy heck out of Ghost.
and

Quote:
Backup, backup, backup! And RAID is NOT a backup!
and Layback Bear calls you
Quote:
1.Lady Fitzgerald the backup Queen of the century.
How do I ask questions without some background?

History of the world part I: (small joke there for those who got it----no I guess that will take too long---I'll do Roman numerals--if you need more details of course I'll supply them (just reference the Roman Numeral to make it easy to ask) but lets get to the quesitons I will have re migrating to a new backup program! (Macrium, FreeFileSync, AOMEI Backerupper or otherwise)

I. I had RAID on my custom-built XP system. Hardwired in MB. Used Norton Ghost then too as I agree, RAID was just to create multiple fully operational clones---I had Banzai (spelling bad) drawers and hot swapped drives all day long,.

II. Used Partition Commander. I over did it. (which is why asking for laptop to have more than a "C" drive I need help....)(serious help). I should have done dynamic disks under NTFS, but I did everything in FAT and used up all 26 letters of alphabet! (over 17 drives daisy chained off the Master Drive as slaves for RAID---don't ask how, I just made it work, perfectly.

III. February (?) 2006 I downloaded Windows Genuine Advantage as Microsoft said I needed it to get any future updates.. one of first to do so. It DESTROYED the hardware arrangement as years of research with Microsoft staffers proved.... but no recourse but to junk whole computer ($3,000) as I could not stop or turn off the RAID function as it was hardwired in a chip in background all the time computer was on whch spread the WGA program to all 17 slave drives before I found out what was going on. It was NOT a virus so of course Norton AV let it pass through. I was using RAID 0 by the way (before they gave it a 0 designation). (sloppy history here trying NOT to write a lot.

IV. almost there... so I am off partitioning anything new as I did it all wrong then... Even though I used Partition Commander (as the Windows program I would make errors in numbers of start and end cylinders (NO NO NO! I hear you Lady Fitzgerald) there are some people who just should hire others to do the actual work for them...

V. So with NEW (no more confusing the discussion with talk about the XP and RAID from here on)... new, SONY Laptop, that I only serve as the IT person for, and not the owner, I was instructed NO partitions.... So to get the correct recommendation (which I know is true! I know it saves time! I know its better for drive health. I know all the pluses of partitioning data from the programs, even two partitions to keep downloads separate so in case of loss of programs, they can be resurrected from a safely kept partition that has been also saved outside of the computer with all the disks (any purchased) or made from download sites, for re installation of lost programs if any catastrophic loss were to occur.

VI. So I guess this discussion about backup programs has now (for me at least----I don't know if others would benefit as I've done so many things wrong, trying to do them right)... morphed into a discussion about choosing partitioning programs (not native Windows 7's drive partitioner).

VII. What prompted all of this is old backup dates for all data programs on SONY Laptop over a year old since Norton Ghost vanished from the computer (for unknown reasons---Recuva can't find it, its not a deleted program it, and all pieces are totally gone as well as any downloads associated with it. No Virus detected. No Malware has ever been detected (but for sweetpea---its persistent I don't know why or what page keeps bringing it back ). Strict rules about opening any unknown files or emails on this computer to keep it safe.....

Then, New York Times article on January 4th about a program (I won't mention the name so my computer information in this post can't be traced back by those doing it) but the cost of repair is $500 to $1,000 for the damage that is done and permanent loss of data and its unlike anything else.

So of course I and relative and others here are worried... only thing to do it make sure all computers are 100% backed up and keep it up to date "incrementally"

(Which is why I do want a program that does things "incrementally" which one of the suggestions (by SIW2) mentioned about that they do that--- but you have to remember to re-label each saved file under a new name (found the quote: By default, each backup names itself My Backup File followed by a sequential number after for each new backup. Of course this is only convenient if you are backing up the same file. However, most computers host multiple files. You are going to have to name your backup if you choose to back up your documents separate from your media files. AOMEI also has a Comments tab on the Backup Settings window where you can add other information, but you probably will want a better way to differentiate files.

Here is the link to the AOMEI page where I read this.... AOMEI Backupper Review 2015 - TopTenREVIEWS I know its not one recommender by either Layback Bear or Lady Fitzgerald, (it was SIW2's post) I'm just following up any and all suggestions given to me to see the pros and cons of each of them....

SO I thank you very much for the additional information Lady Fitzgerald and my questions concern how can I take a 500GB Hard Drive and partition it to make life easier...

But knowing its not been backed up for over a year!

But knowing its almost "full" no room for swapping files as the backup program might do??

But knowing my 8 GB of memory frequently gets "out of memory" readings as too much is being asked of the i5 Intel chip, too many other background operations in progress always... too difficult and expensive to call or write to all the companies I.e. Dragon Speaking Naturally does a schedule I can and have turned it off...but it still overloads so its not that one!--- so contacting all the companies running background programs on SVCS tab/listing (I've seen then) each one does not use up much of memory but I'm certain its together they are all over taxing everything..

And one of the others said in windows 7 32 bit (I know I have 64 bit Professional, so maybe this is a question that you would tell me is a non-question as it does not apply to me) but the link here..... Out of Memory error during File and Folder backup says it gets "out of memory" problems....

As you can see I have more than one problem before me to fix everything up so I can copy over again.
And of course if I remember both the native Windows partitioning tool as well as anything else I could buy/freeware all warn: "back up all your data before attempting partitioning" in case something goes wrong! So of course I assume I'd have to do a copy first to update from a year of not doing it.... and then on top of that erase or replace that one with a new copy when I have partitioned the one laptop drive (??) Is that right process for me to do??

---------

Oh and I should mention, unlike my other computer I have only one HDD NTFS available for backup... It currently has the last Ghost 15 version (with incremental s) on it..... It is also 500 GB [Interesting story it was the 5200 HDD that came with the SONY, I had it replaced on day one, before the Windows 7 OS was installed with a 500 GB 7200 rpm faster drive, bigger cache, etc... Seagate too.. and told relative for only $30 I would put it in a case and use it as the backup drive (they want not to spend more on computers at all if they could not spend at all).... so that worked out just fine while I had Norton Ghost 15 operating, and baked up a separate files/folders too ..... so I was on that one HDD I know its not ideal.. at least I saved in two locations the data if not whole drive which was in one saved location.]

Whew! I understand its a lot to take in... I hope I expressed all of this to you properly..
Please ask questions for clarification if need be...

Thanks again for reading and commenting and your advice on this problem which is only made more difficult by my history with family about me being such a stupid person to make too many partitions and then downloading that WGA program from Microsoft Update (ended up I was off internet and unable to use that XP computer for 6 years----which led to the 2007 computer... and Professional XP instead of Home XP---guess I can't stop writing about this...)

Will stop and post this now....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2015   #29
XP VM User

Windows7 Professional 64bit
 
 
Further good points I appreciated about Macrium:

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
...to say it never fails is a huge exaggeration...
Depends how you look at it. To say that it never fails, meaning for everyone, could be a huge exaggeration. However, for those of us here on Seven Forums who use it frequently, saying it never fails is reasonable. In my case, I have never had it fail to restore an image. I had an image fail to verify only one time (out of a couple years of making at least one image a week); I just immediately made another one and it verified. One of the beauties of Macrium Reflect is being able verify an image after making them instead of waiting until you need it only to have it fail to restore.
and

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
I think you worry too much. And here is the free Macrium version (left column) that I use since 5 years. never had a problem. That's why I made the tutorial. Trust me, it's a very good program. When I was teaching it in my computer club, we must have made 100 recoveries - none ever failed.

Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download
So given the idea that I should have and can have more than one backup program in operation.... I could certainly see Macrium as one of the top to choose right now.

But like I said in my posting to Lady Fitzgerald. I only have one 500GB HDD to back up the one 500GB HDD in the laptop (due to budgetary constraints on spending more money on this old 4 yrs already laptop.... So where does everything "fit" if I copy 400GB plus of entire disk and then another copy of all "my documents" etc user/data files separately... and then if I do it all over again with another backup program..... how does it all "fit" on the HDD ?

And remember it can be compressed and encrypted all ok with me, so long as I can in some way/manner "view" it through the backup program or Windows Explorer to personally verify to myself... that every file was copied or cloned exactly.... just like Norton Ghost let me do....

Sorry if I keep repeating myself...

Just want to be certain of what I do before I leap off the diving board into the pool....(especially since its not my computer but a relative's who does not understand as much so I'm their IT person for this laptop and other devices)....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2015   #30
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Whew! That is a lot to digest. Since it's late and I had only three hours sleep last night, my brain is in far worse shape than Jack's three brain cells so, for now, I'll address something of yours that jumped out at me before I pass away...er...pass out for the night.

I get the feeling you don't quite understand how imaging and folder/file syncing are used together so let me try telling you how I use them on my notebooks.

The notebook I'm using right now had one 500GB drive in it. It has four partitions:

1. System Reserve, 1.46GB (Yes, that is freaking enormous. It got enlarged somehow when I cloned the original HDD to the SSD I replaced it with and I've been too preoccupied to bother with fixing it yet).

2. C:, 99.9GB (47.2GB in use) It has only my OS (Win 7 Home Premium) and programs on it.

3. E:, 348GB (245GB in use) This is my data partition.

4. Q:, 15.3 GB This is the factory recovery partition. (Many people would advise saving it to another drive to free up the space but I don't really need the space and it's more convenient to have it on the computer since it (a Lenovo B590) has a button for activating the restore partition (I've used it only once on another Lenovo notebook but it was handy at the time).

I use Macrium Reflect to image the System Reserve and C: partitions in one image. If my OS and/or programs get scrambled up, I can use an image to restore the System Reserve and C: partitions to the state the computer was in when the image was made (I did just that this morning when the keyboard got messed up and wasn't recognizing character codes properly; it was easier to restore than try to track down the problem). Images are currently just 23.3GB in size, small enough that I can keep several of them without any problems.

I save the images to a folder on the E: drive. Normally, it isn't a good idea to keep backups on the drive being backed up but I find it convenient when I need to restore my OS/programs because then I don't need to dig out the backup drive. I keep only the first image I made when I first set up the computer and the last two or three images since then. The images get properly backed up when I backup the E: drive. You can just as easily save the images directly to your backup drive (which is what most people do; I'm weird, so sue me).

My backup drive is a 500GB 2.5" Western Digital Black in an Arctic USB 3.0 enclosure. I use FreeFileSync (FFS) in mirror mode to backup my E: partition to the backup drive. While my backup drive is bigger than the E: partition, it doesn't need to be; it could be the same size and still have enough room. What FFS does is compares the data on the E: partition with the data on the backup drive, then copies data from the E: drive to the backup drive and/or deletes data from the backup drive as necessary. The end result is the backup drive is essentially an exact copy of the E: partition with both having the same amount of space being used. Since only new, changed, and deleted files are being dealt with, backups are much faster than they would be if imaging was being used (of course, the first backup takes a while since all folders and files have to be copied over). FFS can also be used to transfer data back to the E: partition if its data should get FUBARed. Using a Folder/file syncing program is much more efficient than trying to use images.

Another feature of FFS is its ability to send deleted files to a versioning folder. That way, if I accidentally delete a file and don't catch it right away, I can always recover it from the versioning folder. Since I have plenty of extra room on the backup drive, I have plenty of room for a versioning folder on it. This is a new computer so the folder hasn't much in it yet, but, eventually, I will have to clean out the older files.

it may seem a bit complicated at first but, once you grasp the concept, it's actually quite simple.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Need a new Backup & Storage program




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