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Windows 7: Need a new Backup & Storage program

07 Jan 2015   #1
XP VM User

Windows7 Professional 64bit
 
 
Need a new Backup & Storage program

Hi everyone!

I have been a faithful user of Norton products for years (despite some problems I and others have had) as I like some aspects of their products which I could not find elsewhere (*see below for what I need).

I have used Norton Ghost 15 on Windows 7 Professional since I got it in 2010 (hopefully my system info was attached to the bottom of my post like the others here--its been a while since I needed help). Suddenly, (last year!) it vanished from all locations on the Computer. I don't know why, the site of course is closed down as Norton does not sell it anymore, I could not make a copy of it as it was purchased from their online store. I thought I downloaded a file to save when I got it, but searches of computer files everywhere come up empty... the link on the desktop I always used says it goes nowhere.

Of course Norton is not helpful as they have a new product SSR (see Link at end of this question for data sheet) which does a lot more than just Norton Ghost, and according to their website I have to remove all traces of Norton Ghost before installing it (might be a problem in future if the computer can no longer locate any remaining pieces of Norton Ghost 15 to remove, the SSR might not work, but I'm getting ahead of myself here.)

Purpose of this post:

I would like to find a different backup/restore program which works successfully, without failing, on Windows 7 x64 Professional and wondering if anyone here has any favorites.

I already waded through the postings on the native Windows backup program that comes with Windows 7, too many difficult situations for me, and no help other than here....

I have several requirements for a backup system that would be similar to the one that Norton Ghost provided me over the years, over four devices, and I can't find on searches of ratings of backup programs on the web.

First: It must have a "human" at the end of a telephone that I can call for help. Like Norton/Symantec, I would let them have remote entry to the computer where they usually fixed any problem and it was free for as long as I owned the latest version of Norton Ghost i.e.: very low price, very easy to ask for help when I did need it and none of this back and forth for weeks on Forums asking for help! (I have nothing but praise for this Forum. I like this Windows Seven Forum the best as you are usually responsive faster than anywhere else in cyberspace), I just feel more confident having the instant fix provided by Norton/Symantec that I would lose if I do not use their products anymore.

Why am I not using SSR? I found on ratings and review websites for year or so now its been out, so many complaints , so many losses of entire data from the computer and back up drive when trying to restore it (I hope I never have to but that is what a backup program is supposed to do and I'm suddenly facing some very bad viruses and other programs in the news lately so I realize I must find something that works and I've not backed up for a year now, since Norton Ghost 15 vanished.

I used Norton Anti-Virus program and malwarebytes.com ones and computer has been clean and all Trojans, etc protected and stopped so I don't know why or how my paid/installed Norton Ghost 15 program vanished. (It is still working on another computer with a different OS so I can't transfer that one to Windows 7 as the one I downloaded from their shopping cart site is for that OS only). So the only one affected by the loss is the laptop with Windows 7, having no current backup process.

I know too much information, lets go back to my attempts to find a suitable program using searches of web. I also searched your site here, but it seems that most of the discussions of the backup systems (if they are not the native Windows 7 backup) are all done back in 2009!! or so. I'm trying to find out if there is a more modern, up to date backup system program I can get (does not have to be free, I would want some of the extras as I described below at * to be included.

One thing that I hate about Acronis and other similar one button solution backup systems I have used and do not use now, is that once you backup to the external hard drive, its all a matter of total "faith" in the system that everything backed up. So unless you have a blank drive sitting around for fun, and lots and lots of time to waste, you can't test out if the program actually made a successful copy without copying the whole drive, programs plus data!!! back to a new one and try it out in the computer to see if it boots up (MBR is always a must to save in case original drive is damaged in laptop!! by accident or a computer virus [or worse as I read recently!])

So why all this discussion?

Because one thing about Norton Ghost 15 (and all prior Ghost backups), that I love is the ability to use windows explorer on the laptop to explore and check the sizes and number of files in each subject area i.e. My Documents, Downloads, etc etc, confirming that the size and number of files were copied successfully to the external hard drive. And even, if I mess up ONE file of data for some reason or other ----always happens, I can go back in time without using Windows Restore which deletes all updates etc and its a pain to re do all of them over again---I can go back to the backup drive and just copy and paste (even if compressed!) using the Norton Ghost 15 program, one or more files back over the same damaged file and keep right on going with what I'm doing within minutes after its damaged, without calling for help on phone, or writing long long (yes I do write long!) messages for help in these Forums here (or the Norton Forum)... This is essential for me to be happy with a backup program!

Also I usually have to compress it to save space of course and I do make sure I have several copies of the backup on the external drive, erasing the oldest one before doing a new one, or new incremental as I usually had Norton Ghost 15 set to do and prefer to have it done so the drives (both in laptop and external) do not have to run extensively to do anything but backup on a schedule just the new or changed files!

So I've searched a lot of new free and paid programs and of course I know not everyone is "happy" with what they are using, but trying to get a program again that has:

(here is the * point):My personal preferences/requirements for a backup program:

1. Ability to view anytime, from either Windows Explorer or the backup programs' own system the contents of the backup drive, uncompressed so I can read titles of files and sizes so I can personally guarantee and self verify... that the sizes match and files were saved that the program said they were saved.

2. Ability to transfer back just one file (or a bunch of associated files/folders) without going through a whole restore entire Hard Drive process, so I can replace as little as a single file I accidentally messed up in saving or deleting or whatever I did to it (I do have Recuva, et al. lots of restoration programs, and of course I try those first, but I delete and find out I did the wrong one days and days later, when its all been overwritten, etc so nothing left to restore, so I'm forced to go to the backup drive and copy a file back again.

3. Ability to have a phone (with a human!) and possibly remote access to my computer to set up the schedule for backing up drives or doing anything else on the backup program that I might need assistance with. 24/7 like Norton is preferred, but I'll take the 9-5 Mon-Fri, if the program is as good as ratings say, then I should not need to use it often.

4. Free or Paid version is ok, as some of the features I would like to have I know they charge for.. I've read so many problems with free sites (like CNET) that I used to use, which now forcibly install toolbars that I have to go to a different Forum site to get detailed instructions on how to get rid of that, so getting a "free" program today is rife with problems and secret spyware, tracking, programs that I of course agreed to install when I chose the free program....Sorry, shareware and freeware are no longer that free anymore!! (File Hippo I know about, but for backup programs I want something more robust than I find there, like my old Norton Ghost15, but with a current legitimate license to use, so I can call Norton with a problem, and File Hippo et al. will not give me a license and as I said before Norton stopped supporting Norton Ghost 15.

Finally......... thanks for reading all of this for those who did... I appreciate the advice and will search and follow your links to see what other programs are out there that I might be able to use... of course I'm very careful about clicking on links due to recent news articles, but somehow I have to click on them to find a program to do backups!

Thanks!
XP VM USER (sorry about the name I got stuck with it from my first post)

http://static.symanteccloud.com/esto...m-recovery.pdf


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Jan 2015   #2
oscer1

win 7 64 bit
 
 

Hi you can check out macrium reflect and see if it something you might be interested in. Macrium Reflect Backup and Hard Disk Imaging for Windows 7, Vista, XP and Server 2003/2008
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2015   #3
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Instead of one backup program, I suggest you use two together. Assuming you keep your OS and programs on a separate drive or partition (highly recommended, btw), I strongly suggest using Macrium Reflect Free to image the OS and programs (here is a good tutorial on how to do so). By imaging your OS and programs separately from your data, image size is kept to a minimum, making keeping multiple copies easier. Short of cloning (extremely inefficient for backups), imaging is the only way to restore your OS and programs and still have them be functional.

For backing up data, especially large amounts, imaging is slow, inefficient, and takes up far too much room. Folder/file syncing programs, such as FreeFileSync, are far more efficient. A folder/file syncing program acts like a cloning program in that it essentially will give a duplicate of the drive you are backing up but, unlike cloning, you can backup just a partition and, once the initial backup has been done, it takes far less time to make backups since only files that have been added, changed or deleted are affected. A folder/file syncing program in mirror mode works by comparing the source drive or partition to the destination drive or partition for files that have been added, changed, or deleted, then copies and deletes files as necessary on the destination drive or partition as necessary to make the two drives or partitions essentially identical. I used to clone my data drives once a week and it took about three hours to clone a 2TB drive with a bit over 1TB of data on it (imaging takes even longer, btw). Using FreeFileSync, it takes me only about an average of five minutes to make a backup (depending on how much data I've added between backups) so I can now do multiple daily backups.

Another feature of FreeFileSync is I can send deleted data to a versioning folder or HDD (I use a separate HDD). That way, I'm protected from losing data due to accidental deletions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

07 Jan 2015   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Free Macrium is the best and never fails.

Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2015   #5
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Free Macrium is the best and never fails.

Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2015   #6
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Does Macrium or any of the usual suggestions provide phone support, which the OP says is a requirement?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2015   #7
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Forgot to comment about phone support. Most phone "support" I've encountered was pretty much worthless. With Macrium Reflect, there are plenty of people here on Seven Forums, such as whs, who have considerable experience using it and will be happy to help you out if needed. A few of us have experience with FreeFileSync and also will be able to help you out. Overall, I've found the help here is much better than any I've received elsewhere.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2015   #8
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Does Macrium or any of the usual suggestions provide phone support, which the OP says is a requirement?
No. The paid versions of Macrium Reflect have access to their user forum but I've found the help here to be just as good, if not better. Again, I feel phone support is overrated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2015   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Does Macrium or any of the usual suggestions provide phone support, which the OP says is a requirement?
Phone support is like calling the sanitation department when you have a heart attack.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2015   #10
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

That is funny because it's true. (Homer Simpson)

I don't care who you are; that there is funny. (Larry, the Cable Guy).

(Jeannie)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Need a new Backup & Storage program




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