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Windows 7: Suggestion for my backup plan?

27 Mar 2015   #11
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

In my previous life I was a regional LAN/WAN network manager. When we first got LAN's (to replace IBM 3270 "dumb" terminals) we made a full file server backup on Monday night (actually Tuesday morning at 2am) and then Incremental backups Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights. If a file server had to be restored, the time required to load the Monday night full back up and then whatever Incrementals that were required took much longer than just reinstalling from a full backup. There were some problems (operator error) that Incrementals were installed in the wrong order and that required starting over. For that reason it was decided to only do full backups every night. The backups took a little longer, but at 2am nothing was going on (office business hours were 8am to 5pm) so it didn't mater.


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27 Mar 2015   #12
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

1. I would not use Acronis. I recommend free Macrium or AOMEI Backupper. Those are a lot easier to use.

2. Never make incremental backups - always full backups. Much more reliable and easier to manage.

3. Alternate between the internal and external disk. Your copy strategy will take a long time and makes little sense.

4. Daily backups are an overkill. Once or twice per week should suffice.
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27 Mar 2015   #13
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
...4. Daily backups are an overkill. Once or twice per week should suffice.
That depends on what you are backing up. For system images, once a week and just before making any significant changes to the system are plenty; people who do very little to their systems might even get away with once or twice a month. Personally, I prefer to be safe than sorry.

For data, even once a day may not be enough. Any new or changed data that isn't backed up is subject to being lost forever. Any data that can't be easily reproduced should be backed up immediately. If using imaging for backing up data, this would be extremely time consuming and eat up way too much space. However, if using folder/file syncing, several backups a day wouldn't be impractical although, for most people, once a day would be plenty. For six days a week, it usually takes me only five minutes or less to update the backup of my main data drive (with around 1.4TB of data on it). Approximately once a week, it takes about 20-30 minutes to do the update (including verifying the backup) because I've added a 26GB image to the main data drive (and, usually, one has been deleted).
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27 Mar 2015   #14
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

An image once a week should be fine IMO provided you are backing up your personal files more regularly. If I was writing a report as a work in progress I may want to back it up to another destination every 30 min.
You may also want to create an image before Windows updates, new driver or major software installs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2015   #15
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
An image once a week should be fine IMO provided you are backing up your personal files more regularly. If I was writing a report as a work in progress I may want to back it up to another destination every 30 min.
You may also want to create an image before Windows updates, new driver or major software installs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2015   #16
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

The personal files should not be on the C partition in the first place. If they are on a data partition, then they are safe from the ups and downs of the system.

In addition to images I highly recommend to activate system restore for the C partition and data partition. We know that restore points are volatile, but if the stay, they are useful for a quick restore of C and for retrieving lost files from the data partition with Shadow Explorer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2015   #17
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

"...In addition to images I highly recommend to activate system restore for the C partition and data partition. We know that restore points are volatile, but if they stay, they are useful for a quick restore of C and for retrieving lost files from the data partition with Shadow Explorer..." --WHS
Backing WHS up with more food for thought. SRPs, although often far from perfect, sometimes not working, when an SRP works, when an OS is brought back into service enough to allow the backing up of any/all data changes & additions from C to D -- that SRP restore was successful.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2015   #18
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
"...In addition to images I highly recommend to activate system restore for the C partition and data partition. We know that restore points are volatile, but if they stay, they are useful for a quick restore of C and for retrieving lost files from the data partition with Shadow Explorer..." --WHS
Backing WHS up with more food for thought. SRPs, although often far from perfect, sometimes not working, when an SRP works, when an OS is brought back into service enough to allow the backing up of any/all data changes & additions from C to D -- that SRP restore was successful.
I have yet to get System Restore to work on any of my Win 7 machines (it was hit and miss with XP). I have yet to have a verified Macrium Reflect image fail to restore (I have MR set to automatically verify the image immediately after making it). I've had only one image fail to verify. When that happened, I immediately reran Macrium Reflect and that image verified. I quit wasting my time with System Restore a long time ago.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2015   #19
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
"...In addition to images I highly recommend to activate system restore for the C partition and data partition. We know that restore points are volatile, but if they stay, they are useful for a quick restore of C and for retrieving lost files from the data partition with Shadow Explorer..." --WHS
Backing WHS up with more food for thought. SRPs, although often far from perfect, sometimes not working, when an SRP works, when an OS is brought back into service enough to allow the backing up of any/all data changes & additions from C to D -- that SRP restore was successful.
I have yet to get System Restore to work on any of my Win 7 machines (it was hit and miss with XP). I have yet to have a verified Macrium Reflect image fail to restore (I have MR set to automatically verify the image immediately after making it). I've had only one image fail to verify. When that happened, I immediately reran Macrium Reflect and that image verified. I quit wasting my time with System Restore a long time ago.
ditto too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2015   #20
pcwin

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

How do you guys actually backup with an external hard disk? Please tell me your plan.

I was thinking if external backup disk plan is something like this:
1. Set up scheduled backups in the backup software. (for example at 6AM everyday)
2. Software will try to do backup and save backups to the external drive.
3. Everyday at 5.50AM, you would manually connect (plug in) the USB cable of the external disk to the PC, then after the backup finish, you would disconnect the USB cable of the external disk. If you happen to forget to connect the cable, you will miss your scheduled backup for that day. If you happen to forget to disconnect (plug out) the USB cable, you might risk the external disk being killed/fried if there is lightning/power surge problem.

I guess when using and external hard disk for backup, the most important thing to remember is to always be hardworking enough to plug in and plug out the USB cable everyday. Correct me if I am wrong.

Please share your external hard disk backup plan, especially when do you plug in and plug out the USB cable.
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 Suggestion for my backup plan?




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