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Windows 7: Back up software

30 Mar 2011   #1

Windows 7 pro x64
Back up software

I have search some threads for recommendation, but I like to revisit this topic to see what products is best for backup, restoring, cloning. Also to be able to set automatic backups.

I have used ghost but it is has a hard time pulling through for me when in need, so I'm moving away from ghost.

Oh, has anyone use gdata? There was a link in a thread here that had reviews of antivirus programs, I can't find the thread now but this is how I found out about it.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2011   #2


The windows 7 built in backup is quite nice. Easy to use and it's built in. So far has been reliable for me.

I personally use Acronis as it has always treated me well.


+1 Windows7 Backup built in
+1 Acronis
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2011   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1

I personally use Paragon Backup & Recovery 2011 (Advanced) Free to backup my OS to a out of system archive, works for me :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

30 Mar 2011   #4

Windows 7 pro x64

Acronis was mentioned in another thread I started also. Which product do you use from them, True Image Home 2011? Also what you think about Acronis Disk Director 11 Home? They have 35 off if you buy the two products together.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

I use Acronis TI Home 11. Haven't tried Disk Director, but I do like Acronis.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2011   #6

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

I gather you are talking about imaging (not personal file/folder backups).

I use:
1) Windows inbuilt system imaging.
I have restored over 10 system images including to new HDDs. 100% success.
It appears to be a program that either works well for you or it doesn't.

2) Macrium Reflect (free)
Robust product also 100% success.

You will only truly be "comfortable" after your first full system restore.

If you a bit adventurous:

If you are comfortable getting inside your PC buy a new/spare internal HDD (~$60) and try making a backup drive with your images.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2011   #7
Mike Connor

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bridges View Post
I have search some threads for recommendation, but I like to revisit this topic to see what products is best for backup, restoring, cloning. Also to be able to set automatic backups.

I have used ghost but it is has a hard time pulling through for me when in need, so I'm moving away from ghost.

Oh, has anyone use gdata? There was a link in a thread here that had reviews of antivirus programs, I can't find the thread now but this is how I found out about it.

This does everything you want;

Free Download EASEUS Todo Backup Freeware and Trial version. Complete Backup and Restore Software for Windows & Linux.

You want the "Free Home Version".

I use it myself and it is excellent.

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2011   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate N 64-bit

i didnt like win 7 backup, was crap in my own words.

paragon all the way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2011   #9
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

As suspected, you get as many different answers as you have people respond. All the above suggestions are valid (except i have nothing but trouble with Windows native imaging - but that may be me).

I have tried most any imaging program around. Ghost was my good companion during the Vista times. It always worked, but it took me 6 months to discover all it's intricacies - not what you would call an ease of use example.

My bottom line after 4 years of experiments is that free Macrium fits me best. It is easy to use, has no "automatics" that can confuse you, has a lot of functions, it is fast, very reliable (I must have done 50 recoveries for real and for demo in my classes) and it is free.

I have made an extensive tutorial on how to image and how to recover with Macrium. The recovery part is usually not well documented that's why I added it to this tutorial. But as one poster said above, you should really make the full cycle including the recovery yourself to check whether your recovery disc works and whether you feel comfortable with it.

But a smart man does not make experiments with his system. That is why I have developed a small guideline (for my students) on how to do it without any risk to your system. It looks more involved than it really is, but my students are seniors with little computer knowledge, so I had to describe every step.

PS: You can, of course, use this test with any imaging program (product specifics may be different though).

Imaging test

1. Shrink 2GBs from C and define a logical drive (partition) - let's call it Y
2. Move some files (any files) into Y - I always also move the sample picture folder in (you'll see why)
3. Define a test folder on your external backup disk - call it Mtest
4. Make an image of Y to Mtest - requires that you make a new definition
5. Delete a couple of pictures from the sample picture folder on Y (I always use the 2 animals)
6. Reboot and tap (ESC, F2 or whatever it is on your system) to get into the BIOS boot sequence
7. Set your boot sequence to CD/DVD reader
8. Put in the Macrium recovery CD and let it run, then hit Enter
9. Now you are in the recovery wizard, set it to Mtest where it says "Locate Image" and to Y where it says "Choose partition to overwrite with the image data".
Note: the partition letters may not be the same as on your system. Macrium uses its own lettering. Best is to go by the size of the partitions and open it with the little + in the front.
10. Watch out when it asks whether to replace the Master Boot Record - say no.
11. When you have to specify whether the partition is “active”, “primary” or “logical” – take “logical”.
12. When you get the little window saying "Your computer will now reboot", you have to hit "Cancel" (on the bottom) to get it to reboot. That's a little strange way to end the session, but that's the way it is.
13. Check whether the 2 animals in the sample picture folder are back. That shows you that the recovery worked.

When you have done these steps, you did the whole cycle and have learned

1. That your recovery disc works
2. How to recover
3. That you are not the dummy you thought you were

Now you can delete the little 2GB partition and add the space back to the originating partition.

If you are not familiar with the creation and deletion of partitions, watch this tutorial:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2011   #10

Windows 7 Pro x64

I posted over on your other thread about Acronis.
I've been using Acronis True Image since version 8 and for the longest time I settled on version 9 as it did everything I needed from a backup imaging program.
That was in 2006. I did have some struggles with it at first. At that time the newer SATA disks and chipsets that controlled them had been out for only a short time. TI 9 did not see, because it did not have drivers for, the newer chipsets when using there built in Rescue CD. So I built a BartPE disk with all the needed files and used that for over 4 years with XP as the OS.

Moving to Win 7 on my 4 year old PC I knew I'd need a newer image program and looked around. I again settled on TI with version 2011 home. One reason was because of the upgrade pricing and special offeres. I got TI 2011 and there add on to TI Plus Pack software that allows you to restore images to Dissimilar hardware. that is just what I need to move my fully injstalled and set up Win 7 to a new computer I was going to build. I also updated Acronis Disk Director from V10 to V11.

I may do things a little different then other folks. I only install TI and Disk Director long enough to create Recovery/Rescue BOOT CD/DVD/CF card ISOs then do all my backups/images from one of those BOOT medias. I don't need any secure zone, I don't need any Auto anything, nor do I want them taking over resources. I figure if you have a problem and need to restore a image you are going to have to BOOT the PC from one of the rescue media anyway and when you use these to create a image there is nothing else running on or from the HDD/OS to hinder the completion of a good full image.

I guess any of the image program mentioned in this and many other threads work. It just what you want to spend to have a little security.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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