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Windows 7: Thinking about changing backup program from Norton Ghost but to what??

22 Feb 2018   #1
Marie SWE

1xWin7 Home X64, 2xWin7 Pro x64, 1xWin 2008 R2 server. 1xWinXP Pro, 1xWin 2k and Linux Mint Mate
 
 
Thinking about changing backup program from Norton Ghost but to what??

Hello again everyone. :)

I spent four-five hours yesterday reading in here about backup software.. and I didn't came up whit any solution.. So i thought it's best to ask of your opinion and experiences..... It's a jungle out there.

So what do I need or wish to have. (I'm open to one or two program solution)
* Backup OS ones a month. If OS's crashes or if the HDD dies.
* My personal files on daily basis.
Big + is if it's possible to backup and restore over the network, and i only need one bot disk to all computers

OS i have today.
2 WinXP SP3 (one home laptop and one pro desktop)
3 Win7 SP1 (one home laptop and two Pro desktops)
All five are going to have dual win/linux boot within 6month to a year.

I have used Norton Ghost for about 15years now, and I've never really liked it...
I have looked on the webpages for the following programs.

AOMEI Programs
AOMEI Backupper Standard 4.0.6 Best Free Backup Software for Windows 10, Windows 8.1/8, Windows 7, Vista, XP
Sounds good in reading, but is it?

AOMEI OneKey Recovery. Freeware to Create Recovery Partition on Hard Drive | AOMEI OneKey Recovery Free
Create a factory recovery partition on system disk to backup Operating System.
This function i relay like the sounds of.. To create my own F11 recovery partitions.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Download Magic Free Partition Manager Software - AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard and Free Partition Manager Software - AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard
hmm.. Okay? Is it really for me?

AOMEI PXE Boot Tool AOMEI Free PXE Network Booting Tool
Can this be something good to use for a recovery situation?
Or this? AOMEI PE Builder 2.0 Create a Bootable Windows PE Disc/CD/DVD/USB with AOMEI PE Builder

Paragon software
Paragon Backup & Recovery Free Paragon Backup & Recovery Free | Paragon Software

Paragon Partition Manager Free Paragon Partition Manager Free | Paragon Software

Paragon Rescue Kit Free Paragon Rescue Kit Free | Paragon Software
None of these sound as advanced as AOMEI products.

Clonezilla Clonezilla - About Does this program work on windows computers
Freefilesync FreeFileSync - Free Data Backup and File Synchronization Software
Sounds good and it works with all my win versions and Linux.
But this is only a file backup, not the entire HDD or?

Macrium reflect7 Macrium Software | Macrium Reflect Free
Sounds better and more advance than Paragon.

Norton Ghost.. Nopp not again.

So is there more good and advanced programs out there? I would prefer programs i don't have to pay for.. I already spend way too much on IT, so I have to keep costs down a bit.

I also have two servers one win2003 R2 and one win2008 R2.. they also going to get dual boot soon.
For them i use a cloned boot disk for fast replacements and Raid5 for the data disks.

Any suggastions for a good one or two program solution for my five computers??

Thanks for all suggestions in advance. :)
//Marie



My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
22 Feb 2018   #2
JohnPC

Triple Boot - Win 7 x64 Ultimate x2 + WinXP-mce x1
 
 

Hi Marie,
I used Ghost for several years in the 2000's and liked it until I didn't
I switched to Paragon (German Company) and have since used their Hard Disk Manager Pro. Sooo much better!
On the rare occasion I've had an issue, I've a spoken to someone how genuinely tried to help me with it.
So, that's my 2 cents
G/L
JohnPC
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2018   #3
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Are your computers "etherneted" as well as WIFI-connected? I ask because some (perhaps not all) backup / restore utilities will come a dead stop if there is any interruption in the connection between computer being backed up and computer receiving the image(s).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

22 Feb 2018   #4
Marie SWE

1xWin7 Home X64, 2xWin7 Pro x64, 1xWin 2008 R2 server. 1xWinXP Pro, 1xWin 2k and Linux Mint Mate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
Are your computer "etherneted" as well as WIFI-connected? I ask because some (perhaps not all) backup / restore utilities will come a dead stop if there is any interruption in the connection between computer being backed up and computer receiving the image(s).
Hello :)
I only use ethernet.. I don't even have my wifi cards left in my laptops for security reasons. The extremely few times I am forced to use wifi, then i use a USB wifi adapter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2018   #5
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

I recommend Macrium Reflect Free for the System files (OS and programs) and FreeFileSync for my data files. This requires that the System and data be segregated, either by having the System on one drive and the data on one or more other drives or by putting the System files on their own partitions and the data on its own partition.

For example, my desktop machine has one 500Gb SSD that has the System Reserved and the C: partitions on it (the size was overkill since I'm not a gamer but that was what I had handy for a quick swap out when the original 128GB SSD died). Data is stored on four 4TB SSDs (HDDs would work just as well for most people and cost one "heckuvalot" less) installed in the computer.

The notebook I'm currently using is a one drive wonder so I have it (a 2TB SSD) split up into four partitions: System Reserved, C: (where the OS and the programs reside), E: (where my data resides) and the original factory recovery partition.

Macrium Reflect is a program for cloning and imaging. Cloning is best used for transferring duplicating an entire drive or partition. It's roughly the equivalent of a copy machine. Imaging is roughly the equivalent of film photography. An image is the equivalent of a film negative. One uses the image to recreate the original either on a new drive or partition or on the original drive or partition. Since most System files can't be merely copy and pasted elsewhere and still work, cloning and imaging are needed to transfer them.

While cloning can be used for backups, it's inefficient since the entire contents of a partition or drive have to be written to the new location and takes up that entire drive or partition. Images are far better for backups since they are compressed and multiple images can be store on a drive, allowing one to choose what point in time to go back to when restoration is needed.

While I use an older paid version of Macrium Reflect, I do not recommend buying it anymore since the company, Cleverbridge (more like not so Cleverbridge) Macrium Reflect uses to handle the payments and delivery of the download is flakey (they are too incompetent and/or lazy to properly program their website to be compatible with IE11) and Macrium Reflect blew me off when I complained to them about it, saying they trusted not so Cleverbridge because they never had problems with them before. I still recommend the free version since one doesn't have to deal with not so Cleverbridge and it is more than adequate for most people (I do not recommend incremental or differential imaging, btw).

When you first install Macrium Reflect, the first then you need to do is to make a recovery disk. That can be a CD or an USB thumb drive; your choice (I prefer the thumb drive). It's a good idea to make more than one on the off chance once should die (stuff happens).

While imaging is the best choice for backing up System files, it is not for backing up data. Imaging requires writing all data on the drive or partition to the image which takes longer and takes up more room when only a few things have changed. This is unavoidable when backing up System files but there is no need for it when backing up data. Enter folder/file syncing.

A folder/file syncing program, when set to Mirror mode, compares the contents of the source folder (partitions and drives are treated the same as folders) to the contents of the destination folder (for the purpose of this discussion, I'll just use the term drive only since everything will also apply to folder and partition as well). It will then write any new or changed files to the destination drive. It will also delete any files on the destination drive that are not on the source drive. The source drive is never touched other than for reading. The result is essentially an exact copy of the source drive.

FreeFileSync also has an optional feature called Versioning. When enabled, it will send any file being deleted from the destination drive to a user designated versioning folder. This will allow you to recover files you accidentally deleted or recover earlier versions of files. I strongly recommend using versioning.

Some other things I recommend include:

Unless they will never be connected to the internet, the XP computers should be upgraded to Win 7 or higher. XP reached EOL (End Of Life) several years ago and is not subject to malware infection. also keep in mind that Win 7 will reach its EOL 1/14/2020.

Backup drives must be kept outside the computer and never powered up and connected to the computer except while updating a backup.

I do not recommend automatic backups since they require one to have to backup drive connected at all times (see above).

Ideally, data should exist in at least three places to ensure it is reasonably safe from loss. For most people, this means on the computer, on an onsite backup drive and on an offsite backup drive. An offsite backup drive can be kept at a trusted friend's or relative's home, in a locked drawer or locker at work, a safe deposit box in the vault of a financial institution (what I use), etc. Offsite backup drives should be swapped out with the onsite backup drives as often as practical to keep them up to date. I swap mine out no less than once a month.

I know this is a lot to digest (hey, you asked!) so feel free to ask questions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2018   #6
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

I use Macrium Reflect, currently the V7 Free version. I used that Norton and it was THE backup program years ago. I also used Acronis True Image for a while but it failed me on two restores and didn't get a third chance. So far no problems with Macrium Reflect.

I do some PC support and recommend Macrium to all my clients.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2018   #7
Marie SWE

1xWin7 Home X64, 2xWin7 Pro x64, 1xWin 2008 R2 server. 1xWinXP Pro, 1xWin 2k and Linux Mint Mate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
I recommend Macrium Reflect Free for the System files (OS and programs) and FreeFileSync for my data files. This requires that the System and data be segregated, either by having the System on one drive and the data on one or more other drives or by putting the System files on their own partitions and the data on its own partition.

For example, my desktop machine has one 500Gb SSD that has the System Reserved and the C: partitions on it (the size was overkill since I'm not a gamer but that was what I had handy for a quick swap out when the original 128GB SSD died). Data is stored on four 4TB SSDs (HDDs would work just as well for most people and cost one "heckuvalot" less) installed in the computer.

The notebook I'm currently using is a one drive wonder so I have it (a 2TB SSD) split up into four partitions: System Reserved, C: (where the OS and the programs reside), E: (where my data resides) and the original factory recovery partition.

Macrium Reflect is a program for cloning and imaging. Cloning is best used for transferring duplicating an entire drive or partition. It's roughly the equivalent of a copy machine. Imaging is roughly the equivalent of film photography. An image is the equivalent of a film negative. One uses the image to recreate the original either on a new drive or partition or on the original drive or partition. Since most System files can't be merely copy and pasted elsewhere and still work, cloning and imaging are needed to transfer them.

While cloning can be used for backups, it's inefficient since the entire contents of a partition or drive have to be written to the new location and takes up that entire drive or partition. Images are far better for backups since they are compressed and multiple images can be store on a drive, allowing one to choose what point in time to go back to when restoration is needed.

While I use an older paid version of Macrium Reflect, I do not recommend buying it anymore since the company, Cleverbridge (more like not so Cleverbridge) Macrium Reflect uses to handle the payments and delivery of the download is flakey (they are too incompetent and/or lazy to properly program their website to be compatible with IE11) and Macrium Reflect blew me off when I complained to them about it, saying they trusted not so Cleverbridge because they never had problems with them before. I still recommend the free version since one doesn't have to deal with not so Cleverbridge and it is more than adequate for most people (I do not recommend incremental or differential imaging, btw).

When you first install Macrium Reflect, the first then you need to do is to make a recovery disk. That can be a CD or an USB thumb drive; your choice (I prefer the thumb drive). It's a good idea to make more than one on the off chance once should die (stuff happens).

While imaging is the best choice for backing up System files, it is not for backing up data. Imaging requires writing all data on the drive or partition to the image which takes longer and takes up more room when only a few things have changed. This is unavoidable when backing up System files but there is no need for it when backing up data. Enter folder/file syncing.

A folder/file syncing program, when set to Mirror mode, compares the contents of the source folder (partitions and drives are treated the same as folders) to the contents of the destination folder (for the purpose of this discussion, I'll just use the term drive only since everything will also apply to folder and partition as well). It will then write any new or changed files to the destination drive. It will also delete any files on the destination drive that are not on the source drive. The source drive is never touched other than for reading. The result is essentially an exact copy of the source drive.

FreeFileSync also has an optional feature called Versioning. When enabled, it will send any file being deleted from the destination drive to a user designated versioning folder. This will allow you to recover files you accidentally deleted or recover earlier versions of files. I strongly recommend using versioning.

Some other things I recommend include:

Unless they will never be connected to the internet, the XP computers should be upgraded to Win 7 or higher. XP reached EOL (End Of Life) several years ago and is not subject to malware infection. also keep in mind that Win 7 will reach its EOL 1/14/2020.

Backup drives must be kept outside the computer and never powered up and connected to the computer except while updating a backup.

I do not recommend automatic backups since they require one to have to backup drive connected at all times (see above).

Ideally, data should exist in at least three places to ensure it is reasonably safe from loss. For most people, this means on the computer, on an onsite backup drive and on an offsite backup drive. An offsite backup drive can be kept at a trusted friend's or relative's home, in a locked drawer or locker at work, a safe deposit box in the vault of a financial institution (what I use), etc. Offsite backup drives should be swapped out with the onsite backup drives as often as practical to keep them up to date. I swap mine out no less than once a month.

I know this is a lot to digest (hey, you asked!) so feel free to ask questions.
Thanks for your long reply Yes a asked for it, and I love it

I also have separate partitions for OS, install/recovery and personal data on my laptops.. and my desktops have one hdd for OS, one for install data and temporary files and one for personal data.
Backup.. I have my backups on the server(offline from internet) Raid5. The servers data-disks only backups ones a month sometimes it has gone two or three month between..

So can Macrium handles multi-boot computers?

Okay, I liked that FreeFileSync has that function to send all to an versioning folder. Me like

My XP desktop is only used for downloading my e-mail for offline-storing and to use some old programs that aren't compatible to newer OS..
And my XP laptop is mostly a "trash computer" I use it for web research and downloading drivers and so from less serious websites.. The OS is so old that most of the days viruses cant screw up the computer and totally lock it down. hahaha I did get one of these virus on that laptop but it could not execute the hole procedure to totally lock my computer.. So old OS can be good some times hmm.. win98

Sorry for the long reply... I have to
cheat a little and spell check with google translate and check some few wordtranslation from swedish to english..
My english isn't the best yet, but I'm working on it... It's relay a good training to hang out on this forum.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2018   #8
Marie SWE

1xWin7 Home X64, 2xWin7 Pro x64, 1xWin 2008 R2 server. 1xWinXP Pro, 1xWin 2k and Linux Mint Mate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fireberd View Post
I use Macrium Reflect, currently the V7 Free version. I used that Norton and it was THE backup program years ago. I also used Acronis True Image for a while but it failed me on two restores and didn't get a third chance. So far no problems with Macrium Reflect.

I do some PC support and recommend Macrium to all my clients.

Thanks :)
Okay yes I agree, fail ones, okay it happens... fail twice and it's a problem.. fail third and it's shame on me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Feb 2018   #9
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Macrium reflect can handle multiboot computers. It can even backup a Linux only computer but you have to run it from the recovery disk or USB stick.

I image my system before downloading and installing MS and program updates and before making any major change in settings or hardware.

Keep in mind that any data not backed up can be lost. I back up my data soon after adding or changing it. Since FFS updates so fast, it doesn't take me long to do the updates (the exception being after I have swapped out my onsite and offsite backup drives but it doesn't really matter since it is a set and forget process that still allows me to use the computer).
ot computers. It can even backup a Linux only computer but you have to run it from the recovery disk or USB stick.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2018   #10
Marie SWE

1xWin7 Home X64, 2xWin7 Pro x64, 1xWin 2008 R2 server. 1xWinXP Pro, 1xWin 2k and Linux Mint Mate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Macrium reflect can handle multiboot computers. It can even backup a Linux only computer but you have to run it from the recovery disk or USB stick.

I image my system before downloading and installing MS and program updates and before making any major change in settings or hardware.

Keep in mind that any data not backed up can be lost. I back up my data soon after adding or changing it. Since FFS updates so fast, it doesn't take me long to do the updates (the exception being after I have swapped out my onsite and offsite backup drives but it doesn't really matter since it is a set and forget process that still allows me to use the computer).
ot computers. It can even backup a Linux only computer but you have to run it from the recovery disk or USB stick.
Okay it's sounds good :)

Yes i know, I make backups before major changes. But usually it's only about security updates, then it doesn't matter if the backup is 2-6 months old. Updates is just to reinstall again if I have to restore the OS.
Personal data files they are more important to often backup. That's why I was curious about a program that can run daily against my server.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Thinking about changing backup program from Norton Ghost but to what??




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