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Windows 7: Backup Recommendation

13 Dec 2009   #1
johnstd2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Backup Recommendation

I'm looking for a reliable piece of backup software which:
  • runs under Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
  • allows me to specify which files/folders are to be backed up using an Explorer-type interface
  • allows the destination to be on another PC in my Homegroup
  • offers full backup initially and then changed files (including deletions) thereafter
  • allows me to specify how many past copies of changed files are kept in the backup archive
  • can be run on a schedule
  • doesn't cripple the PC while it is running

The Windows 7 Backup does most of this except for backing up to a network destination and retaining a number of past copies of files. I have found this to be an invaluable facility which I don't want to do without. Does anyone know anything that can do all of this?

Many thanks in anticipation.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Dec 2009   #2
zigzag3143

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by johnstd2 View Post
I'm looking for a reliable piece of backup software which:
  • runs under Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
  • allows me to specify which files/folders are to be backed up using an Explorer-type interface
  • allows the destination to be on another PC in my Homegroup
  • offers full backup initially and then changed files (including deletions) thereafter
  • allows me to specify how many past copies of changed files are kept in the backup archive
  • can be run on a schedule
  • doesn't cripple the PC while it is running

The Windows 7 Backup does most of this except for backing up to a network destination and retaining a number of past copies of files. I have found this to be an invaluable facility which I don't want to do without. Does anyone know anything that can do all of this?

Many thanks in anticipation.
Hi and nice post.

This is an easy one. There are several but IMHO Acronis is best. I had been using Symantec ghost until it became bloated and hosed my system. Acronis has a small footprint, uses minimal resources and fits your requirements. You will get many other suggestions.

Ken J+
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2009   #3
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

If you want a file by file application rather than an imaging application, I have used "Second Copy" from Centered Systems for 10 years with absolutely no issues.

http://www.centered.com/index.html

A 30 day trial is available at no charge. If you want to keep it, it's $30 and they send you a registration key.

It supports both 32 and 64 bit Win 7. I have used it since Windows 98 and am currently using it on Win 7 32-bit.

Here is the screen showing where you can set the number of copies of deleted files to keep.

It is about as intuitive as an app can be. You make a custom "profile" for each backup group you want to use. You could have 1 profile for everything, or break them up into categories.

I have profiles for text files, pictures and video, mp3, email, and bookmarks. I run each with a single click on demand, but they can be automated.


Attached Images
Backup Recommendation-untitled-1.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Dec 2009   #4
harpua

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Retail)
 
 

I use Acronis TIH 2010 for the main system backup and also making clones. It has all the requested features and more and with the new optional "plus pack" (which adds some additional features) can even restore a system backup made on one machine to an entirely different computer. I would think this latter feature (assuming it actually works well) could be very useful for migrating to another machine, but I haven't tested it yet.

I also like the free and recently updated Microsoft SycToy 2.1 (which is a bit like second copy, but even better, imo) for backing up specific folders and keeping them synched. SyncToy doesn't have it's own built in scheduler but contains instructions on how to use the Windows Scheduler to automate it. It really is an outstanding utility, imo.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2009   #5
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Hi John,

Macrium Reflect has all the features you list, and is by far the smallest, fastest and most efficient backup app.

You could try the free edition first ( not as complete as the paid one of course as it does imaging , but not file and folder backup - you need the paid version for that - but will give you a good idea of what it does)

http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp


Paragon and Acronis are two other widely used apps. They are much larger than Macrium , and have extra features (which you may not want). Neither of them are as fast as Macrium, although Paragon is also very low on resource usage.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2009   #6
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi there
+1 for Acronis.

Problem with Macrium is that it uses MS's VSS (Volume Shadow Service)

This means that if you have a SMALL Windows 7 partition you can run into problems.

Acronis doesn't depend on you using the VSS. The advantage of this is that you can CHANGE the size of the partition being restored and can also move images to different types of Disks (and Disks of different capacities).

Acronis also doesn't backup / restore "Non used" space - another disadvantage of the problem of having to rely on MS's VSS (although you can "Force" Acronis into a "Byte" by "Byte" recovery mode -- not sure why you would actually want to do that BTW).

A Backup that doesn't allow you to restore Folders and files however IMO is WORSE than USELESS so I DON'T recommend the FREE version as it will give you a "False sense of security".

If you just need a basic Image backup what's wrong with the built in Windows Backup.

Acronis can backup individual files / folders even from an "Image" backup.



Cheers
jimbo.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2009   #7
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Hi Jimbo,

I am afraid you are mistaken.

Macrium uses VSS in preference - it does not depend on it - Macrium has it's own drivers if, for example, VSS isn't working.

I have never come across a situation where Macrium has a problem with small partitions - in fact it is able to image the 100mb partition , using VSS, where Windows own System image program cannot.

Macrium only images the used space - it does not back up non used space, unless you specifically ask it to to do a sector by sector image.

The FREE version does allow you to restore any file or folder from a partition/drive image - it can mount the image and let you copy them back.

You can resize the partitions during restore , and restore to wherever you like including to disks of different types and capacities.

The point of the free version is to see if you like the way the program operates.

Some people will only need the free version, those who want extra functions can then move to the paid version.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2009   #8
johnstd2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Thank You

Thank you all - very helpful - especially ignatzatsonic's suggestion of Second Copywhich appears to do eveything I want. I have been running it for about a week and am just about to invest in a licensed copy.

Much appreciated guys.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2010   #9
thess

windows 7
 
 

There is a new automatic remote backup software that does all these that you ask.
I haven't tried it yet,but you can find its features on this page: Online Backup, Data Backup & Remote Backup Service - Automatic Software
It also offers unlimited online backup. The prices are the best I've met so far.
It will be open for members on Tuesday 21 of April. It's worth waiting for.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Sep 2010   #10
james m

windows 7 ultimate x64
 
 

Can someone recommend a good external(standalone) hard drive to use for Windows 7 backup? I want to be in a situation that I can connect this drive and download everthing from my last backup and be back in operation from a hard drive crash for example. I currently have around 3gig of information to back up. I intend to use the routines provided with Windows 7 to do the actual backup.
Jim
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