What type of backup software to get?

By Petersnoboard93 ·

Ive been thinking of backing up my hardrive for a while and how im ready and willing. I plan on buying a 320GB external hardrive to back up to even though my computers hardrive is only 80GB (might as well get one with room for the future). So what im wondering is should i get a program that makes an image of my entire hardrive (OS, files, programs, ect.) or get one that alllows me to just sellect what i want to back up. I think that making an image of my entire hardrive would be best because i have so much room on the external hardrive. But say my system fails, and i reformat my computer. After i reformate do i just copy the external hardrive back onto the the system? Is it that easy to get all my program, OS settings and everything back, if so this seems to be the best option. Are there any downfalls to backing up my entire hardrive if i have space to? can anyone recomend and software?

Sort of a second question, i plan on setting the program so it auto backups every day or so. What happens if i turn on my computer and relize my files are all gone (this has happened to me before)? Will the backup program think that i purposely deleted the files and take them off the my backup hardrive before i disable the program?

-Sorry for the long post



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This depends a lot on what you need to do and how you want to do it

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to What type of backup softw ...

You can create an Image of your HDD on an external HDD with something like Norton's Ghost or Acros True Image both work well within their limitations. If the HDD gets destroyed either Electronically or Physically it is then possible to copy the OS and complete Software install to the HDD and be up and running fairly quickly but there are some limitations.

This works great if you need to reinstall the OS and all software but if the hardware fails and you replace the faulty Hardware the Image of the HDD will not be much use to you as it's useless with a new computer.

You will also be unable to recover your Data in a situation like this and when it's all said and done the Data is the Valuable stuff on any computer. It's easy to replace the computer fairly cheaply but to replace the data is far more expensive. In the case of a Failed HDD you can pay around 46K to recover the data off the drive and only a few K to replace the entire Computer in a worst Case Scenario.

Auto Backup are ideal for Business where a IT Specialist oversees the Backup and is responsible if something goes wrong. However I've seen Auto backups fail miserably and always when a Non Professional is in charge of them. Also if the Data is deleted for any reason when the Next Auto Backup runs it overwrites the existing Backup and will delete the data so you end you with nothing but the Image or whatever you chose to make. This is great for reinstalling the OS & Software but fairly useless from a Data Backup Point of View.

What I personally prefer with Backup's in a nonprofessional situation is to make a Image of the HDD and then manually copy your Data across to the External HDD. If you do this you can recover the complete OS and Data fairly quickly and also be in a position to copy your Data to a New Computer when the need arises.


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