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View Full Version : BACKUP, Backup, Backup your PC



pctek
20-03-2009, 07:44 AM
I get so tired of endlessly telling people to backup their data.
Then when it all goes wrong they stand there crying.
What can I do? Its not always possible to retrieve it.............



So, all you people who haven't backed up, go do it NOW.

somebody
20-03-2009, 07:56 AM
And don't just do it now and forget about it - keep doing it.

utopian201
20-03-2009, 10:19 AM
1. What programs does everyone use to backup? Or do you all do it manually, copying each file/folder individually?

2. Does anyone know of a program which syncs files, but only syncs changed files? So it ends up making incremental, not full backups?

somebody
20-03-2009, 10:33 AM
1. What programs does everyone use to backup? Or do you all do it manually, copying each file/folder individually?

2. Does anyone know of a program which syncs files, but only syncs changed files? So it ends up making incremental, not full backups?

1) I back up my C: partition using Vista's complete PC backup, which does a block level differential backup with versioning (scheduled to run daily at 6pm). I back up D: drive (my data partition) to a network share using Cobian Backup, which does incremental backups (scheduled to run daily at 6pm)

2) Vista's Complete PC Backup tool, Cobian Backup, Synctoy, and for my Linux environments, home-grown backup scripts (scheduled to run daily at 1am).

CYaBro
20-03-2009, 10:34 AM
SyncBack Freeware (http://www.2brightsparks.com/downloads.html) is a good place to start. :thumbs:
Download is about 2/3 of the way down the page.

Poppa John
20-03-2009, 10:44 AM
I will when I can, honest.PJ

Blam
20-03-2009, 11:57 AM
I usually use SyncBack for my Docs on D drive, and image my C drive once a month through a networked drive.

pctek
20-03-2009, 01:25 PM
The crying person yesterday, I made her buy an external drive and gave her detailed instructions.
Her accountant sent her a flash drive.
Both were still in their packaging when disaster occurred.

Crying then doesn't help.
Makes me feel bad for them, but hey what did I say a thousand times?

Nyuuji
20-03-2009, 02:02 PM
I use "Seagate Disc Wizard" to clone C: drive to an external usb hard drive, and have made a boot disc in case of complete drive failure. I create a new image once a week.

Only started doing this after going through the painful experience of loosing all my my data last year because of hard drive failure.

Chilling_Silence
20-03-2009, 02:06 PM
Im with CYaBro & blam6 -- Its a great lil piece of software when you've got it up n running :)

wainuitech
20-03-2009, 02:26 PM
My backups may be a bit overboard - Our backups here are mostly automated- Every PC in the house is fully backed up each day with the WHS out in the workshop.

Then on my own Work PC, emails are backed up separately Via Outlooks auto back up, along with some other works stuff to another server.
Most of the day to day working documents are actually on my WHS, and they get auto backed up to the other server daily as well.

As you can guess the router & Switches here look like a damn xmas tree sometimes with the amount of traffic :waughh:

So if my own PC turns turtle, simply load in the WHS CD and recover every thing - 20 -30 minutes approx.

All other items on WHS, music, photos etc, are also backed up to an external HDD once a month, or if I have done any major changes.

tuiruru
20-03-2009, 03:24 PM
Hi Wainuitech

Err.. I've had a hard day and am going to regret asking this but wot's WHS (in England it used to be the Bookshop/Stationary chain W H Smith)?

utopian201
20-03-2009, 03:28 PM
windows home server?

Does syncback do incremental backups? (so it copies changed files only, but creates a new folder for them). That way you can several versions of the same file?

Speedy Gonzales
20-03-2009, 03:38 PM
Does syncback do incremental backups? (so it copies changed files only, but creates a new folder for them). That way you can several versions of the same file?

According to the site (http://www.2brightsparks.com/syncback/compare.html) the free version doesnt

SE and Pro do

CYaBro
20-03-2009, 03:56 PM
Hi Wainuitech

Err.. I've had a hard day and am going to regret asking this but wot's WHS (in England it used to be the Bookshop/Stationary chain W H Smith)?

Windows Home Server.
I'm about to get mine set back up again since they have made quite a few updates since I tried it originally.

wainuitech
20-03-2009, 04:25 PM
Windows Home Server.
I'm about to get mine set back up again since they have made quite a few updates since I tried it originally. Have they what :thumbs: I used to have a problem with XP SP3 with WHS causing lockups.
I turned off the Auto Update - then turned it back on a short while back and whoooooooo stand back shes gonna blow :lol: NOW it works fine.

Never had any real problems, it just plods on, going and going and going, for backups - it is really fit and forget.

As you can see by the Backups (http://www.imagef1.net.nz/files/backups.jpg) its reasonably consistent in times.
The other three computers that are currently turned off - all take turns in the backups, as in only one at a time can be backing up, they wait their turn, when ones finished the server starts the next.
The gap between the 27/1 and 12/3 is because I dumped some of the backups - did a clean up - reminds me must do it again.

Winston001
20-03-2009, 05:54 PM
Good advice Pctek. Is online backup the best option, and does anyone have any suggestions? I wouldn't expect free storage.

It sounds like most people still backup to another hard drive networked to the pc. If its in the same building then both computers must be at risk from fire or theft. That is my greatest concern and the reason why we haven't yet got a system which gives me peace of mind.

At work we have a large walk-in safe which I always planned putting a remote HD in. Fireproof (I think :waughh:) but wiring/cabling is a slight hassle. Would this be a good option? We have 4 pcs at work to back-up but only one with critical data.

Speedy Gonzales
20-03-2009, 06:10 PM
Good advice Pctek. Is online backup the best option, and does anyone have any suggestions? I wouldn't expect free storage.


I wouldnt trust my backups being online.


It sounds like most people still backup to another hard drive networked to the pc.

Yup I do, but I've only copied the original install files to another PC. Not documents etc (well there's none on this yet anyway)


If its in the same building then both computers must be at risk from fire or theft.

Probably would be at risk, but if its made of brick like these flats, it may burn down to the ground, but would probably take longer.

Unless the thief is game and uses a ladder to reach a 2 storied flat or think he/she's superman/woman. They may have a hard time getting in the window

There's steps at the back, but there are also people

gary67
20-03-2009, 06:26 PM
At the moment use synctoy from MS to do docs, emails and pics backup to a flash drive and also to a ext hdd and also image C drive once a month with acronis. Server for the home is next thing to set up once I have built another machine for Swmbo

Blam
20-03-2009, 06:32 PM
windows home server?

Does syncback do incremental backups? (so it copies changed files only, but creates a new folder for them). That way you can several versions of the same file?

As speedy mentioned, the free version doesn't, which is why I'm currently setting up rsync (http://samba.anu.edu.au/rsync/)(which supports incremental backups) with my FreeNAS server


Windows Home Server.
I'm about to get mine set back up again since they have made quite a few updates since I tried it originally.

How is windows home server? What do you think about it.

I may download the trial later(if there is one), as I'm starting to get a bit bored of the simple FreeNAS interface:p

Blam

pctek
20-03-2009, 07:20 PM
Good advice Pctek. Is online backup the best option, and does anyone have any suggestions?
If its in the same building then both computers must be at risk from fire or theft.


It doesn't matter too much which method you prefer, so long as you DO IT.
I just use external drives, and occasionally I stick stuff on DVDs. But the DVDs I don't trust as much......
I have 3 drives for extra paranoia - can't see all 3 having a problem at the same time.......

Wainuitechs method is very handy once its set up but I'm stuffed if I can be bothered having a server for backups - overkill for me.

Yes there is the fire problem, same with backup tapes and servers though - just keep one or more copies off-site.
Even if that means in the shed.

However, in case of fire the first thing I'd grab is the pets, the second would be my portable drive.
Stuff everything else........

Nomad
20-03-2009, 07:30 PM
I have 2 idenitical HDD non-RAID. I use Syncback. I back up 1st HDD to the 2nd drive and vice versa, I have partitions split up so one is active OS and the other can be storage.

I also have a external HDD. Held offsite.

wainuitech
20-03-2009, 07:32 PM
Windows Home Server is built from Server 2003, with a lot of the guff removed - its made a lot simpler for home users.

There is remote access to your PC's from any where in the world, as long as the PC supports it. You can log into the server from any web browser and get files that are there - sharing is childs play along with the permissions as to who is allowed what.

With the backups, if your PC HDD dies, its a simple matter of chucking in another drive and from the bootable CD you get imaging it back over the LAN. Had to do it several times due to HDD failures, mine takes around 20-30 minutes, every thing is back as if nothing had happened. The only data you lose is from the last backup, in my case it's set to backup from 8 pm, but for some reason it always runs from 7pm, must be daylight saving time wrong.

I have put in WHS software in several small places, usually with 6-8 staff (10 accounts max) and they dont even know that they are actually working from the server, as thats where the daily documents are.
The good thing is I connect and Via the remote account do off site backups of all their data - simply copy it to my own servers.

From Pcteks reply
It doesn't matter too much which method you prefer, so long as you DO IT OHHHHH yeah - its amazing how many times you tell someone to do regular backups, they dont- then somwething happens and all hell breaks loose.
Then its YOUR fault because their PC had problems and the poor Tech cant recover the data.

Sometimes its only when the PC is suddenly gone - even a day or so for repairs that they think about it - but soon forget once its back - until next time.

I have actually had a few people call me months later asking if I still had the copy of their original drive (I always copy the drive so I DONT lose anything) when fixing - because they deleted something and had not backed it up - longest time was just over a year - the guy got quite ****ty when I said I dont keep the data - he asked why - and I said its his data, and if you want me to store it then it will cost you the price of a replacement drive.

Blam
20-03-2009, 08:15 PM
FreeNAS does all of that too.

Might try WHS, sounds good:thumbs:

have you tried imaging through wireless? Wondering if mines a tab slow...

Mine is connected through wireless(since my router's downstairs and repeaters in parents room), and it takes about an hr, with W/L g

Might try Wireless N when I have a bit of spare money to see if it speeds up a bit more

Blam

somebody
20-03-2009, 08:18 PM
FreeNAS does all of that too.

Might try WHS, sounds good:thumbs:

have you tried imaging through wireless? Wondering if mines a tab slow...

Mine is connected through wireless(since my router's downstairs and repeaters in parents room), and it takes about an hr, with W/L g

Might try Wireless N when I have a bit of spare money to see if it speeds up a bit more

Blam

FreeNAS doesn't let you do it transparently with the OS still running - that's one of the major selling points of the WHS backup tool.

For online backup, I beta-tested this product/service (http://rightbyte.co.nz/) while it was still being developed. It's good - basic, but does the job.

Blam
20-03-2009, 08:34 PM
What do you mean by transparently?

somebody
20-03-2009, 08:59 PM
What do you mean by transparently?

If I recall correctly, FreeNAS requires you to boot to a special environment to do an image backup of the OS drive. WHS lets you do this while the system is running, and just runs as a process in the background.

wainuitech
20-03-2009, 09:27 PM
Heres basically how WHS does its backups.

The first / Original backup always takes the longest, it has to copy the whole PC, future backups are altered added/removed from the original- thats where its rearranging the data ( read on about that)

Then at the times you set it to back up down in the Icon tray , when every thing is Normal / OK you will see a little green "house" As Shown Here (http://www.imagef1.net.nz/files/Conn.jpg) - 4 minutes before a backup starts- you get a small pop up saying "a backup will begin shortly" the "house turns Blue and for a second you get This message (http://www.imagef1.net.nz/files/Backing_up.jpg), if you open the window you can see Teh server checking as to whats been changed (http://www.imagef1.net.nz/files/Clusters.jpg) it then rearranges the data on the server As shown (http://www.imagef1.net.nz/files/Rearranging1237537418.jpg) - then Sends the data (http://www.imagef1.net.nz/files/Sending.jpg) when finished the "house turns Green - all done.

Normally you wont see all those messages, just the one saying a back up will begin soon - then when finished for a few seconds one saying its finished.

AND as you can see it did it while I was typing this out - most of the time you dont even know its doing it - the PC may slow ever so slightly while the server checks but normally I dont even notice it.

normal backup 1-2 minutes max.

Blam
20-03-2009, 09:36 PM
Looks good. Easier than Hot Imaging to a networked drive with DriveImageXML.

Do you happen to have another WHS key?:p

somebody
20-03-2009, 09:37 PM
Looks good. Easier than Hot Imaging to a networked drive with DriveImageXML.

Do you happen to have another WHS key?:p

You could buy a copy from wainuitech - he's a reseller.... :p

Blam
20-03-2009, 09:53 PM
You could buy a copy from wainuitech - he's a reseller.... :p

Can't afford it:crying

If only M$ could be convinced to have it as part of DreamSpark...:p

turtle63
20-03-2009, 09:53 PM
Does nobody use Ghost anymore?

Nomad
20-03-2009, 10:02 PM
Yeah but can be slow and for full HDDs only (mainly).
Files can be v large and not fit onto a DVD or a few DVDS can be a hassle.

I have True Image which makes a good one after the system is built up.
But using Ghost / True Image every night can be a hassle and then have 2 backup copies of it incase one copy goes biff.

decibel
20-03-2009, 10:10 PM
My free version of Syncback does incremental backups and can be fully automated.
(Version 3.2.10.0 )

Also. my previous use of FreeNAS, where I had it as another drive on my PC, I just ran SyncBack and told it to save everything to the FreeNAS drive.

turtle63
20-03-2009, 10:12 PM
Tried acronis once as a trial and found it took over and very hard to get rid of, quite liked the program but invasive.. Anyone else found that?
Interesting comment about Ghost as we used to use it all the time as a backup tool or copying drive to drive.... Loved it that of course was the old days... Win98 etc

Zippity
20-03-2009, 10:15 PM
Robocopy for mirror image of each Drive then incremental back ups at 2 am each day :)

wainuitech
20-03-2009, 10:15 PM
Does nobody use Ghost anymore? Used it about a month or so ago, a customers drive that wouldn't read VERY unstable - True Image & Paragon spat the dummy with bad sectors , Linux didn't even have a look in.

Last resort - dug out the Ol Floppy with Ghost, and set to ignore bad sectors - imaged the drive to a good workshop drive - it saved all the customers data I could get (took ages most of the day - clunk clunk clunk :sleep) - then installed a new drive / OS and put back 99% of her data.

Did she have back ups as per this thread --- NNNOoooooooooooooo ---Does now though.

turtle63
20-03-2009, 10:25 PM
You are so right, ghost old stuff works every time.. :) well only if the freezeer thing works..

CYaBro
20-03-2009, 11:31 PM
My bro-in-law has a pretty good system.
I sold him a 500GB Seagate USB HDD that he connects to the home PC once a week. Using the software that came with the HDD it automatically backs up the changed data from the selected folders.
He then keeps the HDD in the car.
This acts as the off-site backup in case of a fire or theft of the PC.
Bit stuffed though if someone breaks in to the house, puts the PC in the car and takes off in it :crying

Another awesome backup program I sell all the time, and use myself for doing backups of clients machines in the workshop, is ShadowProtect.
They have different versions for a desktop, server or an IT tech.
The desktop and server versions get installed and run in the background and do regular backups up right down to every 15 mins if you want, incremental of course.
The IT version is a bootable disc for doing backups on any machine with any OS.
The best feature is the restore, you can browse backup images and restore individual files/folders or restore a whole backup, to a totally different machine if you want, and be up and running again in as little as 30 mins.

wainuitech
21-03-2009, 09:41 AM
Blimey CYaBro - just had a look at that Shadowprotect, sounds like the same one Here (http://store.storagecraft.com/acb/stores/1/ShadowProtect-C8.aspx) -- Ouch :eek: at the price - esp the IT subscription - thanks but no thanks - not paying $3500 US / year, even the home user version is very expensive compared to other software available.

CYaBro
21-03-2009, 10:47 AM
Blimey CYaBro - just had a look at that Shadowprotect, sounds like the same one Here (http://store.storagecraft.com/acb/stores/1/ShadowProtect-C8.aspx) -- Ouch :eek: at the price - esp the IT subscription - thanks but no thanks - not paying $3500 US / year, even the home user version is very expensive compared to other software available.

Haha no, the desktop version is only about $150 from memory.
The server versions (Standard Server and SBS) are around $1,000 which seems to be pretty normal for server backup software.
The IT version doesn't cost that much if you are a reseller :D
I can get the IT version for around $900-$1000 and get a free server version that I can sell to a client so the IT version basically costs nothing :punk

Greven
21-03-2009, 11:15 AM
I've recently set up ShadowProtect SBS for one of my customers. It is good software, but I still prefer Acronis products.

I assumed that Microsoft would put something in the home server licence agreement saying you can't use it for businesses. I will have to look into that for a few of my clients.

I use robocopy to back up to an external drive & I've set up most of my smaller clients to back up to flash drive using a robocopy script. As long as they don't have too much data, that is a perfect solution - cheap, fast & easy. Because flash drives are so cheap, I can usually get them to buy 3 or 4 & always have an offsite backup.

wainuitech
21-03-2009, 12:38 PM
I assumed that Microsoft would put something in the home server licence agreement saying you can't use it for businesses. I will have to look into that for a few of my clients.
NOPE! there is nothing directly that says you cant use it in a business. In fact when that exact question was asked in the WHS forum several times - and MS's reply was - nothing stopping you, just limited functions of a regular server.

WHS is Server 2003 with LOTS of the server functions removed, and home user functions installed - basically it is a file server, media server, back up server, that gives you remote access without having to know all the ins and outs of how to set up server 2003.

It has a 10 user License, meaning 10 user accounts, a normal Server 2003 you have to pay for each license / bundles of licenses, Eg: 5 users/ 10 users/ 100 users etc. There have been lots of plugins made that allow it to do different things ( to many to mention here).

But the closest items relating to EULA and a business are:


Server Software. You may install and use one copy of the server software on a single server. You may create up to 10 accounts (“User Accounts”) that can access and use the server software. You may reassign a User Account at any time from user to user provided the reassignment does not result in more than 10 User Accounts at any one time

Windows Home Server Connector - You may install and use the Windows Home Server Connector software on up to 10 of your personal computers. Each personal computer on which you install this software must be on the same local area network as your server software. You may use this software only with the server software.

Active Directory - You may not use the server software as a domain controller or otherwise make use of DCPromo.exe. You also may not join the server software to any Active Directory domain.

Terminal Services - You may only use Terminal Services functionality to the extent required to manage the server software in Remote Administration Mode. You may not use Terminal Services for any other purpose.

Server Roles - You may not use server roles other than the roles that are already enabled during the server setup process.

Use the software for commercial software hosting services
If you want the full EULA PM me and I'll link it.

naming it Home Server is easier and a marketing name- that way they can make the software for the average home user. When you set it up they also allow you to create a free domain name for remote access.

It used to be yournameofchoice.homeserver.com but I think its now changed to yournameofchoice.live.com

If you go by the name alone then millions of people are breaking the EULA in XP HOME --- How many companies use windows XP HOME in an office ???

smurf
21-03-2009, 01:45 PM
cYbro and Wainuitech: I am guilty of not backing up and certainly want to after a recent calamity. I have read the thread and wonder if the best way for me to go is to download SyncBack. I have checked their sight and apart from the freebie SyncBack, there is also SyncBackSE. For the novice what would be your recommendation for use. My main computer is a laptop. I do not have an external hard drive but have various pen drives that i guess could be used. Any comments you have would be appreciated. Thanks

pctek
21-03-2009, 02:05 PM
I have checked their sight and apart from the freebie SyncBack, there is also SyncBackSE. . I do not have an external hard drive but have various pen drives

Syncback free is fine.
Pen drives are OK too. But you could invest in an external drive for added safety.....

smurf
21-03-2009, 02:20 PM
Thanks pctek........can you make a recommendation as to what external hard drive would be best given a limited budget....and are these things USB plug in to the laptop?

Blam
21-03-2009, 04:16 PM
You'd have to make decision on either to get the portable USB powered 2.5" ones or the larger, faster, 3.5" ones that require AC power.

Here's a 2.5" 160gb on special:
http://www.pcpacific.net/product_info.php?products_id=5234&osCsid=49a05216f27c907acba278ee595640ad

Blam

pctek
21-03-2009, 04:38 PM
The one Blam6 recommends has a Western Digital drive in it - the drive is what matters.
So any WD drive in an enclosure.

The 2.5" you need 2 USB ports to power them - the 3.5" ones have their own power plug.
Either or.........

Grimy
21-03-2009, 04:41 PM
I have been using MS Sync Toy for a couple of years with no problem. Incremental backups take less than a minute once a week (more often if I've done something important/valuable). That is to an external HD that is permanently connected to the PC.
Once a month I do the same on a second external HD that lives in another part of the house.
I also keep really important stuff on a couple of U3 flash drives that travel with me.

Blam
21-03-2009, 04:43 PM
The 2.5" you need 2 USB ports to power them - the 3.5" ones have their own power plug.
Either or.........

Thats not quite true-most laptops/desktops these days can do it all from one USB port.

And another option would be eSATA or course, which is much faster than USB but not many laptops/desktops have it

smurf
21-03-2009, 06:29 PM
Thanks pctek and blam6. Your recommendation is helpful. I will go for it. Cheers