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  1. #1
    Experienced yet stumped
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Getting set up for backups

    Hello again,

    After recently accidentally formatting my hard drive including the Operating System and important files, I'm here to ask your advice on backup software.

    Here's my situation:
    -Multiple computers, external hard (and flash) drives, and cellphones that I need to back up the data from.
    -A Seagate BlackArmor NAS 220 4TB (spanned, not mirrored) connected to the network.

    -I really want a backup solution that will allow me to access individual files in their original format.
    -I need a reminder to be backing up my external drives too (this can be a software reminder, or I'll make myself a monthly reminder on the calendar).
    -I would like to be able to restore the entire system (including the operating system and all files) to a new hard drive, in case of a hard drive failure and the need to get up and running quickly.
    -It needs to be automatic, and preferably will backup incrementally, only the files that have changed.

    The plan is that if the computer or a hard drive fails, I will copy the files from the NAS onto a new drive. Or vice versa if the NAS hard drives fail, copy the computer and external drive files onto a new NAS drive.

    The Seagate NAS came with 'BlackArmor' backup software, and it worked quite well but it archived the files as new versions instead of overwriting the existing files. This resulted in 1GB of data for example to multiply into 10GB down the track. This was quite likely a feature I ticked and not a fallback of the software.
    It also came with 'SafetyDrill' software that can supposedly back up the whole system. I may need to reinstall these software packages to find out what features they have, or browse for this info on the web.

    Some other software I'm looking at:
    Abakt - open source, not widely supported and not specifically made for this.
    FBackup - I've only just learnt about this one after browsing posts on the Press F1 forum.
    SyncBack - I've heard good things about it, supposedly it can do a full system backup (including OS).
    Microsoft SyncToy - Another that I've only just learnt about.
    DirSyncPro - Another that I've only just learnt about.

    Another question I have is if I should be running the NAS all the time. I fear that it may make the HDDs inside it wear out faster, and leave it open to a hacker intruding through the network. I don't know if the drive has a timed auto-on and auto-off function, as this would be ideal for starting it up in the morning to back up, and then switch off after a couple of hours when it's done. I'll look into if the drive has this feature.

    Thanks a lot if you're jumping on the boat to help me in this journey!

    May all your data be safe!

    Last edited by Curbd; 11-01-2013 at 08:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Greven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Default Re: Getting set up for backups

    NAS boxes these days usually put the drives to sleep when they are not being accessed, so you wouldn't gain much by turning it off.
    Directly copying files to the backup drive makes it very easy to restore them to another computer, but the likes of Acronis True Image (Black Armor) have the advantage of being able to back up multiple versions of every file. I just use Robocopy myself, but I just wanted to be sure that you were aware of the advantages & disadvantages of each method
    Intel Core i5-3470 CPU
    8GB DDR3 RAM
    1TB HDD
    AMD Radeon HD 6870 graphics card
    Enermax Tomahawk II 500W PSU
    Antec 300 case
    Win7 Pro (Action Pack :D)

    surprisingly quick even without an SSD

  3. #3
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: Getting set up for backups

    Active@ disk Image combined with fbackup -- Have a look through the forum, theres a couple of posts discussing the same subject / Software.

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