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Backup Software - Recommendations?

  mdshamilton 12:55 04 Aug 03
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At the risk of being flamed....yes, I know backing up is important, vital etc etc...

But - Can anyone recommend the best backup software I should buy?

I've been using XP's backup utility to a second Hard Disk - but I'm sceptical that this will actually do the business if my C drive fails. I copy digital photos to CD-RW disks as a backup, but it's a tedious exercise as you have to work out how many folders will fit on a disk etc...

Is there a software package that is simple to use and reliable to back up all user data, including emails, addressbooks, photos etc etc? I'd like a utility that just asks you to put the next blank CD-RW in...and does the backup on a scheduled time.

PC Advisor had an article about backing up in May 2003, but didn't actually review the various packages on the market such as Retrospect, Norton Ghost etc....

For ease of use, I would suggest Drive Image 7. The advantage of this is that the software can create an image to a CD or second hard drive without booting into DOS. I am currently using version 5 but I intend to upgrade soon.

There is a 30 day trial version of DI7 from click here, which you may like to try.

I have also used Ghost 2003 but this is similar to the older versions of Drive Image as it also requires that the computer boot into DOS.

Hope this helps.

  Splodge 13:14 04 Aug 03

I use Drive Image 5.0 to back up my 80Gb to my seconary 80Gb. It takes about 35 minutes to transfer 25Gb.

It may not take everything across but it does do most and there is enough to re-instate all of the personal settings.

I tamper a lot and try out freebies and trial programs. I also buy and download programs. As a result I sometimes crash. I have lost 2 HD's because of it. But everything was available, and only took a little time.

I have not tried the new version of Drive Image, Version 7 and have no desire to.

I use a program called Double Image 3.o which copies across only new and changed files, which takes about 4 minutes but does not copy everything but does all files, from Host Interface. (Find it through Google!)

  hugh-265156 13:18 04 Aug 03

Acronis true image deluxe is very good and runs from windows.has been a full copy on some coverdisks lately too.

Hello Splodge.

I am interested in yur comment "It may not take everything across but it does do most and there is enough to re-instate all of the personal settings".

My understanding is that DI5 creates an exact image of the hard drive. Like you, I sometimes tamper with things and when I have used DI5 to restore an image, everything has been transferred.

Regards,

James

  Confab 13:40 04 Aug 03

Whatever you decide to do don't use CDRW's as a backup medium. They are very unreliable and prone to unrecoverable errors just when you need them most. Use CDR's for backing up instead and burn them at a low speed.

Confab

  mdshamilton 14:21 04 Aug 03

Confab - thanks, I hadn't heard that about CD-RWs. Is the same true of DVDs used for backing up?

Those who use DriveImage - can the utility be set to backup documents and folders and not waste space on applications (I have original disks for all my apps)?

Has anyone tried Retrospect?

Thanks.

  Stuartli 14:27 04 Aug 03

My son is an IT support specialist - he uses Norton Ghost.

The problem with CD-RWs is the fact that, because they are able to be used numerous times and the obvious reasons to enable them to do so, they don't have the same reflectivity levels as CD-Rs; hence they sometimes cannot be read properly by CD/DVD-ROM or rewriter drives.

  SEASHANTY 16:16 04 Aug 03

As pops mentioned on a link yesterday Drive Image 7 is about the best one for doing complete back-ups and is at present available from Amazon for £34-99 post free. Ordered a copy from Amazon yesterday and also opted for Partition Magic v.8 for £24-99. I have the earlier versions but they do not support the larger HDD's now available. Best £60 I have spent this year.

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