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Having now got a new pc - and previously suffered from hrad drive failure on last one..
I now intend to be good about backing up in future.. ( horses, stable doors etc !)
What is the best solution ?
I dont seem to have MS Backup with the copy of XP home that came with my Dell, but I have Norton Ghost - is this is a robust tool to back up my data, and how often would you recommend i back up - daily - weekly ?
I plan to back up on either CDR, CDRW or DVD
again - suggestions as to the pros and cons of each
This is my backup regime.
Copy all changed data and downloaded files to second hard disk daily using a simple batch file.
Copy all data and downloaded files to CDR daily and once a week take the most recent into the office.
Also copy to a PCMCIA Hard Drive and transfer to laptop once a week.
It depends on how important your data is as to whether to back up daily, weekly etc. Using a minimum of 2 mediums means that I'm generally covered for multiple hard drive failures or a faulty CDR. Having a backup off-site also means I can get back most of my data in the event of a catastrophic failure. However if that were to happen I'd probably have other things on my mind.
XP home is an OEM version supplied with Dell and dont think backup was with it...
Is Norton ghost a viable option ?
I've not used Ghost so can't comment but a search through the forum should give you some idea.
I'm using Acronis TrueImage which was available on some cover disks a few months ago. It's also available as a free download from click here
Although it has a couple of restrictions like you can't backup to a network or external drive it's perfectly useable in a home PC. A search on the forum will reveal a few users who've had problems installing or using it as well as those who are perfectly happy with it (including me although I've not been in the position, thankfully, to use it to restore yet).
Ghost is good for a full system backup. I did a clean install with updated drivers, then added the programs I use mostly, cleaned up the system and then did a Ghost backup. This is more reliable than system restore. I'll need to do new backups if I make significant changes. I don't have a great deal on my system and it takes about 25 mins to restore completely.
Ghost copies everything on the drive, but this is not practical for regular data backups. I back up data separately onto my laptop (and vice versa for the laptop), onto Direct CD regularly and archive onto CD-R. Some of the backup progs suggested here make this easier.
For a good backup regime you need two main strands - an imaging program that can get your Drive back to a good known state, and a daily/weekly backup for you personal documents and settings.
Currently the products I chose are Acronis TrueImage V6 (Commercial) and Backup4all (Freeware).
The imaging is for once a week/month - the backup is for once a day/week - depending on vitalness of data and personal preferences.
If you already have an installed copy of Norton Ghost, the Acronis full, latest, version is available as a promotional offer for under ₤7 click here
backup4all is available here click here
use norton ghost,back up all your main work on regular basis but ghost is brilliant its industry standart in out IT world.better than even sliced bread.
Either Acronic Trueimage, Symantec Ghost or Drive Image will do much the same thing - they create an exact image of your hard disk on a second HDD or CDRs. I have used Ghost for years, but I now prefer Trueimage as it works in XP without a boot disk or rebooting. This means it has access to all my RAM plus DMA so it works a lot faster than programs that only run in DOS.
I have restored a complete partition using an Acronis emergency boot disk and it was flawless. I have also recovered individual files.
Other 'traditional' backup programs may have files missing, for example if they were open during backup. Some require you to reload a basic system before you can run the restore operation. These are very important factors.
The important thing is to make sure you have a certain route to restoring your system, for example a boot disk that will run the recovery program and access the backup files. For many years I backed up to tape, before realising one day that the DOS program on the recovery floppy disk couldn't read the files created in the Windows vaersion. Disaster !
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