Suggestions for workable backup


A

Antares 531

I recently experienced a failure of two hard drives within a week. I lost
some of my valuable files, although I had the folders copied onto the second
hard drive.

I have replaced the hard drives, but this time I have one in an external
hard drive package and am looking for suggestions as to the best way to back
up the computer's hard drive onto the external hard drive, regularly. Is
there a program available that will copy the new and recently modified files
from the working hard drive on the computer to the backup hard drive in the
external case?

The first copy of all files from the working hard drive onto the new backup
hard drive was rather straight forward except I was not able to copy some of
the OS files because these files were in use. Is there a way to work around
this?

My computer system is Windows XP Pro SP 2 on a new computer with a Gigbyte
GA-P35-DS3L motherboard, two 1 GB memory sticks, an Intel Core 2 Duo
processor and a Western Digital 500 GB SATA hard drive. This WD hard drive
failed about 3 months after I built the computer, and the backup hard drive
failed a week later.

For my new setup, my backup hard drive is another Western Digital 500 GB
SATA drive that connects by means of a SATA PCI card. I have the backup hard
drive partitioned the same as the working hard drive, and would like to keep
it as an exact copy of the working hard drive.

Thanks for any suggestions. Gordon
 
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S

Shenan Stanley

Antares said:
I recently experienced a failure of two hard drives within a week.
I lost some of my valuable files, although I had the folders copied
onto the second hard drive.

I have replaced the hard drives, but this time I have one in an
external hard drive package and am looking for suggestions as to
the best way to back up the computer's hard drive onto the external
hard drive, regularly. Is there a program available that will copy
the new and recently modified files from the working hard drive on
the computer to the backup hard drive in the external case?

The first copy of all files from the working hard drive onto the
new backup hard drive was rather straight forward except I was not
able to copy some of the OS files because these files were in use.
Is there a way to work around this?

My computer system is Windows XP Pro SP 2 on a new computer with a
Gigbyte GA-P35-DS3L motherboard, two 1 GB memory sticks, an Intel
Core 2 Duo processor and a Western Digital 500 GB SATA hard drive.
This WD hard drive failed about 3 months after I built the
computer, and the backup hard drive failed a week later.

For my new setup, my backup hard drive is another Western Digital
500 GB SATA drive that connects by means of a SATA PCI card. I have
the backup hard drive partitioned the same as the working hard
drive, and would like to keep it as an exact copy of the working
hard drive.
Thanks for any suggestions. Gordon

Microsoft SyncToy may do what you want.
And yes - you can schedule it.
 
D

DL

Its not worth copying Program or system files, only data files.
For a complete backup or Image solution try Acronis True Image, they have a
free trial
 
R

Richard in AZ

Antares 531 said:
I recently experienced a failure of two hard drives within a week. I lost some of my valuable
files, although I had the folders copied onto the second hard drive.

I have replaced the hard drives, but this time I have one in an external hard drive package and am
looking for suggestions as to the best way to back up the computer's hard drive onto the external
hard drive, regularly. Is there a program available that will copy the new and recently modified
files from the working hard drive on the computer to the backup hard drive in the external case?

The first copy of all files from the working hard drive onto the new backup hard drive was rather
straight forward except I was not able to copy some of the OS files because these files were in
use. Is there a way to work around this?

My computer system is Windows XP Pro SP 2 on a new computer with a Gigbyte GA-P35-DS3L
motherboard, two 1 GB memory sticks, an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and a Western Digital 500 GB
SATA hard drive. This WD hard drive failed about 3 months after I built the computer, and the
backup hard drive failed a week later.

For my new setup, my backup hard drive is another Western Digital 500 GB SATA drive that connects
by means of a SATA PCI card. I have the backup hard drive partitioned the same as the working hard
drive, and would like to keep it as an exact copy of the working hard drive.

Thanks for any suggestions. Gordon
You don't need to back the operating System or system files as you can replace them with your
installation disks.
With a new drive, it is often better to do a clean install to get rid of problems that caused the
system failure.
There are shareware programs, but most of the commercial programs do better at setting up and
scheduling your backups.
Some recommended commercial programs are:

Genie Backup Manager www.genie-soft.com
Acronis True Image www.acronis.com
Norton Ghost www.Symantec.com
ShadowBack www.warmandfuzzylogic.com
Eazy Backup 3 www.ajsystems.com
NovaBACKUP www.novator.com
WinBackup www.liutilities.com

I chose the genie-soft program and it will do a full backup first, then incremental backups after
that. (incremental backups include only the files/folders that changed since the last full backup).
It will also do a mirror image (entire hard drive, including system files) if you want. I do the
backup to an external hard drive on a regular schedule. But I also make copies of all "important"
files on CDs to keep them separated from the external hard drive. Remember, backup drives can fail
too, so always make two copies of "important" files. (You have to decide which files fit the
"important" status.) Also keep the second copy in a separate location so that a fire, or theft,
can not get both copies.
 
A

Antares 531

Antares 531 said:
I recently experienced a failure of two hard drives within a week. I lost
some of my valuable files, although I had the folders copied onto the
second hard drive.

I have replaced the hard drives, but this time I have one in an external
hard drive package and am looking for suggestions as to the best way to
back up the computer's hard drive onto the external hard drive, regularly.
Is there a program available that will copy the new and recently modified
files from the working hard drive on the computer to the backup hard drive
in the external case?

The first copy of all files from the working hard drive onto the new
backup hard drive was rather straight forward except I was not able to
copy some of the OS files because these files were in use. Is there a way
to work around this?

My computer system is Windows XP Pro SP 2 on a new computer with a Gigbyte
GA-P35-DS3L motherboard, two 1 GB memory sticks, an Intel Core 2 Duo
processor and a Western Digital 500 GB SATA hard drive. This WD hard drive
failed about 3 months after I built the computer, and the backup hard
drive failed a week later.

For my new setup, my backup hard drive is another Western Digital 500 GB
SATA drive that connects by means of a SATA PCI card. I have the backup
hard drive partitioned the same as the working hard drive, and would like
to keep it as an exact copy of the working hard drive.

Thanks for any suggestions. Gordon
A friend suggested SyncBack SE by 2 Bright Sparks, but I'm not sure this is
what I want. My intentions are to copy fully workable files, not compressed
backup clusters of files, onto my removable hard drive(s) and I think I
would like to be able to read and copy the files directly from the backup
drives without having to go through so kind of unzip process.

I have upward of 100 GB of files to backup if I don't bother with the OS and
the program files. That is, just my document and image files tally up to
around 120 GB. This is no problem for my 500 GB Western Digital hard drive
in a caddy, but I would like to be able to keep the files in this hard drive
synced with the files on the working hard drive without having to go through
the process of coppying the whole 120GB of files each day or two.

Can anyone fill me in a bit on this SyncBack SE backup software?

Gordon
 
H

HEMI-Powered

Antares 531 added these comments in the current discussion du
jour ...

This is a long post, so permit me to top-post. I backup my HDDs,
all partitions, for the 2 PCs on my home network to external USB
HDDs and I image C:\ with Acronis True Image. I've not had to
test my backup regimen but I feel I am as safe as I can
reasonable be. Is this the advice you're seeking?
 
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H

HEMI-Powered

DL added these comments in the current discussion du jour ...
Its not worth copying Program or system files, only data
files. For a complete backup or Image solution try Acronis
True Image, they have a free trial
[snip]

Agreed. This is why I have extended partitions on both my PCs for
all of MY data and keep C:\ completely clear except for Windows, my
apps, and any data that an app insists on placing there, e.g.,
Turbo Tax puts its files under My Documents, so I mirror them to my
"data" partition and backup from there. And, I'm a big believer in
True Image but hope I never have the need to use it!
 
A

Antares 531

HEMI-Powered said:
DL added these comments in the current discussion du jour ...
Its not worth copying Program or system files, only data
files. For a complete backup or Image solution try Acronis
True Image, they have a free trial
[snip]

Agreed. This is why I have extended partitions on both my PCs for
all of MY data and keep C:\ completely clear except for Windows, my
apps, and any data that an app insists on placing there, e.g.,
Turbo Tax puts its files under My Documents, so I mirror them to my
"data" partition and backup from there. And, I'm a big believer in
True Image but hope I never have the need to use it!

--
HP, aka Jerry

"Surely you jest - and don't call me Shirley!" - from the movie
"Airplane!"
I have my computer set up this way, also. I have partitioned the 500 GB hard
drive into three partitions, C:\ for the OS and client software, D:\ for
work documents and E:\ for image/music files. But, I'm not sure I agree that
there is no need to back up the OS and client software files from drive C:\
Wouldn't it be a lot easier to recover from a hard drive failure if the OS
and client software files could be copied to the replacement hard drive
first then a fresh install done over them? Some little client software
applications have been downloaded and I have no hard copy CD of them. Most
of these would run with no further reinstallation if their entire folder
could be restored to the new hard drive. I'm talking about client software
like Agent newsreader. Another problem is that some client software is picky
about where the work files are stored, and will not let me put these work
files anywhere other than in the same folder with the client software. My
music software is that way.

Gordon
 
A

Antares 531

HEMI-Powered said:
Antares 531 added these comments in the current discussion du
jour ...

This is a long post, so permit me to top-post. I backup my HDDs,
all partitions, for the 2 PCs on my home network to external USB
HDDs and I image C:\ with Acronis True Image. I've not had to
test my backup regimen but I feel I am as safe as I can
reasonable be. Is this the advice you're seeking?
This does sound about like the setup I am hoping for. Do you have any
comments about SyncBack SE? My friend seems to think this is about as good
as one can find. His main claim was that SyncBack SE would let you
synchronize the files either way. That is, if you want to delete any old
files you can delete them from their normal hard drive and instruct SyncBack
SE to delete as necessary to make the external hard drive backup exactly the
same as the working hard drive after doing this house cleaning/deletions.
 
D

DL

If your drive goes west so will all your data and backups.

Your initial post stated you copied copied files/folders - It wont help to
copy app folders or most win files/folders.

Having lived through many hd failures I currently use a mirror solution with
Hotswap, together with an Image to a 4th drive, data backed up to both an
external drive & off site all on a daily basis

Antares 531 said:
HEMI-Powered said:
DL added these comments in the current discussion du jour ...
Its not worth copying Program or system files, only data
files. For a complete backup or Image solution try Acronis
True Image, they have a free trial
[snip]

Agreed. This is why I have extended partitions on both my PCs for
all of MY data and keep C:\ completely clear except for Windows, my
apps, and any data that an app insists on placing there, e.g.,
Turbo Tax puts its files under My Documents, so I mirror them to my
"data" partition and backup from there. And, I'm a big believer in
True Image but hope I never have the need to use it!

--
HP, aka Jerry

"Surely you jest - and don't call me Shirley!" - from the movie
"Airplane!"
I have my computer set up this way, also. I have partitioned the 500 GB
hard drive into three partitions, C:\ for the OS and client software, D:\
for work documents and E:\ for image/music files. But, I'm not sure I
agree that there is no need to back up the OS and client software files
from drive C:\ Wouldn't it be a lot easier to recover from a hard drive
failure if the OS and client software files could be copied to the
replacement hard drive first then a fresh install done over them? Some
little client software applications have been downloaded and I have no
hard copy CD of them. Most of these would run with no further
reinstallation if their entire folder could be restored to the new hard
drive. I'm talking about client software like Agent newsreader. Another
problem is that some client software is picky about where the work files
are stored, and will not let me put these work files anywhere other than
in the same folder with the client software. My music software is that
way.

Gordon
 
A

Anna

Antares 531 said:
I recently experienced a failure of two hard drives within a week. I lost
some of my valuable files, although I had the folders copied onto the
second hard drive.

I have replaced the hard drives, but this time I have one in an external
hard drive package and am looking for suggestions as to the best way to
back up the computer's hard drive onto the external hard drive, regularly.
Is there a program available that will copy the new and recently modified
files from the working hard drive on the computer to the backup hard drive
in the external case?

The first copy of all files from the working hard drive onto the new
backup hard drive was rather straight forward except I was not able to
copy some of the OS files because these files were in use. Is there a way
to work around this?

My computer system is Windows XP Pro SP 2 on a new computer with a Gigbyte
GA-P35-DS3L motherboard, two 1 GB memory sticks, an Intel Core 2 Duo
processor and a Western Digital 500 GB SATA hard drive. This WD hard drive
failed about 3 months after I built the computer, and the backup hard
drive failed a week later.

For my new setup, my backup hard drive is another Western Digital 500 GB
SATA drive that connects by means of a SATA PCI card. I have the backup
hard drive partitioned the same as the working hard drive, and would like
to keep it as an exact copy of the working hard drive.

Thanks for any suggestions. Gordon


(Gordon later adds...)
I have my computer set up this way, also. I have partitioned the 500 GB
hard drive into three partitions, C:\ for the OS and client software, D:\
for work documents and E:\ for image/music files. But, I'm not sure I
agree that there is no need to back up the OS and client software files
from drive C:\ Wouldn't it be a lot easier to recover from a hard drive
failure if the OS and client software files could be copied to the
replacement hard drive first then a fresh install done over them? Some
little client software applications have been downloaded and I have no
hard copy CD of them. Most of these would run with no further
reinstallation if their entire folder could be restored to the new hard
drive. I'm talking about client software like Agent newsreader. Another
problem is that some client software is picky about where the work files
are stored, and will not let me put these work files anywhere other than
in the same folder with the client software. My music software is that
way.

A friend suggested SyncBack SE by 2 Bright Sparks, but I'm not sure this
is what I want. My intentions are to copy fully workable files, not
compressed backup clusters of files, onto my removable hard drive(s) and I
think I would like to be able to read and copy the files directly from the
backup drives without having to go through so kind of unzip process.

I have upward of 100 GB of files to backup if I don't bother with the OS
and the program files. That is, just my document and image files tally up
to around 120 GB. This is no problem for my 500 GB Western Digital hard
drive in a caddy, but I would like to be able to keep the files in this
hard drive synced with the files on the working hard drive without having
to go through the process of coppying the whole 120GB of files each day or
two.

Can anyone fill me in a bit on this SyncBack SE backup software?

This does sound about like the setup I am hoping for. Do you have any
comments about SyncBack SE? My friend seems to think this is about as good
as one can find. His main claim was that SyncBack SE would let you
synchronize the files either way. That is, if you want to delete any old
files you can delete them from their normal hard drive and instruct
SyncBack SE to delete as necessary to make the external hard drive backup
exactly the same as the working hard drive after doing this house
cleaning/deletions.


Gordon:
I think you're on the right track (if I correctly understand you) in terms
of creating & establishing a comprehensive backup system that you could
routinely use to backup your day-to-day working HDD including the operating
system, all programs & applications, and all user-created data - in short
*everything* that's on your "source" HDD.

I believe that you would be best served by using a disk-cloning or
disk-imaging program for this purpose. The Acronis True Image program
recommended by a number of responders to your query is a sound program and
you should try it out since a trial version is available at
http://www.acronis.com. (I'm not familiar with the SyncBack SE program.

The beauty of a disk-to-disk cloning program is that the "destination" disk,
in your case an external HDD (USB? SATA-to-SATA?), the recipient of the
"clone" would be (for all practical purposes) a copy of your "source" disk.
All the data on that destination HDD following the disk-cloning operation
would be accessible without any recovery or restoration process. Assuming
it's a USB external HDD, that device would not be ordinarily bootable in an
XP environment, however, should your source HDD fail or be otherwise
unbootable you would clone the contents of the USBEHD back to a
non-defective internal HDD or, should the HDD in the external enclosure be
removable it could be installed as the internal HDD and be immediately
bootable & functional. (BTW, if your external SATA HDD was connected
SATA-to-SATA and not through the USB interface, that device *would* be
bootable. In that connection see my P. S. below.)

The disk-cloning program that we now strongly prefer is the Casper 4.0
program (http://www.fssdev.com/products/casper/trial/). It's extremely
simple to use even for an inexperienced user, reasonably quick in operation,
and quite effective. There's virtually no learning curve in undertaking the
disk cloning process as one navigates through the few easy-to-understand
screens with a final mouse-click on the button on the screen which will
trigger the disk-cloning process. After undertaking one or two disk-cloning
operations it should take the user no more than 20 seconds or so to get to
that point.

The significant advantage of the Casper 4.0 disk cloning program compared
with other disk cloning programs that we're familiar with, e.g., Acronis
True Image or Symantec's Norton Ghost, is its ability to create
*incremental* disk clones following the creation of the original (first)
disk clone. Employing what Casper calls its "SmartClone" technology the
program can create subsequent disk clones of the source HDD usually at a
fraction of the time it takes to create a "full" disk clone. This results in
a decided incentive for the user to undertake frequent complete backups of
his or her system knowing that they can create "incremental" disk clones in
a relatively short period of time.

The Casper 4.0 program is also capable of scheduling the disk-cloning
process on a daily, weekly, or other time period selected by the user so
that you could arrange for automatic backups at pre-determined times.

There's a trial version available (see above link) although it's somewhat
crippled but it will give you a good idea as to how the program works. And I
can provide further details about using the program should you be
interested.

The downside to the Casper 4 program as compared with the Acronis and most
other disk-cloning programs is the cost of the program which comes to $49.95
for the program + $9.95 for the "Casper Startup Disk" (the program to create
the bootable CD containing the Casper program). So it's more expensive than
the others. But in our view, well worth the additional cost. AFAIK, the
program is available only through download from the developer.

All of the above is predicated on the basis that you're seeking a reliable
program to backup your *entire* day-to-day booting HDD, including the XP OS,
all your programs & applications, and your user-created data. And you want a
simple-to-use program to do this on a systematic routine basis reasonably
quickly & effectively. To that end we've found this Casper 4.0 program
really fills the bill. So take a look at it.
Anna

P.S.
In your original post you mentioned that your "backup hard drive" connects
through a SATA PCI card. I assume you're referring to a SATA or eSATA
adapter that you've installed on the backplane of your desktop case. Is that
it? If so then you do have SATA-to-SATA connectivity and the external SATA
HDD so connected is treated by the system as an *internal* HDD with the
decided advantage of "bootability". All the more reason for you to consider
a disk-cloning program.
 
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H

HEMI-Powered

Antares 531 added these comments in the current discussion du
jour ...
This does sound about like the setup I am hoping for. Do you
have any comments about SyncBack SE? My friend seems to think
this is about as good as one can find. His main claim was that
SyncBack SE would let you synchronize the files either way.
That is, if you want to delete any old files you can delete
them from their normal hard drive and instruct SyncBack SE to
delete as necessary to make the external hard drive backup
exactly the same as the working hard drive after doing this
house cleaning/deletions.
Sorry, no. This thread is actually the first I've heard of
SyncBack. I'll watch and learn but right now I'm a little skeptical
of something that operates as I think people are saying because of
the danger of it doing or undoing something just a little
incorrectly and bringing the whole house down.

In any event, good luck in solving your fundamental problem and
finding a backup solution that fits your needs.
 
H

HEMI-Powered

Antares 531 added these comments in the current discussion du
jour ...
Its not worth copying Program or system files, only data
files. For a complete backup or Image solution try Acronis
True Image, they have a free trial
[snip]

Agreed. This is why I have extended partitions on both my PCs
for all of MY data and keep C:\ completely clear except for
Windows, my apps, and any data that an app insists on placing
there, e.g., Turbo Tax puts its files under My Documents, so
I mirror them to my "data" partition and backup from there.
And, I'm a big believer in True Image but hope I never have
the need to use it!
I have my computer set up this way, also. I have partitioned
the 500 GB hard drive into three partitions, C:\ for the OS
and client software, D:\ for work documents and E:\ for
image/music files. But, I'm not sure I agree that there is no
need to back up the OS and client software files from drive
C:\ Wouldn't it be a lot easier to recover from a hard drive
failure if the OS and client software files could be copied to
the replacement hard drive first then a fresh install done
over them? Some little client software applications have been
downloaded and I have no hard copy CD of them. Most of these
would run with no further reinstallation if their entire
folder could be restored to the new hard drive. I'm talking
about client software like Agent newsreader. Another problem
is that some client software is picky about where the work
files are stored, and will not let me put these work files
anywhere other than in the same folder with the client
software. My music software is that way.
Gordon, maybe I was unclear. I DO believe it is important to back
up the O/S and app files directly from C:\, just not necessarily
file by file. Yes, I back up my OE6 mail messages directly by
copying the .dbx files to my D:\ partition but to ensure that I
get a backup which can hopefully be fully restored, I am relying
on True Image's image which captures everything on my primary
partition.

As to CDs or a source for my apps and utilities, I have that
stuff well-organized and kept for safety along with periodic
backups in my bank's safety deposit box. And, I am careful to
keep the ZIP and EXE files that my downloaded apps and utilities
were installed from whether they be free- or shareware or
commercial SW.

You are correct that some apps insist on where their data files
are kept, not only their own proprietary files but my data files
as well, which is why I used Turbo Tax as an example. I just let
these guys do whatever they like and I copy them for redundant
safety to an extended partition.
 
H

HEMI-Powered

DL added these comments in the current discussion du jour ...
If your drive goes west so will all your data and backups.

Your initial post stated you copied copied files/folders - It
wont help to copy app folders or most win files/folders.

True enough! But, not in my backup scenario since the files and
my C:\ images are copied onto at least 2 external HDDs and
occasionally to optical.
Having lived through many hd failures I currently use a mirror
solution with Hotswap, together with an Image to a 4th drive,
data backed up to both an external drive & off site all on a
daily basis

I do something similar with a couple of 200 gig externals that I
swap between my house and bank safety deposit box in a scheme
similar to what IS/IT organizations call "grandfathering".
Its not worth copying Program or system files, only data
files. For a complete backup or Image solution try Acronis
True Image, they have a free trial
[snip]

Agreed. This is why I have extended partitions on both my
PCs for all of MY data and keep C:\ completely clear except
for Windows, my apps, and any data that an app insists on
placing there, e.g., Turbo Tax puts its files under My
Documents, so I mirror them to my "data" partition and
backup from there. And, I'm a big believer in True Image but
hope I never have the need to use it!

--
HP, aka Jerry

"Surely you jest - and don't call me Shirley!" - from the
movie "Airplane!"
I have my computer set up this way, also. I have partitioned
the 500 GB hard drive into three partitions, C:\ for the OS
and client software, D:\ for work documents and E:\ for
image/music files. But, I'm not sure I agree that there is no
need to back up the OS and client software files from drive
C:\ Wouldn't it be a lot easier to recover from a hard drive
failure if the OS and client software files could be copied
to the replacement hard drive first then a fresh install done
over them? Some little client software applications have been
downloaded and I have no hard copy CD of them. Most of these
would run with no further reinstallation if their entire
folder could be restored to the new hard drive. I'm talking
about client software like Agent newsreader. Another problem
is that some client software is picky about where the work
files are stored, and will not let me put these work files
anywhere other than in the same folder with the client
software. My music software is that way.

Gordon
 
H

HEMI-Powered

Anna added these comments in the current discussion du jour ...

[snip]
Gordon:
I think you're on the right track (if I correctly understand
you) in terms of creating & establishing a comprehensive
backup system that you could routinely use to backup your
day-to-day working HDD including the operating system, all
programs & applications, and all user-created data - in short
*everything* that's on your "source" HDD.

I believe that you would be best served by using a
disk-cloning or disk-imaging program for this purpose. The
Acronis True Image program recommended by a number of
responders to your query is a sound program and you should try
it out since a trial version is available at
http://www.acronis.com. (I'm not familiar with the SyncBack SE
program.

The beauty of a disk-to-disk cloning program is that the
"destination" disk, in your case an external HDD (USB?
SATA-to-SATA?), the recipient of the "clone" would be (for all
practical purposes) a copy of your "source" disk. All the data
on that destination HDD following the disk-cloning operation
would be accessible without any recovery or restoration
process. Assuming it's a USB external HDD, that device would
not be ordinarily bootable in an XP environment, however,
should your source HDD fail or be otherwise unbootable you
would clone the contents of the USBEHD back to a non-defective
internal HDD or, should the HDD in the external enclosure be
removable it could be installed as the internal HDD and be
immediately bootable & functional. (BTW, if your external SATA
HDD was connected SATA-to-SATA and not through the USB
interface, that device *would* be bootable. In that connection
see my P. S. below.)

The disk-cloning program that we now strongly prefer is the
Casper 4.0 program
(http://www.fssdev.com/products/casper/trial/). It's extremely
simple to use even for an inexperienced user, reasonably quick
in operation, and quite effective. There's virtually no
learning curve in undertaking the disk cloning process as one
navigates through the few easy-to-understand screens with a
final mouse-click on the button on the screen which will
trigger the disk-cloning process. After undertaking one or two
disk-cloning operations it should take the user no more than
20 seconds or so to get to that point.

The significant advantage of the Casper 4.0 disk cloning
program compared with other disk cloning programs that we're
familiar with, e.g., Acronis True Image or Symantec's Norton
Ghost, is its ability to create *incremental* disk clones
following the creation of the original (first) disk clone.
Employing what Casper calls its "SmartClone" technology the
program can create subsequent disk clones of the source HDD
usually at a fraction of the time it takes to create a "full"
disk clone. This results in a decided incentive for the user
to undertake frequent complete backups of his or her system
knowing that they can create "incremental" disk clones in a
relatively short period of time.

The Casper 4.0 program is also capable of scheduling the
disk-cloning process on a daily, weekly, or other time period
selected by the user so that you could arrange for automatic
backups at pre-determined times.

There's a trial version available (see above link) although
it's somewhat crippled but it will give you a good idea as to
how the program works. And I can provide further details about
using the program should you be interested.

The downside to the Casper 4 program as compared with the
Acronis and most other disk-cloning programs is the cost of
the program which comes to $49.95 for the program + $9.95 for
the "Casper Startup Disk" (the program to create the bootable
CD containing the Casper program). So it's more expensive than
the others. But in our view, well worth the additional cost.
AFAIK, the program is available only through download from the
developer.

All of the above is predicated on the basis that you're
seeking a reliable program to backup your *entire* day-to-day
booting HDD, including the XP OS, all your programs &
applications, and your user-created data. And you want a
simple-to-use program to do this on a systematic routine basis
reasonably quickly & effectively. To that end we've found this
Casper 4.0 program really fills the bill. So take a look at
it. Anna

P.S.
In your original post you mentioned that your "backup hard
drive" connects through a SATA PCI card. I assume you're
referring to a SATA or eSATA adapter that you've installed on
the backplane of your desktop case. Is that it? If so then you
do have SATA-to-SATA connectivity and the external SATA HDD so
connected is treated by the system as an *internal* HDD with
the decided advantage of "bootability". All the more reason
for you to consider a disk-cloning program.
I'm not the OP, but I'd like to thank you anyway for yet another
thoughtful and thorough discussion on the subject of safe
backups.
 
A

Antares 531

Anna said:
(snip)>

Gordon:
I think you're on the right track (if I correctly understand you) in terms
of creating & establishing a comprehensive backup system that you could
routinely use to backup your day-to-day working HDD including the
operating system, all programs & applications, and all user-created data -
in short *everything* that's on your "source" HDD.
Anna, this is right. All I want to do is move all the work fils from my
computer's hard drive onto a backup hard drive that can be stored apart from
the computer, for safe keeping. I wouild like to transfer these files in the
same format that they are in on the computer's hard drive, not as a
compressed ZIP format, or some such.
I believe that you would be best served by using a disk-cloning or
disk-imaging program for this purpose. The Acronis True Image program
recommended by a number of responders to your query is a sound program and
you should try it out since a trial version is available at
http://www.acronis.com. (I'm not familiar with the SyncBack SE program.
I think this acronis software may be about the same thing as SyncBack. I'll
look into this and make a decision.
The beauty of a disk-to-disk cloning program is that the "destination"
disk, in your case an external HDD (USB? SATA-to-SATA?), the recipient of
the "clone" would be (for all practical purposes) a copy of your "source"
disk. All the data on that destination HDD following the disk-cloning
operation would be accessible without any recovery or restoration process.
Assuming it's a USB external HDD, that device would not be ordinarily
bootable in an XP environment, however, should your source HDD fail or be
otherwise unbootable you would clone the contents of the USBEHD back to a
non-defective internal HDD or, should the HDD in the external enclosure be
removable it could be installed as the internal HDD and be immediately
bootable & functional. (BTW, if your external SATA HDD was connected
SATA-to-SATA and not through the USB interface, that device *would* be
bootable. In that connection see my P. S. below.)
This is exactly what I want to achieve. My external hard drive is a
SATA-to-SATA. It connects to the comtuer with a standard SATA cable, and
provides a very high speed datea transfer.
The disk-cloning program that we now strongly prefer is the Casper 4.0
program (http://www.fssdev.com/products/casper/trial/). It's extremely
simple to use even for an inexperienced user, reasonably quick in
operation, and quite effective. There's virtually no learning curve in
undertaking the disk cloning process as one navigates through the few
easy-to-understand screens with a final mouse-click on the button on the
screen which will trigger the disk-cloning process. After undertaking one
or two disk-cloning operations it should take the user no more than 20
seconds or so to get to
that point.
Will this cloning software consistently update any files that have been
changed on the computer's hard drive and make sure all the filse on the
backup hard drive are up to date? That is, will it have to copy all files,
even those that have not been changed, each time I do a backup?
The significant advantage of the Casper 4.0 disk cloning program compared
with other disk cloning programs that we're familiar with, e.g., Acronis
True Image or Symantec's Norton Ghost, is its ability to create
*incremental* disk clones following the creation of the original (first)
disk clone. Employing what Casper calls its "SmartClone" technology the
program can create subsequent disk clones of the source HDD usually at a
fraction of the time it takes to create a "full" disk clone. This results
in a decided incentive for the user to undertake frequent complete backups
of his or her system knowing that they can create "incremental" disk
clones in a relatively short period of time.
I'm not sure I understand what Incremental clones means. Are you saying it
will udpate just those files that have been modified at a later date than is
shown on the backup copies, or are you saying it can work with just one
folder without having to snoop through all the folders, if that is what I
want it to do?
The Casper 4.0 program is also capable of scheduling the disk-cloning
process on a daily, weekly, or other time period selected by the user so
that you could arrange for automatic backups at pre-determined times.
I like the idea of scheduiling the backup process, but I don't see any way
to do this without leaving my backup hard drive attached and running. I had
hoped to be able to remove the backup hard drive and store it in another
building, such that it would survive a fire or other such catastrophe. I
would bring this backup hard drive to the computer and do a backup maybe
once a week or more often if I had done a lot of important changes to the
files on the computer.
There's a trial version available (see above link) although it's somewhat
crippled but it will give you a good idea as to how the program works. And
I can provide further details about using the program should you be
interested.

The downside to the Casper 4 program as compared with the Acronis and most
other disk-cloning programs is the cost of the program which comes to
$49.95 for the program + $9.95 for the "Casper Startup Disk" (the program
to create the bootable CD containing the Casper program). So it's more
expensive than the others. But in our view, well worth the additional
cost. AFAIK, the program is available only through download from the
developer.
This cost is meager compared to a loss of cirtical data. I've spent the
better part of the past two weeks trying to recover some files that I lost
when my last hard drive failed. I was able to recover some of the lost files
but I have given up on two folders that had some very important image files
on them.
All of the above is predicated on the basis that you're seeking a reliable
program to backup your *entire* day-to-day booting HDD, including the XP
OS, all your programs & applications, and your user-created data. And you
want a simple-to-use program to do this on a systematic routine basis
reasonably quickly & effectively. To that end we've found this Casper 4.0
program really fills the bill. So take a look at it.
Anna
I'm not sure just what I'm seeking. It all depends on what is reasonably
prudent and within range. I would like, of course, to back up my computer's
files every evening, but that would mean keeping the backup hard drive here
in the room with the comptuer. Maybe I should get a second backup hard drive
in another caddy and just swap them back and forth, keeping one of these
backup hard drives in a separate building, where it wouldn't go up in smoke
if the house burned or got wiped out by a tornado, or some such.
P.S.
In your original post you mentioned that your "backup hard drive" connects
through a SATA PCI card. I assume you're referring to a SATA or eSATA
adapter that you've installed on the backplane of your desktop case. Is
that it? If so then you do have SATA-to-SATA connectivity and the external
SATA HDD so connected is treated by the system as an *internal* HDD with
the decided advantage of "bootability". All the more reason for you to
consider a disk-cloning program.
This is right. This backup hard drive in its caddy functions just as if it
were installed inside the computer on a SATA hook-up.Anna, thaks for your help. I will study your suggestions and try to make up
my mind as quickly as I can. In the meanwhile I will just do a manual
transfer/clone of files that I have worked on. I surely don't want to get
caught by another hard drive or other computer failure without all my work
files securely backed up.

I do wish I could get some additional information on the SyncBack SE
software.

Gordon
 
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R

Ricky

Antares 531 said:
Anna, this is right. All I want to do is move all the work fils from my
computer's hard drive onto a backup hard drive that can be stored apart
from the computer, for safe keeping. I wouild like to transfer these files
in the same format that they are in on the computer's hard drive, not as a
compressed ZIP format, or some such.
I think this acronis software may be about the same thing as SyncBack.
I'll look into this and make a decision.
This is exactly what I want to achieve. My external hard drive is a
SATA-to-SATA. It connects to the comtuer with a standard SATA cable, and
provides a very high speed datea transfer.
Will this cloning software consistently update any files that have been
changed on the computer's hard drive and make sure all the filse on the
backup hard drive are up to date? That is, will it have to copy all files,
even those that have not been changed, each time I do a backup?
I'm not sure I understand what Incremental clones means. Are you saying it
will udpate just those files that have been modified at a later date than
is shown on the backup copies, or are you saying it can work with just one
folder without having to snoop through all the folders, if that is what I
want it to do?
I like the idea of scheduiling the backup process, but I don't see any way
to do this without leaving my backup hard drive attached and running. I
had hoped to be able to remove the backup hard drive and store it in
another building, such that it would survive a fire or other such
catastrophe. I would bring this backup hard drive to the computer and do a
backup maybe once a week or more often if I had done a lot of important
changes to the files on the computer.
This cost is meager compared to a loss of cirtical data. I've spent the
better part of the past two weeks trying to recover some files that I lost
when my last hard drive failed. I was able to recover some of the lost
files but I have given up on two folders that had some very important
image files on them.
I'm not sure just what I'm seeking. It all depends on what is reasonably
prudent and within range. I would like, of course, to back up my
computer's files every evening, but that would mean keeping the backup
hard drive here in the room with the comptuer. Maybe I should get a second
backup hard drive in another caddy and just swap them back and forth,
keeping one of these backup hard drives in a separate building, where it
wouldn't go up in smoke if the house burned or got wiped out by a tornado,
or some such.
This is right. This backup hard drive in its caddy functions just as if it
were installed inside the computer on a SATA hook-up.
Anna, thaks for your help. I will study your suggestions and try to make
up my mind as quickly as I can. In the meanwhile I will just do a manual
transfer/clone of files that I have worked on. I surely don't want to get
caught by another hard drive or other computer failure without all my work
files securely backed up.

I do wish I could get some additional information on the SyncBack SE
software.

Gordon
This was taken from www.cheqsoft.com .. have a look and see if it does what
you want.

Backup Script

This is a VBS script that anyone can use to backup their documents and data.
It only copies files that have changed since the last backup so after the
first backup, the rest are very fast. It is fully customizable so you
decide what to backup and where to back it up to. Simply double click it
whenever you think you need to run a backup. No experience with scripts
required - instructions included.
Download Backup Script (30 KB) NB Please be aware this software is provided
freely on an as is where is basis, however any support or customization can
only be done on a commercial basis.
 
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A

Anna

Antares 531 said:
Anna, this is right. All I want to do is move all the work fils from my
computer's hard drive onto a backup hard drive that can be stored apart
from the computer, for safe keeping. I wouild like to transfer these files
in the same format that they are in on the computer's hard drive, not as a
compressed ZIP format, or some such.
I think this acronis software may be about the same thing as SyncBack.
I'll look into this and make a decision.
This is exactly what I want to achieve. My external hard drive is a
SATA-to-SATA. It connects to the comtuer with a standard SATA cable, and
provides a very high speed datea transfer.
Will this cloning software consistently update any files that have been
changed on the computer's hard drive and make sure all the filse on the
backup hard drive are up to date? That is, will it have to copy all files,
even those that have not been changed, each time I do a backup?
I'm not sure I understand what Incremental clones means. Are you saying it
will udpate just those files that have been modified at a later date than
is shown on the backup copies, or are you saying it can work with just one
folder without having to snoop through all the folders, if that is what I
want it to do?
I like the idea of scheduiling the backup process, but I don't see any way
to do this without leaving my backup hard drive attached and running. I
had hoped to be able to remove the backup hard drive and store it in
another building, such that it would survive a fire or other such
catastrophe. I would bring this backup hard drive to the computer and do a
backup maybe once a week or more often if I had done a lot of important
changes to the files on the computer.
This cost is meager compared to a loss of cirtical data. I've spent the
better part of the past two weeks trying to recover some files that I lost
when my last hard drive failed. I was able to recover some of the lost
files but I have given up on two folders that had some very important
image files on them.
I'm not sure just what I'm seeking. It all depends on what is reasonably
prudent and within range. I would like, of course, to back up my
computer's files every evening, but that would mean keeping the backup
hard drive here in the room with the comptuer. Maybe I should get a second
backup hard drive in another caddy and just swap them back and forth,
keeping one of these backup hard drives in a separate building, where it
wouldn't go up in smoke if the house burned or got wiped out by a tornado,
or some such.
This is right. This backup hard drive in its caddy functions just as if it
were installed inside the computer on a SATA hook-up.
Anna, thaks for your help. I will study your suggestions and try to make
up my mind as quickly as I can. In the meanwhile I will just do a manual
transfer/clone of files that I have worked on. I surely don't want to get
caught by another hard drive or other computer failure without all my work
files securely backed up.

I do wish I could get some additional information on the SyncBack SE
software.

Gordon


Gordon:
Just a few more thoughts, especially to clarify the "incremental clone"
feature of the Casper 4 program...

That capability of the Casper 4 program is really at the heart of why we
highly recommend that program as a *routine* comprehensive disk-cloning
program. Let me just repeat and thus emphasize what I've previously
indicated above...

The significant advantage of the Casper 4.0 disk-cloning program compared
with other disk-cloning programs that we're familiar with, e.g., Acronis
True Image or Symantec's Norton Ghost, is its ability to create
*incremental* disk clones following the creation of the original (first)
disk clone. Employing what Casper calls its "SmartClone" technology the
program can create subsequent disk clones of the source HDD usually at a
fraction of the time it takes to create a "full" disk clone. This results in
a decided incentive for the user to undertake frequent complete backups of
his or her system knowing that they can create "incremental" disk clones in
a relatively short period of time. Understand that these "incremental" disk
clones are *full* disk clones - a true copy of the "source" HDD that was
cloned.

As an example...

Earlier today we had occasion (for routine backup purposes) to use the
Casper 4 program to clone the contents of a user's day-to-day working HDD -
the "source" disk - to another internal HDD - the "destination" drive.
Today's disk-cloning operation involved about 40 GB of data (the entire
contents, of course, of the source HDD). (The first (initial) disk-cloning
operation involving these drives took place a couple of weeks ago. That
initial disk-cloning operation took about 45 minutes).

Routine (nearly daily) disk-cloning operations involving these same two HDDs
have taken place over the past two weeks or so since that initial
disk-cloning operation. Obviously changes in the data have taken place over
that time. Today's disk-cloning operation took about 3 minutes. Three
minutes.

And should the user undertake another disk-cloning operation within the next
day or so the operation will again take a relatively short period of time.
So there is an enormous incentive for users to backup their systems on a
current basis knowing that the expenditure of time doing so will be
relatively slight. Heretofore this has been a problem with disk-cloning
programs because each time the disk-cloning operation was undertaken it was
a "fresh" operation and took a considerable amount of time.

I trust this example will give you a clear idea of the value of this Casper
4 "incremental clone" capability in terms of using this type of program as a
routine comprehensive backup program.

Again, understand that as a result of the disk-cloning operation the
recipient of the clone - your "destination" HDD - will be a precise copy of
your "source" HDD at that particular point-in-time.

The fact that your "destination" HDD is a SATA HDD with SATA-to-SATA
connectivity is another significant advantage in using a disk-cloning
program such as Casper 4. As I'm sure you're aware the system will treat
your "external" SATA HDD under those conditions as an "internal" HDD. Thus
the SATA HDD (as the recipient of the clone) will be bootable - a distinct
advantage is it not?

I mentioned the cost of the Casper 4 program only because I've found many
users who balk at the add'l cost of this program as compared with other
disk-cloning (disk-imaging) programs such as the Acronis one. Given the
vital importance of establishing & maintaining a routine comprehensive
backup program I've found this somewhat surprising especially in view of the
fact that one will be (hopefully) using such a program again & again over
the months & years ahead. All I can say in that regard is that I've yet to
come across a Casper 4 user who regretted his or her purchase of that
program.

In any event work with as many disk-cloning/disk imaging programs (or other
backup-type programs) as you possibly can to determine which one best meets
your needs.
Anna
 
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