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General discussion

Backup software

Dec 6, 2005 10:10PM PST

I am looking for some backup software for my Dad so he can do backups to his external hard drive. Ideally it would be somthing that is pretty user friendly, and something with a scheduler so he can schedule regular backups. Any advice on such a product? His machine runs Windows XP.

Thanks so much,

Discussion is locked

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System images or "files"?
Dec 6, 2005 10:43PM PST

I'd give the nod to Acronis for imaging and simple copy and paste for files.


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Karen's Replicator
Dec 6, 2005 10:47PM PST

You might look into this one . It seems to do all you ask... you may need to assist your father in making the settings for parts of hard drive he wants to backup.

I have used it for some time with scheduled backups to a second hard drive.

Hope this helps!


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And don't forget to backup the drivers
Dec 6, 2005 11:45PM PST
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the program is use
Dec 8, 2005 6:11PM PST

yow i use Acronis True Image 9.0 for a long time now and belive its mutch better than the other crap thats avelebol on the web

Greets DarkJoeri

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Dec 8, 2005 6:19PM PST

**** i made a mistake its the program i use and not is

not that i care but its mayby a bit confusing

Greets DarkJoeri

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Acronis True Image
Dec 8, 2005 7:13PM PST

I have been using Acronis True Image ver 8 for some time now. I am not familiar with newer versions of Norton Ghost but with Acronis you can:

Back up to a second hard drive containing the ''Acronis Secure Zone'' (a partition created by the software that cannot be touched by any other software...not even by you except through True Image).

Manage/Repartition hard drives.

Do all the partitioning of a new drive easily.

Clone a hard drive.

Back up to CD's or even DVD's (although for DVD you must first back up to files (not more than 2GB per file [the largest filesize recordable to a DVD]on a hard disk and then copy/move them to a DVD)... somewhat cumbersome but useful to have multiple sources of full disaster recovery.

Schedule tasks, Export a drive, Explore Image (to selectively restore a file or folder etc.)

I have no connection to the makers of this product, nor do I sell it.... only a satisfied user.

BTW, I would suggest *at least* an 80GB (using 40GB for the secure zone) second hard drive if you also plan to use that drive for other things, such as small additional storage space. It all depends on how many files you maintain on your main drive. Acronis does compress the backup and you can do multiple full system backups to the secure zone.

In my case I keep any non program files, downloads and any files that are not essential to the operating system and registered programs on the second drive and simply do not back them up in order to limit the backups to a reasonable size.

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A second vote for True Image (9.0)
Dec 9, 2005 1:26AM PST

Saved my butt a couple of weeks ago. Very user friendly, and much cheaper than Norton Ghost. Images the drive as well as individual file backup.

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Windows XP ASR
Dec 8, 2005 10:43PM PST

I run Win XP Pro and use the ASR portion of their Backup utility. It works great, is virtually a one click setup and has restore my drives in the past effortlessy. I back up to a second Internal 100 gb hard drive and it works great even though I have a 300 gb external drive. The internal holds 3 backups and just rotate them weekly. If you are running XP Home, the Backup utility won't show but you can extract from your Window CD. Copy and paste this link to find out how.;en-us;320820. Hope this helps....

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Doesn't work on XP Home
Dec 9, 2005 3:47AM PST

Although the Backup utility can be installed manually from the XP installation CD-Rom (assuming it's a full CD; don't know about OEM disks), the ASR portion doesn't work on XP Home.

Also, the original poster should keep in mind the difference between imaging and backup. If you image the disk regularly, then you can restore the image and it will restore XP, all applications installed, and all files and data, exactly as they existed previously. If you only do file backup, then if your hard drive dies, you'll have to reinstall XP as well as all your drivers, applications, etc., before restoring your files from the backup. Imaging is a much better solution, imho, as anyone who has had to reinstall windows and all applications will attest.

Acronis True Image 9.0, (free fully-functional trial download available) is a great choice.

No connection to the company, just like the product.

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Imaging Software
Dec 11, 2005 4:48PM PST

Isn't Symantec/Norton 'GHOST' (version 10) equivalent imaging product to Acronis ? If so, it is included in Norton Systemworks PREMIER along with anti-virus & other goodies.

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Nero Works Well for Me
Dec 8, 2005 10:55PM PST

The Nero software that came free with my newly purchaesd DVD drive and that can be downloaded for free from either Nero's website or works great. I use it's user-friendly scheduling feature to backup all of my documents to an additional internal hard drive once a week. I save processing time and hard drive space by choosing to only backup those files taht have been modified or added since the last backup. Each backup file is accompanied by a restore icon for fast and easy recovery.

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Copy to External Hard Drive...
Dec 8, 2005 11:49PM PST

When your Dad plugs in his external hard drive, it appears in the My Computer folder. Double-click on the external drive to open it.

Double-click on Drive C: and drag and drop the "Documents and Settings" folder to the external drive. If he religiously saves all of his personal data to the "My Documents" folder ONLY, he's done. This is an example of "Best Practices" as it backs up the My Documents folders for each user.

No external drive? Compress the "Documents and Settings" folder using IZArc (Free) or WinZip ($$) and burn to CD.

There are also free tools to back up all device drivers, check on google for more info.

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backup software for free
Dec 9, 2005 12:17AM PST
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Free or low cost backup/file synchronization application :)
Dec 9, 2005 1:03PM PST


Not so long ago, I stumbled upon a package called SyncBack by 2BrightSparks. It was free and offered most of the features I wanted; backup, file/folder synchronization, a scheduler, etc... It has gone through several updates since my first exposure. Here is a SnapFiles review and download link [] or you can visit the authoring site at []

I have so enjoyed using this program, I purchased the SyncBackSE version. More features, liberal licensing policies (5 PCs on one license if used for personal use), and fairly low cost ($25). That works out to $5/PC. Not bad.

Here are a few more links to use ...

SyncBack Free

SyncBackSE - more features and flexibility

The Back Guide (free, BASIC guide to backups)

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Recommendation for Backup4all
Dec 10, 2005 5:23PM PST

I tried a few backup utilities (Dantz, Karen's Replicator and others) before settling on Backup4all at I use it to back data from my system (files over four drives) to an external hard drive. It's cheap, simple and works really well.

A fault that some backup software (e.g. Dantz) has is that when you rename or delete source files, it wont remove them from the backup. This software does.

Also found the support desk helpful too - quick responses to questions.

Oh, nice reporting features too - you can see exactly what it's going to backup before you commit, plus you can check the logs to see what was processed.


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Backup Software
Apr 5, 2006 12:25AM PDT

I've used software called Drive Backup 7.0 Pro for my sister. She works as journalist and daily backup was very important for her. The most satisfying thing I found in this software was Incremental backup - easy and quick. I scheduled the daily backup and two month already it is working flawless.

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Backup's the easy's the restore work ?
Apr 5, 2006 8:26AM PDT

Have you tested it with a restore to a blank hard disk ?

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Restore from backup image
Apr 5, 2006 7:37PM PDT

Yes I've tested it. First of all I created a test backup image of sister's HDD but it turned out that Incremental Backup works only with partition images. The source drive was in total 80GB and I've purchased two more WD HDDs 120GB each on which I run my tests. Restored the backup image to one of it turned off the computer and attached the restored drive as primary master and made in BIOS changes to have the 120GB drive as first boot device. It booted normally. As for Incremental Backup restore - the process seemed to me in some way complicated but still easy. It is prescribed that one shoud restore first Basic Image of partition on which the Incremental is based. After the restore finished I had to restore Incremental. The total process of all restoring took me 2 hours. The most amazing thing again was that I was able to restore the HDD or partition to the state it was in definite day. I can say that restore to blank HDD went absolutely flawless. But still I recommend you looking through help file before any operation Wink

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Backup Software
Aug 14, 2006 4:27AM PDT

I the best product that I have used for backing up my PC is PC Backup by StompSoft. The reason that I suggest this software is that it will allow you to backup your files using nearly any media including CD/DVD, Hard Drive, Tape and Networks. I currently use this application to backup to my own network and to CD and have been quite pleased with it.



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Just a note. Intel Accelerator and Stomp.
Aug 14, 2006 4:42AM PDT

Before you declare this the winner consider Stomp fails to function if the machine has Intel Accelerator installed.


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Aug 20, 2006 10:11PM PDT

One more vote for Acronis True Image
well, as far as u can understand there 2 backup softwares worth buying : ATI and Ghost.
i've found review where these two are compared.
i think that should help u to make final desicion(if u haven't already).