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Easiest to use Backup Software

by mrlateach / April 10, 2005 11:37 AM PDT

I am using an XP Windows computer. I just purchased a Western Digital 80gb external drive for backup purposes, primarily for mp'3, photos/videos, and my Word documents. However, the software from the WD drive is very confusing. Are there any easier backup programs to use or any other suggestions?
Thanks, Lawrence

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Automatic Back-Up soloution
by luapo / April 13, 2005 2:51 PM PDT
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Automatic Back-Up soloution
by jashar / May 18, 2005 7:18 AM PDT

If you have more than one computer you might consider


It backups up your computer to other computers automatically without tapes, CDs or DVDs.

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Ghost does not always work
by JoAnneMac / May 19, 2005 11:55 PM PDT

I bought a copy of Ghost for my client. After hours of trying to get it to work to backup to an external hard drive (usb) we are abandoning the product. (Their tech support worked with me for a couple hours too and gave up.) So if you decide you want it.... I have a copy you can buy.... cheap.....


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Call me a Non-Geek Dummy
by crfqueen / May 20, 2005 1:24 AM PDT

I tried to back up my PC with the Ghost program from Nortons and wiped out my entire hard drive including windows....Please give precise instructions so that some other PC dummy doesn't follow my lead...Thanx

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I agree, ghost doesn't work
by humbomatumbo / May 20, 2005 10:09 AM PDT

I installed ghost when i was doing some experimenting with linux on my work computer. First of all, it slowed down my computer, and it also took FOREVER (approx. 15 min.) for it to respond to my actions to backup. I have given up on that and i now have Acronis True Image and it works like a charm. I highly recommend it.

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Norton Ghost probably not a good idea
by Perfesser / May 21, 2005 2:00 PM PDT

I have never used Norton Ghost. It may be a wonderful program, but personally I would recommend you never buy a Norton program. I used Norton internet security until NIS 2004 came out. It slowed my computer way down and made it crash a lot- but the bad news came when I tried to remove it and revert to an earlier version. You could not remove it with windows add/remove. Only after several weeks of frequent calls and e-mails to their abyssmally bad tech support was I finally able to remove (most of) it from my system and revert to an earlier version, after reading and executing dozens of tech support papers. God help you if your Norton product doesn't work as you hope and you need to remove it. They obviously hope that you will give up and keep using their products because it's too difficult to get rid of them. Removing viruses is kid stuff compared to removing a "Norton".

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I was able to get rid of NIS 2004 easily
by jhanzo / June 1, 2005 4:35 AM PDT

First I used Windows add/remove programs, and then I went into Windows explorer and manually deleted any Norton or Symantec directories. I have had to do this with Norton Anti-Virus as well. These products add folders under program files and local users or users that are not removed by windows.

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Easiest to use Backup Software
by Rocket43 / May 19, 2005 10:17 PM PDT

Should have bought a Seagate hard drive! They provide an excellent program to install and /or use it for complete transfer of files from the drive you want to backup and even make it bootable if your other drive should crash or otherwise become contaminated! I have been using Seagate DiskWizard 2003 for 2 years and it has been the best download for a backup / install system I have ever had the pleasure working with! You can design your own partitions and format, and the transfers are fast and accurate!

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But what of hard disk failures?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 19, 2005 10:26 PM PDT

You can read in this forum about such units failing and the persons that don't have a backup system.

Hard disks are terrible backups since such are all of 5 year designs and less.


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Yes, 5 years or less, used every day...
by Rocket43 / May 19, 2005 11:02 PM PDT

I would agree with your statement, but, using a hd for a backup should be just that. NOT in everyday use, the longevity should be great and dependable (unless you remove and drop it!). With my bi-weekly and monthly backups, I anticipate that my backup hd should be faithful for 15-20 years. Of the 3 hd's I use for backups, they were manufactured in '97, '99 & '01. They only run 20-40 minutes at a time. I find it easier than a DVD backup, as, I make them bootable so I can just plug them in and turn on the pc! 10 minutes and I'm up and running!

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Read this one...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 19, 2005 11:05 PM PDT
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Five Years
by msgale / May 20, 2005 2:40 PM PDT
In reply to: Read this one...

The disks have a 5 year MTBF which is not the same as designed to last five years. I have disks that are running strong since 1997 and I have a disk die in three years. There is a practical level of back up that should be maintained. Maybe if you has two backup disk and swapped each time. Actually I used 4mm tape for backup and always do a complete backup, not data only. Using tape is not a good general solution because it cost a bunch, software and hardware about $1600.00

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About MTBF. About tape.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 21, 2005 12:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Five Years

About MTBF: If you look at the drive maker web sites, for consumer drives they often don't publish MTBF since it confused the customer about "How long will it last?"

It is rare to find someone that understands that MTBF means that on average most units will have failed by that number of hours. And to add more fun to this, it may not be limited to POH and could be just H. I commend you for your knowledge of what MTBF is.

Because there are so few that understand what MTBF represents, the makers (for the consumer drives) have moved to a simpler "5 year design" statement.

About TAPE: It is not suprising at all that data recovery could easily hit and exceed 1,600. A local hospital had waited to replace a tape unit, a drive failed with MRI and other images and they "paid any price" to get the files back. The number was some 20,000 for that one. It was just one drive.

Today, we have DVDRW with 4.7GB or just about that much for under a buck. We have DVD recorders (PC internals) from 49 bucks and still people run without backup of what they can't lose.

With millions of PCs without backup... the stories never end.


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by GBTrevor / May 21, 2005 4:32 AM PDT

Retrospect from Dantz.

Easy to use, has a 'easyscript' option to help you set up.
Has 'bolt ons' for things like Open File Back Up, so will cope with operating system files etc.

Having dealt with varying programs this is the one I use. Not the cheapest but in my opinion by far the most professional and has never failed me or my clients.

Available for both PC and Mac.

Also backs up to almost every media going.
take a look at

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Second the motion for Retrospect
by dgg / May 21, 2005 9:26 PM PDT
In reply to: Retropsect

Retrospect is great! With the Open File Backup option, I can run a backup operation in the background and continue using Outlook, etc., yet everything gets backed up.

Also, I've used their disaster recovery routines many times and have successfully restored entire systems without any noticable difference before/after. IOW, it just works and it does a great job protecting your valuable data!

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Western Digital also has this software available for d/l
by jcd / May 25, 2005 12:33 AM PDT

free at their site

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Seagate Tape Drive is a disaster
by ndhelp / July 29, 2005 3:40 AM PDT

I bought a Seagate Tape Drive with my Micron computer system about 5 years ago. After 2 backups of my hard drive, the STD failed to operate. In desperation I wrote the following message to Seagate:

Dear Sir,
I have a Seagate Internal tape storage system (TR5) purchased with my Micron computer. In the past I backed up my entire computer (twice) on the Travan 20gb tape that came with the system. However, now I cannot access the tape. If I try to run another backup job or even erase the tape, I keep getting the message "Please insert a new media into the Seagate STT20000A Backup Device". What is the problem? There seems to be no way of even checking the tape's remaining capacity.


Seagate's last message to me was:

Upgrade your firmware.
Test the drive again.
If the test fails then replace the tape drive.

Needless to say (that's why I'm writing this) my tape drive is still not working. Seagate has been a disaster for me.

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Backup utilitiy
by gmoneyphatstyle / May 19, 2005 10:52 PM PDT

I was in the same situation as you but instead of buying an external drive I bought an internal one so I had two 160 gb drives. I used Acronice Disk Director software to clone (copy) the original drive onto the second so that if I had a complete hard drive failure of the orignal I'd have a backup. I've suffered throgh a harddrive failure and it really sucks when you only have one harddrive and its physically dammaged. I then used Acronice TrueImage software to store bakcup images of the original drive onto the second. This way if the orginal drive fails, I can use the backup images to restore everything onto the new drive. The makes the new drive identical to the image with all the mp3s and other files. TrueImage will allow you to easily backup all your files onto your external drive but it'd be even better if you had a second drive you could load windows onto and store backups on just incase your original drive suffered a fatal catastrophy. ~~

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(NT) not a wise thing
by hothta / May 19, 2005 11:24 PM PDT
In reply to: Backup utilitiy

i have 2 hd internal
the smaller as c the larger as d
d is for storage to protect files i want to keep
i don't recommend auto back up to d drive
use your c drive for auto back up
a virus in d drive will corrupt your saved items
and auto backup will do this
check all that go to d and drag and drop

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My Backup Method Extremely Reliable
by rayny2e4034 / May 19, 2005 11:41 PM PDT
In reply to: (NT) not a wise thing

I installed (2) Mobile Racks into my case,which allows the hard drives to slide in and out in seconds. Bought (2) Identical Hard drives (EIDE)and set jumpers to Cable Select. I FIRST run all my Virus scans,Spyware detection,Disk Cleanup utilities,Defrag,etc.This is KEY to make sure you don't save errors or unwanted junk. Then i use Norton Ghost from a Boot Floppy (Win XP-PRO all SVC. Packs and updates),and It Actually CLONES the Hard Drive Completely. I Then remove the Slave Drive and put it aside.When your done you can actually just swap drives if you want by sliding out the master and sliding in the slave.If you Do,Windows XP will "detect" new hardware and just ask you to reboot. That's as easy and Reliable as it gets.You'll Always have a solid Clone ready on the shelf If Needed.

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Seen that, seen the tears.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 20, 2005 12:01 AM PDT

One sad day a client brought in their toasted machine. The power supply in the PC had failed and fried most of the internal parts. They didn't know better and put in their other drive (it was a tray unit) and fried it too.

The +5 V line was somewhere above 15 Volts.

When asked what other backup they had...


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details installation
by nestor51 / May 20, 2005 8:47 AM PDT

I'm new to computer but I learned to build one thru CNET learning CD and it's running sufficiently. I would like to ask the detail installation of the mobile racks as you had explained as my back up too.I have two operating system, (1) Windows XP1 is my operating system on partitioned D with 2.8GHz processor 800MHz FPBus, 80GB hardisk patitioned.

(2)Windows XP2 operating system on partitioned C. I want to removed this operating system and all of the files saved to that partitioned. Please help . . .

Thank you,


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Favorite Backup
by Summerblue / May 20, 2005 11:00 AM PDT

I'm using NTI's Backup Now Deluxe 3. Deluxe 4 for is now out in the marketplace. Best price:

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not neccessarily true
by gmoneyphatstyle / May 20, 2005 2:26 AM PDT
In reply to: (NT) not a wise thing

I run two hard drives as well. You are right that a virus in any drive can compromise files. That is why on both drives you should use a partition program to keep your files seperate from your operating system. Any problems with the operating system will then not compromise your files.

As for making backups of a drive, those too should go on a seperate partition.

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Today's virii don't respect partitions.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 20, 2005 2:45 AM PDT
In reply to: not neccessarily true

Maybe years ago that worked.


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Easy Backup
by rdinning / May 19, 2005 11:42 PM PDT

I use a multiple layer backup system. I have a second internal hard drive that is used fro backup and the page file and nothing else. I use Back Again II Workstation by Command Data Strategies to back up to this drive. Every Monday it does a full backup of my hard drive. The rest of the days of the week it does an incremental backup.

I also use Norton GoBack to allow me to recover accidently deleted files.

On top of this I use an external drive to copy my backup files from my internal backup drive. This drive sits in a fireproof file cabinet in my basement when not in use and is used for both computers.

Since a full backup is done every Monday, on Sunday I rename the full backup on my Backup drive so it isn't over written. That way I have a two weeks old backup if I discover a problem/missing file etc that dates back passed this Monday just passed.

Additionally, both my backup drive and my external drive have directories for data that I consider critical and backup separately. One of these is Quicken which contains my entire financial life. Another is Sidekick 98, which while old still works for me, though I could wish the owners would fix a bug or two.


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retrospect does it all
by bobsocks2 / May 20, 2005 12:22 AM PDT

Restrospect is somewhat difficult to learn. But once you do, it does it all. Scheduled too. Allows you to backup the entire system.

The WD external system inludes the 6.5 version of restrospect. At least mine did

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DVD - disk backup doesn't cut it
by DocInBird / May 20, 2005 1:28 AM PDT

I use Advantrix Backup Plus - DVD edition, with great results. I set up profiles for daily, weekly, and full backup sets, and can either have them run automatically or start it myself at my convenience. The daily and weekly sets go onto a DVD-RW and the full sets go onto a permanent DVD.

Since I live in a motorhome, I send off a clone of each full backup set to a data vault facility, just in case of disaster. I can always replace the laptop computers I use to do my job, but I can't replace the data.


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I use ....
by ylshin / May 20, 2005 2:41 AM PDT

I have used Norton Ghost and Drive Image before and found them not very flexible. Now I use Acronis True Image which I have found to be working when I had to do a restore on my notebook as well as my Desktop. Check it out ....

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Easiest to use Backup Software
by GAZOO548 / May 20, 2005 5:03 AM PDT

I think that the best program for your needs is called RestoreIT.You can find this program at is very easy to use and has saved my butt more times then I can remember.It takes a while to install but pretty much does it all by itself.It even tells you how to create a rescue disk.I would also subscribe to as they teach you something new every day.I have been signed up for their newsletter for years and am very glad that I am.I believe that Restore IT costs about $12.

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