Backup Software

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xystici
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Backup Software

Post by xystici » Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:35 am

I am looking for a backup software solution with the following characteristics:

- Free to use
- Free to download (if download is necessary)
- Local backup solution (online / cloud backup solution is not an option)
- Backup job is performed in external hard drive connected to my computer via USB
- Able to perform full backups and ideally, but not necessarily, can do differential backups as well
- Performs full backup jobs relatively fast (compared to other backup programs)
- Ideally, but not necessary, able to configure how many instances of full backups or partial backups before overwriting older back-ups

Planned use of back-up software:

- Full backup every Saturday morning
- Sporadic differential backups during the week
- Manually execute start of backup job from computer when external HD is connected
- Source files reside in one computer (~15-20 Gbytes, will grow in the future at an expected rate of 5%)
- Target folder is in external HD
- Reason for backup is to have a repository copy of my computer data files readily accessible
- [post-edited / added] Computer runs Microsoft XP

Thanks in advance for your time and guidance.
Last edited by xystici on Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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LadyGeek
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Re: Backup Software

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:47 am

The most reliable and free backup software is the one that comes with Windows XP.

You have a lot of scenarios on when / how to backup, but it seems far too complicated. Regardless of the program used, you'll still have to configure it. That's an order of unnecessary complexity. Do a system image once a month, files every week (or daily, you set the schedule).

Win XP's backup is documented by Microsoft here: How to use the Backup utility to back up files and folders in Windows XP Home Edition. It will do:
  • Normal
  • Copy
  • Incremental
  • Differential
  • Daily
(Update: Saw that Win XP is used. I run Win 7 now, as bertilak mentions below. Added MS backup info above.)
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Re: Backup Software

Post by bertilak » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:22 am

xystici wrote:I am looking for a backup software solution with the following characteristics:

- Free to use
- Free to download (if download is necessary)
- Local backup solution (online / cloud backup solution is not an option)
- Backup job is performed in external hard drive connected to my computer via USB
- Able to perform full backups and ideally, but not necessarily, can do differential backups as well
- Performs full backup jobs relatively fast (compared to other backup programs)
- Ideally, but not necessary, able to configure how many instances of full backups or partial backups before overwriting older back-ups

Planned use of back-up software:

- Full backup every Saturday morning
- Sporadic differential backups during the week
- Manually execute start of backup job from computer when external HD is connected
- Source files reside in one computer (~15-20 Gbytes, will grow in the future at an expected rate of 5%)
- Target folder is in external HD
- Reason for backup is to have a repository copy of my computer data files readily accessible
- [post-edited / added] Computer runs Microsoft XP

Thanks in advance for your time and guidance.
Windows 7 has an included backup program. Control Panel --> System and Security --> Backup and Restore.
I use it with a USB-attached external drive. It does exactly what you have listed above. One exception: Its backups are (basically, with some swizzles) incremental, not differential. EDIT: Oh yeah, not sure how backup media's disk space management works (I'm too new to Win 7 to have needed to look into that) but the program does have a button called "Manage Space."

Ah -- just saw your XP update. Maybe that is similar.
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BigFoot48
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Re: Backup Software

Post by BigFoot48 » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:37 am

I use the free SyncBack for daily, automated backup of data folders to an external drive, and the synchronizing of folders between computers. http://www.2brightsparks.com/freeware/freeware-hub.html I use the free Paragon Backup & Recovery for periodic image backups of the entire drive, for that inevitable day the drive fails. http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/ Two Win7 and one XP computer.
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Re: Backup Software

Post by tetractys » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:53 am

xystici wrote:I am looking for a backup software solution ...
System, platform?

I'm guessing your on windows; but in case your on mac, the system software does all your asking and a little more. Basically it backs up all versions you stipulate hourly, weekly, monthly, etc. until the backup drive is full, then it overwrites FIFO, first in, first out. Only actual file differences are backed up, so depending, the backup drive can hold years of files. (I've got files back to 2008 and still have room on a 40 gig hard drive.) You can designate multiple backup drives. It runs auto in background. Also to find and restore a backed up file, you start in an image of the finder, and go back in time to whatever version you want, select restore, done; thus mac calls it Time Machine. -- Tet

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Re: Backup Software

Post by SamB » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:23 pm

I use Windows 7 Backup to an external drive. I create a mirror image at least once per month. I keep six months of images by just renaming the Windows image, incorporating the date. I have found that the only bullet proof protection against a virus, spyware, malware, whatever, is just to reload a prior disk image. I have done this several times, and surprise, surprise, it always works. Of course if you have a bad HD, it is very easy to reload a prior image to a new drive as well.

My opinion is that anyone using a computer should have a system of maintaining prior, current disk images. You don't need to be an expert in computer virus infections, or even computer hardware. If you have a problem you are back to normal in one or two hours, and very little expertise is involved.

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Re: Backup Software

Post by strcmp » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:27 pm

Check out Cobian Backup. It's free and it does all you've mentioned + more.
http://www.cobiansoft.com/cobianbackup.htm

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cheese_breath
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Re: Backup Software

Post by cheese_breath » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:35 pm

Also check out Karen's Replicator...

http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptreplicator.asp
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Re: Backup Software

Post by Spiral » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:36 pm

There are many options, using the Windows built backup is a good suggestion, since you already have it, but depending on the version of windows you have will make a big difference on the backup application that is included there and its functionality.

Other user friendly options that I have used:

Redobackup (this is an imaging based, disaster recovery backup)

Macrium Reflect Free (this is an imaging based backup)

Cobian Backup (a file based backup)

Areca Backup (a file based backup)

Duplicati (a file based backup)

bhead33
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Re: Backup Software

Post by bhead33 » Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:16 pm

I would recommend crashplan. You dont have to buy their cloud backup [though I did]. its free to use and they are very active on twitter and on their forums to explain and help how to use.

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Re: Backup Software

Post by mike143 » Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:00 pm

Spiral wrote:Macrium Reflect Free (this is an imaging based backup)
I have used this one to clone drives. All of their software works great and is KISS, IMHO.
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JupiterJones
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Re: Backup Software

Post by JupiterJones » Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:17 pm

tetractys wrote: I'm guessing you're on windows; but in case you're on a mac, the system software does all you're asking and a little more.
Yup, the Mac's "Time Machine" is a wonderful (free, built-in) backup solution. Works like a champ and you don't have to think about it.

(Secondly, do we need to have a post about "how to ask computer questions", similar to the one on how to ask portfolio questions? Item number one: Tell us what platform you're running! :P )

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Re: Backup Software

Post by THY4373 » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:34 pm

Since my critical data is on Linux I use rsync for data backups (rsync and sshfs for offsite backups). For disk imaging on Linux I'll use DD or Acronis boot disk. For imaging within Windows on a live system I use Acronis. Though not normally free, they usually blow out the old version for free after rebate when a new once comes out. Over the years I have picked up quite a few free copies this way.

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wander
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Re: Backup Software

Post by wander » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:52 pm

bertilak wrote: Windows 7 has an included backup program. Control Panel --> System and Security --> Backup and Restore.
I use it with a USB-attached external drive. It does exactly what you have listed above. One exception: Its backups are (basically, with some swizzles) incremental, not differential. EDIT: Oh yeah, not sure how backup media's disk space management works (I'm too new to Win 7 to have needed to look into that) but the program does have a button called "Manage Space."

Ah -- just saw your XP update. Maybe that is similar.
If your hard drive crash, can you restore it from your USB alone?

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Re: Backup Software

Post by bertilak » Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:20 pm

wander wrote:
bertilak wrote: Windows 7 has an included backup program. Control Panel --> System and Security --> Backup and Restore.
I use it with a USB-attached external drive. It does exactly what you have listed above. One exception: Its backups are (basically, with some swizzles) incremental, not differential. EDIT: Oh yeah, not sure how backup media's disk space management works (I'm too new to Win 7 to have needed to look into that) but the program does have a button called "Manage Space."

Ah -- just saw your XP update. Maybe that is similar.
If your hard drive crash, can you restore it from your USB alone?
There is a difference between restoring a full system image and restoring your personal files so the answer depends on which you mean by "restore it". Certainly all the personal files can be restored from whatever media they are backed up to, including a USB memory stick or other USB device.

On my Terabyte external USB drive the backup program put a 50+ gigabyte directory called WindowsImageBackup. I believe you need to boot to the recovery CD/DVD you made when you either installed Win 7 or bought a new computer with Win 7 on it. I believe if you boot that recovery disk it will contain the same backup/Restore application needed to restore the image. I am new to this application, having used it only for a week so haven't scoped out all the details.

The WindowsImageBackup directory is a different directory than where the incremental backups of my personal files are. Those can also be restored with the Backup/Restore utility without needing to boot to the recovery disk.

Is there any USB memory sticks that can hold a 50+ GB recovery image?
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Re: Backup Software

Post by jebmke » Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:02 pm

bhead33 wrote:I would recommend crashplan. You dont have to buy their cloud backup [though I did]. its free to use and they are very active on twitter and on their forums to explain and help how to use.
I have been testing Crashplan on my system for 5 days. Yesterday it stopped running. The MS service just stopped and I had to restart it manually. It would not start on reboot of the system even though the service is set to start automatically. So far, I'm not impressed.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Re: Backup Software

Post by bertilak » Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:19 pm

jebmke wrote:
bhead33 wrote:I would recommend crashplan. You dont have to buy their cloud backup [though I did]. its free to use and they are very active on twitter and on their forums to explain and help how to use.
I have been testing Crashplan on my system for 5 days. Yesterday it stopped running. The MS service just stopped and I had to restart it manually. It would not start on reboot of the system even though the service is set to start automatically. So far, I'm not impressed.
Hmm. I'm half day into testing out crashplan. So far so good.

Currently I have a subscription to Carbonite. It is a pretty slick and reliable system, but I have a couple of problems with it so am looking for replacement.
  • 1) Even though Carbonite says it does "continuous" backup I see files that Carbonite says it will back up in 24 hours. It also does not act as archival storage.
    2) Anything more than 30 days old is lost for ever.
So far I have tried the following:

mozy: Truth be told, I forgot why I didn't like this one!

MyPC Backup: I like its feature set but it is still a bit buggy. [EDIT: removed rant due to frustrations.]

CrashPlan: So far so good, but your report is disheartening!
Last edited by bertilak on Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Backup Software

Post by jebmke » Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:22 pm

I have not given up on it. I want to hear back from their support people as to why the service failed. What I also want to test on my own is if their alert system would have told me that the back up had not been run within the threshold days. When I get answers on this I will post back.
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Re: Backup Software

Post by Rob5TCP » Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:26 pm

bertilak wrote:
wander wrote:
bertilak wrote:
Is there any USB memory sticks that can hold a 50+ GB recovery image?
The largest I have seen is 64GB, but they are not inexpensive. On sale at NewEgg they are about $65-$75.
You might find a very highly priced 128GB flash drive.

www.NewEgg.com
scandisk and corsair are good brands
You want high speed, otherwise 50+ GB can take forever on the initial backup.
Read the reviews.
If you have USB 3, buy a USB3 flash drive.

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Re: Backup Software

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:26 pm

bertilak wrote:Currently I have a subscription to Carbonite. It is a pretty slick and reliable system, but I have a couple of problems with it so am looking for replacement.
  • 1) Even though Carbonite says it does "continuous" backup I see files that Carbonite says it will back up in 24 hours. It also does not act as archival storage.
    2) Anything more than 30 days old is lost for ever.
The OP is not considering "cloud" solutions, which go into privacy concerns (the provider has the keys....).

Which brings up another consideration - Be sure to encrypt all personal data before backing up. If you don't want your personal data to leave your PC, then backing up unencrypted files to external storage just broke that policy.
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Re: Backup Software

Post by jacksprat » Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:41 pm

for windows, try Macrium reflect free ftw.

Wonderful imaging software plus easy restore in case of a major failure .

Plus the images are browsable.

http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx [url]http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx[/url]

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Re: Backup Software

Post by lightheir » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:04 am

Just a reminder for the Mozy/Carbonite and other 'unlimited' cloud plans -

Remember that these are NOT archival services. They are crash-backup services.

This means that if you delete a file, and then decide you want it again but it's 30-60 days after the delete date, it'll be gone from their servers. Similarly, if you disconnect one of your registered computers for that long, the data will be deleted off their cloud server.

They're meant for crash backup meaning your computer dies abruptly and then you need a restore of a very recent set of files. You will need a different service like A-Drive or Dropbox to store files indefinitely (the plans cost more.)

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Re: Backup Software

Post by bertilak » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:42 am

lightheir wrote:Just a reminder for the Mozy/Carbonite and other 'unlimited' cloud plans -

Remember that these are NOT archival services. They are crash-backup services.

This means that if you delete a file, and then decide you want it again but it's 30-60 days after the delete date, it'll be gone from their servers. Similarly, if you disconnect one of your registered computers for that long, the data will be deleted off their cloud server.

They're meant for crash backup meaning your computer dies abruptly and then you need a restore of a very recent set of files. You will need a different service like A-Drive or Dropbox to store files indefinitely (the plans cost more.)
MyPC Backup has an available upgrade which ...
  • gives you unlimited access to your file history. We store every version of each file in your account for as long as you are a customer with us. So if you want to retrieve something you did a year ago, that won't be a problem.
CrashPlan says:
  • Unlike other backup products, CrashPlan keeps your deleted files forever (unless you tell us not to.) No matter how much time passes after you delete a file, you can get it back. (Files backed up to CrashPlan Central are retained as long as you have an active subscription or free trial).

    CrashPlan doesn't keep *every* version of every file but has a schedule of what to keep. These are the defaults. They can be changed to more or less often:
    • New files: Every 15 minutes
      Last week's files: Every 15 minutes
      Last 90 day's files: Every day
      Last year's files: Every month
      Older files: Every week
      Deleted files: Not deleted from backup (I assume subject to the above schedules)
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Re: Backup Software

Post by lightheir » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:34 pm

Actually, that's correct - I'm mistaken. Crashplan actually keeps your data so it can be used for archival purposes.

I saw on the web something about Backblaze being similar but faster, but they do have a delete after 30-day or so policy for the data.

I honestly don't know how Crashplan can afford to archive people's data for so little money - that's literally cheaper than attached storage. Seems like a good bet as long as the speeds aren't unusably slow.

On this note as well though, I believe some bandwidth providers have started instituting upload and download caps, which could make something like Crashplan look a lot better than it actually is.Comcast's limit is about 250GB per the web.

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Re: Backup Software

Post by Leesbro63 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:57 am

cheese_breath wrote:Also check out Karen's Replicator...

http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptreplicator.asp
+1. Been using it easily for year's

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Re: Backup Software

Post by xystici » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:58 am

To all who posted recommendations and comments to my original post: Thank you! I appreciate your time, help and guidance. So far I have tested the MS Windows XP Backup solution. I have to say that it does the job. However, I will try a few of the other suggestions in this thread in the next days/weeks and decide one way or the way.
Trust yourself, Break the rules, Don't be afraid to fail, Don't listen to naysayers, Work your butt off. "It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped. Choose now and well"

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Re: Backup Software

Post by xystici » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:18 am

LadyGeek wrote:The OP is not considering "cloud" solutions, which go into privacy concerns (the provider has the keys....).
LadyGeek: Yes, I have privacy concerns with cloud solutions. Thank you for your recommendation of using MS Windows XP Backup solution. It is working quite well for me so far.
LadyGeek wrote:Which brings up another consideration - Be sure to encrypt all personal data before backing up. If you don't want your personal data to leave your PC, then backing up unencrypted files to external storage just broke that policy.
This comment of yours is interesting to me. Although I use TrueCrypt to encrypt a portion of my computer - learnt this trick in this forum as well and it is working very well for me - my company IT Director suggested to me not to encrypt my backup data. His reasoning was something on the lines of: "you want your backup data in the purest and cleanest form of all to avoid or minimize problems retrieving it". His comments then would go against encrypting and/or password protecting the backup data. I would appreciate any thoughts on this. Thank you in advance.
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Re: Backup Software

Post by bvp » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:46 am

xystici wrote:
LadyGeek wrote:The OP is not considering "cloud" solutions, which go into privacy concerns (the provider has the keys....).
LadyGeek: Yes, I have privacy concerns with cloud solutions. Thank you for your recommendation of using MS Windows XP Backup solution. It is working quite well for me so far.
LadyGeek wrote:Which brings up another consideration - Be sure to encrypt all personal data before backing up. If you don't want your personal data to leave your PC, then backing up unencrypted files to external storage just broke that policy.
This comment of yours is interesting to me. Although I use TrueCrypt to encrypt a portion of my computer - learnt this trick in this forum as well and it is working very well for me - my company IT Director suggested to me not to encrypt my backup data. His reasoning was something on the lines of: "you want your backup data in the purest and cleanest form of all to avoid or minimize problems retrieving it". His comments then would go against encrypting and/or password protecting the backup data. I would appreciate any thoughts on this. Thank you in advance.
I see his angle from a sys admin's perspective, but it's a somewhat lazy mentality. He wants recovery to be easy, in the event of a catastrophic event (say, file server at work goes seriously kaput). The reality is that unencrypted backups are a valid attack vector for hackers/crackers/bad guys. He should consider the risks with that - how possible is it for attackers to gain access to his backup data? He should also consider the damage incurred if someone were to gain access to those backups. What would the damage be? But those are questions for the company.

And the same questions can be posed for you. How risky are your unecrypted backups? If you make backups and store them in your house offline, is that risk acceptable? If it's online storage (files stored on a separate file server/backup server, for instance), is that risk acceptable? If it's transmitted through the internet to a backup server, is that risk acceptable?

All risk questions for you to answer. I would most definitely encrypt backups put "in the cloud".

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Re: Backup Software

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:20 am

xystici wrote:
LadyGeek wrote:Which brings up another consideration - Be sure to encrypt all personal data before backing up. If you don't want your personal data to leave your PC, then backing up unencrypted files to external storage just broke that policy.
This comment of yours is interesting to me. Although I use TrueCrypt to encrypt a portion of my computer - learnt this trick in this forum as well and it is working very well for me - my company IT Director suggested to me not to encrypt my backup data. His reasoning was something on the lines of: "you want your backup data in the purest and cleanest form of all to avoid or minimize problems retrieving it". His comments then would go against encrypting and/or password protecting the backup data. I would appreciate any thoughts on this. Thank you in advance.
That's an easy answer. If you are encrypting company data, which is being backed up to a network somewhere, they can't decrypt it without your password. The "problem" is that you have to tell them the password or the data is useless. If you're not around, they're stuck. Follow company procedure and do what he says.

Remember that there is no expectation of privacy in the workplace. He has every right to see all of your data in the clear. If you have a concern that this is a laptop and it might get stolen while it's away from the office, that's a different problem. Talk to your IT director about whole disk encryption. That's something they should be doing - but let them handle it.

Personal data shouldn't be on company-owned assets - check your IT policy.

Update: I posted the same time as bvp - we have similar answers. It's worthwhile to keep this post as-is, so you can see the different perspectives. To follow bvp's comment: Encrypt your data before uploading to "the cloud." The cloud service doesn't have your key (but they have the one used to upload the data).
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Re: Backup Software

Post by wander » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:34 am

bertilak wrote: There is a difference between restoring a full system image and restoring your personal files so the answer depends on which you mean by "restore it". Certainly all the personal files can be restored from whatever media they are backed up to, including a USB memory stick or other USB device.
In my experience I prefer to image the whole machine, so I rather boot from CD-ROM or external hard drive to make image. In case of catastrophic (hard drive goes bad ... etc), I will re-image the machine and it is running like before within 1 hour. If I have to re-install Windows, hardware drivers and programs from scratch, then it is very painful and may take forever. I built my PC, so most of the drivers are here and there, finding them is possible, but it takes time too.

Personal files sometimes need specific software to open. Although you can back up it in Windows, you have to re-install the software to run, and often, you lose that software overtime ...

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Re: Backup Software

Post by Sheepdog » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:23 am

I have been looking at reviews of on-line backup systems. No one here has mentioned SOS Online Backup. This review from PC Magazine looks promising http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2395581,00.asp It covers all-in-one PC, Macs, Android, Iphone/ipad http://www.sosonlinebackup.com/index-pc ... wRoadblock. For up to 5 computers and 50 gb of storage the cost is $97.46 for 2 years. What is wrong with this one (or right)?
It's not what you gather, but what you scatter which tells what kind of life you have lived---Helen Walton

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Ricola
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Re: Backup Software

Post by Ricola » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:37 am

Been using Mozy for about 5 years.

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Re: Backup Software

Post by jebmke » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:09 pm

bertilak wrote:
jebmke wrote:
bhead33 wrote:I would recommend crashplan. You dont have to buy their cloud backup [though I did]. its free to use and they are very active on twitter and on their forums to explain and help how to use.
I have been testing Crashplan on my system for 5 days. Yesterday it stopped running. The MS service just stopped and I had to restart it manually. It would not start on reboot of the system even though the service is set to start automatically. So far, I'm not impressed.
Hmm. I'm half day into testing out crashplan. So far so good.

Currently I have a subscription to Carbonite. It is a pretty slick and reliable system, but I have a couple of problems with it so am looking for replacement.
  • 1) Even though Carbonite says it does "continuous" backup I see files that Carbonite says it will back up in 24 hours. It also does not act as archival storage.
    2) Anything more than 30 days old is lost for ever.
So far I have tried the following:

mozy: Truth be told, I forgot why I didn't like this one!

MyPC Backup: I like its feature set but it is still a bit buggy. [EDIT: removed rant due to frustrations.]

CrashPlan: So far so good, but your report is disheartening!
MS service failed to start on reboot again. Service is set to automatic. This is not a good sign.
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LadyGeek
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Re: Backup Software

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:29 pm

jebmke wrote:MS service failed to start on reboot again. Service is set to automatic. This is not a good sign.
Test fail. Uninstall and get the MS Windows backup running ASAP so you're covered. Backup / restore has to be the most reliable software on your PC. Follow your signature's advice.
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Re: Backup Software

Post by mike143 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:18 pm

wander wrote:In my experience I prefer to image the whole machine, so I rather boot from CD-ROM or external hard drive to make image.
Most backup software, including the one in Windows 7, gives you the option to image the machine while running the OS you are imaging. Macrium Reflect Free does and is one of my favorite.
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Re: Backup Software

Post by oldmanbill » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:40 pm

It's not free, but my Norton Ghost does everything you want it to. I've used Ghost for a very long time without a problem. You also have expert help if needed. The current version 15 cost about $70 but it's essentially good forever. I think the hardware involved is at least as important as the program. I have both a C and D drive. C is my working drive and I keep my backups on D. The chances that both would go bad at one time are, I think, remote. But, just in case I also have an external HD that I backup to once a month.

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Re: Backup Software

Post by cheese_breath » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:59 pm

oldmanbill wrote:It's not free, but my Norton Ghost does everything you want it to. I've used Ghost for a very long time without a problem. You also have expert help if needed. The current version 15 cost about $70 but it's essentially good forever. I think the hardware involved is at least as important as the program. I have both a C and D drive. C is my working drive and I keep my backups on D. The chances that both would go bad at one time are, I think, remote. But, just in case I also have an external HD that I backup to once a month.
It doesn't have to cost $70. FRYS.COM and others frequently offer Norton bundles including NIS, Ghost, and Utilities free after mail in rebates. You just have to keep checking the sites each week until the offer comes up. Get the bundle, install Ghost, and do whatever you want with the other two.
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Re: Backup Software

Post by jebmke » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:05 am

LadyGeek wrote:
jebmke wrote:MS service failed to start on reboot again. Service is set to automatic. This is not a good sign.
Test fail. Uninstall and get the MS Windows backup running ASAP so you're covered. Backup / restore has to be the most reliable software on your PC. Follow your signature's advice.
Indeed, test fail. Fortunately I also use SyncToy to replicate all my data to a NAS so I have a valid back up - always. I just want to double up by having an offsite. I have Mozy running on an old desktop that is going to be decommissioned. I liked a lot of the features of CrashPlan but an unreliable backup isn't a backup.

Reminds me of a time when my company's engineering department had a backup process running on a VAX cluster. After three years someone decided to do a test restore and found that while the backup sent out nice messages "Backup Complete" there was nothing on the tapes.
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Re: Backup Software

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:05 pm

SyncToy? I use that to sync my email and Firefox desktop profiles with my Win 7 (and Fedora dual-boot) laptop. Very handy. My laptop profiles are stored in a truecrypt volume.

(OT - That's a good story. I know what you mean, as I worked with a VAX/VMS 11/760. )
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Re: Backup Software

Post by jebmke » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:18 pm

Yes, my lesson from that is that a backup that has not been through a test restore is mirage.

I emailed CrashPlan support -- this was their response on the service failure.
It appears that the CrashPlan backup engine is running out of memory. Could you follow the instructions below to allocate more memory to the CrashPlan backup engine?

Running Notepad or any other text-editor as an Admin, edit the CrashPlan engine's CrashPlanService.ini file to allow it to use more java memory:

1. Stop the backup engine: http://support.crashplan.com/doku.php/h ... art_engine

2. Locate and edit the below line in C:\Program Files\CrashPlan\CrashPlanService.ini

-Xmx512m

3. Edit to something larger such as 640, 768, 896, or 1024. E.g.:

-Xmx1024m

This sets the maximum amount of memory that CrashPlan can use. CrashPlan will not use that much until it needs it. I would recommend starting out setting it to 768, and go higher only if you continue experiencing problems. You can set it as high as 2048 on 32-bit systems, or even higher on 64-bit systems.

4. Start the backup engine.
I'm not a software guy but it seems to me that any consumer software that might have this kind of problem isn't designed well. Consumers shouldn't have to make fixes like this. Can't they design this to dynamically allocate memory?
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Re: Backup Software

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:33 pm

Wow, I haven't seen that error in years. For the software crowd, they want you to increase the heap space of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). See: Chapter 4 Tuning the Java Runtime System. The only time I ever used this was to get a PC game to work - on my Intel 80286. To me, it's more of a hack attempt to work around something that's not compatible with this software. The more you allocate to CrashPlan, the less available to the OS. The OS needs the RAM more than CrashPlan does or it will slow down significantly and start caching to disk.

For the non-tech crowd: What are you going to do when you need to restore? Keep trying until it works, maybe? Run, don't walk away.
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Re: Backup Software

Post by ClevrChico » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:45 pm

My answer is don't backup to the cloud, USE the cloud.

Pictures - Picasa Web
Home videos - Google Docs
Office Type Docs - Google Docs
Music - Google Music

I believe Google will give you a chunk of disk space free. Easy to share files with family. (Companies spend $millions for this ease of sharing/collaboration.) Everything is automatically offsite in datacenters. You can keep/download local copies too, and archive as you wish.

All the data is accessible from any computer/smartphone I wish, very handy. I use Google's two-factor authentication for a high-level security.
Last edited by ClevrChico on Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Backup Software

Post by Epsilon Delta » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:10 pm

I have not used crashplan but I've had other backup utilities run out of memory because something was wrong with the file system. It might be time to run chkdisk or scandisk or whatever MS calls it these days.

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Re: Backup Software

Post by SHL » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:50 pm

Lots of good geeky info in this thread. Seems like folks everywhere are grappling with backing up ever-expanding data.
Stephen

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Re: Backup Software

Post by jebmke » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:07 pm

ClevrChico wrote:My answer is don't backup to the cloud, USE the cloud.
Ironically, this doesn't work when you are on a plane.
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Re: Backup Software

Post by ClevrChico » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:14 pm

jebmke wrote:
ClevrChico wrote:My answer is don't backup to the cloud, USE the cloud.
Ironically, this doesn't work when you are on a plane.
:D :D WIFI is going to be common on flights. A friend of a friend is working on this for a living, but I'm not sure if it's just R&D or commercially ready at this point.

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Re: Backup Software

Post by Epsilon Delta » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:34 pm

ClevrChico wrote:
jebmke wrote:
ClevrChico wrote:My answer is don't backup to the cloud, USE the cloud.
Ironically, this doesn't work when you are on a plane.
:D :D WIFI is going to be common on flights. A friend of a friend is working on this for a living, but I'm not sure if it's just R&D or commercially ready at this point.
How's that going to work when people are trying to watch 100 different movies?

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Re: Backup Software

Post by ClevrChico » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:21 pm

How's that going to work when people are trying to watch 100 different movies?
With 4G technology, trunking, and QOS it's likely doable. It's not that different than everyone in your neighbhorhood streaming movies from the cable provider in the evening. The technology might have a little ways to go, but it's close.

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