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  • System backup?

    First off, I'm far from a computer wiz. Now that that is out of the way, I'll soon be getting a new computer and would like a simple way to get back up and running when the system inevitably goes wonkers on me. On my present system I just copied all of drive "a" on drive "b" with a simple little Maxtor utility. When the system bugged out I would just change "a" to slave and "b" to master and would be up and running in no time. But on the new computer I will only have one hard drive so I don't know exactly how to do a back up of the system.

    I think I want to make an "image" but I don't know how to do this. The operating system will be Vista (I get a free upgrade to Windows 7 that I will be applying... ) If anyone has some advice, simple is better:o...

  • #2
    I use Acronis True Image http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing...cts/trueimage/ backing up to a 1 TB external hard drive. Was recommended by my buddy who is our IT whiz at our office (he's a former Canuck it that helps your comfort level :D) Fairly easy to use, just remember to make a boot disk.

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    • #3
      +1 for Acronis TrueImage. I've used it in the past before I set up Windows Home Server that I use for backups, and it worked great. It's a huge step up from some of the more common consumer-marketed backup solutions like Ghost.
      Angel City Audio
      East Street Audio

      ACA, Melody, Onix, NuForce, KR Audio

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      • #4
        Another +1 for Acronis. I just did a full backup this morning :D

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        • #5
          Another +1 for Acronis. I was able to use it to pull off all the files on my failing hard drive to a new one before loosing everything. Now have a mirrored second drive.

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          • #6
            I know django1 wanted a simple solution, but I'd like to put out another approach that may be useful for some.

            I am in the process of setting up a Windows Home Server system. All of our music, photos, videos, and recorded TV shows are stored on it. It serves all this to several computers and 2 media extenders scattered around the house.

            A real side benefit to this system is that it will automatically do nightly backups on all PCs that are on the network.

            Rod

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            • #7
              I took the same approach as Rod, but went a step further.

              I got a HP EX485 MediaSmartServer for all of the reasons he mentioned, but I also moved my DVDs to the server and stream them over my (wired) network to a Popcorn Hour A-110 to my home theater.
              Ray

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              • #8
                Originally posted by nwboater
                I know django1 wanted a simple solution, but I'd like to put out another approach that may be useful for some.

                I am in the process of setting up a Windows Home Server system. All of our music, photos, videos, and recorded TV shows are stored on it. It serves all this to several computers and 2 media extenders scattered around the house.

                A real side benefit to this system is that it will automatically do nightly backups on all PCs that are on the network.

                Rod
                This is what I am doing now. I can store all of my media on it, stream to either computer or my squeezebox on it, (or XBOX 360 if I had one) and both my desktop and laptop automatically back themselves up on it ever night. Also, I can access my media remotely and sync my pictures to FLICKR. As an added Perk, I'm hosting my website on it. I've been quite happy with WHS, although I didn't try it before the first power pack when there were so many problems. Power Pack 3 should be out any time, which will add a bunch of new features to better mesh with windows 7.

                I wholeheartedly support and recommend doing this, BUT it's definitely more expensive than buying an external drive and backup software if you don't have a spare old computer laying around. It doesn't have to be very powerful, and mine doesn't even have a video card or optical drive in it. I access it via RDP. However, buying new parts, you'd still be hard-pressed to come in under $300. An Atom system would be cheaper, but not much, and that might be pushing it in terms of system requirements.
                Angel City Audio
                East Street Audio

                ACA, Melody, Onix, NuForce, KR Audio

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                • #9
                  For the time being, WHS is not something I will pursue. Do Acronis and Symantec ghost both require an external hd? Really, I only want to have my OS backed up and maybe some software. Or could I drop my old hd into the new computer and use it to back up some stuff? It's 120 gig. But I suppose I would have to format it and all that :dizzy:.

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                  • #10
                    Is there something like Apple's Time Capsule for you window's guys?
                    Never Argue With An idiot. They'll Lower You To Their Level And Then Beat You With Experience!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by django1
                      For the time being, WHS is not something I will pursue. Do Acronis and Symantec ghost both require an external hd? Really, I only want to have my OS backed up and maybe some software. Or could I drop my old hd into the new computer and use it to back up some stuff? It's 120 gig. But I suppose I would have to format it and all that :dizzy:.
                      You could absolutely back up to a 2nd internal drive. You could also back up to DVD if you really wanted to deal with manually putting them in every time, and then storing them. I used to have an extra internal drive for backups before I built the server. You won't have to format it either, although you'll want to have enough space for a few backups.

                      Originally posted by Jason
                      Is there something like Apple's Time Capsule for you window's guys?
                      Microsoft has had Volume Shadow Copy for years, (since server 2000 I think) but it was only included by default with server OS's until Vista. (Renamed "Multiple Versions") There was also a fairly nice backup utility (not image-based) that could be used for an external disk, but again, only on Windows Server unless you went looking for it. I'm not sure why they didn't move it to the consumer OS before Vista, but when they did, everybody said they copied time capsule :shiftyeyes:

                      Either way, if using Vista or 7, there is a decent system backup utility included, as well as VSC for individual file backups. System Restore also doesn't suck like it did in XP and earlier versions of Windows. The advantage of software like Ghost or True Image is that it's image based, so you can do things like restore a complete image without reinstalling windows or clone a drive. (comes in handy when upgrading hard drives) Image backups are also compressed to save space.
                      Angel City Audio
                      East Street Audio

                      ACA, Melody, Onix, NuForce, KR Audio

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                      • #12
                        Just reading about Maxblast and it is powered by Acronis. It will work as long as one of the drives is Maxtor or Seagate. And it's a freebie. Anyways, I'll do some more reading on this and pick something. Thanks for the help guys!

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