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  • Computer Question - Pls Help

    I have a ton of stuff on my desktop at home and need to make an image of my main HDD (OS, programs, etc.). I first tried Ghost and it worked OK for a while, but then it gave up the ghost and would no longer make an image of the entire HDD. I then got True Image and it always stops at the same place and will not make an image of the entire HDD. Yeah, I know that it does appear that some gremlin is inside my box.

    Just the other day, I downloaded Paragon Back and Recovery (the free version) and, guess what, it works like a champ. The entire HDD is now imaged/backed up. But what I need to verify is that Paragon does, indeed, a disk imaging backup. I don't want just a backup program. If I encounter a failure on my HDD I want to be able to take the external HDD that I use for the images and pop it inside my box. And, yes, the external drive is a SATA HD with a removable USB case.

    You guys are the experts. What do you think?

  • #2
    Mike,

    It would seem to me that a RAID 1 disk array would be much more beneficial.

    Sean

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    • #3
      Without going into a lot of detail, how would I do that with an existing setup. I have 3 internal HDD....main, one for photo storage and, well, now that I think about it, the other is also for sotrage and does have a few programs on it and is a scratch disk for Photoshop.

      When I built the box, I considered doing a RAID, but didn't...and cannot remember why.

      As I said, I have a ton of programs on my main drive and I am scared to death that something might happen. It would take me forever to reload stuff and it would be a nightmare.

      How hard would it be to set up a RAID 1 with what I have right now?

      Thanks, guys.

      Comment


      • #4
        If your motherboard is relatively new with SATA 2 and even some later SATA 1 boards, it most likely supports some version of Raid, Intel Matrix or similar. You would need to reload your OS with your RAID configured, unless someone knows a work around for this.

        I agree with the others recommending this and have this setup on several of my machines including ones at work. Additionally, I create a centralized folder on my workstation and save all my important data within that folder. this as opposed to using "My Documents" and the like. I use X Copy commands to create a batch file and the use "Scheduled Tasks" to automatically copy the entire contents of the folder daily to an external drive. You could X-Copy multiple folders if you would rather but I've found using a single folder and just editing the save path to it for each individual program simplifies the backup process. This gives you three disks with the same information on them at any time with the external being data only. This way if for some reason your RAID becomes corrupt you still have all your email backups, photoshop etc.
        Coach Pat Summitt - Folding at Home

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        • #5
          The MB does support a RAID configuration. Pretty sure it is SATA 1. If you are saying that I would need to reload the OS (I assume on the main HDD), wouldn't that put me, essentially, right where I am trying NOT to be in case of a failure (i.e., having to reload everything)?

          Thanks for all the help.

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          • #6
            Well my .02 is this. I've never liked or rather trusted those backup utilities. Perhaps it's just me but regardless I don't use them. Just the other day my boss tried to recover his True Image and it's not working. Could very easily be user error! After seeing the other suggestions I agree with them as I feel it is a more robust plan.

            The only way I know to test your current back up would be to load it on a pretty much identical machine.
            Coach Pat Summitt - Folding at Home

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            • #7
              With all those drives it sounds like what you need is RAID 5. With RAID 5 any one drive can fail and you replace the bad drive and it rebuilds itself. That coupled with a backup of your critical files would be ideal. It used to be you had to have identical drives with a RAID 5 setup but I don't think that is the case anymore, I will have to check. If you can post your motherboard Make/Model. I won't be able to get you more detailed info until next week (busy this weekend).

              Comment


              • #8
                ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard

                Thanks for the help.

                Mike

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                • #9
                  Mike,

                  I've asked some real geeky friends and will get back to you with their answers.

                  Another option is online backup or cloud storage, there are quite a few of these now. The cost is relatively low for home users, the biggest challenge is the initial seeding of data; some companies allow only initial seeding via a broadband connection, while others will FedEx you a external HD for you to send back. After the initial seeding your system is configuring to send changes in real-time or during downtime. These system normally keep multiple versions of the changed files, giving you the ability to go back in time.

                  Sean

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                  • #10
                    Oh, I could reload everything, but I really do have a TON of stuff. I do a fair amount with Photoshop and have a lot of plug-ins. And I have all kinds of other software.

                    But back to my OP. Ghost and Acronis simply will not work on my machine. Paragon works like a champ, but I need to ensure that it is, in fact, an imaging backup. Various reviews of it state that it is a disk imaging program, but I would get more comfort having you guys tell me that is what it does. Would someone please look at it and let me know?

                    http://www.paragon-software.com/home/brh/features.html

                    Thanks for all the help.

                    Mike

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      the only problem with a raid array is you need to start fresh. so you still need to get that drive image created.

                      also raid doesn't mean an end to drive failures or data loss. raid controllers can and do fail and that can corrupt or wipe out your data. and in lots of cases to rebuild that raid image can be very costly and time consuming (have to send the drives off to a specialist data recovery firm). this from having seen a few hundred raid failures in my time.

                      raid is good but redundancy is king.

                      i dont see any real mention of saving disk images, doesnt mention what image types it saves. it may just be making an archive of some type but no real disk image. but it does mention that it can mount disk images.

                      if you are having issues with drive imaging software you could have some bad sectors on your hdd. that is the most common issue i found with acronis or ghost when it came to problems imaging. occasionally serious malware caused it (rootkit/mbr virus), but that was pretty rare and only with really very serious infections..

                      Matt
                      Still think Craig is in the "Chase" for that sense of humour. :neener 1:

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                      • #12
                        IMO, I think bad sectors are causing the problem. I ran the chdsk/f and Acronis ran fine one time after that....but only one time.

                        Thanks

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mike4AU
                          IMO, I think bad sectors are causing the problem. I ran the chdsk/f and Acronis ran fine one time after that....but only one time.

                          Thanks
                          that may make getting a stable backup a tough thing to do.

                          short of booting from a different drive and running the drive imaging software from that stable clean drive, which may help out as well.

                          Matt
                          Still think Craig is in the "Chase" for that sense of humour. :neener 1:

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            XP Pro....service pack 3.

                            I cannot recall if the scan found anything amiss.

                            Thanks

                            PS...yes, the OS is current

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Windows Home Server. Kind of extreme just for backups, but it works great. But if you have another computer laying around, or can build one (can be done very cheaply), this is a good solution. Load that sucker up with a bunch of 1TB drives and just try to fill it up.

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