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Thread: How do you backup your important data?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    New Delhi
    Quote Originally Posted by Grr View Post
    Thanks Avi.
    How long does it take to do such image backup? and can we backup the HDD on which Norton Ghost is installed?
    For me with my old processor AMD and 2 GB RAM, it took me around 10-15 mins for this. I used to do this in bootup mode i.e. booting system with Norton Ghost.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    I back up to my old networked xbox running XBMC.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Hyderabad, India
    Quote Originally Posted by all43 View Post
    I back up to my old networked xbox running XBMC.
    Hmm... Advanced backup solution

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Dual purpose box Samuel as of course its a media player as well that can be accessed from any where, and they can be picked up for next to nothing and soft modded easily

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    I've been doing partition and drive backups for the last 4 years.

    The one program I haven't tried is Norton Ghost.

    But I've tried just about everything else that was free or promo'd.

    The fastest backup program is ShadowProtect... However, they are focused on enterprise business and really don't want end-users: they'd even admitted on WildersSecurity forum. The feature list as well as their high price shows this.

    One BIG consideration is whether you can restore a partition to smaller drive. Let's say, for a timely example, you have 100 GB drive (just one partition) and you decide to get a new 80 GB SSD. Some programs cannot restore your partition to the smaller drive even if you only have 60 BG used.

    I'm sure Norton Ghost can do it, and I know both Acronis TrueImage and Paragon products can.

    As far as speed of backup, compression efficiency, etc. you might want to check on I recall Ashraf doing some reviews on this sort of thing.

    Personally, I use Acronis TI. Why? I started out using MaxBlast 5 (which came with a new HD): limited version of TrueImage 9. And I simply liked it better than Paragon's products. Paragon is quite good and since they have free version and often have promos, it's what I recommend to most people.

    Acronis TI is faster than Paragon... don't recall about the compression. One thing to consider about compression is the more you compress, the longer the (backup / imaging) will take.

    One thing I strongly recommend is to put all your data on a 2nd (partition / drive) so in effect, your C:\ drive is just a system partition. I have most of XP's "special folders", like "My Documents", "My Music", etc on D:\ as well as all portable applications and my Firefox profiles.

    Why? In the event of malware attack, or "damn! I wish I hadn't installed that program" or "Hmmm, the system is starting to act wierd" etc, I just restore an earlier system image and I'm back up and running again without any loss of data, bookmarks, etc (saved / created) after the restored system image was made.

    Another big thing is, my system images are small and are done quickly!!! I make my images using "Normal" compression. 13 GB compresses to like 8 or 9 GB and take about 10 mins using the Linux-based bootCD (typically called the "Rescue Media.") Images made under Windows are even faster.

    But you will want to make sure you can use the "Rescue Media" on your system so you can restore you boot partition. About a year ago, I tried setting up a friend with one of Paragon's freebies, BUT his old laptop didn't like the Linux distro Paragon was using then and refused to function correctly. (There can be big differences between the flavors of Linux used in the various "Rescue Media". There's no point in having a sytem partition image if you can't do what is called a "bare-metal restoration."

    That said, I am using an internal drive to save my images too because SATA II is much, much Faster than USB 2.0. Later, I archive all my partition images and file backups to an external drive for safe keeping.

    I haven't tried making a partition image to the same partition I'm imaging. (I guess it might be possible) However, if you have enough room to do that, then simply use something like Easeus Partition Manager to shrink your system partition and create a data partition on your main drive.

    Hope my experiences help.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    New Delhi
    @Jelson, Thank you for your experiences and opinion about different backup and imaging solutions.

    Glad to know that you tested almost everything except ghost. Opposite applies to me. I have use Norton ghost as quite often and it has worked so far quite great. Regarding compression and the time required, you are right.

    Even though I did tested other products, but not as much as I did Ghost. So I wont be having a opinion about them, but as I keep saying, use a solution with which you are comfortable with and avoid complex ones. At least, in case of backup as if you messed with something you will end up with either a bad backup or no working system.

  7. #17
    I know freewares cant match the power of Norton Ghost, but still , It would be helpful it if you guys mentioned some free alternatives

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by ashwin View Post
    I know freewares cant match the power of Norton Ghost, but still , It would be helpful it if you guys mentioned some free alternatives
    How about 3 of them.

    First, Paragon Backup & Recovery 2010 Free Advanced, page

    Some of it's features:

    • Update Support for the latest Windows 7

    • Differential Backup - backup only changed data

    • Complete Restore - restore your computer to an earlier state without losing data and reinstalling and reconfiguring your programs

    • NEW Restore an entire disk, separate partitions or only files you need from the previously created backup image

    • NEW Restore with Shrink to restore a backup image to a free block of smaller size taking into account only the amount of actual data of the image

    • Create a bootable USB Flash drive - recover your PC on demand

    • Access Secure and Proven Paragon Technology - Our Disk Imaging and Professional Recovery applications are used by millions of satisfied customers worldwide

    • Update Linux/DOS bootable recovery environments - Our Disk Imaging and Professional Recovery applications are used by millions of satisfied customers worldwide

    • NEW P2V Adjust OS - Recover the OS startup ability after an unsuccessful virtualization by a 3rd party tool
    Also, 2 different hardware-specific re-brands of Acronis TrueImage 2009

    Seagate Disk Wizard 11 Build 8326 (Digital Sig == Oct. 2009)

    Download & Manual page is

    It requires:
    At least one Seagate Technology or Maxtor disc drive

    1.3.2 Supported operating systems

    • Windows® 2000 Professional SP 4
    • Windows® XP SP 2
    • Windows® XP Professional x64 Edition
    • Windows® Vista
    NOTE WELL: I've used it when only the attached Seagate drive was an external one.

    Updated rebrand: Acronis True Image WD Edition Software

    File Size: 100 MB (approx.)
    Version: 14010
    Publish Date: June, 2010

    Supported Operating Systems

    • Windows XP
    • Windows Vista
    • Windows 7

    Supported Languages

    Version 14010 is an English Only release.
    Versions in all other WD supported languages will be provided shortly.
    Manual , notice that it states under:

    1.3.1 Minimum system requirement

    • Attached Western Digital device
    Important UPDATE

    Just found the to a very good comparison of 5 imaging apps done a year ago by Ashraf. He includes a feature comparison chart as well as a performance chart (including speed and compression):
    1. Paragon Backup & Restore Free 10 build 8927
    2. Macrium Reflect Free 4.2 build 2082
    3. EASEUS Todo Backup 1.0
    4. DriveImage XML 2.12
    5. Acronis True Image Home 2010 build 5055
    Last edited by jelson; 19-12-10 at 04:45 PM. Reason: link to 5 app comparison added

  9. #19
    That was simply superb. great share Jelson

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Thank you jelson for sharing this valuable experience.....m sure sum point of time it will surely come in handy.


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