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Old 26th December 2009   #1
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Backup vs Cloning - which is better and why?


Seems everyone uses backup software because of the ability to do incrementals, but why not just clone the drive (in my case every few wks)?
My data files very rarely change. Most changes are to photo and music files.

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Old 26th December 2009   #2
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Originally Posted by Jilly View Post
Chacun a Son Gout.
All right, I have no idea what that means, or even what language it is.
Did you just cuss me out?

Originally Posted by Jilly View Post
So, that is, I can indulge my new pathetic addiction to this site.
Looks like a good choice of words. 211 posts in less than a month. Not bad girl.


Originally Posted by Jilly View Post
Arie, the Administrator here, posted he chooses to do a new image of his drive at regular intervals, and he keeps that imaged drive in a safe with his gold bullion.


This raises another question. What's the difference between an image and a clone? (As I stated in another thread backups are not my forte.)

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Old 26th December 2009   #3
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Quote:
but why not just clone the drive (in my case every few wks)?
The drawback to that method is that you may inadvertantly clone a system that has some defect that you are not yet aware of - that would render the clone backup useless for repairing the main system.

Cloning to any target partition will wipe all previous data from that partition so you have no in-depth backups. I never like to bet with those odds.

As for a straight user data backup program, not many of those can rescue you when your drive fails to boot into any windows session. That can leave you hanging even though you thought you had good backups.

I use Acronis True Image (ver. 11) since it makes incremental backup. I allow it to automatically do that at first boot daily and I keep several months of those stored on a separate physical drive. Occasionally (yearly +-)I burn a pristine image to CD's just for added safety.

TI allows for rescuing a non-bootable system by using a previously made boot disk for that purpose, although I don't use that method - instead I opt to use a BartPE boot CD with the Acronis plug-in on it. I recommend that method since the BartPE disk has many other uses as well.

With that in-depth image backup system, I can quickly restore my system to any date within the last six months or so and still have access to the current files by virtue of the file browsing feature of TI.

I have tested TI from all angles on several system and find it to be excellent. Down through the years it has worked decently on almost any system I used it on. There have been rare exceptions where the system BIOS would not allow for some features to work but TI was still able to perform by some alternate method on those occasions.

I'm also a great fan of XXCLONE and use it to create a test dummy system on a spare drive which I set up for dual booting. That provides a nice safety net for testing new software as well as doing potentially destructive things to a healthy system to simulate problem that others have so I can attempt to instruct them in how to recover their systems. XXCLONE has several nice features beyond just cloning so take a good look at all the features.


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Old 26th December 2009   #4
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I hear what you're saying about cloning.
I have an external HD that I only hook up every month +/- to do a backup on. It's a clone so if anything happens I'm instantly up and running again.
Comments?

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Old 26th December 2009   #5
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Thx for the link Jilly.
It looks good - I'll read in it more depth when I get back from the gym.
It's nice to know I've been cussed out in French. I know some Spanish, though I wouldn't go into to it here.

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Old 26th December 2009   #6
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Quote:
I have an external HD that I only hook up every month +/- to do a backup on. It's a clone so if anything happens I'm instantly up and running again.
Comments?
That'll do until you get TI or equal.

Remember that some virus payloads don't dump on you until months after you get them. Other defects can also occur that do not cause immediate problems so that you may have the same defect in your clone backup, rendering it useless. Cloning is fine as far as it goes but remember, it doesn't go as far as incremental drive imaging.

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Old 27th December 2009   #7
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Quote:
But I made a commitment.


XXclone is fine but the licensed version is too expensive. You can get TI for less and it will do more since it allows for browsing the old image files and retrieving long since deleted files if that be needed.

I also like and use XXcopy but I use the freebie version there as well. The same man (Kan Yabumoto) developed both of them and they are super products. I must warn that they are also super powerful and in the wrong hands can produce some untoward results.

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Old 27th December 2009   #8
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I really do think these things are, in part, subjective.
True. We all have different requirements for risk management since one person's data may not not be as important as the next person's. If you are fully aware of the possible weaknesses in a particular method and it doesn't bother you, then all is well. Don't forget about Murphy though.

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Old 27th December 2009   #9
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I don't have any cloning or backup programs, so I don't [have] any axes to grind one way or another, but I got a new Dell desktop with Windows 7 recently and have considered getting something. I'd heard of the Acronis program before and the latest version is compatible with Win 7, so after seeing the comments here I thought I'd check with amazon.com to see what their price is of the latest version, TI Home 2010, and what customer reviews of the program looked like. Sobering. The reviews went to the extremes. From 41 reviewers, there were 12 reviews giving it the maximum 5 stars, but 24 reviews gave it just 1 star, and 5 reviews were thinly scattered in between those extremes. As I said, sobering.

Amazon's price is $35.49, by the way, although there's a free trial version available on-line.


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Old 27th December 2009   #10
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Originally Posted by BOBBO View Post
I don't have any cloning or backup programs, so I don't any axes to grind one way or another, but I got a new Dell desktop with Windows 7 recently and have considered getting something. I'd heard of the Acronis program before and the latest version is compatible with Win 7, so after seeing the comments here I thought I'd check with amazon.com to see what their price is of the latest version, TI Home 2010, and what customer reviews of the program looked like. Sobering. The reviews went to the extremes. From 41 reviewers, there were 12 reviews giving it the maximum 5 stars, but 24 reviews gave it just 1 star, and 5 reviews were thinly scattered in between those extremes. As I said, sobering.

Amazon's price is $35.49, by the way, although there's a free trial version available on-line.
Windows 7 has its own imaging solution that should suffice for most all home users. You can image the system and data and do custom imaging choosing what you want to be imaged.
http://www.neowin.net/news/main/09/0...ackup-overview

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Old 27th December 2009   #11
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I don't want to hijack this thread, but what I'd be interested in is something that allows easy incremental backing up. Like chas berlin, most of my changes would be with images. I had always been under the impression that Acronis TI is supposed to be good at that, and the Home 2010 version is compatible with Windows 7. But...

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Old 27th December 2009   #12
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Having returned to find the direction the thread took, I thought I'd sit this one out and see if it came back around. Since the same question is now being asked again, I'll just wait and see.

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Old 28th December 2009   #13
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As I explained in the thread http://www.windowsbbs.com/hardware/8...p-program.html

Quote:
RAID1 is no substitute for a backup. If you delete or overwrite a file it will be gone... from both disks. RAID1 only helps you in one instance: hard drive failure.
Nearly the same is true for a clone: It only contains a backup of a file at that point in time. If you clone once a month, you could possibly lose any changes you made in a month to the file.

Now, I believe that with Acronis you can make both Images & incremental and differential backups, so you have a mix of clone & backup to have a more complete (& up to date) backup solution.

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Old 28th December 2009   #14
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Originally Posted by BOBBO View Post
I don't want to hijack this thread, but what I'd be interested in is something that allows easy incremental backing up. Like chas berlin, most of my changes would be with images. I had always been under the impression that Acronis TI is supposed to be good at that, and the Home 2010 version is compatible with Windows 7. But...
For simply backing up files just manually copy them elsewhere or use a batch file. Here's a simple batch file that will copy an entire directory and its contents to another partition or drive. Successive uses of it only copy new and changed files, making the job go very fast as it won't copy stuff that's already been copied unless a file has been changed.

example backs up My Documents dir and all of its subfolders and files: (save in Notepad as backup.cmd)

Code:
@echo off
echo ----------------------------------------------------
echo THIS PROGRAM BACKS UP YOUR DOCUMENTS.
echo.
echo USE THIS PROGRAM REGULARLY THROUGHOUT THE DAY.
echo.
echo WOULD YOU LIKE TO BACKUP NOW?
echo ----------------------------------------------------
pause
xcopy /q/s/c/d/h/e/r/y/i "%UserProfile%\My Documents\*.*" "D:\My Documents\"
echo ----------------------------------------------------
echo BACKUP COMPLETED!
echo ----------------------------------------------------
pause

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Old 28th December 2009   #15
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Thx Arie. Now I think I get it.

Originally Posted by Arie View Post
As I explained in the thread http://www.windowsbbs.com/hardware/8...p-program.html



Nearly the same is true for a clone: It only contains a backup of a file at that point in time. If you clone once a month, you could possibly lose any changes you made in a month to the file.

Now, I believe that with Acronis you can make both Images & incremental and differential backups, so you have a mix of clone & backup to have a more complete (& up to date) backup solution.

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