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  • Back up software

    Bought a couple of external hard drives for back up purposes. Our computer guy does not like the software that came with the drives. Does anyone know of a good backup software package.? The software he uses is for large companies and net works and or is proprietary so he is not allowed to use it for us.

  • #2
    Re: Back up software

    drive space is so cheap now a days, why even bother.

    just image the entire hard drive or shadow copy certain folders with your information.

    any software you have bought you should have DVDs for so no real need to back those up. yes, you will lose any updates or customization but that's not too hard to restore.

    if you keep all data you have created under one folder and create sub-folders for various topics or types of information then you just need to copy that one main folder along with all contents of sub-folders over to the external drive and you are done.

    no need to worry about compression or bugs in any backup software. you can password protect the external drive and store it in a safe place. bring it out and copy over any new files on a regular basis based on how important the data is to you and how much is generated in a week or month.

    consider storing this drive in a safe place away from the computer, so that if something happens then it will be less likely that both are lost. if its reall important or sensitive data then make a third copy on a second external drive and put that in a safe deposit box or other remote secure storage.
    ---------------
    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
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    ---------
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    • #3
      Re: Back up software

      I agree with Bob. Space is cheap. Most backup softwares compress with proprietary compression so you cannot just hook up a drive and copy data. This is important to remember when the OS is upgraded and the software no longer works or the company goes out of business. Also, blu-ray re-writers have come way down in price. Each dual layer disk can hold 50 GB of data. That's a lot. Remember to only copy your data and important things. No need to back up programs and other things that you have install disks for, unless those disks are floppy based (then make copies of the installers to another CD). Store the CD/DVD media in cases in a totally dark, dry atmosphere.

      I have been using this method for over 15 years, now on 27 disks. All of my media are in awesome condition and I can pull data from any time period. What also helps is to make a paper copy of the disk contents... a catalogue for easy reference that shows the disk title, disk date, and data/programs in alphabetical order and is electronically searchable.

      Many Windows based machines still have DOS commands embedded into them. By doing a:

      DIR <-add tags here> | c:\disk.txt

      command (do a DIR /? to get the tags to strip out headers and other unneeded info) you can get a copy of the disk info sent to a hard copy which you can then copy and paste into an excel table. Then just add your disk info and alphabetize. Make sure that each additional disk is then called something else in order to make the searching process easier. I usually title my disks by date, (programs, games, mac, data, etc), and the media type (dvd, blue-ray, cd).

      The excel document would have title headers such as:

      File name / Disk # / Disk Title

      When printing, "Fit to page" is important. Otherwise the columns tend to span multiple pages. It'll take a little tweaking to get it right.

      Most operating systems have data writing built-in now, but I prefer Nero Burning ROM for data copy and other activities.
      ~~

      ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

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      • #4
        Re: Back up software

        Agree with both posts above.
        I've been using a product called Cobian Backup for about a year and a half on windows 7. It allows you create different backup sets. I have one for documents, one for pictures, etc. You can exclude files/directories (i.e. temporary files or folders). You can do a full backup then incremental backups (backs up only files that have changed since the last backup). You can run the backup manually or schedule when each backup set runs. It creates a new log file each time a backup is run. Very user friendly.
        Best thing, Its free.
        Mike

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        • #5
          Re: Back up software

          Cobian here as well...

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          • #6
            Re: Back up software

            You'd better hope that the old software continues to run under new OS's. The source code is FOR SALE per the web site. Also leads me to believe that it will probably not be free in the future.

            They say that the ZIP files created by the backup *should* decompress with the latest winzip software but there is nothing addressing when it doesn't. (equates to lost data).
            ~~

            ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

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            • #7
              Re: Back up software

              The default setting is 'no compression'. It just copies the files. I tried the zip and 7zip compression when testing the software and had trouble with it writing to a wireless network drive. No compression works fine. I run the backup's at night so compression and speed are not a concern. 287 files that are 2Gb of data takes about 6 minutes.

              or as Bob D suggested,
              'if you keep all data you have created under one folder and create sub-folders for various topics or types of information then you just need to copy that one main folder along with all contents of sub-folders over to the external drive and you are done.'
              Mike

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