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Billy86

Anyone using back up software?

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Thinking about automating back ups. PC World says Acronis True Image is one of the best, but this sounds resource unfriendly: “The download is a whopping 600MB, the installation about the same, and there are six separate background processes running at all times.” 

The review https://www.pcworld.com/article/3434607/acronis-true-image-2020-review.html

Anyone using a program they like?

 

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That's what I use, I tried a lot of others and found Acronis TI to be most reliable and easy to use. Never had an issue with it failing, been using it for years. I don't install anything though, I just create the bootable disk and boot to it and do my backups manually and off line. You can install it and set it up to do stuff automatically if you so choose, but I prefer not to install anything I don't need to install, and to have the least amount of stuff running in the background doing things automatically etc.

There are a few choices, some will like one, some another, some will work better for others etc, read up try out a few of them for yourself and choose what best suits you

Edited by ensonced

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I don't use system image backups, but I use Free FileSync to make duplicate copies of all my creative project source files (and other artifacts i have created, like custom sample libraries) and installers (so I can reconstruct my DAW if necessary).

I use two rotating external USB hard drives as destinations and cycle between them. The most recent drive goes into my "go bag" in case our neighborhood catches fire.

FreeFileSync lets me specify a list of directory trees to mirror on to the USB drive. It only copies (or deletes) changed files. It's pretty fast, and I run it after each session.

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O&O_Diskimage to create a biweekly image of the windows drive

Novabackup to do a nightly backup of files

Both automated to external drive

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I manually control my backup processes.  I have used backup software in the past, but don't bother with it anymore, as it is pretty simple to do them manually.

Bob Bone

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I like and use Macrium Reflect Free to run a scheduled daily full system drive image.

I also have FreeFileSync set up to do a quick one click backup of certain  specific folders, as desired, in between images.

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I do use True Image for disk imaging (booting from a rescue CD), although I agree it is doing waaay too much most of the time if you just install it and let it run in the background. I use Synctoy to do file backups. It is reasonably fast, and once you understand the basics of it, you will be able to understand and control what it is doing. Copying every file manually is certainly something you can do, but if you have hundreds of files can be confusing and duplicative.  Too many of these applications (and I include Trueimage here) are too much faith based--trust me I am automated and nothing can possibly go wrong.

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Although imaging is good for restoring an OS drive (I image every 1-2 months), it is not necessarily the best means of backing up data files (which might be a few hundred files a week). I have used xcopy for some time, and created a batch file to archive data files from known directories. between images this can be run as desired and only takes a few seconds to complete (simply copies newer files from point A to point B). Especially for those with large OS drives, imaging a few hundred GB makes no sense when you have significantly less user (not system) data files to worry about. Images will also back up a lot of Windows "garbage" (i.e. temp files it likes to strew about that accumulate without the user deleting them), so I purge all of that before imaging (I keep my OS drive small, roughly 125GB, by junctioning larger directories to other drives).

Here is a really old post I made walking through most of that if interested. The only thing I didn't mention in there is at the end of the xcopy I have an "/exclude:C:\list.txt" comment, with the C:\list.txt file containing a list of all directories in the backup source which are junctioned (i.e. already pointing to another location).

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2 minutes ago, mettelus said:

Although imaging is good for restoring an OS drive (I image every 1-2 months), it is not necessarily the best means of backing up data files (which might be a few hundred files a week). I have used xcopy for some time, and created a batch file to archive data files from known directories. between images this can be run as desired and only takes a few seconds to complete (simply copies newer files from point A to point B). Especially for those with large OS drives, imaging a few hundred GB makes no sense when you have significantly less user (not system) data files to worry about. Images will also back up a lot of Windows "garbage" (i.e. temp files it likes to strew about that accumulate without the user deleting them), so I purge all of that before imaging (I keep my OS drive small, roughly 125GB, by junctioning larger directories to other drives).

Here is a really old post I made walking through most of that if interested. The only thing I didn't mention in there is at the end of the xcopy I have an "/exclude:C:\list.txt" comment, with the C:\list.txt file containing a list of all directories in the backup source which are junctioned (i.e. already pointing to another location).

In short, images are usually best for your Windows system drive. The time saved in rebuilding Windows from scratch, installing and authorizing all of your programs and plugins, etc. is priceless!!!

Data file and folder backups are probably easier to manage your secondary drives with.

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I use MS Sync Toy for backing up files to a NAS.  Free and easy and I'm pretty good about manually doing it every couple of weeks for my Cakewalk projects, Reaktor user libraries, Docs folder, etc.

I'm looking at that Acronis too for my new PC and new laptop so thanks for the review link.  I'm thinking I don't want all the background processes running either and periodically creating a backup image when everything is working good could save a heap of frustration if something catastrophic happens. 

 

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I use Acronis for backing up my PC system and for my Cakewalk projects I use Autosave Essentials by Avanquest  which loads automatically when I boot up and whenever I save a Cakewalk file that I am working on it automatically copies it from my projects folder to a designated folder on an external drive.  I don't even have to think about it. - MF

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Thanks everyone for the response. I've picked up a copy of Acronis Total Image and will be wading through the (gulp) 193-page manual. Good to see it doesn't have to run continuously in the background, but you can schedule it to do what you want when you want, so it's not taxing the CPU.

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I just recently (as in yesterday/today) spent backing up my computers/drives.   I decided to go the "Clonezilla" route.

 

Has anyone utilized this software and what is your satisfaction level with it.  One of the reasons I went this route was due to cheapness (its free).

Right now my DAW Laptop is backing up an image to a USB 4TB drive via Clonezilla.   Unfortunately this method does not support incremental type backups but I want to do this once a month in the event of a drive failure.

I also have a USB external drive that I backup my stuff to (such as CbB project files  and installers using Clonezilla),  I also back up that drive image image to another drive.

The Clonezilla method requires the use of a bootable USB drive to run a Linux OS in ram (memory) and no install on my hard drive w/background tasks.

Syphus

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On 9/21/2019 at 8:06 PM, ensonced said:

That's what I use, I tried a lot of others and found Acronis TI to be most reliable and easy to use. Never had an issue with it failing, been using it for years. I don't install anything though, I just create the bootable disk and boot to it and do my backups manually and off line. You can install it and set it up to do stuff automatically if you so choose, but I prefer not to install anything I don't need to install, and to have the least amount of stuff running in the background doing things automatically etc.

There are a few choices, some will like one, some another, some will work better for others etc, read up try out a few of them for yourself and choose what best suits you

That’s EXACTLY how I use it and I’ve never had an issue.

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1 hour ago, Syphus said:

I just recently (as in yesterday/today) spent backing up my computers/drives.   I decided to go the "Clonezilla" route.

Clonezilla is definitely not for unsophisticated users, and the last time I used it was not even able to compress disk images meaning the backup partition had to be as big as the original...OK in those days that mattered. If you are looking for free, but not requiring a computer science background Easus ToDo Backup (limited feature free version available) is an easy to use and effective option. If you do not want to use another OS to do the backup, and are willing to take the time to understand its workings Windows still has its own System Imaging feature built in.  It can also backup copies of files using File History, but I have rarely used that feature, and find the simplicity and security of managing SyncToy gives me more confidence. In the past I have had the experience of Microsoft failing to support its own features in new versions, although they typically would hide a utility in an online download source that could extract the old stuff to the new version if you looked for it. 

Edited by slartabartfast

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Macrium Reflect has a free version, and it works well for for me to do full system disk images. Ir's free and pain level = 0.

Set Macrium up once, schedule your jobs, and it's hands free. No booting from alternate OS required! The compression saves you some space on the image drive.

Make images of a running Windows OS. It will do differential, but not incremental. Also does direct disk cloning.

https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree

I used the built-in Windows 7 image for years in Windows 7, and it's still available in Win 8.1/Win10. It's all manual, but no rebooting required, and I still use it occasionally to make images as a fallback  to my Macrium images. Pain level =5

I use Clonezilla to image my Linux partitions. Also free, but pain level = 10. And you MUST read the directions carefully and keep them handy... but it works!

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I used, or tried Clonezilla long ago, it may well be better now days, but back then it was failure after failure, grabbed Acronis TI and never looked back. Clonezilla may be free, but just like Linux, it's only free if your time is worth nothing to you 😉. Just my opinion and experience of course, YMMV

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