Backup software?

Discussion in 'Software for Windows' started by PokerGuy, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. PokerGuy

    PokerGuy Lifer

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    I've used Windows Home Server v1 for years and it worked great. Unfortunately, it has some issues with Win 7 and 64 bit OS's etc, understandable for such an old OS. The newer version of WHS (2011) took out the most useful feature of all, the ability to pool a bunch of drives and use them for backups.

    Now I'm looking to use Windows 8 to pool a bunch of disks and use that as the backup storage for 6 PCs around the house.

    Are there any good software options out there to easily backup each PC each night (incremental) to this new shared storage pool? Like maybe an automated incremental backup each night and then a full backup each month or something like that? Is there software out there that will manage the backups and delete older backups when new ones are made etc?

    What do you guys use for backing up PC's regularly?
     
  2. jhansman

    jhansman Platinum Member

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    I just pulled the trigger on Acronis True Image 2013, as it was the only one that would create a recovery CD I could actually boot from that also had mouse support (Ghost and O&O failed). So far, I like it a lot. It has everything I need, including ongoing backup.They're running a 20% off sale now:

    http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/
     
  3. Kaido

    Kaido Lifer

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    I use 3 things:

    Genie9: ($40) Like Apple's Time Machine, but for Windows. Backs up to network locations. Keeps old versions so you can go back in time to retrieve an older file version.

    http://www.genie9.com/home/Genie_Timeline_Home/overview.aspx

    Macrium Reflect: (Free) Makes an image of an entire drive. I do this for extra peace-of-mind...it basically makes an ISO (.mrimg) of your boot drive, and you can mount that drive as a virtual drive and browse through it to get a particular file, restore it to another physical drive, or convert it to a virtual machine. I have a USB hard drive adapter (IDE/SATA) that I use with this for drive-to-drive copies & image restorations.

    http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx

    Backblaze: ($5 a month) Online incremental backup.

    http://www.backblaze.com/

    That pretty much covers all the bases...Genie9 handles file backup & keeps older versions, Macrium handles the drive image, and Backblaze handles off-site backup. And you can set it all up to work automatically so you don't have to think about it :)
     
  4. Gooberlx2

    Gooberlx2 Lifer

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    One thing you could do is run Crashplan on each machine, including the server. Then set the server as a remote backup destination for each PC.

    I do this at my lab and it works quite well.
     
  5. PokerGuy

    PokerGuy Lifer

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    I did some reading on acronis true image and it looks interesting. One feature I haven't seen on any packages so far is something WHS did, it checks all files that are backed up for duplication. So for example, if PC 1 has file abc.dll and PC 2 also has that same file (confirmed with same hash), it will only store the file one time for both machines. That saves a LOT of space when you backup 6 PC's and they all run windows.
     
  6. PokerGuy

    PokerGuy Lifer

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    Sounds like you have it covered. I'm going to have to check it out, but I'm not fond of $40 per PC for Genie. I'd pay it though if it's worth it.
     
  7. Dulanic

    Dulanic Diamond Member

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    I use EaseUS backup. It works pretty well. I have 4 PC's each doing incremental backups to my server. I also have the server backup to itself on the FlexRAID drive. So if I ever lose a drive I can easily restore it via FlexRAID and if I lose the C: drive I can recover it from the raid drive.

    I believe it cost me $30? Maybe $20 with a coupon code.
     
  8. PokerGuy

    PokerGuy Lifer

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    Does easus do a "rolling window" kind of incremental backup where it keeps making new backups and deleting the oldest one, or does it just keep creating new incremental backups all the time until you manually remove them? Does it periodically do a full backup?
     
  9. cscpianoman

    cscpianoman Senior member

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    I VPN all my families computers to my house and backup to network with Cobian. It's worked fairly well so far. I haven't done images mostly because I just haven't set it up yet.
     
  10. BlueWeasel

    BlueWeasel Lifer

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    That's a pretty good idea. Can you view/access the backup directly off the Server, or does Crashplan encrypt/store the backed up files in a container?
     
  11. Dulanic

    Dulanic Diamond Member

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    Yes it takes care of all of that. You can specify you want it to keep x amount of backups. Or x amount of days/weeks etc... then you can specify to always keep the original. Mine is set to incremental backup twice a week and keep 1 month of backups. It automatically deletes all the old backups for me.

    There is also a option to Appoint the first backup of the week as a full backup.
     
  12. Gooberlx2

    Gooberlx2 Lifer

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    They're in a container, so you gotta go through the software to restore/browse because of the compression, deduplication, encryption and all that.
     
  13. Dulanic

    Dulanic Diamond Member

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    Here is an example of some of the settings... you can pick each day you want during the month to backup. Also, you can set it to low priority so it doesn't hog resources and you can do high compression. I set both and I never even know it's running. It is kind of set it and forget it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. PokerGuy

    PokerGuy Lifer

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    Both Acronis and EaseUS sound like they do a good job, I'm going to investigate those further. I'm not really all that interested in backup to an online location (I already have dropbox doing that for the critical files), but I can see how that would be a big value to some.

    Thanks for the feedback guys, hopefully this thread can be a starting point for others who are looking to set up backups as well.
     
  15. cantholdanymore

    cantholdanymore Senior member

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    I'm using Acronis and so far so good. I cloned my OS SSD to a HDD (just for testing) and it all went fine.
    I also read that W8 comes with a powerful backup tool like nothing seen in a windows OS before (may be just like Apple a couple of years back ;)), so it may be worth researching that.
     
  16. Kaido

    Kaido Lifer

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    They do have a free version of Genie9 available: (which also backs up to the network)

    http://www.genie9.com/free_products/free_timeline.aspx

    Here's a comparison of the different versions:

    http://www.genie9.com/free_products/Comparison.aspx

    So basically the backup interval goes from 30 minutes to 8 hours in the free version, and you don't get the nifty Timeline Explorer feature to browse the backup & drag-n-drop stuff back to your computer. So you could pretty much do it for free if you wanted to.

    Also, Backblaze offers a nice discount if you buy more time ahead - like $95 for 2 years, which is less than four bucks a month. And with Macrium Reflect, I alternate A-B backups (so I always have one image "set in stone" in case the other one fails during backup or gets corrupted or whatever).

    It's a lot to think about when you're first setting everything up, but once it's all working, you don't ever have to think about it again. Really nice.
     
  17. Dulanic

    Dulanic Diamond Member

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    Yeah they both look similar. I went with EaseUS just due to cost. $30 was cheaper than $50 and it did what I needed. Retailmenot has a 30% off coupon too to make it around $20. I know Acronis recently had a 40% off coupon, but not sure if it's still valid.
     
  18. sabahm

    sabahm Junior Member

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    I just read a couple of replies on this thread and come to know that people are more looking at Acronis, which i believe is a good service to loon into. However, as a user, my suggestion would be something contrary to others.I had a good experience with Backblaze, but my suggestion would be to look at least once to * and SOS Online Backup. They are good enough to rely upon and as well as cheap.

    I am not really sure if i am allowed to share a reference link here. But i am sharing it, and if moderator feel it unnatural then he/she can delete it as well :)

    For a refernce, please find some good alternative to online backup software, unlimited space: http://www.cloudreviews.com/blog/unlimited-online-backup
     
  19. beginner99

    beginner99 Platinum Member

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    Acronis True Image 2013 has some pretty annoying issues:

    - no proxy support -> can't activate it and online backup does not work if you are behind one

    - file back up: maybe I'm dumb but you clearly select a folder to back up to and give it a name and then it just uses "MyBackups/myBackup" or so default path. literally had to redo it multiple times till it actually did what I told it to do.

    - it added a backup from another PC (my off-site work pc) without me telling it to do so

    - just is too clever. Tell what I tell you to do, don't just "assume" and do automatic stuff

    It is 100% useless for backing up large media libraries.
    a) takes unacceptably long
    b) the back up itself can't be used, it's a custom file from not just copies of original files

    This explains once more why MS is so successful. Their tool "Sync toy" just works and does not assume stupid shit. Also you could actually use your back up on external hdd because they are real copies of the files not some proprietary format.

    In defense of Acronis it is probably good for backing up your system but I did not have to actually use it yet so fingers-crossed that actually works correctly.
     
  20. evilspoons

    evilspoons Senior member

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    I'm very happy with the free Crashplan setup for my home PCs... happy enough that I paid for an online account as well (I guess that's the whole point of their free offline backup, lol).

    I have a home theater computer with a bunch of hard drives in it (Win 7, so no storage pooling) and I just use it as a CrashPlan target location for all important data on my other PCs.
     
  21. Chiefcrowe

    Chiefcrowe Diamond Member

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    I'm pretty happy with Macrium Reflect, check out the free version.
     
  22. sequoia464

    sequoia464 Senior member

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    I have used Acronis now for a few years, using the new version now with Windows 8.

    Trying to use it is more accurate, the program runs fine but when the machine goes in to sleep mode my USB ports won't work on wakeup and I have to use the power button to restart the machine.

    Had to uninstall for now, looking for a fix for Acronis, or another substitute program. I have tried Paragon and NovaBackup but they take substantially more time to do a backup than Acronis.

    Just wondering if anyone else is experiencing this?
     
  23. bateman 212

    bateman 212 Junior Member

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    I use Acronis 2012. While there are bugs and I had to reinstall the software, I have successfully rescued my system disk once. I was expecting it not to work, but it worked perfectly for that - the Acronis boot disk works great. It is very slow when trying to recover large file backups. I don't think it will work well to recover my multipule TB of backup documents!

    I like it because of multipule backups, unlike Windows 7. I wish MS had a better backup solution. I have not checked Windows 8 (too busy! :(), but hopefully they have a better backup setup. I heard it is better.
     
    #23 bateman 212, Dec 9, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  24. jhansman

    jhansman Platinum Member

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    Just restored a month-old image from Acronis onto a new SSD. Booted right up like it was there the whole time. Just had to sit through 25 or so updates. Now I do a full backup every six months, and incrementals every week.
     
  25. Miramonti

    Miramonti Lifer

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    Fwiw, that's a very large chain. The risk of incremental's is if the chain corrupts at some point, everything after that is unrestorable. That said, I've restored the 30th increment of an acronis 2011 backup and didn't have an issue, but it's much riskier than for example, the 5th increment. For large chains, I'd recommend automatically verifying each backup after it's complete.
     
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