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Thread: Multi disk total backup solutions?

  1. #1
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    Multi disk total backup solutions?

    Currently my computer contains 4 physical hard drives divided up into 7 partitions!
    The physical drives are 2 x 250GB SATA 1 x 120GB PATA 1 X 80GB PATA.
    I am not using RAID and have the discs installed the 'old fashioned' way.

    I'm looking for a cheap total backup solution.

    I'm thinking perhaps I could get a 1TB e-SATA drive and partition it up as a 'mirror' of my 7 partitions and get some sort of software to ghost my whole system to the external drive and then, once this has been done the once to write any incremental changes to the relevant part of the external drive.

    Is there any software that does this?

    Are there better, cheaper, solutions?
    Asus P5QL-E : Intel Q9550 : Noctua NH-U12P : DDR2 2 x 2048MB 1066 Corsair : Palit 9800GT 512Mb : Iiyama PLE2200WS-B : RME HDSP9632[a proper musician's card] : 2 x SATA 7200rpm 250GB : 1 x 7200rpm IDE 120GB : 1 x 7200rpm IDE 80GB : Iomega 34290 1TB eSATA storage : Pioneer DVR-216DBK : Antec TX1050 case : TAGAN TG700BZ PSU : MOTU MTPAV MIDI interface/time clock : Behringer BCR2000 : SONAR 7PE : Reason3 : ReFX Nexus : ReFX Vanguard : NI Battery3 : JP-8080 : D-50 : D-10

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    Re: Multi disk total backup solutions?

    What OS system? Some (most? all?) Windows versions has backup software built in.
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    Re: Multi disk total backup solutions?

    Microsoft's (free) synctoy is pretty good.
    Auto syncs in the background. Fire and forget.
    SyncToy: a free powertoy download for file synchronization

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      • Memory:
      • Corsair 2x2Gb TwinX DDR2 XMS2, PC2-8500 (1066)
      • Storage:
      • 2 x 250GB SATA 1 x 120GB PATA 1 x 80GB PATA
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    Re: Multi disk total backup solutions?

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    What OS system? Some (most? all?) Windows versions has backup software built in.

    Currently XP Pro SP2 32 but may be moving to Vista 64 if SP1 is relatively sorted ( now that 64bit drivers are available for all my hardware )
    and if SP1 solves the poor performance at low latency under heavy load using ASIO drivers.
    Last edited by Gibbo; 04-01-2008 at 02:30 PM.
    Asus P5QL-E : Intel Q9550 : Noctua NH-U12P : DDR2 2 x 2048MB 1066 Corsair : Palit 9800GT 512Mb : Iiyama PLE2200WS-B : RME HDSP9632[a proper musician's card] : 2 x SATA 7200rpm 250GB : 1 x 7200rpm IDE 120GB : 1 x 7200rpm IDE 80GB : Iomega 34290 1TB eSATA storage : Pioneer DVR-216DBK : Antec TX1050 case : TAGAN TG700BZ PSU : MOTU MTPAV MIDI interface/time clock : Behringer BCR2000 : SONAR 7PE : Reason3 : ReFX Nexus : ReFX Vanguard : NI Battery3 : JP-8080 : D-50 : D-10

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    Re: Multi disk total backup solutions?

    Acronis True Image should cover this, plus it covers incremental backups.
    Are all the drives full also? if not the seagate esata 500gb seems a good option to backup onto

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    Re: Multi disk total backup solutions?

    One possibility (though "cheap" isn't necessarily the word I'd use) is Microsoft's Windows Home Server.

    You can either get this (if you can find it) as software only, or there's a couple of companies doing ready-built systems, including HP. For the ready-built version, you're looking at probably £400-£500, so it probably excludes that. The software version, though, is around £90, and providing you have a suitable old machine, you can bung it on that.

    As far as I can make out (and I'm thinking about doing this myself but haven't yet done it), the spec needs to be half-decent but not stunning. A 1HGz machine seems okay. And, it;s designed to run 'headless', i.e. no video, no mouse/kb, etc.

    As for backing up, from what I can make out, it does fully automatic image-based backups of any "attached" machines on the network, though (at least currently) that only applies to XP and Vista.

    And, while the backups are image-based, it seems you can extract individual files/directories from the images if need be.

    Also, from what I can make out, it seems to use some kind of indexing system to avoid file replication. So if you have multiple machines with XP, for instance, when it comes to backing up the second machine, it will make an index entry for files on the second machine that have already been backed up on the first client machine, so it just notes the use of the file in that backup but doesn't back it up again. For me, with multiple XP-based machines, that saves a huge amount of time and backup space.

    According to reviews, if a client machine fails, you simply stick a boot CD in the client, and restore the entire system from the network "image", across the network.

    And, of course, it's a media server, drive extender (with folder replication, etc) and if you wish, you can enable remote access (secured, I'm told) to any client machine from the web.

    What appeals to me is the automatic nature, and the fact that the backup capability seems to be pretty smart. The biggest single drawback, at least for me, with backup is remembering to actually do it and do it religiously. This appears to be a neat, effective answer.

    And, if you've got a suitable old box, and can just add a couple of drives, and the cost of the OS, then the DIY route (as opposed to ready-built) may not work out any more costly than that 1TB NAS box you mentioned. Me .... I fancy the HP box.

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    Re: Multi disk total backup solutions?

    I use Acronis and swear by it. Simple user interface and effective.

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    Re: Multi disk total backup solutions?

    Just done a bit more research - indows backup would seem to do the job. It isn't installed by default (why????!!) for windows XP but it is on the install disk in the extras folder.
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    Re: Multi disk total backup solutions?

    If you planning to change OS then I think better solution is to buy 1TB drive and install it as primary drive with one 250GB as secondary for swap files and software you use most of the time. This way your system will run faster and you'll have proper backup provided. Regarding software on Vista you can use simple build in backup for important files but if you want to backup whole partition as images then Saracen gave you the best option. If you don't have any old PC you can buy refubrished IBM or DELL from £50 on ebay with P4 on board.

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