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Windows Backup Software

Discussion in 'Software' started by Plugs, 18 Oct 2015.

  1. Plugs

    Plugs Minimodder

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    Hi,

    I'm just sorting out a backup for a home PC and was wondering what people use and recommend.
    Do people just use the backup functionality provided in Windows? Or do you use more sophisticated products.

    With my use case it probably doesn't make sense to pay for backup software, but maybe there is some free tool that is better than Windows'.

    Thanks
     
  2. bigkingfun

    bigkingfun Tinkering addict

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    I throw mine on Dropbox...
     
  3. deathtaker27

    deathtaker27 Modder

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    question is what do you want to backup?

    is it just files, or is it the whole system?
     
  4. bigkingfun

    bigkingfun Tinkering addict

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    I should elaborate.

    Files: All is kept on a Dropbox. The features and simplicity far outweighs any DIY solution. Plus there is no need to worry about stuff like offsite or harddrive failure.
    System: Regular snapshots are created with the built in feature in W7, and are too put straight into Dropbox. I've used the system restore several times and it has always worked perfectly.

    My gaming rig is not backed up at all...
     
  5. Plugs

    Plugs Minimodder

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    Just personal files e.g pictures, music, documents, app data, game saves

    I have dropbox account I don't really use, but that only gives 2GB of storage. Would definitely need more than that.
    Depending on the total compressed size I may be able to upload to Microsoft/Gmail, though I was planning just to use an external hard drive.
     
  6. bigkingfun

    bigkingfun Tinkering addict

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    I'm paying for my Dropbox too as the free space is nowhere near enough. Compressed files is a hassle if you actually need them. I think I'm paying $99 /year for 1TB in addition to the free space.

    An external drive is NOT a backup. I know a handful of people who relied on an external HDD who failed them. They die way to easy.
     
  7. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Lover of bit-tech Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    An external drive *is* a backup, if it's in addition to keeping your files on an internal drive. If you're keeping your files solely on the external drive, then no, it's not a backup.

    I backup locally to a two-drive mirror on a MicroServer, which then backs itself up onto an external drive (the idea being that, in the event of fire, I can grab the drive as I'm heading out the door). Everything is also backed up off-site, using CrashPlan via a $60 a year 'Individual' subscription which gets you unlimited storage. I'm up to 1.2TB stored on there, I think, with daily snapshots going back three or so years. If you have a friend with spare drive space, you don't even have to pay: the free version of CrashPlan will back up to someone else's remote CrashPlan installation, and everything's encrypted so your private files remain private.

    I only back up files, though: it'd only take me a few minutes to reinstall my operating system, so I don't waste drive space on OS backups.
     
  8. bigkingfun

    bigkingfun Tinkering addict

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    Mr. Halfacree is technically correct. The best kind of correct.
     
  9. phuzz

    phuzz This is a title

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    File History in Win 8 and above works well, it'll remind you when you've not had your external drive plugged in for a bit, and it does incremental backups so it stores multiple versions of files in case you accidental write over something and don't notice for a little while.
     
  10. Plugs

    Plugs Minimodder

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    Indeed I was planning on backup up files onto the external hard drive where they would be a second copy.
    Clearly my data isn't as important as Gareth's as I don't need that much redundancy :p
    However CrashPlan is interesting if I understand correctly. Could two people in different cities install CrashPlan free to their computers and backup to each other's machines?

    Otherwise it sounds as though most people just use Windows backup as the application (or direct to cloud storage).
     
  11. Xir

    Xir Modder

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    Only thing I backup is pictures, I have them either on my system and a networkdrive, or a networkdrive and an external drive. (depending on the current state of my systemdrive)

    Also there is a long-term secondary backup that gets updated...once half a year or so. (an extra external drive at my parents house, just in case mine burns down.)
     
  12. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Lover of bit-tech Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    S'work stuff, innit - and photos, obviously. The Btrfs mirror is less about redundancy and more about laziness, though: if one of the drives dies, I can just replace it and don't have to mess about recovering from backup. (Although I do regularly test the backups, to make sure I *can* recover from 'em.)
    Yup - different countries, even. You just hit the 'Friends' tab and give your friend your code and vice-versa. Boom: your backups will go to his system, his backups will go to yours. You can also add multiple friends, or do it only one-way: you could back up to me while I still back up to CrashPlan Central. Added bonus: CrashPlan only charges for cloud usage; if you're using the software to back up locally or to a friend's system, it's completely free of charge. (Oh, and cross-platform: the client is Java-based, and works on Windows, Linux, and OS X, and can even be installed headless on servers or selected Linux-based NAS boxen.)
     
  13. phuzz

    phuzz This is a title

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    That's the only thing that's putting me off Crashplan, otherwise it looks great.
     
  14. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Lover of bit-tech Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Can't say it's ever given me a problem, even on the MicroServer with its somewhat limited RAM: it had 2GB, now it has 4GB. No performance issues.
     
  15. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    I'm guessing it's more a case of Java having a reputation for being a bit prone to exploits.
     
  16. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Lover of bit-tech Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Which would be a problem if you were running random Java applets from dodgy sources - but I've not heard of CrashPlan itself being actively exploited.
     
  17. Booga

    Booga Cuppa tea anyone?

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    I use SyncBack Free to help back up my stuff from my media drive to an external drive as well as a smaller one (just the kids photos) to a large flash drive. I used to use another free syncing program but it came bundled with maleware so I stopped using that.
     
  18. Xir

    Xir Modder

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    I used to use Microsoft Synctoy, but it doesn't seem to work anymore, so I switched to Goodsync.

    What I noticed with both sync programs, they keep copying data i definitely haven't touched.

    I'd expect it to only add/replaced data I've changed, not spend time shovveling over pictures from 2005 noone has looked at for a few years and that have been synced before.
     
  19. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    I'm not sure how accurate that is. Is it not possible a compromised website may use an exploit without you specifically running a java applet? Although browsers have changed their approach to Java more recently and Oracle have made some changes to their security model that makes it a bit of a pain in the arse to use.

    Its funny but I have used a few cloud based data stores that use java as part of their uploading client thing. It must make some aspect of uploading easier to program than other alternatives.
     

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