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Best Backup Software for Vista


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#1
j123jam

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I have been using SyncToy to backup my files to an external hard drive for a couple years now. It's great free software for syncing my music, photos, and other documents, but it has a few shortcomings. First off, it requires me to remember to manually sync, and I have to connect my external drive before I can sync (although that's true of any sync software), but more importantly it doesn't back up my bookmarks or other app data.

So here's my question for you:
What's your favorite backup software for backing up to an external drive? I much prefer free software (open source is great), but if you have some compelling reason to pay money I'm interested in hearing that too.

I have tried Acronis TrueImage which is great because it images the entire drive, but sometimes I just want to have the files available on other computers without TrueImage installed. Also, it's not free.
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#2
isimaster

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Please Clarify

but sometimes I just want to have the files available on other computers without TrueImage installed


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#3
j123jam

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Please Clarify

but sometimes I just want to have the files available on other computers without TrueImage installed


Sorry isimaster,

What I meant was that TrueImage puts my backups into their proprietary image format which can be mounted so individual files can be retrieved, but only if you have TrueImage. So if I want to backup my files to my external drive, and then transfer a couple of them to my roommate's computer that does not have TrueImage I cannot do that. Let me know if that's still unclear. I guess I'm using my backup for two purposes - (1) a backup in case my hard drive crashes, and (2) a secondary storage device for all my data.

Edited by j123jam, 13 March 2009 - 04:36 PM.

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#4
isimaster

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That clears things up.
When you say

transfer a couple of them to my roommate's computer

are you doing this over a network, or just plugging your usb drive into the other system.
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#5
j123jam

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When you say

transfer a couple of them to my roommate's computer

are you doing this over a network, or just plugging your usb drive into the other system.


I was talking about hooking it up via USB. I'd really like one of those networked external drives, but that's too expensive for now.

But isimaster, you still haven't told me what your favorite backup software is...
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#6
HolidayJim

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Just a toss out here, but I use three types of backup software: 1) Ezback-itup (do a Google search to find the program) which works in Vista and XP. It allows fast (real fast) backups of all my files. I broke my files down into categories (graphics, music, mp3s and mp4s, programs (the original executable files along with any instructions or registration numbers, etc.) and, what I call "Regular" (MyDocuments, Favorites, etc.). These 5 are spaced 5 minutes apart on a daily basis and backup to my USB external drive. Each one takes less than 15 seconds to finish.

2) I use Windows Live Sync. I have two computers on my desktop (an HP Vista and a Dell XP). LiveSync automatically updates between my computers nearly instantaneously. Of course, my Dell also has an external USB drive and ezback-itup on the Dell also backs up on a daily basis. Thus, I have 4 copies of every file I want to save. I have never lost a file since computing in 1995.

3) I use Acronis True Image Home 2009 to make a compressed clone of my C drive to a hidden portion on my D drive. Whatever date I save the clone, it restores it to the C drive (I am not kidding!!!) in 10 minutes. Normally, that would take me about 18 hours to reinstall from scratch. I got it on Amazon for 29 bucks instead of 49 bucks on the vendor's page. I figured my time for 18 hours is way more than 29 bucks. It is well worth it. I do not clone my D drive (it is already backed up to my USB Z drive).

That's my suggestion.
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