Images are for copying a hard drive, bit by bit, for re-installation of an operating system following a hard drive failure. For example, if you create an image of your hard drive and the drive fails, you can just reload the image to the new disk. Everything would be exactly the same as the day you created the image. All the programs, settings, wallpaper, etc. It's not practical to create an image on a daily basis due to the time involved creating the image. Depending on the size of your hard drive, it can easily take hours and the files can be huge.
I'll explain my backup strategy and maybe that will help with your question. Every couple months or so, I create an image of my computer's hard drive. Everyday I backup up all of the data that changes on a regular basis. For example, my iTunes library, the Quickbooks database, the My Documents Folder, etc.
This way, if the computer hard drive fails, I can re-load the image to the new drive and just copy over the files that changed since the last image from my daily backup. It makes a lot easier when your hard drive fails. I also have a NAS that I need to deal with, but I'll leave that out so things don't get anymore confusing.
I also keep a copy of my backups off-site. You can do this manually, or purchase online storage and have it automated. I chose to go with the manual solution, because I'm not a huge fan of all my data being on some server I've never seen before. I guess I just don't trust these companies very much. Anyway, I just copy everything to an external hard drive every month or so and then store it at my parents house in their safe. That way if my house burns down or some other disaster strikes, I have a copy of the data off-site.
Hopefully that wasn't too confusing.
As for programs, I use Genie Backup Manager
to automate my backups. It works well for me, but you might want to shop around because there are tons of programs out there that do similar things. They also have this cool new program called Timeline
, but I haven't gotten a chance to check it out yet.
Edited by Spyderturbo007, 25 May 2011 - 06:29 AM.