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How do you backup your data?

My client's Vista machine just went down. Won't boot up anymore. I think I'm going to have to put the hard-drive in an enclosure, copy all the files off, and reformat.

However, I need somewhere to copy the files to, and they should probably get a backup drive anyway. I'm thinking something like this, plus some good software would do the trick? What would you recommend? (For software, and for reliable backup drives)

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This has been discussed at great length before on SuperUser. See how do you backup your data? for a list of various questions relating to data backup. –  nhinkle Nov 24 '10 at 6:03
    
Psh...that thread is so 2009. –  Mark Nov 24 '10 at 6:37
    
incremental backup has been around for decades, and nobody has invented something radically new since then. The software has evolved, but the programs which worked well a year ago still work well today. Same goes for drive models. Besides, all drives on the market are reliable enough - if you backup less than a gigabyte of changed data per day, you can expect the worst models to last at least 5 years. And long before the drive fails, it will warn you, so you can mirror your data on a new one. Just pick any drive and use the "old" solutions from the other thread. –  rumtscho Nov 24 '10 at 9:29
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marked as duplicate by nhinkle, Diago Nov 24 '10 at 10:13

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3 Answers

Acronis True Image Home 2011

Powerful, reliable for both data and entire drives with MBR backups. Trial available.

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I agree that Acronis is a good tool. I use the business version myself. However if you're looking for something a little less encompassing and Free then have a look at Microsoft SyncToy there is also a mode to do easy incremental backups.

If you're looking for an online solution and are willing to pay a small ammount then have a look at Mozy or BackBlaze

The most important thing though is to Test your backups, I can't count the number of times I've been called out by users who thought they were backing things up and only when they came to restore found out they weren't or their backups weren't working as they thought etc.

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In the past I have used SyncToy. Now, however, all my music/data/video are stored on a 1TB Segate Dektop USB hard disk, which is then copied to my home server on the weekend which has two mirrored 2TB disks with a batch file with the Robocopy /MIR command.

(below, E is the enternal disk, M is the mirrored interal. The XD command is to exclude the direcotry to prevent copy errors.)

ROBOCOPY E:*.* M:*.* /MIR \XD "Recyle Bin" "System Volume Information"

For taking snapshots of entire systems, i.e. after clean install, I use Clonezilla.

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