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I mess around with my computer alot, this means that I end up messing it up alot. Can you guys suggest some back-up software that you use and why you use it? I run Vista.

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13 Answers 13

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I've used Clonezilla, I use the LiveCD do a backup of my computer and then go ahead and mess around. It's free but the UI can be intimidating as it's pretty much not existant but does a great job.

Seagate Disk Wizard

If you have Seagate drives you can use Seagate Disk Wizard which is the Acronis True Image licensed to Seagate. I have Seagate drives so I use this a lot and I like it. I'm able to do fairly quick backups and restoring is rather quick too.

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I'll try that. Thanks –  The Green Frog Sep 1 '09 at 14:23

Acronis True Image

I like Acronis True Image. It's similar to the likes of Norton Ghost & Drive Snapshot, but everyone I talk to praises Acronis, and I've had much luck with it.

P.S. I used it when changing my laptop hard drive. I had Acronis load an image to an external hard drive, swapped the internal drive, booted from the Acronis CD, and pulled the image from the external drive. I was back running just as I had left off within an hour or so.

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+1 Acronis True Image is worth every penny of the $29.99 price tag. –  Patriot Oct 11 '09 at 16:12

I'm a fan of JungleDisk which is a cloud backup solution that uses Amazon's S3 for storage. It's inexpensive and the storage feeds are quite cheap on Amazon. No, it's not free, but sometimes you get what you pay for.

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Why not use Vista's own backup utility? Shadow Copy I believe it's called.

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Shadow copies are a concept related to but separate from backup software. It's true that Windows comes with a backup utility (only Business and higher, though, iirc) but shadow copies are merely a help in backing up files that are in use, not a good backup mechanism in itself. –  Joey Oct 11 '09 at 12:43

Symantec Ghost Enterprise

My first choice is Symantec Ghost Enterprise.

BartPE / DriveImage XML

If you're looking for free, then BartPE & DriveImage XML would be your best bet.

Why am I using it? I don't believe in 'hot imaging'. And if you're looking for the "ultimate backup strategy", here's a very popular Guide to Symantec Ghost on the internet.

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Imaging using your software of choice (Clonezilla/DriveImage etc.) is a great solution to get your PC quickly back into a working state from a bare hard drive, particularly if it runs from a bootable CD.

I'd also add something else like Crashplan to automatically backup your data separately. This makes it easy to recover just your data to a different machine if your original one is toast.

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EaseUS Todo Backup

I highly recommend EaseUS Todo Backup. It works well in Vista. Besides full backup, it also offers incremental backup or differential backup.

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I've used Drive Snapshot a couple of times, and works like a charm. And it's AMAZINGLY fast as well. You can try it for 30 days for free, without limitations. I really recommend it, even if it's not free.

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I agree with the Acronis post. I use the software to create images of our corporate computers. Great software, backups can be done while the computer is on and running. Great software.

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Well, you can always make restore points with the System Restore utility and restore your system to those points after you messed everything up. Unless you regularly mess up your own documents. Or you regularly mess up your system so bad that you can't even boot anymore. But then I'd wonder what you do exactly :-)

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Mozy. Runs in the background and pushes it up to the cloud. Very simple to use and inexpensive for unlimited backups.

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Do you know of any free ones? –  The Green Frog Sep 1 '09 at 13:58
Mozy gives you 2 gigs for free. –  Daniel A. White Sep 1 '09 at 14:13
I need a whole system restore, trust me –  The Green Frog Sep 1 '09 at 14:18


I use Rebit Pro. I like how easy it is to set up for backing up to my USB drive and to their cloud account (Amazon S3, I believe).

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Clonezilla is nice, but really you can cope with with dd | gzip [|nc]

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