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Brian Andreas 04-05-2012 04:36 AM

Good Backup Software for Windows?
Hi, there was a fire last week and my computer was damaged. I bought a new one but all my data was lost. I had never used backup software before but I will definitely need it. So I'm looking for a really simple to use backup software for my new Windows 7 PC. Can anyone recommend a backup solution that will simply back up a defined folder to a drive on a set schedule?
I came across Praetorian Guard and think to try it. Is there anyone who has used it?

creeper 04-05-2012 05:00 AM

I back up using an external hard drive

Jay 78 04-05-2012 05:33 AM

Ideally, you want to back up your stuff to a device independent of your computer. There are a lot of backup software options out there, but I don't use them. I have had a couple Maxtor drives with that 'one-touch' backup deal, but I like to do things manually. As creeper mentioned, an external HDD would be your best bet. Even better would be to backup to multiple sources, like DVD (not rewritable), as well.

External drives are relatively inexpensive these days, whether AC or USB powered, although the cost-per-GB ratio usually is lower if you get a bare internal drive and an external enclosure.

Whatever device you backup to, store it in a fireproof safe. :thumbsup:

JetSwet 04-05-2012 06:49 AM

Carbonite may be in your best interest, you pay monthly but it automatically backs your hole drive to the cloud, there is a trial but if you enter promo code Kim it extends the time.

joed 04-05-2012 08:26 AM

Backing up to another drive is no good in a fire unless you take that drive offsite after the backup. I just install a second hard drive and use ghost to make images of my main drive on a regular basis. I figure it not likely both drives will fail at the same time.

Tom Chua 04-05-2012 08:41 AM

Hello Brian, check out genie9. i had it bookmarked a couple of days earlier it seems they are offering good backup solutions!
please let me know how it goes. I'm thinking of backing up in the next days.

Ravenworks 04-05-2012 08:55 AM


Originally Posted by joed (Post 892176)
Backing up to another drive is no good in a fire unless you take that drive offsite after the backup. I just install a second hard drive and use ghost to make images of my main drive on a regular basis. I figure it not likely both drives will fail at the same time.

I agree 100%,reminds me of my geek days when we had removable sleds,I guess I am still behind the curve because I still use them.
Back in the day of newness we did have inexpensive choices as there are today,thumb drive are a good choice because of their size.

Brian Andreas 04-09-2012 08:38 AM

Hey guys thanks to all for your quick responses!
JetSwet, I looked into Carbonite but I donít think I want to do online backups. I prefer to have full control of my filesí location, I wouldnít want them on someone elseís server.
Iíve already installed Praetorian Guardís trial and will start backing up once I buy an external hard drive. Tom Chua, Genie looks good Iíll keep it as a backup option if this program fails
Joed, I was thinking about that as well. Probably it is a good idea to get the external drive offsite once the backup is complete. I wouldn't want any more accidents to happen...once was enough!

AndyGump 04-09-2012 08:45 AM

Carbonite, like jetswet said is still your best option.

The information you store on Carbonite is encrypted, so you don't have to worry about prying eyes.

It has saved my azz a couple of times now so I am hooked on them.


user1007 04-11-2012 04:18 AM

I have used Mozy for ages which is competitor to Carbonite. Both seem well liked. Mozy saves a few versions of things which is nice. Carbonite may too. Both run in the background. The first two or three GB is free which is probably enough for most if not all your data unless you have lots of photos and videos. It is inexpensive for unlimited data storage. I have found backing up programs never works out anyhow since you have to reload the software to reset the register and everything.

In the drag and drop approach to things Dropbox is offering deals where if you refer friends you can get like up to 50gb free. I think ZumoDrive is nice. The Microsoft thing is unlimited or near it for free. Mozy has a similar product now too.

As mentioned, having a physical backup near you is really rather risky. You have to move it offsite or you could end up with a fried external backup drive or stack of melted CDs next to fire damaged computer. Sorry to hear of your recent events but case in point. By the way, hard drives are pretty tough. You might pull it out and see if a shop can recover contents for you.

I like the comfort of having stuff cloud stored but can see disadvantages too not the least of them being who owns and controls the cloud. Mozy, like Carbonite, is encrypted. You should probably keep backups on discs or something of your financial and legal data and any key files. With something like Mozy or Carbonite you can get to data from anywhere so if your laptop is stolen or something you are not sunk. I think some sort of cloud storage and automatic cloud backup an absolute must for college students! You will not be totally spared the tears and panic attack when the laptop goes down or is stolen as term papers are do but at least the data can be accessed. Off topic, but Front Door Software for laptop theft and loss protection is great too. You can disable a machine remotely, its location can be tracked, and you can disable it remotely so nobody can hack into it.

As for machine level backup there are tons of options. I revolted when I got my new laptop a couple of years ago and vowed not to buy any software licenses for it if there were suitable or superior freeware or open source programs for it. I have not been disappointed and I can say that this machine is 100 percent legal. Gizmo and Osalt are two excellent resources. This is the top Gizmo rec for backup.

Here are the sites:

You might also explore disc cloning but again, I have had but marginal luck when it comes to programs working without a fresh install on a new drive. Of course if you just need to burn files and not schedule backups, any number of disc burning programs will work.

Good luck. Let us know what you decide?

user1007 04-11-2012 04:40 AM


Originally Posted by JetSwet (Post 892155)
Carbonite may be in your best interest, you pay monthly but it automatically backs your hole drive to the cloud, there is a trial but if you enter promo code Kim it extends the time.

As mentioned I believe Carbonite, like Mozy, offers the first 2GB free. Most of the drag and drop cloud storage things do too. That is really quite a lot if storing word processing, spreadsheet and even modest database files. I suppose you could chew it up in a hurry with videos. I don't know of the D&D things offer automatic functions beyond when you modify a file though. I suspect so. If you buy any of these services annually I thing they come out to around $50/year for unlimited storage on home and small business machines but don't trust me on this without looking up rates.

Sadly, it is turning out CDs/DVDs that were going to last a lifetime are lucky to make it a decade. The re-writable ones are the worst.

GomerG 04-11-2012 12:21 PM

The answer depends on what you are backing up.

If you are backing up highly critical information, you want a remote backup solution. We use Iron Mountain "Connected PC" (now part of Autonomy). Service is solid and from what all my net admin friends tell me, Iron Mountain is the one to beat for security/reliability.

If you are just looking to back up stuff in case a hard drive fails, I'm a big fan of USB hard drives and use GRBak Pro for the backup.

Evstarr 04-14-2012 11:37 AM

I'm sorry to hear about your fire. If the hard disk inside the computer was not physically destroyed it may still be possible to recover data from it. This ranges from tedious to extremely costly. A pic of the drive might help offer a ranged of odds on success any way. How much effort and cost you devote to it should depend on what was lost and it's financial and sentimental value to you. Statistics I have seen indicate that a significant percentage if business that do not have an adequate disaster recovery plan in place do not survive the loss of their data. Note that disaster recovery and backup are not the same. Backups are useless if they cannot be verifiably restored ...

Carbonite and it's relatives are excellent but there a a few things you need to know to take best advantage. They rely on your available bandwidth to upload files to their servers. When I did my laptop, it took four days for the backup to complete. This implies that a restore of the data will also take some time.

Also the default settings will only backup a selection of file types and locations. For example, it will automatically back up supported file types that exist in the my documents hierarchy but if you store photos, music, or documents in non standard locations they will not be backed up unless you explicitly tell the software to do so.

When I signed up, it wAs 60.00 a year.

Regarding external drives, I have a sizable collection of burned up drive enclosures. They can't handle being left on all the time for the most part. I have found that Western Digital My Book drives will power down when not in use and do quite well for long term use. They use the Caviar Green drives which are designed to minimize energy use. Other WD external devices do not.

What I prefer to do with a new pc is partition the hard drive into a system partition and a data partition. Every time I install new software, I use Acronis true image to burn a disk of the system partition. I use other varied backup methods to secure the information stored on the data drives. For example, my ITunes purchases can be downloaded again from them so i don't back them up. My family photos are duplicated on two different hard disks and periodically I burn a DVD with all pics to date and mail it to my in laws house. The documents and emails etc. fall somewhere in between based on how valuable they are to me.

You must also be knowledgeable about different types of backups, a complete backup is just that but an incremental back up is only things that have changed since the last one. If you do a full backup and then incrementals every day for a month, to restore the drive you will need to supply 32 backups to the software.

Windows 7 come built in with a fairly robust back up program. I would recommend that you start with the help file in that app and then go on from there.

This all requires more involvement and know how but I can replace a failed system drive to its last working state in less than an hour in most cases.

There are a variety of methods to use and selecting the right one depends on what is being backed up, how often it changes, how quickly you need it back after an emergency, what sort of hazard you are protecting against, how big it is, and how likely you are to follow thru with something that is not completely automated( be honest with yourself here!!!)

Protecting data against fire flood or earthquake is very different than protecting data against power, aging equipment or children and spouse sharing a computer.

Brian Andreas 04-25-2012 08:45 AM

Hi guys,

Wow when I started this thread I didn't realize there are so many options to choose from! It looks like there are plenty of things that need to be taken into consideration.

So here is my update :) I've actually tried to recover the information from my drive but it was too fried unfortunately. I bought an external drive as planned and then downloaded Praetorian Guard and Genie's trials to make a comparison. My friend helped me with the installations and everything as I am kind of new to this. We made backups and restores to try them out and they both did well. But in the end I decided to go with Genie because it has plenty of backup features and is at a good cost for a home solution. Praetorian Guard seems to be more suitable if I had several pcs and neeeded it for business, which I am not.

As for online backups, I went through Mozy and Carbonite's websites and they do offer a lot, seems like they would be really handy for students. I still think that for personal information (and confidential) I'd prefer the other option. I think that they would be a good choice in case you want to back up common info and not too great of a size. And if you have a good Internet connection :)

hyunelan2 04-25-2012 09:26 AM

If you are worried about privacy, I think you have a bigger risk of losing your USB hard-drive (to someone else) than someone hacking Carbonite and breaking their encryption to steal your data. What are you doing with your backup hard drive to keep it away from any catastrophic loss at your home? Putting it at a friends house? Safety deposit box?

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