Free Backup Solution

PolygonGTC

[H]ard|Gawd
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Jan 6, 2006
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I'm looking for a free backup solution and I want one that I know people trust. My knowledge of backing up consists of simply copy what I want backed up to the backup drive. I tried SyncToy and I don't like it, so I'm looking for another solution.

So, is there anything that people here would suggest over the built in backup in Windows 7? I want something that I can trust is making an exact copy of what I want backed up and that can trust the integrity of the data on the backups. I'm backing up to a NAS as well as a USB external.

Here's one I'm looking at right now, but I can't find many opinions on it.

http://download.cnet.com/AOMEI-Backupper/3000-2242_4-75833997.html
 

Sp33dFr33k

2[H]4U
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I like Cobian Backup and SyncBack although on most systems I just use the Windows backup and shadow copies.
 

RanceJustice

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Have you considered CrashPlan? Their free service lets you backup to USB, networked PCs, or even to PCs of friends and whatnot. They of course also have a cloud-based backup plan that is more costly, but if you want something free for local use, perhaps it will meet your needs.
 

Phog

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Aug 21, 2012
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Crashplan is a great option for free off-site backup. You and a buddy can share each other's backup, the backed up files are encrypted so only you can access them. I've used this setup for years (granted, most people just back up to me.)
 

PolygonGTC

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I'm not really interested in relying on anyone else. I have offsite covered already. That's what the external USB is for.
 

GeorgeHR

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Oct 14, 2006
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I use Xcopy and PKZip with a bunch of parameters. Each serves a different purpose.

Xcopy simply copies changed files over my previous version.

PKZip saves a record of changes - copies files that have been changed "today" to a file called "today."

---

Currently I backup to 3 different hard drives at different times of day. Once a week a drive is rotated
to an offsite location.
 

Elpee

Weaksauce
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May 6, 2013
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Hi PolygonGTC,

I am using the free backup software you mentioned - AOMEI Backupper. I like it because the interface is clear and straightforward, meanwhile, it supports schedule, incremental, differential backup and make winpe bootable cd. To backup to NAS device, you can refer to the tutorial: http://www.backup-utility.com/features/backup-to-nas.html

Thanks, great. I like it.
Let say I backup my PC C drive image to NAS, and suddenly on a beautiful day my PC cannot boot up because my C drive crashed. How can I restore it while I cannot run AOMEI Backupper? :confused:
 

evilsofa

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Jan 1, 2007
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Thanks, great. I like it.
Let say I backup my PC C drive image to NAS, and suddenly on a beautiful day my PC cannot boot up because my C drive crashed. How can I restore it while I cannot run AOMEI Backupper? :confused:

That's what the WinPE bootable CD is for; this is a basic and obvious need for any backup system. AOMEI has a walkthrough on making a WinPE or Linux bootable disc. I recommend making both a CD and a USB stick (USB stick faster, CD more compatible), and making sure they actually boot up and will start the restore process on your system, as well as any other system you might attempt to restore to if your main rig is completely toasted.
 
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Lost-Benji

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Jun 23, 2013
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Assuming that you are on a Winblows platform (you have left the biggest piece of info out of the OP), Windows backup. Free and built in, easy to use and images can be mounted in VM.
 

piker28

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Aug 2, 2007
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I have used syncback for home and work. Nice little tool to get the job done.
 

westrock2000

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Crashplan is a great option for free off-site backup. You and a buddy can share each other's backup, the backed up files are encrypted so only you can access them. I've used this setup for years (granted, most people just back up to me.)

I currently have Crashplan and using the cloud storage. But if I have someone backup to my computer, can I not easily just have Crashplan backup that data under my cloud account as well?

Seems too easy considering the space is unlimited.
 

JohnYYC

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Mar 9, 2011
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I currently have Crashplan and using the cloud storage. But if I have someone backup to my computer, can I not easily just have Crashplan backup that data under my cloud account as well?

Seems too easy considering the space is unlimited.

If I recall correctly the answer is no. CrashPlan will not "re-backup" backed up files from other machines.
 

Phog

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I currently have Crashplan and using the cloud storage. But if I have someone backup to my computer, can I not easily just have Crashplan backup that data under my cloud account as well?.

Even if this was possible (it may be), the backups would take forever. The containers on the receiving end are all encrypted, which means you would be required to backup the entire container for every little change your buddy made.

Each container is 4gb, so at a minimum every single day you would need to upload 4GB of your friend's data.

The better question to ask yourself, is why would you want to backup your friends stuff to the cloud? He is already backing up offsite to you, so I don't see much point. If he's under the same roof, Crashplan Family plan is probably a better choice.
 

Elpee

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Assuming that you are on a Winblows platform (you have left the biggest piece of info out of the OP), Windows backup. Free and built in, easy to use and images can be mounted in VM.

You know what? I hate Windows backup. Last year, my C drive crashed. After I replaced a new drive and restored my machine with its image I kept in my nas. Everything looked just fine until I was warned to activate the OS. What the hell! Had to call Microsoft and explained blah... blah...
Damn, stayed away Windows backup since then. :(
 

Lost-Benji

Limp Gawd
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Jun 23, 2013
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You know what? I hate Windows backup. Last year, my C drive crashed. After I replaced a new drive and restored my machine with its image I kept in my nas. Everything looked just fine until I was warned to activate the OS. What the hell! Had to call Microsoft and explained blah... blah...
Damn, stayed away Windows backup since then. :(

That is exactly what is supposed to do?????????

You have restored a backup and the OS has detected so, whats wrong with activation?

When you get used to the ability to mount the image into HyperV (or other VM tools) and have a running system in minutes to use or recover data from or just the straight-out ability to restore to a bare-metal system.....

Go get StorageCraft then stop whining.
 

PolygonGTC

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Assuming that you are on a Winblows platform (you have left the biggest piece of info out of the OP), Windows backup. Free and built in, easy to use and images can be mounted in VM.

No, I didn't. I mentioned it right there in the second paragraph. I'm not interested in Windows backup.
 

westrock2000

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You know what? I hate Windows backup. Last year, my C drive crashed. After I replaced a new drive and restored my machine with its image I kept in my nas. Everything looked just fine until I was warned to activate the OS. What the hell! Had to call Microsoft and explained blah... blah...
Damn, stayed away Windows backup since then. :(

Heck, that's nothing. Wait till you find out that Windows 7 will backup on a UEFI system, but the recovery disk it makes won't boot in UEFI mode. And that the Windows 8 recovery disk will boot up in UEFI mode, but will refuse to restore from a Windows 7 image.
 

Lost-Benji

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No, I didn't. I mentioned it right there in the second paragraph. I'm not interested in Windows backup.
My apologies, I didn't see the reference. If you don't like Winblows backups, I would suggest you look at StorageCraft. They are the leaders in backup/recovery for a reason.


Heck, that's nothing. Wait till you find out that Windows 7 will backup on a UEFI system, but the recovery disk it makes won't boot in UEFI mode. And that the Windows 8 recovery disk will boot up in UEFI mode, but will refuse to restore from a Windows 7 image.
Why are you trying to restore a Win7 image with a Win8 boot setup?

The issues of UEFI sound more like your hardware/BIOS setup rather than a Windows issue.
 

Liggywuh

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Jan 26, 2010
Messages
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I used Synctoy for a bit, to backup to 2 external drives (1 kept here, one offsite), it is actually very slow way of doing it. It checks EVERY file upon asking it to run a sync, so checking my 20000 or so pictures and videos takes it about an hour, and then it copies over the 20 or so extra files I have added.

I had rather hoped that it would "monitor" the folders scheduled for backups and only make changes to the files that had changed, been deleted etc, rather than starting from 0 again.

In that respect it is no better than deleting my entire backup, and just using copy paste from the original every time.
 

_Gea

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what I use:

- Cloneziilla booted from an USB stick to save a restorable/clonable
image of the whole disk to a NAS. You can use clonezilla to restore.

- RoboCopy (included in Windows) to sync all local data directories to a NAS
I run robocopy as a planned task once or twice a day

- Work directly on the NAS when possible.
add snapshots like every 15 min, keep 4 and every hour, keep 24 beside longterm snaps.

- My NAS is a Solarish ZFS NAS with realtime checksum control and weekly
scrubbing for silent data errors to have a backup I can trust.

- I do snapshots on the ZFS NAS like once a day - keep 7; once a week, keep 4;
once a month, keep 12 etc so I can go back in time if someone (me, others or a virus)
has deleted or modified data.

- Use a second (I use a third external) NAS for incremental NAS backups via ZFS send
and its own snapshot history.
 

Rylan

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Jul 23, 2011
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That's what the WinPE bootable CD is for; this is a basic and obvious need for any backup system. AOMEI has a walkthrough on making a WinPE or Linux bootable disc. I recommend making both a CD and a USB stick (USB stick faster, CD more compatible), and making sure they actually boot up and will start the restore process on your system, as well as any other system you might attempt to restore to if your main rig is completely toasted.

That was unexpected. Your link leads to an Epson printer page.
 

techie81

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I'm trying out AOMEI Backupper and so far I am really liking it. it has all the functions I want. I just need to do a restore to make sure it works with what I have.
 
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