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Maintenance and Backup
Read the article that everyone's commenting on.
I've used and recommended Macrium Reflect for years now. I think the only improvement possible would be a 'Live CD' version.
I'm using Acronis 11 which is fairly popular. Is Macrium Reflect better? In which ways?
Leo, I've used Acronis True Image. I think it would also make your cut. And it has had the features of Macrium for quite some time now. Recommend you test it out. I'd be interested in your comments.
@Bob O and Jim K
Leo has recommended Acronis backup for years. Recently, he has changed his recommendation to Macrium Reflect. This is reflected in the update to the original article recommending Acronis.
Acronis TrueImage Home - Backup Software
One thing the article doesn't make explicit that's VERY important - remember to test your ability to actually boot from the recovery disk and access your backup images from that recovery boot before you commit to any particular backup software. Macrium Reflect has had some problems in the past with creating a recovery disk for 64 bit versions of Windows and certain hardware devices (like some USB flash drives that you've left plugged in to your computer between boot sequences), something you wouldn't want to have to deal with if your hard disk crashes and you have no option but to try to recover from the repair disk! If you can't actually successfully boot from the repair disk, access the device that contains the backup image(s), and navigate that device so that you can see the backup image(s), you won't be able to recover from a complete hard disk crash if the need arises!
The concern I have about image backups, is how do you know they worked? You probably won't until you need it. I have used Casper copy/backup for years. It does all this one does, but file by file, no images. i can dual boot to the fully bootable second or even third drive to ensure the backups worked.
What about EASEUS TODO Backup ??
it's free and it - i think - meets your criteria .
Leo, thank you again for your great work, a testament to your concern and dedication to the advancement of the average computer users knowledge and understanding. Please check out Easeus Todo Free, because I am certain you will find it far superior to any other, currently available, backup freeware. It provides two methods for making a bootable rescue disk, one using Linux and the other using WinPE, both do the job. It provides incremental and differential backups, file and partition/disc backups, mounting options, and excellent help available online or can be downloaded. Allows for "hot" backups and is not nearly as demanding on computer resources as Macrium. And when the cost is free it completely eliminates a major reason so many ignore the importance of making and maintaining system backups. Anyway, thanks again Leo and have a great "New Year".
Thanks for the info on macrium. I wanted to point out to those here that, if the boot disk fails to restart your system, their is another easy thing to try before reinstalling the image from other media (if your hard disk isn't damaged).
You can access all your documents, pictures, video and audio files WITHOUT your operating system. You can burn a free CD or DVD online of the UBUNTU Operating System. It will run off your DVD drive and enable you to copy those files before reformating the disk (sometimes the image hasn't been incremented in a couple of weeks so there is still stuff there that you might lose).
It's easy and a gives a lot of peace of mind knowing you can read your hard drive even if it's OS won't boot.
800 lb gorilla question: no mention of norton backup / Drive Image... are they considered passe?
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