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Backup My Computer

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I lost my data a few months back. I went to using an off site data backup of my data as well as my internal one I use. There are many services out there that will back it up for you and they are not that expensive. I use one called Carbonite.com.

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buy 2 1 terabytes of hard drives (they cost 140$ for one) from newegg.com

then use back up software.


try to avoid off site back ups as you do not have that great of securtiy and it will take you weeks or months to upload your 1.5 TB data.

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Here are some links to backup software:


This one gives you overall ratings.



This is a review of genie-soft, make sure you get version 8.

I would get the pro version and make sure you do this:


I was impressed with Genie's data backup capabilities and was keen to try out the new disaster recovery feature that allows you to backup and restore a copy of the Windows Operating system itself.


When I tied to test this feature I got a shock; it's not included in the standard product but is a separate 122MB download! Yes it's free and yes, it can be downloaded automatically from within Genie but with a file this size you sure don't want to be using a dial-up internet connection.



Genie looks like the best but Acronis looks good to:



I think either product would serve you well.

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I now do it all with free software. Amazing how it can catch up with the likes of Acronis.


1. Cobian Backup for regular backups of my data files (runs automatically as a service if you wish).


2. Macrium Reflect to make images of my disk partitions. This allows me to:

a) restore my windows environment in 20 minutes if a disk or other failure occurs

b) save a clean image of windows so that I can restore it every couple of months and just reapply any programs that changed in between times. this prevents the creeping windows slowdown that occurs when programs are added and removed from your pc. my c drive is never more than a week old :)

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This is a quick guide to clone your hard disk with free tools.


1.- Buy a usb hard disk greater than the one you have already installed on your PC

2.- boot from a linux live cd (from here you can download umbuntu version http://releases.ubuntu.com/intrepid/)

3.- run a console session

4.- write "su" to become administrator and press Enter (don't write the quotation marks)

5.- unmount your internal IDE disk using this command: "umount /dev/hda1" press enter and don't write the quotation marks :-)

6.- unmount your usb disk using this command: "umount /dev/sda1" press enter and don't write what you know...

7.- and this is the command that clone the disks "dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/sda" (ignore the quotation marks, pls)

8.- wait... wait... and wait... you're doing a binary copy so please be patient.


When finished, you have a exact copy of your current internal hard disk. If one day your internal hard disk dies, you can replace it with the usb disk.

Or you can buy a new internal hard disk, boot from the linux live cd, repeat the above steps except the seventh. In this case, we want to clone from the external disk to the internal. So we have to run this command: "dd if=/dev/sda1 of=/dev/hda"


If you think that this is very complicated, you can always purchase Norton Ghost to do just this.




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I am increasingly using 'cloud' storage (out on the ineterweb) for things I consider important. Having said that I am of the school of thought that it is good to reformat and start from scratch now and then. Really what I consider important isn't really....There are a few indicators that took blood sweat and tears to create (even though I don't use them regularly). There are odd web clippings that are really neat (but I never read them). I even have tick data going back years (of instruments I no longer trade).


Identifying what is important to you and having a strategy in place to protect it is worthwhile. Backing up everything does no harm either :). Murphys law would suggest that as soon as you discard something you will need it!

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I would first suggest to organize the drive in such a way that it is easy to do backups... Create one ( or more) boot partitions that has OS and Apps only. 30 Gb is usually sufficient for those... All your personal data should go in the Data partition, and filed in the appropriate folders.. Then you can use imaging SW ( like acronis) to image boot partition and also use either acronis or other backup sw to archive data periodically to either other network drive, usb or esata drive or to the network drive.. I store my OS "virgin" copy on the DVD and also on the net.. I can recover OS partition in 10 min or so...

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