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whats the Best way to do a full backup? and is RAID a good idea?

So ive had my Pc for a while now and want to perform a full backup and not sure where to start and have a few questions.

1. How do i set up a RAID and what does it do?
2. Whats the best software to make backups?
3. Does a full backup let you restore a whole Operating system and user files back?
4.Once you have compleated a backup how do you restore from that backup?

Thanks!
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More about whats full backup raid good idea
  1. Best answer
    Any of the current cloning/imaging applications will do this.
    Macrium Reflect or Casper, for instance.

    It creates an image on a different drive. In case of need, you boot from the recovery DVD you make, and point it at that image, and the target drive.
    Poof, everything brought back to exactly when you made that image.
    These applications also will do an image on a schedule, completely unattended. Every night at 2AM, for instance.

    No, I do not recommend a RAID 1. It is a mirror, but only protects in one instance....a dead drive. It does not protect against accidental deletion, corruption, malware, or other weirdness.
    It is good if you actually need 24/7 uninterrupted functionality. Like if you were running a webstore, and downtime = lost sales.
    But any business running their system in a RAID 1 also has (or should have) an actual backup.
  2. For full backups my personal favorite software is called Acronis True image. Its a very powerful and easy to use program. it will make a full image of your hard drive and store it either on another hard drive, and external drive or even online. When it is time to restore the backup you boot from the Acronis CD and select the backup file you made. This will restore your entire system to the state when you made the backup. This even works if you put in a brand new empty drive, so if you are running out of space you can backup, buy a larger drive and restore the backup to the new drive and your system will work perfectly fine.

    As to RAID, its a system that allows you to combine hard drives, there are several configurations, some let you take several drives and merge them together so the OS sees them as one large drive. other versions let you do what is called a "mirror" so that everything you do on your main drive is automatically mirrored or backed up onto a separate drive. This is the setup I use for my servers at work so that in the case of catastrophic failure, I have an up to the minute copy of all my data.

    That being said, outside of work I don't use RAID much, I find that Acronis works well enough and it would probably be less confusing.
  3. LAW #1: RAID is NOT BACKUP.

    RAID guards against single hard drive physical failure, it does not guard you against logical errors, user errors, malware, ooops I delete my partition, help! Windows new update made my machine worse kind of problem. BACKUP DOES.

    Then BACKUP have a few TYPES. Ask what you want your backup to do? The two major variety are OS Image, the whole shebang the entire C: (typically) has a distinct benefit. DATA BACKUP, because people usually have no unlimited budget the user want to define WHAT IS DATA, that you cannot afford to lose and backup those in an appropriate interval of your choosing, and maybe even keeping a few generations of the data, like keep your last 7 years of taxes information etc. Yes it requires planning.
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