Best back-up strategy?

I wasn't sure where to place this post: hope it's OK here.

I will be configuring a new Win 7 Pro machine soon and would like feedback regarding the best backup strategy. I've learned that that there are really only two categories of hard drives: those that have failed and those that will, so I take backing up files very seriously. :whistle:

I used Retrospect for many years, but I think that's a bit unwieldy. I do not plan to install it on my new system. For regular files, I am very pleased with Cobian Boletus, version 10:


Because I use external drives quite a bit, I can easily manage redundant backups (my files are backed up every week on two different desktops).

But what about OS files? When I was on XP I typically did a complete reinstall every 6-9 months because no matter what it would tend to slow down after a while. I do not know if this will be the case with Win 7.

What's the best option for backing up the OS on Win 7? At my disposal I have a WD version of Acronis True Image, but have never used that for backup. Nero 10 Ultimate has backup utility, but I've never used that either.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. Best answer
    For the OS backup it's hard to beat a system image backup and Acronis True Image is a good bet.
    Win7 has it's own image backup utility but I'd choose Acronis True Image if given the choice.

    How do you handle your backup for programs, data files and personal settings?
  2. Thanks for the input, WR2.

    How do you handle your backup for programs, data files and personal settings?

    I use Cobian for all data files (.docs, .xls, etc., plus all media files). I'm organized about it to the point of being completely OCD (for example all music is one BU drive, all movies on another BU drive, etc.) I also use Cobian to back up the docs and settings folder, plus my Firefox .json files and Outlook .pst files.

    But I have been walking a tightrope without a net so to speak in terms of the programs and personal settings.

    And my concern is that this system will have a 1 TB boot drive (at least until I swap it out for a much smaller SSD). So unlike last few configs, the boot drive will have some data files: For the past several years I didn't keep anything on the boot drive but the OS.

    So that's what I'm trying to decide. Because I'll likely have >500 GB of data on the boot, a disc image BU probably isn't asppropriate.

    Until very recently I was using Retrospect 7.6 and ran two backups per week each to two different drives. But on the few occasions that I did use it to restore one of my desktops (I have two), it was never easy.

    If I could figure out the best way to limit the back up of the boot drive to the OS, programs, and personal settings, I'll be set. I will continue using Cobian as I have been.

  3. Best answer selected by dg27.
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