Fastest way to back up an entire drive at customer site?

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

I'm looking for the absolutely fastest possible way to back up an entire
system.

Background: my work frequently involves going into people's homes to help
them bring their computers back to life after the machines are over-run with
spyware and viruses and the like. To solve their problem I backup their data
and do a clean install of XP, then bring their computer up to date with all
the latest patches and various protections.

The first bottleneck in this process is backing up their data. Not just the
act of doing the backup but having them tell me where everyhing lives on their
system (if they know). I've come to the conclusion that the best method is to
back up the entire system. That way there's no danger of the customer calling
back later because they can't find such and such information - oh, you didn't
tell me about the file.

I currently have no practical way to do this on site and therefore have to
take their system with me. I'd like to speed this process up and do it on
site.

I'm thinking of building a portable system with the latest CPU and speed
features. Then adding very fast hard drive or RAID on one channel. The
customer's hard drive would be removed from their PC and hooked up to a
separate IDE channel on the system. I'd then run a backup utility or command
(robocopy, dd, etc) to QUICKLY slam the entire contents of their drive onto
mine.

I'd like to approach the speeds of what a company called logicube claims for
their drive cloning hardware - which is about 1 Gb per minute. Haven't worked
through the math to determine what's realistic. Again, speed is the key.

Is there other hardware or software products on the market that will help me
with this solution? I can't justify the $2,000 for the logicube device, but I
figure I could build a PC with similar functionality for $600 as described
above.

So, am I on the right track here?
10 answers Last reply
More about fastest back entire drive customer site
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Mail Ias" <mailias@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:Pf%Hd.13626$P04.8696@attbi_s03...
    > I'm looking for the absolutely fastest possible way to back up an entire
    > system.
    >
    > Background: my work frequently involves going into people's homes to help
    > them bring their computers back to life after the machines are over-run
    with
    > spyware and viruses and the like. To solve their problem I backup their
    data
    > and do a clean install of XP, then bring their computer up to date with
    all
    > the latest patches and various protections.
    >
    > The first bottleneck in this process is backing up their data. Not just
    the
    > act of doing the backup but having them tell me where everyhing lives on
    their
    > system (if they know). I've come to the conclusion that the best method
    is to
    > back up the entire system. That way there's no danger of the customer
    calling
    > back later because they can't find such and such information - oh, you
    didn't
    > tell me about the file.
    >
    > I currently have no practical way to do this on site and therefore have to
    > take their system with me. I'd like to speed this process up and do it on
    > site.
    >
    > I'm thinking of building a portable system with the latest CPU and speed
    > features. Then adding very fast hard drive or RAID on one channel. The
    > customer's hard drive would be removed from their PC and hooked up to a
    > separate IDE channel on the system. I'd then run a backup utility or
    command
    > (robocopy, dd, etc) to QUICKLY slam the entire contents of their drive
    onto
    > mine.
    >
    > I'd like to approach the speeds of what a company called logicube claims
    for
    > their drive cloning hardware - which is about 1 Gb per minute. Haven't
    worked
    > through the math to determine what's realistic. Again, speed is the key.
    >
    > Is there other hardware or software products on the market that will help
    me
    > with this solution? I can't justify the $2,000 for the logicube device,
    but I
    > figure I could build a PC with similar functionality for $600 as described
    > above.
    >
    > So, am I on the right track here?

    If customer drive is slow, you wan't be able to reach that speed anyway.
    Typical disk imaging over FastEth network can achieve ~700MB per minute.
    I would put a network card in their system rather than remove their disk for
    cloning.
    A laptop with an external USB drive would do a decent job for you.
    Later you could burn their image to DVDs or ... keep buying new USB drives
    ;-)
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Mail Ias wrote:
    >
    > I'm looking for the absolutely fastest possible way to back up an entire
    > system.
    >
    > Background: my work frequently involves going into people's homes to help
    > them bring their computers back to life after the machines are over-run with
    > spyware and viruses and the like. To solve their problem I backup their data
    > and do a clean install of XP, then bring their computer up to date with all
    > the latest patches and various protections.
    >
    > The first bottleneck in this process is backing up their data. Not just the
    > act of doing the backup but having them tell me where everyhing lives on their
    > system (if they know). I've come to the conclusion that the best method is to
    > back up the entire system. That way there's no danger of the customer calling
    > back later because they can't find such and such information - oh, you didn't
    > tell me about the file.
    >
    > I currently have no practical way to do this on site and therefore have to
    > take their system with me. I'd like to speed this process up and do it on
    > site.
    >
    > I'm thinking of building a portable system with the latest CPU and speed
    > features. Then adding very fast hard drive or RAID on one channel. The
    > customer's hard drive would be removed from their PC and hooked up to a
    > separate IDE channel on the system. I'd then run a backup utility or command
    > (robocopy, dd, etc) to QUICKLY slam the entire contents of their drive onto
    > mine.
    >
    > I'd like to approach the speeds of what a company called logicube claims for
    > their drive cloning hardware - which is about 1 Gb per minute. Haven't worked
    > through the math to determine what's realistic. Again, speed is the key.
    >
    > Is there other hardware or software products on the market that will help me
    > with this solution? I can't justify the $2,000 for the logicube device, but I
    > figure I could build a PC with similar functionality for $600 as described
    > above.
    >
    > So, am I on the right track here?

    Why not get an external USB / Firewire box with a large hard drive in
    it? My preference would be firewire, as I come across plenty of data
    corrupting in USB devices and none whatsoever in FIrewire devices
    (granted this is partly down to USB being far more popluar than
    firewire.) SImply plug in (most computers will have a USB port).

    Also carry around an older IDE card (something popular, like Promise)
    that most systems will work with, and plug your spare hard drive into
    that and do a disk - disk image or get a decent file copy program that
    doesn't fall over when it encounters a problem file / system file that
    won't copy.

    With either of the above, you won't have any configuration / network
    setup issues and it should work in nearly all cases.


    Odie
    --

    RetroData
    Data Recovery Experts
    www.retrodata.co.uk
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <35bgp2F44p5qgU1@individual.net>, ho <peterfoxghost@yahoo.ca> wrote:
    >"Mail Ias" <mailias@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    >news:Pf%Hd.13626$P04.8696@attbi_s03...
    >> I'm looking for the absolutely fastest possible way to back up an entire
    >> system.
    >>
    >> Background: my work frequently involves going into people's homes to help
    >> them bring their computers back to life after the machines are over-run
    >with
    >> spyware and viruses and the like. To solve their problem I backup their
    >data
    >> and do a clean install of XP, then bring their computer up to date with
    >all
    >> the latest patches and various protections.
    >>
    >> The first bottleneck in this process is backing up their data. Not just
    >the
    >> act of doing the backup but having them tell me where everyhing lives on
    >their
    >> system (if they know). I've come to the conclusion that the best method
    >is to
    >> back up the entire system. That way there's no danger of the customer
    >calling
    >> back later because they can't find such and such information - oh, you
    >didn't
    >> tell me about the file.
    >>
    >> I currently have no practical way to do this on site and therefore have to
    >> take their system with me. I'd like to speed this process up and do it on
    >> site.
    >>
    >> I'm thinking of building a portable system with the latest CPU and speed
    >> features. Then adding very fast hard drive or RAID on one channel. The
    >> customer's hard drive would be removed from their PC and hooked up to a
    >> separate IDE channel on the system. I'd then run a backup utility or
    >command
    >> (robocopy, dd, etc) to QUICKLY slam the entire contents of their drive
    >onto
    >> mine.
    >>
    >> I'd like to approach the speeds of what a company called logicube claims
    >for
    >> their drive cloning hardware - which is about 1 Gb per minute. Haven't
    >worked
    >> through the math to determine what's realistic. Again, speed is the key.
    >>
    >> Is there other hardware or software products on the market that will help
    >me
    >> with this solution? I can't justify the $2,000 for the logicube device,
    >but I
    >> figure I could build a PC with similar functionality for $600 as described
    >> above.
    >>
    >> So, am I on the right track here?
    >
    >If customer drive is slow, you wan't be able to reach that speed anyway.
    >Typical disk imaging over FastEth network can achieve ~700MB per minute.
    >I would put a network card in their system rather than remove their disk for
    >cloning.
    >A laptop with an external USB drive would do a decent job for you.
    >Later you could burn their image to DVDs or ... keep buying new USB drives
    >;-)
    >
    >

    I've been thinking about this, too.

    I carry a laptop and a bootable CD of Acronis TI8. The laptop has an
    empty 20GB partition. I can plug a crossover cable into the user's
    machine and my laptop, boot TI, and image the machine, 10GB in about
    half an hour. Acronis compresses the origonal machine at greater that
    2:1, but if the useer has gigabytes of MP3s they don't compress.

    100MB ethernet is the bottleneck.

    There is a USB2 computer-to-compuer adapter cable (and softwrae) that
    might give you a little more speed. My laptop doesn;t have USB2. I
    don't need it.


    --

    a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

    Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Get a 200+MB drive and put it in a Firewire case. You can write 150GB/hour.

    Use dd bs=64k to copy the disk using WinPE or Linux CD, it is faster than most
    methods.

    "Mail Ias" <mailias@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:Pf%Hd.13626$P04.8696@attbi_s03...
    > I'm looking for the absolutely fastest possible way to back up an entire
    > system.
    >
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    I would not move their data at all. Their drive is the backup. New hard
    drives are so cheap, it is not worth your time to back it up and then
    wipe the disk, unless your time isn't worth anything. Leave the data on
    the old disk as a slave, install a new master drive, install your XP
    and you're ready to go. The only reason to deviate from this is if
    there is no room in their box, but I am guessing most people who would
    call you wouldn't have more than one drive. Am I missing anything?

    Irwin


    Eric Gisin wrote:
    > Get a 200+MB drive and put it in a Firewire case. You can write
    150GB/hour.
    >
    > Use dd bs=64k to copy the disk using WinPE or Linux CD, it is faster
    than most
    > methods.
    >
    > "Mail Ias" <mailias@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    > news:Pf%Hd.13626$P04.8696@attbi_s03...
    > > I'm looking for the absolutely fastest possible way to back up an
    entire
    > > system.
    > >
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "ho" <peterfoxghost@yahoo.ca> wrote in message news:35bgp2F44p5qgU1@individual.net
    > "Mail Ias" <mailias@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    > news:Pf%Hd.13626$P04.8696@attbi_s03...
    > > I'm looking for the absolutely fastest possible way to back up an entire
    > > system.
    > >
    [snip]
    > >
    > > I'm thinking of building a portable system with the latest CPU and speed
    > > features. Then adding very fast hard drive or RAID on one channel. The
    > > customer's hard drive would be removed from their PC and hooked up to a
    > > separate IDE channel on the system. I'd then run a backup utility or command
    > > (robocopy, dd, etc) to QUICKLY slam the entire contents of their drive onto
    > > mine.
    > >
    > > I'd like to approach the speeds of what a company called logicube claims for
    > > their drive cloning hardware - which is about 1 Gb per minute. Haven't worked
    > > through the math to determine what's realistic. Again, speed is the key.

    1Gb/min is 1.7 MB/sec

    > >
    > > Is there other hardware or software products on the market that will help me
    > > with this solution? I can't justify the $2,000 for the logicube device, but I
    > > figure I could build a PC with similar functionality for $600 as described
    > > above.
    > >
    > > So, am I on the right track here?
    >
    > If customer drive is slow, you wan't be able to reach that speed anyway.

    No?

    > Typical disk imaging over FastEth network can achieve

    > ~700MB per minute.

    Which is ~7Gb per minute, (11.7 MB/sec).
    Still think that that is slow compared to 1 Gb per minute (1.7 MB/sec)?

    > I would put a network card in their system rather than remove their disk for
    > cloning.
    > A laptop with an external USB drive would do a decent job for you.
    > Later you could burn their image to DVDs or ... keep buying new USB drives
    > ;-)
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Mail Ias wrote:

    > I'm looking for the absolutely fastest possible way to back up an entire
    > system.
    >
    > Background: my work frequently involves going into people's homes to help
    > them bring their computers back to life after the machines are over-run
    > with
    > spyware and viruses and the like. To solve their problem I backup their
    > data and do a clean install of XP, then bring their computer up to date
    > with all the latest patches and various protections.
    >
    > The first bottleneck in this process is backing up their data. Not just
    > the act of doing the backup but having them tell me where everyhing lives
    > on their
    > system (if they know). I've come to the conclusion that the best method
    > is to
    > back up the entire system. That way there's no danger of the customer
    > calling back later because they can't find such and such information - oh,
    > you didn't tell me about the file.
    >
    > I currently have no practical way to do this on site and therefore have to
    > take their system with me. I'd like to speed this process up and do it on
    > site.
    >
    > I'm thinking of building a portable system with the latest CPU and speed
    > features. Then adding very fast hard drive or RAID on one channel. The
    > customer's hard drive would be removed from their PC and hooked up to a
    > separate IDE channel on the system. I'd then run a backup utility or
    > command (robocopy, dd, etc) to QUICKLY slam the entire contents of their
    > drive onto mine.
    >
    > I'd like to approach the speeds of what a company called logicube claims
    > for
    > their drive cloning hardware - which is about 1 Gb per minute. Haven't
    > worked
    > through the math to determine what's realistic. Again, speed is the key.
    >
    > Is there other hardware or software products on the market that will help
    > me
    > with this solution? I can't justify the $2,000 for the logicube device,
    > but I figure I could build a PC with similar functionality for $600 as
    > described above.
    >
    > So, am I on the right track here?

    The method that I use is as follows.

    I have a laptop. It has in the PCCard slot a Buslink SATA adapter. I plug
    into that adapter two 250 gig SATA drives in external enclosures. The OS
    is configured to mount those drives as a RAID-1 and share that RAID over
    the network. I have a diskette that I stick in the machine to be backed
    up--it boots the machine, and connects to the laptop. I then run the copy
    of Drive Image that I have stored on the laptop and use that to image the
    drives. How fast it goes depends on how fast the drives and CPU in the
    customer's machine are--if it's slow it takes a while, if it's fast it's
    pretty quick. Don't get a gig a minute, but typically do about 20 gig an
    hour.

    Or you could use that same SATA host adapter and an SATA-to-IDE bridge to
    mount their drive on your machine and back it up. I've gotten a gig a
    minute out of LiveImage Backup on direct-connected drives.

    --
    --John
    Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Al Dykes" <adykes@panix.com> wrote in message
    news:csqvov$c40$1@panix5.panix.com...
    > In article <35bgp2F44p5qgU1@individual.net>, ho <peterfoxghost@yahoo.ca>
    > wrote:
    >>"Mail Ias" <mailias@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    >>news:Pf%Hd.13626$P04.8696@attbi_s03...
    >>> I'm looking for the absolutely fastest possible way to back up an entire
    >>> system.
    >>>
    >>> Background: my work frequently involves going into people's homes to help
    >>> them bring their computers back to life after the machines are over-run
    >>with
    >>> spyware and viruses and the like. To solve their problem I backup their
    >>data
    >>> and do a clean install of XP, then bring their computer up to date with
    >>all
    >>> the latest patches and various protections.
    >>>
    >>> The first bottleneck in this process is backing up their data. Not just
    >>the
    >>> act of doing the backup but having them tell me where everyhing lives on
    >>their
    >>> system (if they know). I've come to the conclusion that the best method
    >>is to
    >>> back up the entire system. That way there's no danger of the customer
    >>calling
    >>> back later because they can't find such and such information - oh, you
    >>didn't
    >>> tell me about the file.
    >>>
    >>> I currently have no practical way to do this on site and therefore have to
    >>> take their system with me. I'd like to speed this process up and do it on
    >>> site.
    >>>
    >>> I'm thinking of building a portable system with the latest CPU and speed
    >>> features. Then adding very fast hard drive or RAID on one channel. The
    >>> customer's hard drive would be removed from their PC and hooked up to a
    >>> separate IDE channel on the system. I'd then run a backup utility or
    >>command
    >>> (robocopy, dd, etc) to QUICKLY slam the entire contents of their drive
    >>onto
    >>> mine.
    >>>
    >>> I'd like to approach the speeds of what a company called logicube claims
    >>for
    >>> their drive cloning hardware - which is about 1 Gb per minute. Haven't
    >>worked
    >>> through the math to determine what's realistic. Again, speed is the key.
    >>>
    >>> Is there other hardware or software products on the market that will help
    >>me
    >>> with this solution? I can't justify the $2,000 for the logicube device,
    >>but I
    >>> figure I could build a PC with similar functionality for $600 as described
    >>> above.
    >>>
    >>> So, am I on the right track here?
    >>
    >>If customer drive is slow, you wan't be able to reach that speed anyway.
    >>Typical disk imaging over FastEth network can achieve ~700MB per minute.
    >>I would put a network card in their system rather than remove their disk for
    >>cloning.
    >>A laptop with an external USB drive would do a decent job for you.
    >>Later you could burn their image to DVDs or ... keep buying new USB drives
    >>;-)
    >>
    >>
    >
    > I've been thinking about this, too.
    >
    > I carry a laptop and a bootable CD of Acronis TI8. The laptop has an
    > empty 20GB partition. I can plug a crossover cable into the user's
    > machine and my laptop, boot TI, and image the machine, 10GB in about
    > half an hour. Acronis compresses the origonal machine at greater that
    > 2:1, but if the useer has gigabytes of MP3s they don't compress.

    > 100MB ethernet is the bottleneck.

    And TI doesnt go anywhere near filling the ethernet channel with
    lower horsepower PCs like say a 1G or less, and max compression.

    It would certainly be a hassle to get the drive out of the user's
    PC, but that would certainly be much faster, particularly if you
    didnt use any compression to get the best speed. Guess you
    could usually just have an IDE cable between the user's
    machine and the one thats doing the copy, with the drive
    left in the user's machine for minimum hassle, temp lashup.

    It'd certainly be better to say just plug an ethernet cable between
    the machines tho and maybe that wouldnt necessarily involve much
    more time than having to open the user's machine etc.

    > There is a USB2 computer-to-compuer adapter cable
    > (and softwrae) that might give you a little more speed.

    I doubt it. In spades when the user's machine doesnt have USB2.

    > My laptop doesn;t have USB2. I don't need it.
  9. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Odie Ferrous" <odie_ferrous@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:41F0918F.F91B0971@hotmail.com...
    > Mail Ias wrote:
    >>
    >> I'm looking for the absolutely fastest possible way to back up an entire
    >> system.
    >>
    >> Background: my work frequently involves going into people's homes to help
    >> them bring their computers back to life after the machines are over-run with
    >> spyware and viruses and the like. To solve their problem I backup their data
    >> and do a clean install of XP, then bring their computer up to date with all
    >> the latest patches and various protections.
    >>
    >> The first bottleneck in this process is backing up their data. Not just the
    >> act of doing the backup but having them tell me where everyhing lives on
    >> their
    >> system (if they know). I've come to the conclusion that the best method is
    >> to
    >> back up the entire system. That way there's no danger of the customer
    >> calling
    >> back later because they can't find such and such information - oh, you didn't
    >> tell me about the file.
    >>
    >> I currently have no practical way to do this on site and therefore have to
    >> take their system with me. I'd like to speed this process up and do it on
    >> site.
    >>
    >> I'm thinking of building a portable system with the latest CPU and speed
    >> features. Then adding very fast hard drive or RAID on one channel. The
    >> customer's hard drive would be removed from their PC and hooked up to a
    >> separate IDE channel on the system. I'd then run a backup utility or command
    >> (robocopy, dd, etc) to QUICKLY slam the entire contents of their drive onto
    >> mine.
    >>
    >> I'd like to approach the speeds of what a company called logicube claims for
    >> their drive cloning hardware - which is about 1 Gb per minute. Haven't
    >> worked
    >> through the math to determine what's realistic. Again, speed is the key.
    >>
    >> Is there other hardware or software products on the market that will help me
    >> with this solution? I can't justify the $2,000 for the logicube device, but
    >> I
    >> figure I could build a PC with similar functionality for $600 as described
    >> above.
    >>
    >> So, am I on the right track here?
    >
    > Why not get an external USB / Firewire box with a large hard drive in
    > it? My preference would be firewire, as I come across plenty of data
    > corrupting in USB devices and none whatsoever in FIrewire devices
    > (granted this is partly down to USB being far more popluar than
    > firewire.) SImply plug in (most computers will have a USB port).

    But not necessarily USB2.

    > Also carry around an older IDE card (something popular, like Promise)
    > that most systems will work with, and plug your spare hard drive into
    > that and do a disk - disk image or get a decent file copy program that
    > doesn't fall over when it encounters a problem file / system file that
    > won't copy.

    > With either of the above, you won't have any configuration /
    > network setup issues and it should work in nearly all cases.

    Dunno, XP is pretty straightforward networking wise once
    you get the hang of its quirks. Likely anything that involves
    opening the user's PC will take more time given that quite
    a few of them will have a lan port already installed.
  10. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Mail Ias" <mailias@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:Pf%Hd.13626$P04.8696@attbi_s03...
    > I'm looking for the absolutely fastest possible way to back up an entire
    > system.

    The main problem may will be that not all PC have fast external interfaces.
    You are likely to need a variety of different solutions. For old PC without
    USB/Firewire/Ethernet the fastest solution might be to take them away and
    either clone the hard drive out of the box or use a parallel port laplink
    cable overnight.

    My entire syetem is backed up to a USB 2.0 drive every night. I think it
    manages to backup and verify around 17-18GByte in about 45 mins but I never
    hang around to watch it.

    If you mainly support PC that you sold the customer then perhaps it would be
    worth making sure they all have USB 2.0 or a fast Ethernet card in them?
    These cards don't cost much.
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