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Best cloning/imaging software for my needs

Last response: in Antivirus / Security / Privacy
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May 7, 2012 1:32:49 PM

Pardon if this is a double post. I posted earlier but couldn't find it where I thought I put it, so I'm reposting after officially joining. I'm learning this particular forum tho I am a user of other forums (fora?)

I've been using Seagate Replica software that came with my 2TB drive for about a year. It sucks. First, it slows my computer to the point of making it unusable. So I turn it off and plug it in again every couple of weeks to allow it to run overnight when I'm not using my computer. This has worked so far to alleviate my data loss paranoia but when I reactivated it this morning because of a noisy drive (or maybe a graphics card fan) it dragged my computer so slow that it was unusable. So I’ve decided to keep the Seagate external USB 2TB drive, reformat it, and install some good image/cloning software.

Years ago I used software by Symantec (who I also hate) called GoBack. The software worked great and saved my buns a few times, so the ability to recover individual files was nice also. It didn’t work for Vista and I believe is no longer supported. I’ve never used external backup like Carbonite but some less tech-savvy friends have and swear by it. But I dislike the ongoing cost $50/year) and I don’t know if it’ll accommodate my several TB of data (large video files). Here is my request for a recommendation. Features in order of priority:

· Reliable in case my computer crashes or gets a virus (I use Avast)
· Won’t bog down my computer too much (e.g., works in the background – ideally at night when I sleep)
· Will allow recovery of individual files (e.g., accidentally erased or overwritten)
· Will allow occasional (every few months) backup of important data files to removable media (e.g., 25GB Blu Ray)
· Works between Vista/7/8. I have Vista now but probably will abandon that in near future.
· Has good documentation and support (e.g., forum) so that I can get answers.
· Cost.

With a little research I see that Clonezilla has a pretty good reputation and is free. Norton Ghost is heavily advertised and may be more heavily supported?

Thanks for your comments and suggestions.
May 8, 2012 10:56:14 AM

I don't know about Clonezilla, just because I've not used it. Ghost is good, but will not work in the background as you're asking. Acronis has solutions as well, and I'm slightly more partial to Acronis' solutions over Symantec Ghost (but only slightly - both are great solutions).

Exactly as you've bulleted above, I'd suggest something along the lines of Cloud backup. Carbonite is my preferred solution for the last 2 years as they have unlimited storage, you have the option to hold/manage your encryption keys, they keep your accidentally-deleted files for 30-days and keep revisions of "changed" files (the timeline I can't remember). Cost MAY be a factor, as I don't know your budget. But ticks just about every other bullet above, and maybe most importantly my system has seen zero performance impact because of the solution.
I also had to do a restore at the beginning of the year, 450GB worth, all data was recovered in 8 days. (if you're in the US, they have a package where they will overnight you a HDD of your backup - I'm in the UK, so I don't use that highest package).

My suggested/preference for "non-cloud" solutions would probably be Acronis' Backup and Restore solution.
Both of my suggestions have free trials, so you can give them a spin before you buy...
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May 8, 2012 11:27:44 AM

psaus said:
I don't know about Clonezilla, just because I've not used it. Ghost is good, but will not work in the background as you're asking. Acronis has solutions as well, and I'm slightly more partial to Acronis' solutions over Symantec Ghost (but only slightly - both are great solutions).

Exactly as you've bulleted above, I'd suggest something along the lines of Cloud backup. Carbonite is my preferred solution for the last 2 years as they have unlimited storage, you have the option to hold/manage your encryption keys, they keep your accidentally-deleted files for 30-days and keep revisions of "changed" files (the timeline I can't remember). Cost MAY be a factor, as I don't know your budget. But ticks just about every other bullet above, and maybe most importantly my system has seen zero performance impact because of the solution.
I also had to do a restore at the beginning of the year, 450GB worth, all data was recovered in 8 days. (if you're in the US, they have a package where they will overnight you a HDD of your backup - I'm in the UK, so I don't use that highest package).

My suggested/preference for "non-cloud" solutions would probably be Acronis' Backup and Restore solution.
Both of my suggestions have free trials, so you can give them a spin before you buy...
Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. I'll reconsider Carbonite. Certainly the $50/year or so is a good exchange for the hassle of lost data. My only reason for having it low on my list is that the individuals that I know that use it have little to no computer expertise and I kind of like messing with the various control functions and being able to see what's going on. Though I'm on my computer daily, being without my data for a couple of weeks while Carbonite reloads is not an important factor for me.

Again, thanks for your thoughtful advice.

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May 8, 2012 11:44:54 AM

Quote:
I kind of like messing with the various control functions and being able to see what's going on.


Like I said, you can manage and hold your own encryption keys (this prevents Carbonite from actually seeing your data), and this is quite the "power user" feature. As well, there are TONS of logs and the ability to force a back up of individual files sooner than later.
[/sarcasm] :p 
Seriously, I completely understand what you mean. But after having to do my restore, I was convinced that this simplicity is an OK compromise, and I'll tinker elsewhere. :) 
2 words: "free trials" Install both apps and have a poke around (do it in a OpenBox VM if you want to keep your system clean - you can always install Windows for 30-days without activation. Great way to test new things like this). For Carbonite, the infopane is helpful, but open the install directories, lots of logs and info can be harvested there.
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May 10, 2012 2:20:05 AM

:hello:  It seems to be useful. I also useful the other cloning/imaging software. such as Blazephoto , Videoflick, Video Magic. All from Blazevideo. I feel these software from Blazevideo company so good . If you are interested in . You can have the try. Hope you will like my share. :D 
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May 17, 2012 11:03:55 AM

Best answer selected by lbeck.
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May 17, 2012 11:05:34 AM

psaus said:
Quote:
I kind of like messing with the various control functions and being able to see what's going on.


Like I said, you can manage and hold your own encryption keys (this prevents Carbonite from actually seeing your data), and this is quite the "power user" feature. As well, there are TONS of logs and the ability to force a back up of individual files sooner than later.
[/sarcasm] :p 
Seriously, I completely understand what you mean. But after having to do my restore, I was convinced that this simplicity is an OK compromise, and I'll tinker elsewhere. :) 
2 words: "free trials" Install both apps and have a poke around (do it in a OpenBox VM if you want to keep your system clean - you can always install Windows for 30-days without activation. Great way to test new things like this). For Carbonite, the infopane is helpful, but open the install directories, lots of logs and info can be harvested there.


Thanks again. You've been very helpful.
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