I just got finished building and installing my first computer and now I am trying to decide what kind of backup plan I need. First, let me tell you what I have...
System drive - 120GB SSD - just one partition
Storage drive - 1Tb HDD - 3(?) partitions...1 for my user files, 1 for my backups, and 1 for a system recovery(?)
External Storage drive - 120GB USB external HD - just one partition
I plan to use crashplan to backup my user files to the external HD and offsite computers. My question has to do with how or what to set up regarding the image of the system drive. Right now, I have set up Windows 7 to backup everything, including an image of my system drive, every night, and store those backups on the 2nd partition of my storage drive. I also thought I would make a one-time (the WD edition doesn't do scheduled backups) system image in case things went all to pieces and I needed a safe restore point, and stick that in the 3rd partition of the storage drive. Is that overkill, if I am already using windows' backup utility? Is there a better way to go about this? I see clonezilla suggested in several places but I don't think I want to go that route.
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I use Acronis which works fine, just make sure you have a working boot CD for your version of Acronis and make sure your imaging efforts are verified by the program, don't ever assume that the backup images it's making are valid. Test test test.
I would image my system weekly and use the external drive as duplicate storage for any important data. You may want to expand with another 1-2TB internal drive. Perhaps a larger external as well. (500GB+)
I just signed up for a data backup service thats really awesome. It's really easy and quick with tons of space for my music, photos, and files. You can either sign up for cheap or try it for free. You get more space if you sign up though. Here, I'll give you the link.
the power of acronis true image is the ability to create incremental/differential backups so you can save extra space on your storage media, btw a 30-days trial version is fully functional from Windows, so you can create a full backup of the system and later in case of disaster happens restore it, even after 30 days trial period, how? acronis bootable CD is limited in recovery option so you can use it in any time :-) here is guide how to restore a disk image using acronis true image 2013
If you are already using win7 backup to image your system partition/drive then there really isn't a need to do it with Acronis. If you have the disk space, you might want to keep multiple copies of the image on seperate drives.