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Author Topic: software to manage backups  (Read 3737 times)
KM3K
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Posts: 299




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« on: March 19, 2013, 06:23:44 AM »

Hello,
I've three computers...one for ham-radio and two for family use.
Also, I have a Seagate external 2Tbyte hard-drive Model# STAC2000103 for backup and I used it once for just one computer about a year ago with Memeo software.
The "how and why" Memeo software came to be used I no longer remember (I guess it just showed up) but I have since looked at ratings on the web for their backup software and it all seems to be bad; no ratings found here in eham.
I know that I should backup more often, especially the family photos; I also have lots of ham-radio material that I'd not want to lose.
So my problem is, "What software should I use to backup all three computers with the Seagate hard-drive?"
Any help here is appreciated.
73 Jerry KM3K
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DJ1YFK
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2013, 10:48:02 AM »

It may sound too good to be true, but on a typical Windows computer you have everything to do automated backups to an external harddrive: XCOPY and Scheduled Tasks.

Xcopy documentation and examples: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/289483
Scheduled Tasks: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/schedule-a-task

xcopy can be configured to copy files from a source to a destination only if they changed or are newer, and this can be put into a batch file which is then periodically called by a scheduled task. Alternatively, you can also just manually start this file whenever you like.
By limiting the copying to new or updated files, the backup in most cases take a lot less time than just blindly copying everything each time you're starting the backup process.

Depending on which version of Windows you are using, the specifics differ a little bit, but you'll probably find quite a lot of documentation for each version online. Here's an example for WinXP: http://www.ekho.com/Training_Videos/XCOPY_NOTES.pdf

I have been using xcopy on Windows for years and it's a unsophisticated but reliable tool for simple cases which include no need for revisioning or transfer over networks etc.
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K5UNX
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2013, 01:04:51 PM »

Something I use is called Karen's Replicator. It's available free on the Internet. Karen is a lady that write for one of the computer magazines I think. Anyways, it has a simple interface. You setup rules and define what files you want backed up. First run gets all the files. Every run after just gets changed files only. It's pretty cool and very customizable for what you want to copy. Once you define your rules, you plug in the hard drive and click go and it'll do it. I use it for my work laptop.

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W4TRY
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2013, 02:21:35 PM »

I have used this one for some time. It is free and portable. Just another good one.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/freefilesync/?source=navbar
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KE4DRN
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Posts: 3722




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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2013, 03:42:06 PM »

hi,

ROBOCOPY gives you additional features beyone copy and xcopy,
it is standard with VISTA and Server 2008 or you can download it from MS.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc733145%28v=ws.10%29.aspx

73 james

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K8AC
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Posts: 1471




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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2013, 04:42:41 PM »

I've been using Casper for years to back up our systems.  I use a separate backup drive in an external housing for each PC and Casper backs up only that data that's changed since the last backup, so the backups are fairly fast.  In the event of failure of a hard drive, a destructive virus, etc., I simply swap in the backup drive for the damaged drive and boot from that.  If you use an external drive with an eSATA interface, you can boot from the external drive without having to do a physical swap and so you can get back online quickly. Every now and then, after a backup I do a physical swap of the backup and boot drives to make sure the backup really runs as it should. 
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K4FMH
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Posts: 254




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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2013, 01:26:04 PM »

I would echo this one...it's cross-platform so if you get a Mac or try Linux in the future....it's there too. The key thing you want is verification on your backups...w/o it, you just may have junk.

It would be convenient to have your drive as a NAS device....you can use a $35 Raspberry Pi or a cheaper PogoPlug 2.0 (pink or gray) flashed to Linux (Arch or Debian) since it has a gigabit ethernet port and runs "headless".

Frank
K4FMH

I have used this one for some time. It is free and portable. Just another good one.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/freefilesync/?source=navbar
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W8JX
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Posts: 5774




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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 03:37:02 PM »

Or you could simple use a RAID 0 array which mirror data from one drive to other transparently. Chances of both drives failing at once is pretty slim. You could also mirror data transparently across network to another hard drive volume.
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All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
N0IU
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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2013, 04:26:01 AM »

My 2ยข...

For things like family photos, my suggestion is to back them up to a CD or DVD. Another suggestion would be to back up you really crucial stuff to a flash drive. These things are stupid cheap any more. You can get a 32gb USB flash drive for less than $20!

The thing to remember about any hard drive, its not if it will fail, its when!
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W8JX
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« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2013, 07:16:33 AM »

The thing to remember about any hard drive, its not if it will fail, its when!

Years ago I used to replace main drives after about one year on critical systems. Now it is ever 2 to 3 years. Replacements are cheap and faster than ones they replace.
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All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
DJ1YFK
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« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2013, 02:19:56 PM »

Or you could simple use a RAID 0 array which mirror data from one drive to other transparently. Chances of both drives failing at once is pretty slim. You could also mirror data transparently across network to another hard drive volume.

RAID arrays are great, but another thing to consider is accidental deletion or alteration of files (by user mistake or buggy software). In such a case an additional "offline" backup can be a life saver.

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