Backing up a Hard Drive
October 26, 2008 3:44 PM   Subscribe

Backup, restore a HD to external HD

I have been searching and reading on internet for software to backup my hard drive to an external hard drive and have been overwhelmed with the options
The system is an xp with 148gb and the external hardrive a 500gb western digital
I have looked at Comodo backup and Acronis true image
What software do you consider the most user friendly and overall best to use?
Thank You
posted by robbyrobs to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
posted by dbgrady at 4:30 PM on October 26, 2008

The backup program that comes bundled with Windows XP isn't too terrible, actually. (If you're having any trouble accessing it, you can get to it by selecting the Run command from the Start Menu and typing "ntbackup".) You can schedule backups with this software and choose the type backup you wish to perform, so you can set up, say, one weekly full backup followed by incremental backups for the rest of the week.

If you're looking to invest in a piece of third-party software, I think Acronis TrueImage home is certainly a good choice. It gives you some additional options that aren't available in ntbackup (you can set up a quota on your external hard drive, for example, so your backups won't stop running because you've run out of space). The Acronis TrueImage software also comes with the Startup Recovery Manager, which can come in very handy indeed if you ever need to do a "bare metal" restore.

Some additional information can be found at Lifehacker:

Hope this helps.
posted by sixo33 at 4:43 PM on October 26, 2008

Seconding six033. Personally an anti-fan of Ghost.

I don't think you'll find anything significantly better than the inbuilt Windows backup, at least not for doing personal backups onto a big-enough external hard disk. I've personally used its Advanced System Recovery feature to do complete restores of broken Windows boxes onto replacement internal hard disks, so I know it works. If you have a CD-bootable copy of Windows (which you can make from your own Windows Setup CD using BartPE) then you don't even need ASR to do a bare-metal restore; just a standard backup-of-everything is enough.

The advantage of using Windows Backup over just about anything else is that you will find it on every Windows box you ever use, so you'll never be left with a backup set in a format you can't read, and if somebody else ever needs to restore a backup you've done, there's a good chance they'll be able to do that without learning Yet Another Esoteric Backup Package first.
posted by flabdablet at 5:30 PM on October 26, 2008

hate Ghost.

Love Iomega Back up Pro

They are no longer supporting this version but don't worry about that if you're using Xp.

good luck
posted by Jfalways at 5:41 PM on October 26, 2008

I think Acronis True Image is easy and excellent. (I use version 10 and haven't tried newer ones)
posted by SampleSize at 9:36 AM on November 2, 2008

Forget Ghost! and forgot backing up individual files and folders. You have more than enough space to image the drive and imaging solutions are easier and more reliable. For an excellent free solution, try DriveImage XML. Its rock solid in my experience and uses open standards. Plus it uses Microsoft's volume shadow service to copy files, so it can create images from drives in use.

posted by Kai2 at 10:47 PM on November 14, 2008

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