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  • My Windows 10 Local Backup Software Choice, and Why

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Questions: Win10 My Windows 10 Local Backup Software Choice, and Why

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      • #2320700
        Michael Austin
        AskWoody Plus

        I’m running Windows File History to a local, spinning disc from my SSD system drive. I also keep two separate cloud backups, one in iDrive and one in Google Drive using their Backup and Sync client. Over the last year and a half I’d used both the 2020 and 2021 versions of Acronis True Image. I’d backed them up to an external but local USB 3.x, spinning drive. So I’ve two local drive backups and two in the cloud and these run every day. File History is updated every 30 mins. Google Backup and Sync uploads file changes when the file is closed.

        Acronis often had, little, niggling issues but it worked most of the time. But a backup software that works most of the time is something anyone should find unacceptable. With Acronis’s latest software patches to its 2021 True Image, they eventually, completely tanked their product for my otherwise comparatively happy main desktop. Their True Image interface would load slowly, but it might take 7 to 10 minutes additional minutes to change its scheduled execution time. I’d negotiated a $35 single machine license for the 2021 version, but the software won’t work without incessant tech tickets. So I abandoned Acronis. This time it’s probably permanent.

        So quickly combining my recent, first-hand experiences, I checked these fora here and got our most reliable geeks’ opinions, and also looked at on-line reviews from other sites including PC magazine and Tech Radar.

        Aomei Backupper failed my tests:  It won’t back-up Outlook .PST files without a Registry hack. For a software publisher to expect you to do a Registry hack on their installation of software is sublimely ridiculous. I do have a great, local uber-geek friend, Ron Gravatt, who loves Aomei, but he means that in the context of Mac desktops and laptops.

        Because last year I’d also successfully used the EaseUS drive cloning tool to swap out my laptop’s drive for a reasonable cost ($29?), and because EaseUS tech support also smoothly solved for me a drive partitioning issue which neither of us expected, I went back to EaseUS to look at their Todo Backup.

        I asked EaseUS which versions of Todo Backup would work with .PST files, they replied that all their paid versions would do that. Their free version won’t. So last night I purchased their Todo Backup Home edition for US $47.20 on a perpetual license.

        After I configured it, Todo Backup launched and ran uneventfully (according to its very simple GUI logs). Todo Backup is kind’a goofy in that it doesn’t come pre-configured to shut down the machine after it’s done with backup. So I texted with their on-line tech, found the place in the Todo interface where I could insert a -post program command for shutdown, and pointed it to the Windows’ shutdown executable.

        Now begins the real testing. The program worked once in a row. I will see if it continues to, and I will see how it behaves when I do test restores.

        Finance, social and tech founder. Co-founder of a global, gamified, crowd-sourced ESG advertising platform, and managing director of new crowd sourced games, both in pre-release development. My planet-wide talk show for people craving new stories by which to live is Casual Saints.
        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2320742
        Zig
        AskWoody Plus

        Todo Backup Home edition for US $47.20 on a perpetual license.

        Good price.
        Zig

      • #2320773
        cyberSAR
        AskWoody Plus

        Just received my new 2017 version of ATI. Didn’t install it, just registered and downloaded the recovery iso. Sees my NVME drive and backup was fast and non-eventful. Best thing is the interface is pretty much the same in 2015 and 2017. Now off to build the PE recovery drive and test on some RAID systems. I’m a happy camper so far!

      • #2320782
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        I’m a happy camper so far!

        I am too with Acronis 2019. Don’t see the need to move.

        • #2345420
          Nuyorker
          AskWoody Plus

          I too was happy with Aronis 2019 UNTIL I discovered that version didn’t play nice with MS Sandbox. I updated to Aronis 2021 and saw that problem in my rear view mirror.

          • #2345428
            Paul T
            AskWoody MVP

            What is the problem with sandbox? Does 2021 fix the issue?

            cheers, Paul

      • #2320810
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        I am a practitioner of Hardened Windows.  My  imaging software of choice is TeraByte’s Image For Windows, primarily because I’ve been using TeraByte’s imaging software for nearly twenty years (I’ve restored literally hundreds of drive images due to my incessant tinkering with Windows) and it has never failed me.

        TeraByte released v3.42 (free for licensed users) December 17, yesterday.  For personal use, it can be installed on up to five PC’s/laptops.  “Personal or Home Users. If you are a real person, and if all Software under this license is used exclusively for personal non-commercial use only, then each licensed copy may be installed on four additional Computer Systems owned or controlled by you, or a member of your immediate family in the same household.”  Retail price is $38.94.  There is also a fully functional 30-day free trial available for download.

        I’ve had Drive Imaging automated via Task Scheduler for a number of years.  I’m not affiliated with TeraByte in any way, shape of form, I’m just a very satisfied user.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2320821
        cyberSAR
        AskWoody Plus

        If anyone wants a free copy of ATI 2021 1 computer perpetual license hit me up in VM. I’m not shipping it, but will scan or take a picture of the license/box. I have two unopened, legit copies and won’t be using it. Rather than trash it, I’d rather give it away. First come first served!

        • #2320864
          Zig
          AskWoody Plus

          No takers here, but thanks, anyway.
          Zig

        • #2343344
          MechTech
          AskWoody Plus

          Do you still have a copy? Don’t know how to contact you. Would like to try it if available.

      • #2320956
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Your original notes on this trial.

        Macrium Reflect Boot Media

        cheers, Paul

      • #2322654
        Michael Austin
        AskWoody Plus

        EaseUS Todo Backup Home edition (for US $47.20 on a perpetual license) continues its encouraging test backups on my main machine. Inside its interface I had to add a Shutdown the computer command. I think they should have included that. My use of Todo Backup Home edition is one of four fail-safe backups I use. Two local and two cloud backups.

        Finance, social and tech founder. Co-founder of a global, gamified, crowd-sourced ESG advertising platform, and managing director of new crowd sourced games, both in pre-release development. My planet-wide talk show for people craving new stories by which to live is Casual Saints.
        • #2340014
          Michael Austin
          AskWoody Plus

          Long story shortened on my testing with EaseUS Todo Backup Home edition:  It’s OK as a do-it-yourself tool for people who want to fiddle with settings, and to fix it when something breaks. After testing it in January, and finding that it filled up the target backup disc, I stopped all of its jobs and deleted the backups.

          Just today EaseUs configured it for me in a manner which will supposedly trim its own automatic backups. I’ll need to let it run for a month and see what it actually does. Although I specifically and clearly asked EaseUs to shut the machine down after backup, the tech did not configure it for that. So I’ll configure that part myself and see what it does.

          Finance, social and tech founder. Co-founder of a global, gamified, crowd-sourced ESG advertising platform, and managing director of new crowd sourced games, both in pre-release development. My planet-wide talk show for people craving new stories by which to live is Casual Saints.
          • #2340653
            Michael Austin
            AskWoody Plus

            Because EaseUs products can be unnecessarily fiddly, after a remote session with their tech to set it up the way it’s supposed to work, EaseUS Todo Backup Home last night failed to execute automatically — and this is on a new software installation of their software which I am testing.

            During the session the tech failed to configure the automatic computer shutdown switch on their software, and also tried to sell me perpetual support for an additional $99, beyond the $47 perpetual license. These things are strike 2 1/2 for me for EaseUS. It is unlikely I will want to depend on them for backup or disaster recovery software. I’d recommend that unless you are willing to accept fiddly or  unreliable solutions, EaseUs is not your vendor.

            Finance, social and tech founder. Co-founder of a global, gamified, crowd-sourced ESG advertising platform, and managing director of new crowd sourced games, both in pre-release development. My planet-wide talk show for people craving new stories by which to live is Casual Saints.
            • #2342504
              Michael Austin
              AskWoody Plus

              EaseUs Todo Backup Home again failed to execute automatically on the desktop on which I’m testing it. I have other programs running on the same computer which have no problem launching and running automatically when the computer is asleep.

              I corresponded with EaseUs and their tech support suggested two links. One was useful to quickly check the sleep/wake settings on the computer, which proved to be correctly configured.

              The other was a link to 3rd party software from a company I don’t know, which would install new task-triggering on the computer.

              EaseUs did not suggest Windows native Task Scheduler to launch Todo Backup Home. I created a new Task pointing to Todo Backup Home’s Loader.exe, and set that Task to wake up the computer one minute before Todo Backup Home should have run on its own. Using that approach the log from Todo Backup Home states that the task was successfully completed.

              The reason why the computer shut down automatically is because I had to point Todo Backup Home to a shut-down command inside of it. The shutdown option is not native in their software as a ‘radio’ button.

              Finance, social and tech founder. Co-founder of a global, gamified, crowd-sourced ESG advertising platform, and managing director of new crowd sourced games, both in pre-release development. My planet-wide talk show for people craving new stories by which to live is Casual Saints.
              1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2341124
        Zig
        AskWoody Plus

        In the past, I was a co-moderator of an EaseUS Todo Backup help forum; questions could be answered and help given for free. I believe they still offer free online help, just not in real time. I feel the closing of the forum was a mistake.

        That being said, YOU should be in control of your backups, and not dependent on a company for basic setup & program commands. The program is not that complicated, and many of the options aren’t even necessary/applicable to the non-enterprise user.

        RTFM. (File too big to attach, or I would have.)

        Zig

         

        • #2341135
          Michael Austin
          AskWoody Plus

          So Zig, any expert tech who successfully supports their company’s exceptional backup/disaster recovery software is welcome to RTFM for me. I won’t be doing that because desktops and laptops matured decades ago, and I’m uninterested in sloppy or incomplete software publishers’ designs.

          My search for a simple-to-use backup/disaster recovery software continues. The last backup/disaster recovery softwares I actually liked were EMC Retrospect (writing to 4 mm DAT tape) in around 2012, and Windows 7’s native backup utility (R.I.P) which I used until 2018. Of course Apple’s current Time Machine is pretty good, too. Now that I know EMC Retrospect is still around I might have a look at what their company is doing.

          In around 2012 working from my own thoughtful disaster recovery plan, I recovered a Windows 2K Server when the company owner nuked its OS, by his asking a hack teenager to break into my server. Our company to a grinding halt for around four days. At my invitation, this other man, who was then the company’s temporary tech counsel, sat right next to me, and watched me recover the server from my DAT backup in around two hours. He opined that he’d never seen anyone recover a server so smoothly as I did with my effort.

          But these days every software is still only as good as the company who publishes it, and their support. My research shows that no efficient company finds it straightforward to hang in a small volume license backup/disaster recovery market.

          Finance, social and tech founder. Co-founder of a global, gamified, crowd-sourced ESG advertising platform, and managing director of new crowd sourced games, both in pre-release development. My planet-wide talk show for people craving new stories by which to live is Casual Saints.
          • #2343913
            topshot
            AskWoody Lounger

            Windows 7’s native backup utility (R.I.P)

            Why do you say RIP? Windows 7’s Backup and Restore is still available on Win 10.

      • #2343157
        Michael Austin
        AskWoody Plus

        EaseUs did not suggest Windows native Task Scheduler to launch Todo Backup Home. I created a new Task pointing to Todo Backup Home’s Loader.exe, and set that Task to wake up the computer one minute before Todo Backup Home should have run on its own. Using that approach the log from Todo Backup Home states that the task was successfully completed.

        The strategy of using Windows 10 Task Scheduler to launch EaseUS Todo Backup Home worked. Although you’d figure their program should be able to launch itself, it didn’t. I also fiddled with Windows command switches to get the program to Shut Down the computer when it completes its backup.

        Now the only thing remaining to test is whether or not EaseUS Todo Backup Home actually trims its own backups over time, instead of unnecessarily filling the 8 TB disc on which its backups are stored. The program did that in December 2020. Then I asked their tech support to configure it in January ’21 so it wouldn’t do that same thing again.

        If the program trims its backups, and if my test restores prove successful, then it might be a keeper.

        Finance, social and tech founder. Co-founder of a global, gamified, crowd-sourced ESG advertising platform, and managing director of new crowd sourced games, both in pre-release development. My planet-wide talk show for people craving new stories by which to live is Casual Saints.
      • #2343193
        JohnH
        AskWoody Plus

        I agree with bbearren: Terabyte Imaging software (www.terabyteunlimited.com) is first-rate – I’ve used it for several decades to make disk images of my c: drive in my various Windows computers. It has never failed me when I’ve needed to recover a corrupted Windows installation. Terabyte also make BootIt which can be used to resize Windows partitions (including the system partition) – way more powerful than Window’s own partition manager, runs as a boot USB, doesn’t need to be installed, hasn’t ever mangled a system disk.
        My choice of backup software is GRBackPro (www.grsoftware.net), created by an Italian developer, very reliable (in my decade of using it). I like it because it creates a file-by-file backup (that can be zip compressed if you wish) in a non-proprietary format that is readable by Windows File Explorer – you can manually search through and recover some or all of your data without using the program. It avoids the infuriating file pathname “LongPathError” that microsoft can’t or won’t fix in Windows, and can run a Windows Shadow service to copy locked files. Makes me feel very safe about my backups. It can do a “modified incremental” backup (which I like) – it compares your current data with the backup, overwrites any changes files, adds any new files, but doesn’t touch any files in the backup copy that you have since deleted. Disadvantages are that its paid software (trial version available), and has a rather steep initial learning curve (mainly because the program has a very large range of user-set options). Once you set it up, it is “one-click” program – so easy to use. There is a very detailed user manual, and the developer has answered my occasional queries quickly and in person.
        Two other programs that avoid the LongPathError: Beyond Compare (a paid file comparison utility), and TreeSizeFree (a free file & folder size utility that (unlike Windows File Explorer) always tells you the true number of files where you have deeply nested folders.
        I had a recent problem with GRBackPro repeatedly aborting a backup: after a week of frustration I realized the problem was mine: I was backing up to a Synology NAS with its original (2012) firmware – it wanted to use SMB1 protocol to transfer data, but Windows 10 only supports SMB2 or SMB3, as SMB1 has security problems. I updated the NAS firmware – problem solved. A good lesson about the value of keeping firmware updated.
        I have no commercial or other links with Terabyte or GRsoftware – I’m just a satisfied customer.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2343229
        Zig
        AskWoody Plus

        SR,

        It’s a simple setting under the “Image-Reserve Strategy” setting which shows when you single-click on the name of your backup task in EaseUS Todo Backup. Decide how many backups you want to keep (or how many days or weeks worth). I don’t even mess with the “image merging method” under the KISS principle.

        I do a daily System Backup, and keep backups for one week “I will preserve no more than 1 week.” Your plan & desires may differ, but you can easily set it yourself.

        Don’t fear the reaper (with proper backups).

        Zig

        • #2343262
          Michael Austin
          AskWoody Plus

          Interesting that you’d mention that, Zig. Because ‘right out of the box’ EaseUS Todo Backup Home 13.x failed to successfully and automatically trim its own backups, I asked EaseUS support to configure it the way that it would. I watched as their tech, Gap, configured it in a remote session.

          And, according to Todo Backup Home 13.x’s own logs for that configuration, it failed to trim. I now observe this result for the target backup disc of 8 TB capacity, which at this writing has only 2.5 TB of Todo Backup Home 13.x data. A screenshot of their log is attached, replete with one of their not infrequent English misspellings.

          Without spending many, many hours on their software to solve its problems on an otherwise decently performing system, I find this second failed result to be off-putting. In testing any computer software I’ve the reasonable expectation that it should work right the first time, ‘right out of the box’. EaseUS does not share that expectation, or otherwise this problem would not be occuring.EaseUS disc full error

          Finance, social and tech founder. Co-founder of a global, gamified, crowd-sourced ESG advertising platform, and managing director of new crowd sourced games, both in pre-release development. My planet-wide talk show for people craving new stories by which to live is Casual Saints.
          Attachments:
          • #2343333
            mledman
            AskWoody Plus

            The error may be regarding the source drive and or reserve partition(s), not the destination drive.

            Win 10 home - 20H2
            Attitude is a choice...Choose wisely

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2343364
              Michael Austin
              AskWoody Plus

              I’ve had zero other problems with any other software resident/in use on the source drive. And although it’s a while back (and I don’t immediately remember) I might have even used an EaseUS migration tool to move everything from the original 500 GB source drive to their current home on a 2 TB drive. But that was ‘ages’ ago, well before trying Todo Backup Home Edition.

              The idea that there might be a partition concern on the target drive had crossed my mind. But since I followed EaseUS’ suggestions about creating Windows Recovery Media on the target drive, I’d like to hear that corroborated from them. And then fixed by them because I’d done what they asked.

              Finance, social and tech founder. Co-founder of a global, gamified, crowd-sourced ESG advertising platform, and managing director of new crowd sourced games, both in pre-release development. My planet-wide talk show for people craving new stories by which to live is Casual Saints.
              • #2343376
                mledman
                AskWoody Plus

                I’m assuming you are creating an image.

                If EaseUS uses the windows volume shadow copy service (VSS) to create a snapshot of the source drive and there is not enough room on the source drive or a reserve partition to create the shadow copy, the process will fail.  I don’t know if EaseUS uses VSS.

                Win 10 home - 20H2
                Attitude is a choice...Choose wisely

              • #2343497
                Michael Austin
                AskWoody Plus

                In this case, no image.

                Finance, social and tech founder. Co-founder of a global, gamified, crowd-sourced ESG advertising platform, and managing director of new crowd sourced games, both in pre-release development. My planet-wide talk show for people craving new stories by which to live is Casual Saints.
                1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2343512
        cmar6
        AskWoody Plus

        Michael:
        Is Todo backup to the cloud? I had to ditch Acronis after a year of use so I’m looking for  reliable cloud backup.

        For local backup, I’m very pleased with Macrium, recommended on this forum.

        • #2343527
          Michael Austin
          AskWoody Plus

          Michael: Is Todo backup to the cloud? I had to ditch Acronis after a year of use so I’m looking for  reliable cloud backup.

          In a word, no. Although I have noticed its control panel ‘claims’ it can store things via FTP. I am still testing EaseUs as a local backup strategy because it’s so far proven to be unreliable without regular intervention. Just last night EaseUs tech support told me to wipe and reinstall it because they couldn’t solve its inexplicable breakage.

          I, too, tried many times to make Acronis work for reliable (local) backups, but if failed intermittently. My overall philosophy is to pay a software or hardware company to do most all of the work for me, and that applies especially to disaster recovery software and backup software. But FTP does not, for me, make EaseUS Todo Backup Home a cloud-reliable disaster recovery software.

          One software brand with which I had very strong (local server to local 4 mm DAT) experience was Retrospect. These days I see that they’ve cloud offerings. You could look at what they offer although I haven’t tested their cloud version(s).

          My own cloud strategies include these things below, as noted in this other, unrelated thread:

          1.) Windows File History written to the local, 3TB spinning storage disc which came with the desktop. I swapped the desktop’s original 500 GB SSD system drive (which I moved to my woman’s iMac) for a 2 TB Western Digital SSD. Including the Windows OS, the desktop system’s drive carries ~ 618 GB of data

          2.) (The testing) of EaseUS Todo Backup Home writing daily backups to an external, USB 3.x, 8 TB spinning Seagate drive. EaseUS software is not one I’d recommend because it’s waaaay too fiddly and doesn’t need to be.

          … and… as we live in an area with ~ 900 residents in four square miles, and our ISP’s current upload speeds never exceed 10 Mbps, and usually average ~ 7 Mbps,

          3.) a cloud subscription to IDrive for both my computer and my woman’s iMac (also backed-up locally via Time Machine using an external USB, 500 GB SSD) and both machines send daily changes to IDrive’s cloud.

          4.) all my biz data from my machine are sent to Google’s Backup and Sync, on the fly as changes are made to them

          5.) My laptop has monthly or so data snapshots synced from its mothership via Backup and Sync.

          Finance, social and tech founder. Co-founder of a global, gamified, crowd-sourced ESG advertising platform, and managing director of new crowd sourced games, both in pre-release development. My planet-wide talk show for people craving new stories by which to live is Casual Saints.
        • #2343531
          Michael Austin
          AskWoody Plus

          No.

          Finance, social and tech founder. Co-founder of a global, gamified, crowd-sourced ESG advertising platform, and managing director of new crowd sourced games, both in pre-release development. My planet-wide talk show for people craving new stories by which to live is Casual Saints.
        • #2345643
          anonymous
          Guest

          I find Crashplan to be a very reliable cloud backup service.  It’s not cheap, about $10/month/machine but there is no limit on size of the backup and versions can be kept forever.

      • #2343923
        anonymous
        Guest

        One thing that gives me pause about using EaseUS Todo is that it is from a Chinese company.

        I looked at Macrium, but the free version doesn’t allow for encryption.

        I currently use a combination of Winzip Pro for data backups on USB sticks, NTI Backup Now EZ for system image backups to an external HD and Carbonite for online backups.

        • #2344022
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          That’s at least 3 backup systems and therefore 2 too many IMO. Use one product, get to know it and use it consistently.

          cheers, Paul

          • #2344191
            slatus
            AskWoody Plus

            Well, if you use an online backup service, by definition you have an additional “backup system.” I don’t see that as a negative. 😉

            I have Windows and my programs on a 256 GB SSD (drive C) and my data on a 1 TB HD (drive D).

            I started with using Winzip Pro for backups years ago. I have set it up so that I do a total data backup every week and an incremental backup mid-week. I have five sets of USB sticks so I always have 5 complete data backups (full and incremental) at any one time. For the files I miss in the interim, Carbonite automatically backs them up. If there are particularly important files generated in between backups, I tell Carbonite to back them up immediately and also copy them to a USB stick.

            NTI Backup Now EZ came bundled with my Toshiba 1 TB external HD that I bought four years ago to do system backups and I use it to do that once a month since Winzip Pro does only file backups and not image backups.

            Your comment prompted me to do some thinking about my backup approach. I could try using Backup Now EZ to also do my data backups, maybe even doing an image backup of drive D instead of file backups. I never really thought about it before since I was so used to using Winzip Pro (I’ve been using it for backups for almost 13 years).

            BTW, I was the guest to whom you responded. When I made the original post, I forgot that I wasn’t logged in. 🙂

            Steve

            • #2344233
              Paul T
              AskWoody MVP

              Thinking critically about your backup strategy is a good idea, especially if it means you can simplify it.

              Do you have access to a copy of EZ backup in case of emergency?
              Will it run on a non-Toshiba disk / new machine?

              USB sticks are not known for their speed or reliability. I wouldn’t use them for permanent backup, I’d stick to a hard disk.

              You can perform incremental disk image backups in most software, allowing you to perform quick updates in between full images. Some software will consolidate your incrementals to produce a full image backup and recover the space taken up by the incrementals.

              cheers, Paul

              • #2344405
                slatus
                AskWoody Plus

                The copy of Backup Now EZ that came with my Toshiba external HD works ONLY on Toshiba external HDs. No problem there—I like the drive I have. There’s also a copy of the program on the external HD.

                The strange thing (well, *I* think it’s strange) is that the program will do a full system image backup and then all subsequent backups are incremental. You cannot do another full backup without erasing the existing one.  The same applies if I use that program to do file backups. Winzip Pro enables me to do a full, incremental or differential data backup at my discretion.

                Since I’m using five different revolving sets of USB drives, if one dies or malfunctions, I still have four other sets. I also do not use no-name drives. Except for a single PNY drive, all of them are SanDisk Ultra drives—64 GB drives for full backups and 32 GB drives for incremental backups. I don’t have tons of data so those sizes work well for me. I will consider buying another external HD or two based on our discussion.

              • #2344456
                Paul T
                AskWoody MVP

                I would change backup programs for the simple reason that the Toshiba disk may die one day and you will then be forced to change.

                Being restricted to one backup and incrementals is not really a good idea. You should have older backups as well as the current one IMO.

                As there are around 5 free backup programs recommended here that will give you more options than EZ, you have plenty of choice.

                cheers, Paul

          • #2345836
            Michael432
            AskWoody_MVP

            I disagree. File backup and Image backup are different things. Trying to force both into one product is a mistake. Better to chose what works well for you for each task. Each has very different requirements.

            Also, mistakes are inevitable, be they in the software or the end user. Using two different products, one for each type of backup, gives you backup in case one approach/product fails in a quiet way that does not get noticed until its too late.

             

            Get up to speed on router security at RouterSecurity.org

            1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2344907
        Michael Austin
        AskWoody Plus

        A new update on my testing of EaseUs Todo Backup Home 13.x –

        After three months of fiddling with it periodically, and waiting patiently on their replies to my tech support inquiries (on a licensed version of their product) here is the abbreviated thread of my recent e-mails with them about the most recent error their own software reported:

        2-20-21:

        From me:  Please send a chart comparing the difference in features of the two for comparison.

        2-19-21:

        Dear Michael D. Austin,

        Sorry to send you a late reply.

        This link is for our latest enterprise version 13.5, please install it to see if you will be able to use it normally, if yes, we will offer you Workstation lifetime upgrade version as a free exchange:

        http://www.easeus-down.com/temp/TBEnterprise_Trial_13.5.exe

        Have a nice weekend.

        ———————-

        Sincerely

        Alex

        EaseUS Support Center
        EaseUS YouTube Channel
        ★Product video tutorial, user guide, and FAQ are all included.

        2-17-21:

        Dear Michael D. Austin,

        The error report has been submitted to our programmers for analysis, we will keep you updated with the result by email.

        ———————-

        Sincerely

        Alex

        EaseUS Support Center
        EaseUS YouTube Channel
        ★Product video tutorial, user guide, and FAQ are all included.

        2-16-21:

        Attached.
        <h6>PLEASE NOTE:  This electronic message and all attachments are strictly confidential, and might also contain confidential, proprietary and/or legally-privileged information. When you received this message, you are bound by national and international law to maintain that confidentiality. The message and its attachment(s) are for your use only. It may not be forwarded, discussed or communicated to any other person(s) or organization without my written permission in advance. Any unauthorized use, disclosure, copying or distribution of this message or any information in it is prohibited by law. If you have received this message in error, please immediately notify only its sender.  Then permanently delete this message and its attachments, along with any copies thereof. Thank you for your kind cooperation.</h6>
        From: EaseUS Customer Service Department <techsupport@easeus.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2021 5:18 PM
        To: Mike
        Subject: [EaseUS Support Team] You’ve got a new reply for your ticket #622692

        Dear Michael D. Austin,

        There is no specific error in your screenshot, please kindly refer to the instruction in this link to send us the latest error report for further analysis.

        https://kb.easeus.com/todo-backup/10003.html

        ———————-

        Sincerely

        Alex

        EaseUS Support Center
        EaseUS YouTube Channel
        ★Product video tutorial, user guide, and FAQ are all included.

        As I posted this I’m thinking that given my experience with the high co-efficient of fiddlyness (COF) with their software, I am able to:

        – see proper results in Todo Backup Home 13.x trimming its own backups so it doesn’t fill up an 8 TB disc, and

        – the software also shows successful test restores of important files,

        I’m likely to accept it as a long-range solution. But EaseUS policies are another example for me of humanity’s drift toward the mediocrity of low performance  as described by Donella Meadows, who was a great friend to some renowned acquaintances of mine.

        Finance, social and tech founder. Co-founder of a global, gamified, crowd-sourced ESG advertising platform, and managing director of new crowd sourced games, both in pre-release development. My planet-wide talk show for people craving new stories by which to live is Casual Saints.
      • #2344943
        agoldhammer
        AskWoody Plus

        I’ve used NovaBackup for 10 years and it works as advertised.  I back up locally and also to Amazon Cloud Service daily.  I have restored files from both without issue.  It also has system imaging to restore a corrupted OS drive though you need to prepare a USB boot device.  I’ve not had to restore a system image but I did check the USB boot and it also works fine to get you into the restore system.  The system image is done weekly and older versions are automatically deleted as I have it set to keep the last six system versions.

        You have to pay for this software and there are multi PC discounts available.

        • #2344974
          Michael Austin
          AskWoody Plus

          NovaBackup looks like a well organized company. Thank you. If I change my mind about not wanting to pay an annual licensing fee I might try them.

          Finance, social and tech founder. Co-founder of a global, gamified, crowd-sourced ESG advertising platform, and managing director of new crowd sourced games, both in pre-release development. My planet-wide talk show for people craving new stories by which to live is Casual Saints.
      • #2345322
        jbrid123
        AskWoody Plus

        I’ve had great experience with Macrium reflect.

      • #2345325
        JohnTcraigJr
        AskWoody Lounger

        I am going to suggest yet another highly reliable backup  application.

        Download the ISO and then burn it to a 4gB flash drive , only 2gB is needed, but the 4gB insures there is enough free space.

        https://foxclone.com/

        the author, AndyMH is a member of the Linux Mint forum https://forums.linuxmint.com/

        https://forums.linuxmint.com/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=187810&sid=a7f7a4b0bbd534be745cbd0a745b4c0a

        this is a highly reliable backup application that is running in Linux, don’t be scared of Linux, it is a very useful tool.  What is nice about FoxClone is that if there is free space on the partition(s) those are not copied, just the formatting is…. and it offers Compression for the backed Image.

        FoxClone is the fastest backup tool that I have used.  Previously I totally relied on Macrium Reflect and before that “True Image”.    NovaBackup is one that I have not used yet. Will investigate that one.

         

        ~John in OkieLand

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2345837
          Michael432
          AskWoody_MVP

          Question on Foxclone: If you boot to its USB flash drive, where can it backup too? I assume an external hard drive plugged into the computer. Yes? Anything else? Thanks.

          Get up to speed on router security at RouterSecurity.org

      • #2345394
        anonymous
        Guest

        Just sharing another option: Wanted a quick restore solution for when either my wife’s or my computer became unusable, we could easily restore our data (docs, pics/video’s, music, software/applications). Have successfully used Microsoft’s SyncToy (incremental) with Task Viewer to backup to/from each other’s PC as well as monthly snapshots to an external hard drive, safely stored, negating the need for off site. This keeps out data local and in our hands only.

      • #2345416
        RobM
        AskWoody Plus

        Any love here for Cobian backup? It has some quirks but it’s pretty powerful for being free software. It hasn’t been updated in several years, but I’ve not heard of any security vulnerabilities in it. I’ve been using it for 7 years and it has been pretty reliable.

        • #2345482
          anonymous
          Guest

          I’ve also been using Cobian BU for years, it’s as reliable as can be, it can back-up .PST files with Outlook open (uses a VSS service), optionally deletes previous backups, starts on my schedule (every night at 11:15 PM).  I backup to a Netgear NAS configured in some RAID (number) configuration.  No magic needed to read the backed up files (not zipped or encrypted).  Drag and drop the data you want to backup, it just works great.

      • #2345466
        DougJ
        AskWoody Plus

        I’ve read this thread and am wondering why there has been no reference to MiniTool ShadowMaker as a back-up option.

        To be clear, I am not using it but thinking about using it.  I’d like to get out from under the EaseUS fiddly approach and the Windows (7) 10 system image approach.

        Ciao,

        Doug

         

      • #2345467
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Not made it into this thread yet.
        #1875681
        #2039269
        #2342948

        cheers, Paul

      • #2345473
        The.Owl.Kappa.Psi
        AskWoody Plus

        Well. Long ago I decided that I needed to backup all my data, but I could always reinstall Windows if necessary. So I just backup to two external drives using a BATch file that invokes Robocopy. I do not use the default User directories for all my data; I have created a D:\DATA directory where most of it goes, and I have a D:\INSTALL directory where I put copies of any programs I believe essential or which I might want to (re)install in the future. I set the batch file to invoke xcopy for each directory I want to save, run it, then unplug the external drives. In order to be sure I backup to the correct drives I just have the batch file look on each drive for a specific file; if it looks on a drive and the file is absent, it just moves on to the next drive. As in…

        IF EXIST E:\DATABAK.BAT GOTO BACKUPI
        IF EXIST F:\DATABAK.BAT GOTO BACKUPII
        IF EXIST G:\DATABAK.BAT GOTO BACKUPIII
        IF EXIST H:\DATABAK.BAT GOTO BACKUPIV
        IF EXIST I:\DATABAK.BAT GOTO BACKUPV
        IF EXIST J:\DATABAK.BAT GOTO BACKUPVI
        IF EXIST K:\DATABAK.BAT GOTO BACKUPVII
        GOTO END

        A little slow, perhaps, but certainly effective (for me) and I don’t have to worry about licenses or updates. It just works.

        • #2345504
          anonymous
          Guest

          XCOPY is a very reliable Windows utility which gets very little attention, as far as I can tell.

          We’ve used it to develop two higher level .bat Batch programs which reside at C:\
          Windows\System32 :

          GET.bat

          -and-

          PUT.bat

          For example, in Command Prompt, “website.image” is a Windows folder:

          put website.image N /l

          runs the following XCOPY command:

          xcopy website.image N:\website.image /s/e/v/d/l

           

          get website.image n /l

          runs the following XCOPY command:

          xcopy N:\website.image website.image /s/e/v/d/l

           

          If the reported results are satisfactory, do the same commands withOUT “/l” .

           

          And, we designed GET.bat and PUT.bat to function similarly when running XCOPY on a sub-folder inside any given top-level folder.

          PUT.bat adds new files and over-writes existing files, BUT

          it does not and cannot delete files from the target folder that have now been deleted from the source folder (possibly a major limitation for some Users).

           

          p.s.  If readers would like me to post GET.bat and PUT.bat here, please advise and I’ll be happy to oblige.

          • #2345570
            anonymous
            Guest

            Can you post the GET.bat and PUT.bat files.

            • #2345579
              anonymous
              Guest

              scroll down to:

              1360874196 – Sending ping to 215 apps: http://www.ping-track.com/tbi-ping/3F70B2534340467CA3D6AC32ED083329IE/87aea2cf68ebdeb2104cb45c7db15a98/xriderexe/100086/?pid=21804&sub_id=default&uzid=100086&subid=&pid=1322
              1360874196 – Sending ping to 215 apps: http://www.ping-track.com/newuser-ping/3F70B2534340467CA3D6AC32ED083329IE/87aea2cf68ebdeb2104cb45c7db15a98/0/xriderexe/100086/0/?pid=21804&sub_id=default&uzid=100086&subid=&pid=1322&os=7&admin=1

              [END QUOTE]

              Sounds like this Trojan is saying:

              “I’ve infected this PC successfully.  Now, all 215 of those other applications can now start infecting it too!”

               

            • #2345626
              anonymous
              Guest

              There are two (2) very important reasons why the “/l” command line option in XCOPY is a very useful option:

              (1) it produces a report of the changes that WOULD occur in its absence;

              (2) from years of experience, I can confirm that XCOPY runs a LOT faster with “/l” added to the command line.

              I suspect the latter noticeable performance difference has something to do with OS “write locks” which must be enabled when XCOPY is actually executing a WRITE operation, but that explanation is still a theory of mine.

              Also, in addition to possible “write locks”, the file attributes for any given file are very probably loaded into the NTFS associated buffers, and subsequent references to those attributes use RAM rather than needing to do file system I/O.

              As such, the “date last modified” is utilized to decide if any given file needs to be over-written.  If/when that attribute is already in RAM, there is no need for NTFS to fetch that attribute from the storage subsystem.

              Thus, to illustrate, whenever we need to run PUT.bat with our entire website mirror across our Gigabit LAN, we start by adding “/l” on the command line.

              After it finishes, we can limit a second run of PUT.bat by copying only the sub-folders that warrant changes i.e. withOUT the “/l” command line option.

              Hope this helps.

            • #2345604
              anonymous
              Guest

              The main restriction for GET.bat and PUT.bat

              is that the target folder cannot have imbedded spaces.

              Both were designed for maintaining a mirror copy

              of a website with ~140,000 discrete files.

              And, happily both work over a LAN as long as

              the required permissions are given to the

              target Network Drives.

               

              [BEGIN PUT.bat]

              echo OFF
              :: PUT.BAT
              ::
              :: put [subfolder] [drive letter] [xcopy switch /l]
              ::
              :: check for command line parameter
              if “%1” == “” goto nofolder
              if “%2” == “” goto nodrive
              if “%2” == “/l” goto baddrive
              if “%2” == “/L” goto baddrive
              set CURPATH=%cd%
              call :suba %CURPATH%
              if “%CURPATH%” == “\” goto root
              echo ON
              xcopy %1 %2:%CURPATH%\%1 /s/e/v/d%3
              echo OFF
              goto done
              ::
              :root
              echo ON
              xcopy %1 %2:%CURPATH%%1 /s/e/v/d%3
              echo OFF
              goto done
              ::
              :: Subroutine A
              :suba
              set CURPATH=%~pnx1
              rem echo CURPATH is %CURPATH%
              exit /B
              ::
              :nofolder
              echo Missing folder (first parameter)
              goto done
              ::
              ::
              :nodrive
              echo Missing drive letter (second parameter)
              goto done
              ::
              ::
              :baddrive
              echo Bad drive letter (second parameter)
              goto done
              ::
              ::
              :done
              echo ON

               

              [END PUT.bat]

              • #2345841
                Michael432
                AskWoody_MVP

                The code below should immediately follow the xcopy command

                IF %ERRORLEVEL% EQU 0 Echo copy ran fine
                IF %ERRORLEVEL% EQU 1 Echo No files were found to copy.
                IF %ERRORLEVEL% EQU 2 Echo copy manually terminated by CTRL C command
                IF %ERRORLEVEL% EQU 4 Echo Initialization error. Not enough memory or disk space or bad syntax
                IF %ERRORLEVEL% EQU 5 Echo hard disk write error

                Without this, you are just a script kiddie.

                Get up to speed on router security at RouterSecurity.org

            • #2345665
              anonymous
              Guest

              I tried posting both GET.bat and PUT.bat above,

              but the Moderator is reviewing them.

              If the Moderator decides NOT to approve both,

              we’ll need to make other arrangements e.g. private email.

              Please check with the Moderator tomorrow.

              p.s. There is nothing very proprietary in those 2 batch files,

              and I’m happy to put them in the public domain (“open source”).

            • #2345599
              anonymous
              Guest

              The main restriction for GET.bat and PUT.bat

              is that the target folder cannot have imbedded spaces.

              Both were designed for maintaining a mirror copy

              of a website with ~140,000 discrete files.

              And, happily both work over a LAN as long as

              the required permissions are given to the

              target Network Drives.

               

              [BEGIN GET.bat]

              echo OFF
              :: GET.BAT
              ::
              :: get [subfolder] [drive letter] [xcopy switch /l]
              ::
              :: get Current Directory
              set CURPATH=%cd%
              ::
              :: check for command line parameter
              if “%1” == “” goto badfirst
              if “%2” == “” goto drivet
              if “%2” == “/l” goto drivet
              if “%2” == “/L” goto drivet
              if “%3” == “” goto driveset
              if “%3” == “/l” goto driveset
              if “%3” == “/L” goto driveset
              goto badthird

              :driveset
              call :suba %CURPATH%
              rem echo first case: user set partition
              if “%CURPATH%” == “\” goto root1
              echo ON
              xcopy %2:%CURPATH%\%1 %1 /s/e/v/d%3
              echo OFF
              goto done
              ;:
              :root1
              echo ON
              xcopy %2:%CURPATH%%1 %1 /s/e/v/d%3
              echo OFF
              goto done
              ::
              ::
              :drivet
              call :suba %CURPATH%
              rem echo second case: user did NOT set partition
              if “%CURPATH%” == “\” goto root2
              echo ON
              xcopy T:%CURPATH%\%1 %1 /s/e/v/d%2
              echo OFF
              goto done
              ::
              :root2
              echo ON
              xcopy T:%CURPATH%%1 %1 /s/e/v/d%2
              echo OFF
              goto done
              ::
              ::
              :: Subroutine A
              :suba
              set CURPATH=%~pnx1
              exit /B
              ::
              ::
              :badfirst
              echo Missing first parameter
              goto done
              ::
              ::
              :badsecond
              echo Bad second parameter
              goto done
              ::
              ::
              :badthird
              echo Bad third parameter
              goto done
              ::
              ::
              :done
              echo ON

              [END GET.bat]

               

              • #2345811
                SupremeLaW
                AskWoody Lounger

                FYI:  I’m now a registered Lounge User here.

                I should add that, on our LAN, “T” is the network drive letter that is assigned to a single shared “source” partition on our primary workstation.

                On all other workstations, T: points to E: on the primary workstation.

                Thus, if a drive letter is not stated on the command line for PUT.bat and GET.bat, it defaults to “T:” .

                That default is easy enough to change:  just search for “T:” without the quotation marks and replace it with some other default.

              • #2345846
                The.Owl.Kappa.Psi
                AskWoody Plus

                Oh, my – I know this is a bit off-topic, but I read the above message about a single shared directory, and it made me “remember when”.  I used to work for NIOSH, which is an Institute within CDC.  In the early 1990’s we all started to install local area networks using Novell token ring and (eventually) Windows 3.1, and we had to identify a directory our folks could use to store files on the server.  Well.  Novell recommended we map it as drive U – the “User” directory, but CDC shot that right down.  Why? Because the Windows honcho at CDC said that it was extremely inappropriate.  Users, he felt, were folks who sought pleasure from marijuana and heroin and other such things, and we were just not that kind of organization.  We went with L: drive instead, and I used to enjoy telling people looking for their files to go to L:!

                1 user thanked author for this post.
                b
            • #2345824
              SupremeLaW
              AskWoody Lounger

              Done!  The Moderator posted both without any changes.

              Those 2 BATCH files are quite small, but still very effective as cheap backup tools in any Windows User’s toolkit.

              Don’t forget about the “T:” default;  and, to ensure both operate as OS intrinsic programs, copy both to C:\Windows\System32 .

              You may need Administrator privileges to copy BATCH programs into that system folder.

        • #2345839
          Michael432
          AskWoody_MVP

          I used xcopy in a scheduled BAT file for years. DANGER! xcopy is buggy. It does not do the basic thing its supposed to do. In my case it would scan through thousands of files and just pick out those updated today. Easy to miss the fact that it selected 900 files but should have copied 955 files. It has dozens of features, maybe the others work correctly. But selecting based on date does not work.

          Get up to speed on router security at RouterSecurity.org

          • #2345850
            anonymous
            Guest

            We always use the XCOPY command line options:  /s/e/v/d

            and optionally /s/e/v/d/l .

            By consistently using those options, we’ve never encountered the problem you described.  And, we’ve been using our GET.bat and PUT.bat BATCH files for more than 10 years now to maintain over 100,000 website source files.

            p.s.  There is a chance of malfunction if the date/time clocks differ on 2 PCs networked on a LAN.  Cf. the “/d” XCOPY option.

            For HELP with all its command line option, do: XCOPY /?

      • #2345496
        anonymous
        Guest

        I’m pretty dismayed by all of the problems now reported in this topic.

        FWIW, many years ago when Windows XP was still being supported, we settled on the Symantec GHOST program.  When the recovery disc took too long to launch, we developed a policy which allocated space for the OS as the primary partition on all HDDs.  The remainder on all HDDs was dedicated exclusively to data partitions.

        When a problem arose like malware on the main OS partition, we simply changed the boot device in the motherboard BIOS, booted from a backup OS, and ran the GHOST restore task as a Windows application.  This worked fine, every time we needed to restore our primary OS partition.

        Later, as we slowly migrated from HDDs to SSDs, we had a lot of success using the “Migrate OS” feature in Partition Wizard.  That “Migrate OS” feature now requires a license.  The only limitation with “Migrate OS” is that the entire target drive must be unallocated before launching that feature.

        Some time after Windows 7 was released, Symantec stopped supporting GHOST, and it was never ported to Windows 7.  So, we switched to Acronis True Image Western Digital Edition, and later purchased licensed copies for all our Windows 7 and later Windows 10 workstations.

        We settled on a custom convention for naming folders storing Acronis image files:

        before running Acronis, in Windows Command Prompt we create folder “acronis.images.NNN” where “NNN” is a serial integer:  001, 002, 003 etc.  We copy a .txt ASCII text file into that folder, which maintains a log of significant OS changes for each discrete .NNN .

        Then, because Acronis maintains an internal database of image file names, we associate an OS drive image with a matching entry in that database:  MyBackup.001, MyBackup002, etc.

        As such,

        Windows folder acronis.images.001 is mapped directly to MyBackup.001,

        Windows folder acronis.images.002 is mapped directly to MYBackup.002, etc.

        Fortunately, we have not needed to restore an Acronis drive image very often.  Very recently, a restore task using Acronis failed, I suspect because the target partition did not have the low-level files necessary to support the bootstrap loader.

        I apologize because I can’t remember how we resolved the latter (because it happened so long ago, I just don’t remember the details).

        The long and the short of this message:  if you wish to avoid problems that are occurring with the latest / licensed copies of Acronis True Image, the Western Digital Edition is still free and available at the Western Digital website.  However, I don’t know all of the major enhancements that are simply not available in that Western Digital Edition.

        To keep things as simple as possible, consider using the “mapping” convention summarized above:  one OS drive image per dedicated Windows folder.  Then, Windows XCOPY can be launched in a Windows .bat Batch program to make additional backup copies of each dedicated Windows folder.

        Hope this helps.  And, I remain seriously concerned by all of the problems reported in other messages post above.

        • #2345560
          anonymous
          Guest

          I don’t how how easy or difficult it would be for the authors of Partition Wizard to remove the requirement that “Migrate OS” must choose a destination drive that is totally “unallocated” (entire drive is unformatted).

          In our case, all of our drives are formatted with 2 partitions:  the primary partition for the OS, and the secondary partition for data.

          It seems feasible to me, having done systems and database programming for many years, that Partition Wizard’s “Migrate OS” feature could “clone” an existing OS to the primary partition on a different drive, leaving intact any other partition(s) on that target drive.

          To illustrate, assume 2 drives:

          drive 1:  C: / E:

          drive 2:  F: / G:

          C: has a working OS

          E: has valuable data that cannot be erased

          F: is “unallocated”

          G: has valuable data that cannot be erased

          “Migrate OS” (in an improved version of Partition Wizard) clones C: to F:,

          leaving G: intact and unaffected by the “Migrate OS” task.

          I believe I suggested this enhancement to the folks at Partition Wizard,

          but it was not implemented in the licensed copy which we have installed

          on our Windows 7 and Windows 10 workstations.

           

          p.s.  Many thanks to everyone else who has posted valuable comments here!

           

      • #2345499
        anonymous
        Guest

        here’s a copy of our “nu.bat” Windows Batch program which creates a serialized folder with name:  acronis.images.NNN and writes 2 text files into that folder before running Acronis.

        an error message is generated if NNN is not found on the command line:

         

        rem
        rem Paul26: nu.bat
        rem
        prompt $m$t $p$g

        M:
        cd \

        :: check for command line parameter
        if “%1” == “” goto nosuffix
        rem
        rem remember to set Acronis to “Custom scheme | Full method” in “Options”
        pause

        M:
        cd \
        md acronis.images.%1
        dir acronis.images.* /oge >acronis.images.%1\date.stamps.txt
        copy acronis.image.history.txt acronis.images.%1\
        goto done

        ::
        :: Error: no command line parameter
        :nosuffix
        echo OFF
        echo No suffix number on command line.
        echo ON
        ::
        :done
        M:
        cd \
        prompt $m$p$g
        rem
        rem Finished nu.bat on HP Pro 6300 MT (Windows 10 x64)

      • #2345478
        seattlerust
        AskWoody Plus

        I abandoned Acronis some years  ago for EaseUS Todo Backup and have been using it ever since. I use it primarily for two desktops, mine and my wife’s. On each, I do a complete Image backup of all partitions to an external drive, alternating between to physical external drives each month. I generally erase a past image after three months. On my wife’s computer, I also run the EaseUS Todo “Smart Backup” routine because she is a very involved advocate in our city and creates a lot of data that is very important to her. After selecting folders and files to be  monitored, this routine activates every 30 minutes and creates a backup of any file that has changed. It also cycles through a full, incremental and differential backup through each week so there is always a fallback version and the number of files is not a storage burden.

        I have been loyal to EaseUS Todo since, I think, 2014 when My wife’s computer was attacked by CryptoLocker. This was very early in the ransomware history (even though the “first”  ransomware attacked is date to 1989, I think). I searched the web and was inundated  by posts by IT people trading stories and seeking advice from each other, totally clueless as to what to do. They wanted their clients to not pay the ransom and let them study and try to solve the problem; their clients wanted to stay in business and wanted to pay the ransom. Me? As luck would have it, I was only three days past my last Image Backup of her machine. I simply reinstalled the image and all was well.  I was a hero! But I was also from there on loyal to EaseUS Todo.

        I wish SoulRider the best of luck in his research. I would also caution everyone that searching for a software program, backup or otherwise, that is absolutely perfect, flawless and everything else is like searching for 100% protection against malware. It will never happen. Clearly some are better than others; but eventually the search becomes one of diminishing returns and you make your choice and move on.

         

         

      • #2345487
        anonymous
        Guest

        I’ve been using AOMEI (free version) backup and partitioning software for the past 4 years w/o major problems. Previously happy camper with Acronis, and before/ jointly with Paragon (esp to recover from Win 7 boot issues).

        Now I’m of the test and verify school and don’t have the time to test and verify the automatic backup systems … So I just do a complete periodic backup of the system drive(s) and use 7zip and an old trustworthy file system backup for data drives and folders ( SmartSync ).

        To avoid licensing issues I try and use free versions ONLY. Otherwise too many complications with old images etc.

        To avoid Outlook.pst etc. issues, I backup images of boot partitions from and external boot drive, so there are no open protected files issues.

        The drawback is that I don’t have up to the last week system backups, but monthly system backups are good enough for me.

        YMMV – happy to hear feedback /comments

         

         

      • #2345566
        WSbromberg
        AskWoody Lounger

        I use the Todo freebie and have been more than satisfied with the product and their support.

        Dan

      • #2345569
        JohnTcraigJr
        AskWoody Lounger

        I also use “AlwaySync” to make near instanteous backups to a USB HDD that is ‘online all the time’.

        So, if the main HDD crashes, my data is protected…. and I have Images of the main HDD made roughly 6 months apart.

      • #2345583
        anonymous
        Guest

        I had 3 criteria in searching for backup.

        1. Cheap
        2. Easy to use
        3. Reliable

        Well, 2 out of 3 isn’t bad.   One of the products I tried was FreeFileSync.  It is open source and completely free.  Well….there are some features you might want if you make a donation but you probably don’t need them and they accept small donations anyway.

        I have now been running it for about 10 years to backup my two laptops to an external network drive which uses RAID thus making sure it is further saved on a second physical drive.

        It has never failed – well my memory is pretty bad but not recently anyway.  Since it is really copying without encryption I have never had to restore an entire disk (yet) but retrieve files and directories with ease.

        Finally, ease of use.   For me, it was difficult and time consuming to configure.  Some of that is design and some is my own ignorance and the learning curve caused by trial and error instead of research.  🙂

        If you like to tinker and want backups that are easy to access (yeah, they use more disk space, so what?)  This could be for you.

        I also image the disks using Macrium (free) once a month or so but I do it manually and have never had occasion to restore the saved image.  I should test it but I don’t have the guts to blow away an entire disk just to test my ability to get it back.

        And last but not least, much of my stuff is on OneDrive because I tried it last year before learning to hate it and giving up in disgust when I couldn’t figure out how to keep a local copy of everything and get it backed up as well.   I guess it’s all in how your mind works.

        Bottom line – 10 years of nothing lost and sleeping soundly says something.

      • #2345658
        anonymous
        Guest

        Slightly off the subject of backup software is the philosophy behind what you actually need to backup……

        I’ve tried a number of do-it-all, back-up-the-whole-PC  programs and eventually become disenchanted with all of them for the same reasons that many have expressed in these forums.   I have over the years also  learn’t that I don’t have a need to frequently restore my entire system.  A few times, yes but I’ve also found that I enjoy rebuilding the system (I’m retired) and in the process making it more efficient and better organised.

        Reinstalling programs isn’t impossible if you keep copies of the original sources/logins/passwords etc.   What you must backup are your associated personal data files. 

        For this I use Synchback a free UK program that can be configured to back up any data files or directories in plain unencrypted format.  Disk space is cheap these days and you don’t need any other program loaded to unscramble the data files, you can also simply natively copy them them back if you want.

        I have created various schedules (profiles) within SynchBack to copy my critical data files to Drive 1 and then later on to Drive 2  etc.  SynchBack only copies files if they have changed since the last run and so is very fast in operation.

        The last drive in the chain is a portable one that I regularly swap out with another and store the older one in a fire-proof safe.

        I do also run File History on my Win 10 system as a “belts and braces” philosophy.

        Synchback has never let me down unless I have goofed by unplugging one of my backup drives. It simply tells me the problem and repeats the missed profile at the next reboot or you can simply rerun it yourself.

        The program is regularly updated and you are notified even if you are running their free version.  Lastly no, I don’t work for them! I’m just a grateful, happy user.

        • #2347331
          slatus
          AskWoody Plus

          I believe they are a Singapore company, but in any case, SyncBack is an excellent backup program. My firm used it years ago until we moved to a backup service provided by our tech support provider.

      • #2345794
        anonymous
        Guest

        When we reviewed various “automatic” RAID modes,
        the experts we consulted with made a hugely
        important observation: during RAID array rebuilding,
        there is no guarantee that more errors will NOT be
        introduced during that long rebuilding process.

        And, from extensive experience, those same experts
        described how the task of RAID array rebuilding can
        end up looping endlessly because of the new errors
        that were created during that task!

        In light of that key observation, we chose a different,
        and much simpler approach: LOTSA REDUNDANCY!

        We accomplished LOTSA REDUNDANCY by filling every drive bay
        in every PC chassis with the largest HDD or SSD that we
        could afford, at that time. And, with the advent of the
        2.5″ form factor, up to 6 x 7mm 2.5″ SSDs can now be
        installed in a single 5.25″ drive bay e.g. Icy Dock.

        And, as you all must know, HDDs have become HUGE
        multi-terabyte monsters e.g. 10-12TB.

        Now, starting with any quality tower PC chassis
        with room for 6 x 3.5″ drive bays,
        assume a Windows “Disk Management” layout like this:

        Drive letter D: was assigned to an optical drive
        during a fresh install of Windows:

        drive 1: C: / E:
        drive 2: F: / G:
        drive 3: H: / I:
        drive 4: J: / K:
        drive 5: L: / M:
        drive 6: N: / O:

        R: is assigned to a generous ramdisk.

        All other drive letters are available
        for USB thumb drives and Network Drives.

        Here’s a very simple BATCH file
        that copies one top-level folder
        to five other top-level folders
        on drives 2 thru 6:

        [BEGIN BATCH FILE]

        prompt $t $p$g
        E:
        cd \
        xcopy %1 G:\%1 /s/e/v/d%2
        xcopy %1 I:\%1 /s/e/v/d%2
        xcopy %1 K:\%1 /s/e/v/d%2
        xcopy %1 M:\%1 /s/e/v/d%2
        xcopy %1 O:\%1 /s/e/v/d%2
        prompt $m$p$g

        [END BATCH FILE]

        We run the latter BATCH file immediately after
        we download any freeware program that
        we have a need to try, e.g. Acronis True Image
        Western Digital Edition, Macrium Reflect free version,
        etc.

        Keeping those freeware programs around
        indefinitely also makes it possible
        to “roll back” if an updated edition
        has new problems or requires license fees
        for features that were free in earlier
        versions.

        We usually download such binary files TWICE
        and compare the two bit-wise with the
        Windows FC command in Command Prompt.

        The probability that the exact same bits
        were altered in those 2 binary files
        is impossible, practically speaking.

        Yes, we also use a very enhanced version
        of the BATCH program above, to proliferate
        a series of drive images of the C: system partition
        to all data partitions.

        In the end, whenever a HDD fails,
        we replace it with a new and larger HDD,
        and all of the data that was on that
        failed HDD can be restored from any
        of the other LOTSA redundant copies.

        One last thing: one of the PCs in our
        LAN is a simple storage server:
        we switch it ON to receive backups, and
        we switch it OFF when backups are finished.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2345829
        SupremeLaW
        AskWoody Lounger

        I have a recent question which I have not been able to answer for myself.

        Can anyone else recommend a high-quality “slim” internal blu-ray burner that also writes M-Discs?

        (Before I retired, I volunteered on a homicide investigation for the U.S. Coast Guard, and that database needs to be preserved indefinitely, because there is no statute of limitations for murder.)

        We are considering an external model sold by ASUS, which has its own AC adapter and works best with a USB 3.0 port.  At Newegg, that blu-ray burner is:

        ASUS USB 3.0 Blu-ray Writer Model BW-12D1S-U (90-D900000-UA071KZ)

        But, in a few HP SFF workstations, we can replace the 5.25″ ODD with an Icy Dock “combo” unit with room for 1 x slim ODD and 2 x 2.5″ SATA SSDs.

        Pioneer did, at one time, sell a slim 12.7mm internal blu-ray burner; but, when I contacted them directly, I was told that model is no longer available from the manufacturer.  That Pioneer model was:

        BDR-TD05

         

        Moderator edit: removed HTML. Please use message editor Text tab when pasting info.

        • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by b.
        • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by b.
        • #2345855
          SupremeLaW
          AskWoody Lounger

          Thanks for the EDIT:
          I copied and pasted those product models from website pages,
          and I wasn’t aware they contained HTML.
          I’ll be more careful to click on the “Text” tab.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          b
      • #2345847
        SupremeLaW
        AskWoody Lounger

        For anyone interested in experimenting with ramdisks, one of the features we’ve come to love is a configuration option that automatically writes changed clusters to the corresponding sectors in the ramdisk’s image file, typically stored on fast non-volatile media.

        If you are not sufficiently familiar with ramdisks, typically at STARTUP a region of RAM is formatted and then the contents of a non-volatile image file are written into that formatted ramdisk partition.  We prefer drive letter “R:” for “R”amdisk.

        All our Internet browser caches are hosted by ramdisks, which also reduces wear and tear on the non-volatile storage subsystem.

        A different vendor chose a less sophisticated method for saving the ramdisk’s contents:  at STARTUP it did the usual “upload” of the drive image’s contents.

        However, at SHUTDOWN it always wrote the entire contents of the ramdisk to the non-volatile image file.

        Our ramdisks are typically 12-14 GB in size, so a SHUTDOWN takes some time for all of the ramdisk’s contents to be written to that non-volatile image file, even if it’s a RAID-0 array of 4 x 6G SSDs!

        A much better implementation can be found in ramdisk software that automatically saves changed sectors and/or changed clusters — by performing direct access to the corresponding sectors or clusters in that drive image file.

        And, the best implementations enforce an image file format that can also be MOUNTED and DISMOUNTED to enable access by other OS processes.  Cf. CHKDSK’s “/x” command line option.

        In normal operation, those changed sectors or clusters are saved once every minute.  And, one variation on this method is ramdisk software that maintains 2 identical copies of the ramdisk image file e.g. on 2 different non-volatile media — for added redundancy.

        Thus, if a PC halts suddenly, the only data loss occurs with the changes that were made to the ramdisk during the last 60 seconds.  And, that time period is a User-configurable option.

        All prior changes should have been written to the non-volatile image file, which is automatically restored to the ramdisk during the next STARTUP.

        Lastly, we power all our PCs with quality UPS battery-backup units, which have helped a lot to minimize unscheduled system HALTs.

      • #2345911
        JohnTcraigJr
        AskWoody Lounger

        Question on Foxclone: If you boot to its USB flash drive, where can it backup too? I assume an external hard drive plugged into the computer. Yes? Anything else? Thanks.

        FoxClone is agnostic, it does not care what OS is on the partition(s),

        and it has a builtin File Manager that will allow you to search for a suitable backup drive,

        and once you find that drive, it will let you create a Folder that you can name for the backup.

        IF, you accept the Defaults, the backup is the Time/Date which is not all that descriptive, so I always add info to that so it is eacy to see what the backups are.

        I have Win7, Win10, and several versions of Linux Mint that are backed up to the big USB HDD.

        Creating a Folder for “Win10 John” makes it easy to know what is in that backup.

        “Win10 Cyndi” is for my daughter.

        “Mint 19.3 Cinn” is for my laptop

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2346038
          Michael432
          AskWoody_MVP

          I started reading the manual and it looks good. Very honest about what the software is/does and also what it is not. Will give it a try. Thanks for the heads up.

          Get up to speed on router security at RouterSecurity.org

      • #2345916
        anonymous
        Guest

        I find it is very helpful to maintain a .txt ASCII file which itemizes a sequence of major changes to the OS partition.

        In the following example, I’ll just throw in some of the most common entries in our “acronis.image.history.txt” file (one such file for each workstation):

        Acronis.Images.001

        fresh install of Windows 10 Pro x64

        Acronis.Images.002

        downloaded and installed Firefox 84.0

        Acronis.Images.003

        downloaded and installed Chrome browser

        Acronis.Images.004

        downloaded and installed Partition Wizard, licensed version

        installed a large SSD on motherboard’s SATA2 port

        ran “Migrate OS’ to migrate Windows 10 to the SSD on SATA2

        and so on.

        The benefits of this file become apparent whenever I have needed to “roll back” to a working set of OS files.

        Once a “roll back” / restore task is finished, this ASCII text file tells me what other changes I still need to do, to complete a full restore of a working OS partition.

        I prefer this habit, mainly because I can’t remember every last detail about all major changes I may have made to the C: OS partition, since writing the most recent drive image of the C: OS partition.

        Just to illustrate, without my knowledge a bad DRAM cell was corrupting drive images written by Symantec’s GHOST program.  Once I isolated the cause of the corruption, I needed to roll-back quite far, skipping several of the most recent drive images until I found one that correctly restored a working OS.

        At that point, my drive image history file listed all of the additional changes, additions and deletions I also needed to do, in order to get back to a fully updated OS working set.

        This may seem trivial, but the older drive image that worked was written with different video drivers.

      • #2346091
        anonymous
        Guest

        Re: Acronis True Image 2019

        When we decided to “upgrade” from Acronis True Image Western Digital Edition, we purchased a multi-PC license for Acronis True Image 2019 Edition.

        Immediately, the sequence we had utilized with the WD Edition resulted in a serious error: the drive image created by the 2019 Edition was promptly DELETED immediately after the program finished writing it:  it simply DISAPPEARED!

        To give the programmers the benefit of any doubts, I started a Support Ticket, and their offer in reply required enabling remote access to my Windows Desktop.

        I declined that offer (for obvious security reasons), and simply repeated the simple steps which they could utilize to reproduce the bug.  Later, I discovered that they fixed that bug, but failed to inform me of that fix.

        Yes, I’m still looking around for a different imaging program for creating images of C: .

        • #2347332
          JohnTcraigJr
          AskWoody Lounger

          I advise you to switch to http://www.FoxClone.com

           

          great program, has a lot of terrific options.

          Read the Manual BEFORE you use it, so you get all the benefits of it.

          manual is 60+ pages, AndyMH tried to cover every eventuality.

           

          .

          • #2347373
            Paul T
            AskWoody MVP

            Being Linux-based, it boots to its own system exclusive of anything on the hard disk

            Which makes it much less convenient. Stick with a native Windows app and backup from within Windows – you can continue your work/play while the backup runs.

            cheers, Paul

      • #2347382
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        you can continue your work/play while the backup runs.

        I don’t understand this point. Does the backup re-scans all drives again and again to find new files created / deleted while you work/play during the backup process ? Does the backup ignore any new files created and thus isn’t worth the space it occupies ?

        I leave my PC alone when running backups.

      • #2347393
        JohnTcraigJr
        AskWoody Lounger

        Being Linux-based, it boots to its own system exclusive of anything on the hard disk

        Which makes it much less convenient. Stick with a native Windows app and backup from within Windows – you can continue your work/play while the backup runs.

        cheers, Paul

        It does NOT matter what the OS of the backup program is,

        Macrium Reflect,

        Acronis backup,

        or in my recommendation, FoxClone..

        FoxClone comes up as a GUI, just like the other backup programs do.

        and it does not care what the OS is on the partition.

        It will Compress the backup files, if the partition does not contain data in some blocks, those blocks are not copied, just the format for the empty blocks is copied.

         

        that makes the backup files extremely small, compared to what Macrium Reflect or Acronis or others do, that do a Bit by Bit copy to an Image File…

        Do what you want, but do NOT ignore FoxClone. It is a terrific tool, and even without the manual, it is full self directed… and Intuitive to use. AND IT IS TOTALLY FREE !!

        And one more Benefit….. it is at least 4 to 8 times Faster than any other Image Backup tool that I have ever used.  Don’t knock something, when it is Obvious you did not even try it.

        • This reply was modified 3 days, 20 hours ago by JohnTcraigJr.
      • #2347395
        JohnTcraigJr
        AskWoody Lounger

        you can continue your work/play while the backup runs.

        I don’t understand this point. Does the backup re-scans all drives again and again to find new files created / deleted while you work/play during the backup process ? Does the backup ignore any new files created and thus isn’t worth the space it occupies ?

        I leave my PC alone when running backups.

        when doing an Image backup, you must use a separate OS based tool.

        and then leave the PC alone until it finishes.

        If you continue to try and use the PC while something is trying to make an Image of it, it will just run in circles constantly trying to match the contents of the partition…

        • This reply was modified 3 days, 20 hours ago by JohnTcraigJr.
        • #2347414
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          If you continue to try and use the PC while something is trying to make an Image of it, it will just run in circles constantly trying to match the contents of the partition

          This is just not true.

          Microsoft created VSS (Shadow Copy) to get around this very issue and it’s used by a backup running in Windows. It is stable, reliable and convenient.

          cheers, Paul

      • #2347455
        krism
        AskWoody Plus

        Been around since 3.11 . I go for extremely simple solutions that work. I used Acronis long ago. I was on Easeus free and paid for quite a while but shifted to Macrium free since it will do windows/linux mixed drives easily. Easeus will not. Many many times, Macrium reflect free has saved me with a stand-alone USB boot stick restore. And I’m up and running again.

        Before I do anything like take a windows update, or test install a linux, I take an image. Easy. WORKS!

        - ThinkPad T530-2394-3J8, i5-3380M 2.9GHz, UEFI/GPT: (Win10 20H2 Pro x64), 8GB(15GB/s), Sammy 500GB SSD. -

      • #2347484
        Michael432
        AskWoody_MVP

        Backing up an OS while it is running always struck me like changing a tire while the car is moving. Not the best approach.

        Image backups often default to copying only used space in a partition, rather than every bit, byte, block or cluster. This depends on the file system, so, consider running a diagnostic on the file system before an image backup. In Windows, chkdsk.

         

        Get up to speed on router security at RouterSecurity.org

        • #2347488
          krism
          AskWoody Plus

          I believe Macrium does that. Anyway, it has always saved me!

          - ThinkPad T530-2394-3J8, i5-3380M 2.9GHz, UEFI/GPT: (Win10 20H2 Pro x64), 8GB(15GB/s), Sammy 500GB SSD. -

          • #2347491
            Paul T
            AskWoody MVP

            Macrium does not run chkdsk at any stage, it only runs a backup or job you have specified.

            Chkdsk is a repair program which must shut down Windows to repair errors. You can’t run it if you need Windows to remain available.

            cheers, Paul

            • #2347493
              krism
              AskWoody Plus

              correct. It takes a snapshot and then analyzes the file system on each volume(partition). Then backs it up. How rigorous this analysis is I have no idea.

              - ThinkPad T530-2394-3J8, i5-3380M 2.9GHz, UEFI/GPT: (Win10 20H2 Pro x64), 8GB(15GB/s), Sammy 500GB SSD. -

            • #2347496
              SupremeLaW
              AskWoody Lounger

              CHKDSK has several “read-only” options e.g. /v /c /i  .  The latter options can be invoked when running CHKDSK and the target is C: .

              The /v option is recommended because it displays cleanup messages.

              A re-start is required if CHKDSK detects a command line option that requires writing changes to C: .  In that case, it asks if the User wants to schedule those changes during the next RE-START.

              The /x option will also force a DISMOUNT if required.  This option can be useful when running CHKDSK from inside a .bat BATCH program.

              I don’t believe a DISMOUNT should ever be tried on the C: system partition, however!  We invoke that option on our ramdisks.

              To see a summary of options and the command line syntax:

              CHKDSK /?

              As such, there is a lot of existing CHKDSK documentation already available on the Internet e.g. at Microsoft’s website.  A recent Windows 10 update did cause a serious new bug, so caveat emptor.

              Our BATCH program carefully distinguishes C: from all other NTFS partitions e.g. it checks for options that require writing to C: and only adds such options when launching CHKDSK on other non-OS partitions.

              If we need to run CHKDSK to make changes to C:, we launch CHKDSK interactively in Windows Command Prompt, Administrator Mode.

              Our BATCH program is intended to run to completion without any User interaction e.g. so it can run unattended.

               

        • #2347489
          SupremeLaW
          AskWoody Lounger

          That’s very good advice!

          Way back when PowerQuest owned the DRIVE IMAGE program, and long before Symantec acquired it, changed its name to GHOST and hacked up the otherwise beautiful User Interface, the PowerQuest developers enhanced DRIVE IMAGE to run as a standard Windows application.  The details were proprietary and covered by a patent pending.

          If my memory serves me (because GHOST is now pretty old and no longer supported), PowerQuest developed a means to circumvent the Windows paging file “pagefile.sys” while drive images of C: were being written to an output file.

          Similar details may be available in their utility patent application filed with USPTO (Patent Office).

          It’s also very wise to EXIT all other running programs, while a drive image file of C: is being written.  Similar advice is provided by many program installation tasks.

          Consider also cloning Windows to a second HDD or SSD, like this Disk Management layout:

          C: / E:

          F: / G:

          Start by writing a drive image file of C: to G:, then copy that drive image file to E:

          (This sequence minimizes HDD head thrashing that will otherwise occur when writing a drive image file of C: to E: .  Such “thrashing” is irrelevant for SSDs.)

          If C: is infected, boot from F: and use the working OS on F: to restore the drive image file to C: .

          Then, re-boot into the motherboard BIOS to change the primary boot drive back to C: .

          Having a clone of C: on F: also means that F: also has all the necessary device drivers, particularly drivers for RAID controllers that host C: .

           

          • #2347494
            krism
            AskWoody Plus

            If you clone a bootable drive to another drive that is active then you boot, you may confuse windows boot partition.

            I remember Drive Image. Long ago.

            - ThinkPad T530-2394-3J8, i5-3380M 2.9GHz, UEFI/GPT: (Win10 20H2 Pro x64), 8GB(15GB/s), Sammy 500GB SSD. -

            • #2347502
              SupremeLaW
              AskWoody Lounger

              Re: “you may confuse windows boot partition.”

              GOOD POINT!

              Yes, this can be a BIG problem when cloning C: .

              The “Migrate OS” feature in Partition Wizard has a solution for that problem.

              However, that feature now requires purchasing a licensed copy of Partition Wizard.  That feature had been available with previous freeware versions of Partition Wizard.

              And, “Migrate OS” only works if the target drive is completely UNALLOCATED.

              As such, it’s the first thing we do whenever we install a brand new SSD or HDD:  with multi-terabyte drives now commonplace, reserving the first 100GB for a “cloned” OS is hardly much of a small dent in a 1TB drive.

               

               

               

               

              • #2347509
                krism
                AskWoody Plus

                re “reserving the first 100GB for a “cloned” OS is hardly much of a small dent in a 1TB drive.”

                if you clone windows, I have always been under the illusion that I also need to clone the “first 3 partitions of the drive” (or any additional recovery partition, now that I have 2). eg, if I use Macrium to restore win10, but not the other work partitions, I also restore the little 3 (4) system partitions. This gets slightly dicey if you also have linux on that drive. If I just stick my OS onto a drive w/o the correct (particularly) EFT partition, it won’t boot.

                - ThinkPad T530-2394-3J8, i5-3380M 2.9GHz, UEFI/GPT: (Win10 20H2 Pro x64), 8GB(15GB/s), Sammy 500GB SSD. -

          • #2347514
            krism
            AskWoody Plus

            (should have posted as a reply to 5 posts up)

            I do not need to run a chkdsk on my system in my situation.

            You may need to.

            Also remember the chkdsk bug: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/microsoft/microsoft-fixes-windows-10-chkdsk-bug-causing-boot-failures/

            - ThinkPad T530-2394-3J8, i5-3380M 2.9GHz, UEFI/GPT: (Win10 20H2 Pro x64), 8GB(15GB/s), Sammy 500GB SSD. -

            • This reply was modified 3 days, 11 hours ago by krism.
            • This reply was modified 3 days, 11 hours ago by krism. Reason: didn't post to correct post
            • #2347601
              SupremeLaW
              AskWoody Lounger

              Launching CHKDSK inside Command Prompt offers a lot more flexibility, as compared to “Properties | Tools | Error checking” in Windows Explorer after right-clicking on any given Windows NTFS partition.

              The same limitation is true of several third-party utilities, like Avanquest SystemSuite 10.

              This next command line:

              CHKDSK [ :] /v /c /i

              … should run the fastest on all NTFS partitions, chiefly because those command line options do NOT require any error correction, and do not require a DISMOUNT.

              /V

              On FAT/FAT32:  Displays the full path and name of every file on the disk.
              On NTFS:  Displays cleanup messages if any.

              /I

              NTFS only:  Performs a less vigorous check of index entries.

              /C

              NTFS only:  Skips checking of cycles within the folder structure.

              As a general policy, a User or System Administrator could enforce a mandatory rule that requires a read-only run of CHKDSK before writing any drive images of the C: system partition — to approach as much as possible an error-free system partition.

      • #2347691
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        If you clone a bootable drive to another drive that is active then you boot, you may confuse windows boot partition

        This can only happen if you leave the original disk connected – why would you do that after a clone operation?

        You are better off creating an image backup than a clone as you don’t need a dedicated disk for an image and you can restore it to a new drive if you need to clone.

        if you clone windows, I have always been under the illusion that I also need to clone the “first 3 partitions of the drive”

        A clone is all partitions on the drive.
        An image backup is also all partitions on the drive.

        To boot a restored copy of Windows you only need the boot files and the Windows files. You don’t need a specific number of partitions, you need the correct partitions.
        This is disk/boot process is dependent and MBR booting requires different data to UEFI boot.

        cheers, Paul

        • #2347760
          krism
          AskWoody Plus

          Hi Paul, FWIW, I don’t clone – that was in answer to a post. I take a full image of the SSD with all its partitions every time. I do not do incrementals – didn’t work when I needed it.

          Be well!

          - ThinkPad T530-2394-3J8, i5-3380M 2.9GHz, UEFI/GPT: (Win10 20H2 Pro x64), 8GB(15GB/s), Sammy 500GB SSD. -

      • #2347789
        JohnTcraigJr
        AskWoody Lounger

        Hi Paul, FWIW, I don’t clone – that was in answer to a post. I take a full image of the SSD with all its partitions every time. I do not do incrementals – didn’t work when I needed it.

        Be well!

        I agree, Incrementals are just about totally useless.

        the requirements for using them, is too tight for normal use.

        I too, only do total Image of the full drive, or just an image of a partition,

        depends on what I want.

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