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How to Setup best Backup System

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  #1  
Old 19-09-2011
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 432
How to Setup best Backup System
  

Backup and Data Recovery are two different concepts. Data Recovery always comes after when your system fails to have a Good Backup System. It is very essential for everyone. We mostly realize this when we accidently loose our data. That can be due to hardware failure, software failure, virus, etc. But there is nothing you can do for theft or lost of your system. In that case some online backup system can only help. I had mentioned mostly that stuff here which is related to your personal computer. It does not matter most if it is a Desktop or Laptop. We carry some of our important files in our desktop. Time has gone when people use to carry a different file with sheets of papers attached inside for every work. That has become virtual. With the help of operating systems like Windows, Mac or Linux we are enough capable to process our documents easily and share the same in some seconds. But what about the Backup part. Once you are done with the document you do not delete that. You keep in safe for future record. Bigger enterprise can pay a higher amount for backup services. They get dedicated hardware/software support for that, which is not possible for every individual.

I had tried my best to provide you from most basic, to most advance backup system that everyone can afford. If you want you can pay for a license software or else there are open source alternative also. Open Source are those software’s which are available for free usage under a public license. They are developed and tested by independent developers which is widely called as open source community. You can too be a part of the same. They are more reliable than using a pirated copy of any software. Before beginning there are some common doubts. Does everyone really concern to backup their files. It does not matter if they are your photos or emails. Not really. Because many of use never face that issue. Many of us carry portable gadgets like an mobile phone, usb drive, etc which an better place for storing your file. But if in future you lost it, or it is damaged, you lose everything. Backup is an habit of securing your files. This habit does not only help you at your home, but also at your office. I have seen many, they even keep safe papers which are not use. They use pencil to mark certain important terms in that. That is an habit. There are many advance and basic tools you can use for this purpose.

Windows is an widely used operating system. Along with them Mac and Linux too has its own region. Each of them has an automated backup program in them. This runs via Wizard and guides you for the process. So half of you job in done in that place. Other than this you can also schedule your backup by assigning date and time. The system automatically runs that process without your interference. So not need to worry about regular backups. I had posted the most common question which arises in mind first for backup. You can make a list of the same and fill them up as per your need.

  • Why to Backup files ?
  • What to Backup ?
  • How to use Backup System?
  • What can be the frequency of Backup?
  • Is there a need for additional storage place for Backup?
  • What are some Specialized Backup Tools ?
  • Online Backup Service ?

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  #2  
Old 19-09-2011
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 432
Re: How to Setup best Backup System

Why to Backup ?

There is no special thing invented to prevent an failure of hard disk. It is an electronic device, made of many tiny mechanical parts. They are very delicate and build with special machine and technology. They get disrupted easily with overflowed current, shock, moisture, etc. You cannot even preserve it. So better to use another media that can help you to get an copy of your data. There are specialized tools design like Raid support which works both on the hardware and software level and keep a copy of your data. Raid support can be easily found on laptops, they just a bit more costly than regular models. But much better. The question is really useless here to ask why to backup your data.

It is an important part which is ignored mostly. There is also an issue where you cannot backup your large media and games files. For example taking a backup of 60GB videos is really not possible on a pen drive or DVD only if they are important. Backup too cost. Here you might need to pay for some software or hardware whatever is needed. For this the most basic tool on Windows, which is called as Backup and Restore can be used. The tool is automated with time and date settings. You can set it on daily or weekly backup as per your need.

How to Backup

Below are some steps for this purpose. I had mentioned some of the most common backup techniques for different operating system below. They come with operating system itself, so you do not need to download or buy any other third party program. These tools below are simple to use. You can configure them for your files and keep a backup of files in different partition. The partition can also be locked/hidden by using tools like Bitlocker so that no one can access your valuable data. I will recommend everyone to use this tool for start. As your needs for backup will increase, then surely you can choose a much a better program.

The below program does not need any specialized hardware or software support. Even laymen with small guide can understand the process. The most important thing needed here is to understand the location of backup. I prefer to use 2 different hard drives in the same system. The first one runs the operating system and the second has all my files. I had given the location as separate partition and it is untouched. All partitions of that secondary drive are hidden with software. The backup program can see them. If the backup is not more than 4GB, then you can use a Rewritable DVD to burn it on a disc. I had advice for re-writable DVD because you can overwrite the files again and again on it for number of time.

Windows Backup & Restore Service :


There are two ways to run this. First you can type ntbackup.exe in the Start > Run box to directly run the service. Or else in Windows 7 just type Backup in the Start Menu Search Box. The third way is the actual location of this software which is in Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tool > Backup. When you run the tool for first time, it will run in Wizard mode. Or else you can also use another mode to create a new backup.
  • Selecting the Files for Backup
  • If the tools runs in Wizard Mode then there is nothing much to do. Follow the wizard or else click on Backup Wizard.
  • When you click Next you can see number of options. Like Backup everything, Backup Selected files and Backup system data. If had selected backup everything, Windows will copy all your files to a selected the location. Remember more hard drive space is needed for this. The second option allows you to choose only selected items. This one is the recommended one. Third one backup the system data files like registry and other important files, so that you can restore them when the system does not works properly. Choose the most appropriate option for you and click on Next.
  • The next window will ask you the destination for the backup. Provide the same if you are taking it on DVD/Partition.
  • Sometime the system freezes on A: drive, wait for sometime (this is only for older system)
  • Give next and click on Advance if you want to run Automated Backup program.
  • The Advance page offers you more options. You can choose the type of backup. This tells the computer the importance of this process. Like Daily, which initiates the daily backup program. Everything here is very easy to do.
  • When done, Windows saves the backup file in .bkf format or .asr for automated recovery. You can copy paste this file in any location to keep a backup of copy. This file is then use to restore the data back.
Mac Backup Service - Time Machine :


Time Machine is a default tool that comes in Mac OS X Lion. This is the most latest operating system by Apple. But for that you need to buy an additional external storage drive. With once click your entire system is restored. It is a very powerful in built tool for Mac. The usage is simple with an easy to use GUI interface that offers you all automated features for the process. There is an application called MyBackup which works with Time Machine to get your data on an external storage space.
  • The process is very simple. The application can be launched from Apple > System Preferences > View > Time Machine. You can click on Use a Backup Disk for the same process.
  • Time machine is a very reliable tool. By clicking on Option you can choose more advance options that will guide you for the further setup. It is better to have an external storage media, because the space is really higher. Carry a removable hard drive for the same. It also provides you manual and automated backup program.
Ubuntu Backup Service :


Ubuntu is the most successful open source operating system with many rich features. You can get almost anything in this. This operating system is more power full and stable. Best for those who work on application or web development. I carry Ubuntu on my laptop which gives me the best performance. This time many new version of Ubuntu is out with more add-ons in the same. Many new applications and software are added to make it more flexible. This is the best development in open source system, where you get a user friendly GUI.
  • Click on System > Administration > Simple Backup Config.
  • Provide your login password to initiate the process.
  • After providing the password you can see a window which gives many similar options that many backup service has is common. Like under General you can see three options. They are Use recommended backup settings, Use Custom backup and Manual Backup. Choose any of your choice.
  • After every setup you have to save the settings. Ubuntu’s backup feature is more advance and better. It allows you to add and remove many system files. You can also overwrite the older backup program. Very functional tools.
  • I am really expecting this kind of support for Windows and Mac. Instead of going for any third party program the inbuilt default tool is more reliable.
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  #3  
Old 19-09-2011
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 432
Re: How to Setup best Backup System

Backup Frequency

The backup frequency depends on your choice. Many users go for a daily backup method. Almost every tool has this process. But daily backup process uses more your system resources. It is a doubt with many users. But there is still no clear explanation on this. This purely depends on your choice the type of work your doing. For example for companies which are engaged with data processing must have a daily backup support. Every day new data is introduced which is very important. Weekly is recommended for those who do not really modify their files daily or have very low data usage. You can keep a 4 days or 7 days gape for the same. Monthly backup is recommended for everyone. It occurs once in the month. You can leave your system for that time.


Backup frequency cannot be determined exactly. Every tool comes with daily, weekly or monthly backup settings. How can we figured this, is by the type of data you have. You can create different backup programs for different data. For example a monthly backup setting for system files or operating system, etc. Weekly backup settings only for some images or videos files. And daily for documents, emails, spreadsheets, etc. So you can use a composite choice of each of them and determine the frequency of backup.

Backup Storage

Backup Storage can be any device which has enough storage media to save your files. So you must choose a durable product which does not damage soon. Devices like NAS Storage comes with an automated program and device support which gives you ready made settings for data backup. There are low, mid and high end NAS device that you can choose as per your choice. I had listed many basic options below.

External drives :

External drives are removable storage media. This also includes zip disc or ssd drives. Today more reliable are SSD drives. They do not have moving parts and more reliable. You can also go with regular hard disk of around 1TB for this purpose. This is attached inside the system or with an enclosure connected with usb. There are many external storage devices by HP, Western Digital, etc. Specialized device like Nas comes with backup software. They do not rely on your operating system. You just need to properly connect the device and use the device software to create a backup program. There is large variety of storage options available here. The best part of these devices is, that they are easy to move. You need to put more money for buying a spate hardware, which increases your system cost. But they are worth to buy.

Going for an external storage media is beneficial for medium size business. Even if you are running your business from home then you can go for a portable NAS drive. For external hard drive you can use default tools of your operating system to run a backup.


List of some External Storage Media :
  • Seagate GoFlex Satellite
  • Plextor PX-256M2S 256 GB SSD
  • Samsung 470 256GB SSD
  • Western Digital My Book
  • OCZ Agility 3 SSD
  • IoSafe Rugged Portable
  • Seagate GoFlex
  • LaCie FastKey USB flash drive
  • Lexar Echo MX
List of some best NAS Storage Media :
  • CiragoLink+ (NUS2000) Network USB Storage Device
  • D-Link ShareCenter 2-Bay Network Storage
  • LG Super Multi N2A2 NAS
  • DroboPro FS
  • Verbatim MediaShare Mini
  • Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 6
  • Iomega StorCenter ix2-200
  • Seagate BlackArmor NAS 110
  • LaCie d2 Network 2
  • Western Digital My Book World Edition
  • Cavalry CAND 2-Bay
  • Buffalo Technology LinkStation Pro
Specialized Backup Tools

Specialized Backup Tools are software are the specially made for the purpose of Backup. They does not give you just backup support, but along with this you get many additional advance option to manage your backup and recovery stuff. You can use this too create automated backup and even to configure your network storage drives. I had separately mentioned the programs for the most common 3 operating systems Windows, Linux and Mac. You can choose as per your choice for which you want to go for.

Remember that many of these programs are chargeable. You have to pay for the license copy. So better go through in detail features to get more info on the same. If you do not want to go with the default backup programs which I had mentioned above you can go with this tools. This tools just does not give you only data backup support but more than that. They can backup your entire operating system with mbr. So that within one click you can restore everything. The features differs in each of them. It is your choice and needs which will help you to choose the right one.

Best Backup Software for Windows :
  • NovaBACKUP
  • DT Utilities PC Backup
  • Genie Backup Manager
  • Acronis True Image
  • Easeus Todo Backup
  • NTI Backup Now
  • Acronis Backup & Recovery
  • Norton Ghost
  • PowerBackup
  • TurboBackup
Best Backup Software for Mac :
  • ChronoSync
  • Data Backup
  • Tri-BACKUP
  • SuperDuper!
  • Synk Standard
  • Knox
  • SmartBackup
  • Synchronize! X Plus
Best Backup Software for Linux :
  • Back In Time
  • luckyBackup
  • Grsync
  • FlyBack
  • Time Vault
  • Clonezilla
  • Duplicity
  • Bacula
  • AMANDA
  • Rsync
Online Backup Service

Online Backup Service are less tried today. Many users do not have faith in this. It is simply like keeping your valuable files on the web. There are many websites which give you few GB’s of free space. But are the reliable. There are many negative points of online backup service. While keeping your data on your physical drives gives you more satisfaction. For those you have valuable data do not rely on web services. I had motioned below names of some services which provides you backup plan. The cost rises as the size of your data increases. The best thing of this that you can access your data anywhere. It is only recommended for those who have high bandwidth net services.

Recommended Online Backup Program :
  • Carbonite
  • CrashPlan
  • IDrive
  • Jungle Disk
  • KineticD
  • MiMedia
  • MozyHome
  • Nomadesk
  • Norton Online Backup
  • SOS Online Backup
  • SugarSync
  • Dropbox
  • IBackup
  • PennyBackup
  • Elephant Drive
  • Acronis Online Backup
  • Mozy
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