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Author Topic: Backup methods and programs.  (Read 5585 times)

cmpm

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Backup methods and programs.
« on: June 25, 2007, 07:46:40 PM »
Besides Norton Ghost which cost about $60-$80 or other programs that cost money. I've come up with an idea on backing up.

Of course there's winbackup and system restore but here's another which works.

If you have two hard drives then this is a good way to go.
Have everything you want to back up loaded on both hardrives.
This would be a dual boot system with identical activation codes.

Install winxp on your slave drive.

To install winxp on another hard drive on the same system, just let it in install on a newly formatted ntfs drive. It will show you the partition in the setup if you don't use the repair option.

Install your programs and sync them with "GoodSync".

http://www.goodsync.com/index.html

http://netsecurity.a...on+to+new+hard+drive

Other benefits of this setup is you can work with files on your master from the slave (Or the other way around). Because none of them should be in use, that would free up some operations that require the file to not be in use.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2007, 07:50:54 PM by cmpm »

f0dder

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Re: Backup methods and programs.
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2007, 08:24:06 AM »
For a setup like that, I'd rather use RAID mirror... of course your solution has the benefit that sync'ing is done on demand, not transparently all the time... but this does mean that you can end up with the mess of "which drive contains the most recent files" et cetera.

Imho if you're doing backups, you should be doing them "right" - incremental or differential sets to some external device (fileserver with mirror or parity RAID, or external USB/FireWire/eSATA drive). Preferably with a set per day, so you can guard against partial corruption etc.
- carpe noctem

tomos

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Re: Backup methods and programs.
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2007, 09:13:21 AM »
Have everything you want to back up loaded on both hardrives.
This would be a dual boot system with identical activation codes.

Install winxp on your slave drive.

Install your programs and sync them

1) "Have everything you want to back up loaded on both hardrives."  -
presume that mean the files/folders (i.e. not the installed software/OS)

2) do you know, if you add a new drive to your computer, can you still activate as shown in your link above?

3) when you say -sync programmes- what exactly do you mean  :) ??
would regristry have to be the same on each drive - or not?? (different paths relevant?), programmes often store (or try to) info all over the place ...

4) dont understand this I'm afraid -
Other benefits of this setup is you can work with files on your master from the slave (Or the other way around). Because none of them should be in use, that would free up some operations that require the file to not be in use.
-well I guess I do understand but probably not of importance to me

5) Would an advantage be that if the main drive dies, you can than boot up the other?


Imho if you're doing backups, you should be doing them "right" - incremental or differential sets to some external device (fileserver with mirror or parity RAID, or external USB/FireWire/eSATA drive). Preferably with a set per day, so you can guard against partial corruption etc.
of course
cmpm's idea could be done as well as incremental backup ...  :)
Tom

Carol Haynes

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Re: Backup methods and programs.
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2007, 09:35:58 AM »
Disadvantage of the suggested method is that the second copy will need to be activated - and some software won't work properly if you boot from the 'backup' copy disc (eg. Adobe software doesn't work from copies - even image based disc images without reactivation).

The problem with Windows activation is that each partition has a unique ID which is coded into the activation code. I don't think you can have two simultaneously active partitions with the same ID.

cmpm

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Re: Backup methods and programs.
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2007, 10:17:41 AM »
#5 mainly tomos

and this does work
both os work

and i was thinking of the free programs we use
i know the paid for programs would not work

but you could backup the info files to two hard drives

Carol,

Quote
I don't think you can have two simultaneously active partitions with the same ID.

not running at the same time but they do work separately, both being activated by the instructions in the second link i posted

it will auto boot from the drive with the .new file

Carol Haynes

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Re: Backup methods and programs.
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2007, 10:49:16 AM »
Hmmm ... that is similar to a method I read about but that included reading the old partition ID and restoring it (along with the WPA files) on the new partition. Trouble is I have tried to do it a number of times and never found it worked!

steeladept

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Re: Backup methods and programs.
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2007, 12:29:01 PM »
Sounds to me like RAID mirroring.  Many motherboards support that now on chip, in an easier setup than this.  It may work for older hardware, but it seems to me to be a lot of trouble for what can be done on the motherboard controller now (for the most part).  Is there some advantage to this method that I don't get?

cmpm

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Re: Backup methods and programs.
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2007, 02:26:55 PM »
Basically it's for having a working xp installation with synced my documents, to which i have all my saved files from different programs including my scanner, in different folders. Also I keep my downloads in my documents.

It can also be used for other means, use your imagination.
For instance you could sync all your programs provided they are installed on both drives. I don't think it would work with out it installed.

I haven't tryed syncing an entire hard drive to a slave drive. It's main purpose for me is in case of a malfunction that I can't fix within the xp install. I can go to the other install and see the differences in files as well as work with that install from outside of it instead of inside of it.

If I can't fix it, I still have a working xp install and reinstall another on the drive with the malfunctioning xp install at my leisure instead of a push to get my computer back up and running.

Defrag, checkdisk, tuneup 2007 and a host of other programs can be used to diagnose the failing install from the other install.

It's totally legal and even passes ms's rules.

I use older computers-p3's and my hard drive started making noise that i didn't like, so i started looking around for how to transfer to a new hard drive without having to call ms again.

And I found that there are numerous advantages to a setup like this.

I do not have raid anything. If it doesn't work on your computer, I don't know why.

You could boot a drive that is totally dedicated to a resource hog if you choose, that's just one idea, instead of having to close multiple programs, and when you are done reboot to your desired xp setup.

For activating the slave your need your coa #, and no problems, at least on my computer.

f0dder

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Re: Backup methods and programs.
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2007, 05:38:13 PM »
Well, I wouldn't choose such a setup. If I had old hardware without RAID onboard, I'd get one of the cheap PCI cards... your method simply has too much potential for really messy situations :)

Also, it's even easier to just replace a faulty drive in a RAID mirror and have the rebuild happen automatically in the background, than having to launch a disk cloning or syncing tool once a drive fails...
- carpe noctem

cmpm

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Re: Backup methods and programs.
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2007, 05:56:34 PM »
there would be no syncing after the drive fails-
that part would have and is already done
and added to as needed
before any hard drive failure
you can sync the two drives with only one actively running
you are only syncing files not settings

it's simple really

f0dder

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Re: Backup methods and programs.
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2007, 06:00:53 PM »
Well, once you add a new harddrive, you will want to sync from the remaining working one, to the new blank one?

Also, in case your active drive fails in the evening, and you haven't synced stuff since last evening... you're screwed. With a RAID mirror, the 'sync' happens automatically, plus you're (of course) doing proper backups to another location as well.
- carpe noctem

cmpm

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Re: Backup methods and programs.
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2007, 06:11:55 PM »
Quote
Well, once you add a new hard drive, you will want to sync from the remaining working one, to the new blank one?

No, add new hard drive install xp and install programs then sync.
And set the programs that use the synced files to point to where you put them.

This sync program is not automatic and shouldn't be imo, cuz if you are having trouble then you wouldn't want that trouble on the other hard drive without an analysis.

cmpm

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Re: Backup methods and programs.
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2007, 06:15:07 PM »
And yes do other backups as well, but I do believe there is an advantage of having two working xp installations on the same computer as I described.

With other backups, how do you know you have not backed up the problem?

f0dder

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Re: Backup methods and programs.
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2007, 06:17:57 PM »
Quote from: cmpm
No, add new hard drive install xp and install programs then sync.
And set the programs that use the synced files to point to where you put them.
Ah, even more bother then :)

Quote from: cmpm
With other backups, how do you know you have not backed up the problem?
That's why you use an incremental or differential scheme with at least a week backlog before you do a full backup ("reference point").
- carpe noctem

cmpm

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Re: Backup methods and programs.
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2007, 06:26:22 PM »
And btw I don't have any new hard drives.
I have 20gig drives, that's what i have to work with.
This is only a suggestion, not the ultimate plan of salvation :)

It saves me time, and pressure to get a downed hardrive back up again.
These I have are old so I take the precautions I think is wise.
It takes a full day to install and get my programs running again, sometimes that day is not there to do it.

cmpm

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Re: Backup methods and programs.
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2007, 06:54:16 PM »
I was also hopeing that other methods would be discussed, rather then this idea being a target. I also thought I explained it pretty good even for a novice like me.
If you don't like the idea don't use it, ok with me.
But I like it. And would like to hear some other free options.

I've heard and read and done dual booting with Linux.
So I did it with xp...for good reasons.

steeladept

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Re: Backup methods and programs.
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2007, 11:00:17 PM »
I don't think anyone was making it out to be a target, it just seems rather a difficult to setup for what is essentially is a Mirrored RAID array.  Setting this up in the hardware is dead simple and it is a set and forget affair.  If there is a problem, you just take out the problem drive and run off the mirror.  Now it does not replace a backup program as has been hinted at before here at DC, but I don't think your setup really is designed to replace a backup routine either.  Rather if it is, it seems to suffer from the same backup problems a RAID array would with the addition that your system could loose a lot more data if it has been a while between runs. 

A mirrored array (et. al.) is just to have immediate or near immediate recovery from a HD failure, but there are MANY more problems that would require a backup.  Best practices have been identified to do a backup routine as f0dder has suggested.  This protects data from ALL threats that can be reasonably expected.  For corporate use, disaster recovery methods state all this, plus mirroring or backup setups be completed at another physical location as well; but that is far beyond the needs of most home users.  Unless you want to make a weekly stop at a safety deposit box with a DVD-RW or something similar.

I can tell you that your system is quite inventive, and it does work nicely as a exercise in dual booting WinXP (not a small task in itself).  However, I personally just don't see an advantage.  That said, the best thing I can say is it works for you and you are happy enough that your data is as safe as you feel you need.  What more can you ask for?

f0dder

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Re: Backup methods and programs.
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2007, 07:25:02 AM »
steeladept, you just expressed my opinion, and did it better than I could myself :Thmbsup:
- carpe noctem

cmpm

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Re: Backup methods and programs.
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2007, 04:27:07 AM »
Just for the heck of it I synced the entire hard drive.
Just to see if it would work and it did.

Didn't sync the boot, autoexe or other C: files,
just the folders.
Docs and settings, Program files, Windows.
Just a couple of glitches, had to reactivate windows, but didn't need a number. And the virus scanner was already on there so it was the same serial number, had to reinstall it-no prob though I use avg.

It can be set to not overwrite or delete.
Next run I won't have it do that, just add new or changed files.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Backup methods and programs.
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2007, 05:41:28 AM »
How are you 'syncing' registry settings? If you sync program files and windows your registry settings will get out of step - unless you have some method of syncing the registry too. I'm not sure that simply syncing the Windows folder will do this as the active registry is not usually accessible at the file level ? (not sure about this).

You say:
Quote
Just a couple of glitches, had to reactivate windows, but didn't need a number.

Windows (at least XP - not sure about Vista) has a built in 90 day timeout on activation. This means that if you wait 90 days you can activate Windows XP again without the hassle of phoning MS and explaining. They also seem to allow a number of activations (2 or 3 I think) before the activation is suspect. I'd guess that next time you do this you will need to activate again and will need to call MS.

Just for the record your method will not work with some application vendors. Adobe (for example) has written their activation system in such a way that if you do an image of the original partition and then restore it (using normal backup methods) you lose the activation. You must deactivate the Adobe software before restoring a backup otherwise you cannot activate it again (unless you call them and have a good reason). I'd guess other vendors are likely to start developing activation methods that work like this too.

cmpm

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Re: Backup methods and programs.
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2007, 10:20:57 AM »
I don't know Carol, about the registry or where it's stored.
Just experpenting and learning.
So far everything is running ok.
Had to install openoffice cuz it didn't take,
but i can't remember if it was on the slave.
All the programs are free on my computer,
which would be why it worked well this time,
but some have license numbers.

And I went one way sync C to D,
not twoway which is an option.

So C is safe while D I have to check further.

And yes there is I believe 5 times xp will activate without a call.
But changing a lot of hardware will trigure a call also.

Worse case would be reinstalling the program, and at least I know which programs are on C and D and as I find them and start them I wil know what to do.

Anyway, the registry is a mystery cuz I still had skype yahoo and gmail but had to put in the passwords, the logon names synced.

Ok, back to work, home for lunch.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2007, 10:22:37 AM by cmpm »