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Author Topic: Back-up software - any recommended  (Read 99331 times)

AndrewKulin

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Back-up software - any recommended
« on: January 08, 2015, 10:34:43 PM »

Can anyone recommend a usable piece of back up software I can use for my photos and other files?  Currently I use WD Smartware and it is quirky, and frankly a pain to use the way I have my backup system setup.  I'll explain what I have and how I go about my backup strategy as I would like the software to be able to handle this without hassle.  I am a Windows user.  And I have absolutely no interest in cloud storage of any kind.  I am not a pro and cannot justify spending big bucks on some fancy set-up.  A couple of 100 dollars for a robust software package that does what I need I can handle

Back-up Media
I currently own 4 WD Mybook Drives which I use for back-up - USB3 connections
2 x 4 TB
2 x 2 TB

Photos
My original files are saved using a Mediasonic ProRaid 4-Bay enclosure, populated with 2 x 4 TB HDDs.  Configured as RAID 1, E-Sata connection to the PC.  Saved as a single drive partition
The 4 TB Mybooks are used for back-up

Other Files
Comprised of work documents, excel spreadsheets, stuff like that. These are saved on SSD drives within the PC on a few different drive partitions (D:, E:, etc.)
The 2 TB Mybooks are used for back-up

My Back-up Strategy

Basically, at any one time, I have one of each sized MyBook connected to the PC and these are supposed to be set to continuously back-up (in background) my Photos Drive as changes are made (onto the 4 TB) and other personal files (onto the 2 TB).  The other two drives i keep stored at my place of employment off-site.  In theory, on a "monthly" basis, I swap the drives, bringing the most-up-to date back up drives from home out to the office and bringing the drives from the office home to connect to the PC.  The goal thus being that I simply reconnect these drives to the PC and that the software automatically recognizes that they are not 100% backed-up compared to the original drives, and thus automatically begins to update the Mybook drives in the background with no user direction.

The WD software ("Smartware") basically cannot handle this as it seems to need for the Mybook S/N to match up which defeats my purpose, and thus I find I have to clear out the drive when I bring it home, and then begin backing up everything from scratch.  So as a resuylt, I am going through this exercise every 6 months or longer as it is a pain.  Plus I am not too confident in the WD's ability to even handle backing up files from the D & E drives to the 2 TB unit and from the X-drive (photos) to the 4 TB unit in parallel.

So is there a suite of Windows based back-up software that can:
  • back-up files from different directories AND drive partitions onto different external drives (e.g., my 2 TB and 4 TB drives;
  • be able to handle that these back-up drives will be swapped with an equivalent drive on a monthly basis and be able to update the slightly out of date drive without hassle; and,
  • save the files on the back-up drives in the exact same format as on the original drives?  i.e., such that I can view them in a file manger as I woudl on any drive, vs., some form of proprietary compressed format that you need the back-up software to retrieve

Thanks
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Jim Kasson

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Re: Back-up software - any recommended
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2015, 10:40:37 PM »


So is there a suite of Windows based back-up software that can:
  • back-up files from different directories AND drive partitions onto different external drives (e.g., my 2 TB and 4 TB drives;
  • be able to handle that these back-up drives will be swapped with an equivalent drive on a monthly basis and be able to update the slightly out of date drive without hassle; and,
  • save the files on the back-up drives in the exact same format as on the original drives?  i.e., such that I can view them in a file manger as I woudl on any drive, vs., some form of proprietary compressed format that you need the back-up software to retrieve

There are many packages that can do your job. My favorites are Vice-Versa and VV Engine, and also GoodSync.

I've used both with great success for many years, with attached drives and NAS servers, and never lost a file.

http://blog.kasson.com/?page_id=3060

Jim

PeterAit

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Re: Back-up software - any recommended
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2015, 11:04:31 AM »

SyncBackPro. I have been using it for years to back up 2 computers to NAS and to individual USB drives, including my LR catalog and photos. Never let me down. It takes some effort to set up your backup profiles, but then you can run them as needed, either manually or on a schedule. You can backup to FTP sites, email servers, CD burners, and a few other destinations. I recommend it.
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John McDermott

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Re: Back-up software - any recommended
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2015, 12:36:53 PM »

I have been extremely happy with Retrospect. I understand that this is the package that Jeff Schewe uses also.
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PeterAit

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Re: Back-up software - any recommended
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2015, 04:04:11 PM »

I understand that this is the package that Jeff Schewe uses also.

And therefore ... ?
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deejjjaaaa

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Re: Back-up software - any recommended
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2015, 04:17:39 PM »

And I have absolutely no interest in cloud storage of any kind.  

CrashPlan software can for free (no license fees) do backup to your own computers (for example put it in your in-laws house to make it a separate location - extra safety and no need to move HDDs back and forth... may be once to do an initial seed locally, which is faster... or to a 2nd computer in your own house)... even it is a cloud storage company...
« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 04:19:33 PM by deejjjaaaa »
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Jim Kasson

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Re: Back-up software - any recommended
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2015, 07:39:38 PM »

CrashPlan software can for free (no license fees) do backup to your own computers (for example put it in your in-laws house to make it a separate location - extra safety and no need to move HDDs back and forth... may be once to do an initial seed locally, which is faster... or to a 2nd computer in your own house)... even it is a cloud storage company...

I installed CrashPlan to test it. Unsatisfied with the upload speeds, I stopped. My Win 7 computer developed some instability, and hung on shutdowns. To be fair, it's an unusual configuration, with 12 physical cores and 192 GB of OS-recognizable RAM. I used the Crashplan uninstaller to -- I thought -- uninstall Crashplan. No change to the instability. I used msconfig and found that a program called "CrashPlan Tray" was still being loaded at startup. I modified the startup list to omit the program. Stability returned.

The whole thing left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

Jim

deejjjaaaa

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Re: Back-up software - any recommended
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2015, 10:41:56 AM »

I installed CrashPlan to test it. Unsatisfied with the upload speeds, I stopped.

OP is not going to use cloud backup with upload to their (code42's) consumer-grade storage, so that's not exactly relevant, plus your specific situation with how many new data you generate on daily basis is hardly relevant to 90% of the readers here... data storage description given by OP indicates that he is far away from your data amounts, no ?

My Win 7 computer developed some instability, and hung on shutdowns. To be fair, it's an unusual configuration, with 12 physical cores and 192 GB of OS-recognizable RAM. I used the Crashplan uninstaller to -- I thought -- uninstall Crashplan. No change to the instability. I used msconfig and found that a program called "CrashPlan Tray" was still being loaded at startup. I modified the startup list to omit the program. Stability returned.

The whole thing left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

Well, I read quite often about stability issues with Windows, sometimes I experience them myself... I still use Windows though  :D - the mere fact that your backup software of choice did not have issues on your computer does not mean that there were no bugs encountered by others elsewhere...
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AndrewKulin

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Re: Back-up software - any recommended
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2015, 11:10:14 AM »

Thank you all for the suggestions.  I have started looking at the products mentioned so far and I would say that it seems to me that Retrospect is used for client-based servers (businesses) and is more than I need for my humble application (it is also business priced starting at north of $880).

Now I need to sift through all the technical jargon and figure out if I can do what I want with the other packages,  They have 30 day trials so I will probably try them out first.

Thanks again, and if there are any other suggested products, feel free to chime in.
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John McDermott

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Re: Back-up software - any recommended
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2015, 12:33:28 PM »

No, no, no! The professional edition for windows desktop is $119.00. That is what I have and it works wonderfully backing up both windows and mac machines.

In respect to the "and therefore": Jeff is a smart guy (albeit a bit grumpy) and when he talks, through words or actions, I listen. Don't you?
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jjj

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Re: Back-up software - any recommended
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2015, 02:11:48 PM »

I installed CrashPlan to test it. Unsatisfied with the upload speeds, I stopped.
CrashPlan is able to back up to another computer in your own house. So a bit different from the usual online back up services which are reliant on fast upload speeds.
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Jim Kasson

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Re: Back-up software - any recommended
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2015, 02:50:11 PM »

Well, I read quite often about stability issues with Windows, sometimes I experience them myself... I still use Windows though  :D - the mere fact that your backup software of choice did not have issues on your computer does not mean that there were no bugs encountered by others elsewhere...

Sample space of one, to be sure; and I made no claims that the programs I recommended would work well on every computer they can be installed on. I've only used them on maybe 20 machines.

However, to me, the instability caused by the program isn't the long pole in the tent. What is more concerning, especially on a demo program intended to be used on a trial basis, is that the uninstall program failed to completely do its job, and, even worse, failed silently, with no warning window. I suspect that this uninstall behavior is not particularly configuration-dependent.

Jim

Chris_Brown

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Re: Back-up software - any recommended
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2015, 03:35:06 PM »

And I have absolutely no interest in cloud storage of any kind.

You will be if you ever get your gear stolen.

About five years ago, while on location at the St. Louis Arch, we parked in the lot adjacent to the Arch park and scouted the area for about 60 minutes. When we returned to our vehicle, the window was broken and everything was gone. Cameras, lenses, toothbrushes, underwear, computers and backup drives. It was sickening. Our vehicle was one of four that had been burglured, too.  :P

However, I use CrashPlan and once a new laptop was in possession, all my data was restored: bookkeeping data going back to 1990, release forms, emails, contracts, purchase orders, etc.. It was money well spent.

However, I can't help with Windows backup software. I use Macs.
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MichaelEzra

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Re: Back-up software - any recommended
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2015, 08:09:21 AM »

I rely solely on GoodSync Pro. It supports basically any storage and is the best for update backups, allowing to sync changes only very fast.

Robert DeCandido PhD

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EaseUS EverySync
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2015, 12:44:50 PM »

http://www.easeus.com/file-sync/

this program is on sale for a bit less than $20 until 28 February 2015:

http://www.easeus.com/landing/newsletter-valentine.htm

The exact program for real time file (automatic) synchronization is listed under "File Synchronization" and called: EaseUS EverySync 2.1
« Last Edit: February 11, 2015, 07:41:54 AM by Robert DeCandido PhD »
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Phil Indeblanc

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Re: Back-up software - any recommended
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2015, 01:34:15 PM »

I have used a few including Retrospect which I like, but Acronis gives me lots of options and control.
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HSakols

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Re: Back-up software - any recommended
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2015, 07:04:12 PM »

I use SuperDuper. 
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garyhill

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Re: Back-up software - any recommended
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2015, 06:43:51 PM »

I use Acronis True Image on a very similar setup. One PC with a 4TB external drive connected via USB3. It backs up all my files continuously and then once a week does an automatic system image of my C drive. I have a second 4TB drive that I keep at work. Once a week I bring it home and plug it in to another USB3 port. There are backup routines configured specifically for this second drive that I trigger manually (I think it can be automatic but I have not tried) which again does a backup of all my files as well as doing a system image of my C drive. The next morning I take the second hard drive back to work.

You cant browse the files using window explorer though, so this option does not meet that criteria.

Cheers,

Gary

digitaldog

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Re: Back-up software - any recommended
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2015, 10:06:31 PM »

On Mac, SuperDuper is very good, easy to use, inexpensive. But I've moved onto ChronoSync which is more powerful, provides robust verification but cost a bit more and has a bigger learning curve.
For offsite, I'm using CrashPlan now a couple years, no complaints.
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Phil Indeblanc

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Re: Back-up software - any recommended
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2015, 01:15:07 PM »

On PC I can recommend Acronis
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