The importance of backups

Hey everyone,

    I know everyone’s heard over and over again that you should back up your data and programs once in a while.  But, you’re thinking “Who has time to do that?” or “Why should I do that?”  Well, I found out last weekend first-hand, why it’s a good idea to keep backups of everything.

A little background:

     I have two computers and a laptop running most of the time.  My main computer is running Windows Vista Ultimate, my second computer is running Ubuntu Linux, and my laptop is running XP Media Center (I haven’t upgraded it to Vista). 

My backup strategy (or lack of):

     I’ve tried various backup strategies including Vista’s Complete PC Backup, Acronis True Image trials and betas, and Image For DOS. 

     Vista’s Complete PC Backup was a failure when I tried it.  Now, I have to admit that I tried it during the beta, and haven’t touched it since then.  But, when it didn’t restore a base system, I wasn’t impressed.  Also, I backed the image up to DVD’s, so that may have been a factor.  My biggest gripe with Vista’s backup is that the only way to “validate” your backup is to restore it.

     Acronis is nice.  I’ve used it for my desktops in the past with great success. I’ve even restored an image with it.  However, for some reason it totally locks up my laptop.  I can run it in safe-mode, however I’m limited in my options there.  The “Full version” locks up.  So, I can’t recommend it for laptop users– although my situation could be a one in a million occurrence.  I need to note also, that my laptop is a Toshiba Satellite from Wal-Mart, so that may be a factor as well.

     Image For DOS is the one that I’m currently using.  It’s $29.95 for the full version, and you also get a copy of Image For Linux.  Does it work?  Yes.  I was able to back  up all of my PC’s to external hard drives.  And the nice thing is that I can validate the backups simply by booting to their CD/floppy, and selecting the Validate option.  I had one minor glitch with this that I’ll mention in my later post– but it was more a hardware than software glitch.

More to come…

Have a great weekend:)

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