File backup software for home and SOHO users.

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Wao, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. Wao

    Wao Guest

    I have a box with Windows Vista Home Basic installed. I've realized that
    while the factory backup software included with Windows Vista Home Basic
    manages to copy most of my user content it doesn't provide a way to save
    certain user files and it doesn't let me exclude certain files and
    folders--as to speed up the back up process and saving some space in the
    backup media.

    Therefore, I'm looking for something that can run backups for selected files
    and folders at regular intervals. That software must ask any user of the
    computer -- including non administrators-- to insert removable media
    (DVD+-RW, USB key, or USB Hard disk) when the need arises. The computer may
    be turned off or be sleeping at the scheduled backup time. The expected
    backup size is 3 GB to 20 GB. Also, the backup software must provide a way
    to recover single files and directories to a specified folder location.

    The main backup media will be DVD +/- RW but I may end up using, either, USB
    keys or an external USB hard disk at some point.

    While I'm a complete novice regarding backup software I have noted down some
    features that I thought may be worthwhile for such kind of software being
    used in a home environment:

    Low footprint.
    Easy-of-use and friendliness for the novice.
    Low chances to conflict with Windows Vista (after an update).
    Free customer support.
    None or few known and unresolved software bugs.
    A free software updates feature would be welcome.
    Comprehensive help file stored in the computer and easy to understand.
    It being widely used software so it's really easy looking for help.
    Solvent software company unlike to go bankrupt or unlikely to abandon their
    backup product.

    After a few web searches I ended up with this [partial] list of software
    packages that may or may not be adapted to what I need:

    East-Tec Backup.
    Nero BackItUp.
    Norton Ghost.
    Paragon Drive Backup Personal.
    Acronis True Image Home.

    At this point I certainly need other peers input for advice on what software
    package to pick up. Also, I'm wondering whether an equivalent Windows Seven
    OS to Windows Vista Home Basic may come with a more customizable backup

    All advice is appreciated!
    Wao, Aug 31, 2009
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  2. Wao

    XS11E Guest

    I've been very please with Acronis, I've used it to backup/restore my
    computers for several years.

    There may be a free version available for you if you have a
    Seagate/Maxtor or Western Digital harddrive in your PC, search their
    websites for it.
    XS11E, Aug 31, 2009
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  3. Wao

    why? Guest

    On Mon, 31 Aug 2009 01:07:19 +0200, Wao wrote:

    What a long story....
    Acronis and scheduled tasks.
    I am assuming Vista HB doesn't have this, but other versions of Win NT
    have a backup operator account. This is the account name/password you
    configure backup software to use.

    Otherwise you would have to make a backup account with the required
    access to files / folders.
    Never tried turning the computer off before a scheduled backup :)
    Acronis and other similar products.
    USB hardisk / backup pack may well include the software, sort of like
    Our Take on Maxtor OneTouch Backup: Is It Right for You?

    There are quite a few similar products, or there was last time I looked. for backup products and read / compare features yourself.

    It's been a while but even an old version of Ghost (Explorer) lets you
    restore individual files.
    Would usually go for either of those. Both product sites list the
    features. for backup products above and read / compare features

    Like this, use the extra words compare / review in your search.
    Results 1 - 10 of about 1,580,000 for
    review east-tec backup
    .. (0.32 seconds)

    East-Tec Backup 2008 Shareware download and review - backup your ...
    East-Tec Backup 2008 is a personal backup tool that enables you to
    create tasks to automatically m. - Cached - Similar -
    East-Tec Backup 2006 Review - East-Tec Backup 2006 Download ...
    Stay Safe And Backup Your Data! East-Tec Backup 2006 is here. By Codrut
    Nistor, Editor, Software Reviews. 16th of October 2006, 12:42 GMT.
    Adjust text size: ... -
    Cached - Similar -
    East-Tec Backup 2009 : Reviews and Awards
    East-Tec Backup 2009 backs up and protects your important files,
    documents, emails, photos, program settings, and more. It is very easy
    to use and features ... - Cached - Similar -

    Another search
    Results 1 - 10 of about 1,130,000 for compare
    acronis paragon
    .. (0.23 seconds)

    Wow, found this
    2009 Disk Imaging Software Review Product Comparisons

    You get the idea, you did a lot of initial work take it a bit further.

    why?, Aug 31, 2009
  4. Wao

    Wao Guest

    I actually have a Seagate hard disk but I couldn't manage to find a full
    version of Acronis True Image Home on the Seagate website. On the other
    hand, I've found a version that lets the user make an image of an entire
    disk or partition. I've also found a version for Seagate external hard disks
    that can back up selected files but it doesn't seem to be able to work with
    DVDs. Could you, please, tell me if there is an Acronis version capable of
    making backups of user selected files and being able to burn DVDs on the
    Seagate website?

    Thank you in advance.
    Wao, Sep 1, 2009
  5. Wao

    Wao Guest

    Thank you for those links, Paul!

    I'm going to give them a try asap.

    In the meantime, I have found a software solution called GFI Backup Home
    2009 ( ) but I have not tried it as yet.
    Wao, Sep 1, 2009
  6. Wao

    Wao Guest

    Thank you for answering my question!
    I'm actually considering a solution like that. As a home and SOHO computer
    user we make or edit very few files over the week so what I have been doing
    until now is hand picking all the files that need to be backed up and then
    burning them to a DVD. Doing that is more annoying than time consuming. The
    reason why I'm considering a dedicated backup software is that I recently
    realized that our last backup was about six months old which is no good.
    Also, I first considered only backing up data but, maybe, going for an
    external USB hard disk and making system images would be a better backup
    choice. I do not know... Reinstalling all the software after a system crash
    may be a bit time consuming but it helps making sure there's no viruses or
    other nasty pieces of software residing in our computer.
    Both those software suites seem quite feature packed and they seem to have
    many positive reviews all over the Internet.

    I may be wrong, but for what I've seen, it is easier to restore a system
    image than individual files with those programs. Am I right? I have not
    installed any of their 30-day trial offerings.
    I have found a piece of software named GFI Backup Home 2009 which seems good
    enough for data backups saved on DVDs.

    ( )
    That's a very interesting comparative, thanks!
    I also found out a couple more pieces of software that may be good enough
    for our needs. They're:

    Genie Timeline
    ( )

    Genie Backup Manager Home v8.0
    ( )

    So many choices plus all the different features to compare are appalling to
    me. Are any of those software packages more likely to present
    incompatibilities with Windows Vista or Windows Seven? I read somewhere that
    some of those programs have software dependencies which may or may not pose
    a problem after an update which is something I do not fully grasp.
    Wao, Sep 1, 2009
  7. Wao

    XS11E Guest
    XS11E, Sep 1, 2009
  8. Wao

    why? Guest

    For that sort of thing, I use WinRAR and a batch file / fixed file input
    list to check for modified files. Gets rid of the pick by hand.
    Then DVD.
    With MS Schedular and auto dating files makes it a non issue.
    True :)
    2 USB drives? Modified files and images.

    Full images as frequently as needed on a rotating basis, before / after
    major patching / installs and just regular schedule for safety.
    It is, which is why I have PC as supplied from vendor image, my apps and
    config image. Every so often it's worth doing restore from vendor and
    make a new app image with the latest versions only.
    That's the reqular checked and updated AV CD, a clean build and that
    updates to latest AV/FW.
    Ghost easy either way.
    Acronis is data backup, haven't tried it for images.

    That's why I have Ghost, Acronis and WinRAR + batch files to do things.
    I would hope not, you can only keep checking the vendor / manufacturer
    sites and search the newsgroups.
    Such as? Of course that's a risk with any app having to install some MS
    library or something.

    why?, Sep 1, 2009
  9. Wao

    Wao Guest

    Thank you for that link!

    I already read the user's manual for this software (Seagate DiscWizard by
    Acronis) where it seems to indicate that this software only backs up entire
    partitions, but it lets restore single files. On the plus side it lets me
    use DVDs for creating the disk image.

    I also found out another tool called GFI Backup Home 2009 ( ) which lets me back up
    selected files and folders -user data- and it's free to use. Which combined
    with the Seagate's tool may prove a rather good, inexpensive, solution. I
    have to try this software yet.

    On the "commercial side" I found a couple tools made by Genie which look
    rather intersting:

    Genie Timeline ( )
    Genie Backup Manager Home v8.0 ( )
    Wao, Sep 1, 2009
  10. Wao

    Wao Guest

    Thanks for all the input!

    After a lot of "googling" I ended up with the conclusion that Acronis True
    Image Home is the most preferred piece of backup software nowadays. Since
    you own, both, Acronis and Norton Ghost which one do you prefer and why?

    I realize that there are a lot of backup offerings so this is taking me a
    while to pick one up. Sadly, I cannot afford more than one backup program.
    Wao, Sep 1, 2009
  11. Wao

    why? Guest

    From many years ago the 1 choice was basically Ghost for images, not
    expensive, fast and used it a lot at work so knew it would do the job at

    I think 1 year I decided not to u/g Ghost and a magazine cover CD had
    Acronis for 50% discount. I do need to try it for images / boot DVD
    recovery one day.
    There were some gripes about Acronis a while ago, again old posts in
    Can't remember all that I said, but it related to SATA drivers and same
    question in the Acronis forum.

    It was something silly like boot CD recovery console basic mode saw the
    sata drive but not the usb external, while advanced mode no sata but the
    usb was visible. Not a big issue but annoying not having a clean image
    from a laptop as supplied from vendor without having to run Windows

    I just went for the £10 GBP acronis u/g to Home 2009 version. Need to
    try the sata/usb thing again. Having ignored thier first few u/g emails
    the last was too good an offer.

    In fact that may be a good idea, browse through the product support
    forums check for issues with current version.

    why?, Sep 2, 2009
  12. Wao

    Wao Guest

    There were some gripes about Acronis a while ago, again old posts in
    The problem I have found with searching for user reviews of all the
    different backup software is that it seems like all programs have a lot of
    bugs now... I figure this is not possible and this kind of software must be
    all good but that makes me having a hard time making a decision. It makes me
    think like the different software developers (this is just a supposition,
    not an statement!) are writing poor reviews of their peer programs. Or in
    other words, I have came across complains about Norton Ghost, Acronis True
    Image, Paragon, Genie, etc.
    Does this still happen?

    Have you tried all the different features included in Acronis?

    I figure you have no direct experience with Norton Ghost 14?
    That's a good idea! Thanks!
    Wao, Sep 2, 2009
  13. Wao

    why? Guest

    Some do / some don't as much. It's the same with any software.

    Haven't tried since the TI Home 2009 u/g it was only 3 weeks ago. I do
    like the Acronis tasks however.
    No, would need a system rebuild for that, 4 different hardisks , no
    extra connections for clone/add and no space to even consider secure
    zone. This will be setup from scratch on a new PC if I can afford it :-(
    The 1 thing I remember about Ghost was it was fast and easy to use from
    boot disks and across LAN setup.

    No, but I could check at work, although now days it's built into the
    imaging script / DVD build.

    v14 event triggers look interesting and GD no, oh well.

    why?, Sep 2, 2009
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