Backup data as an image?

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  08 August 2013
Backup data as an image?

I'm just wondering when people are backing up their data, do they back it up as an image or do they copy the actual files onto an external HDD?

I'm just wondering because I heard that sometimes when you want to recover a drive, the image of a backed up HDD can fail to recover.

Is there a better option?
  08 August 2013
It depends on the kind of backup that you're looking for. If you want to backup a complete system including applications, configuration files, drivers, and all that then you would want to create an image of the entire disk (or partition).

If you're talking about projects and multimedia then you don't want to use disk/partition images because they will be very large and cumbersome to work with. In that case it would be best to backup individual files and directories with a utility.

If you're on Mac or Linux check out rsync, if you're on Windows check out robocopy. They are command line utilities that can clone directories and files from one location to another but keep metadata like modified dates and file permissions intact. Only files changed since the last backup will be cloned. They can also be scheduled to run using cron on Mac and Linux or the Task Scheduler in Windows.
  08 August 2013
Thanks again olson for your reply, you have helped me a lot.

I guess I'm not bothered about applications. The main things I'm worried about are the backplates or footage and Maya projects. The drive I would backup is where I keep all that and music and media, as the applications are on another.

I took a quick look at Robocopy cause using windows, I'm just wondering if there's an alternative. Also I was planning to get an WD external, so would Westrn digital backup software be better?
  08 August 2013
Originally Posted by Darkherow: I took a quick look at Robocopy cause using windows, I'm just wondering if there's an alternative. Also I was planning to get an WD external, so would Westrn digital backup software be better?

Yes, there are alternatives. Many, many alternatives. It depends on your definition of better. Here's a tiny fraction of what's out there. Most of it is crap in my opinion.

I like the command line utilities (rsync or robocopy) because they're free, already installed, very customizable, high performance, and they'll be around forever so you don't have to find/buy a new piece of crap software every two years when you reinstall or get a new machine.

Do yourself a favor and take the hour to learn how to use robocopy. You'll thank yourself down the road, and who knows, you might find a bunch of other command line utilities that make your life a lot easier.
  08 August 2013
You can use Acronis True Image.
  08 August 2013
Thanks for the replys. Robocopy looks good and I'll continue to look it over. I prefer to have a hard copy of the files.
Okmijun is Acronis True Image good? Are image backup good as I've heard they can go wrong and won't recover should you need to.
  08 August 2013
I would agree with olson, most of it is crap... rsync is alright, and acronis is ok too..., but for disk imaging, just learn to use DISM and put your system images on an external USB drive. it's easy once you learn how and totally free and stable.

It's a part of the Windows ADK found here:
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  08 August 2013
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