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HDD backup recommendation?

Discussion in 'Computer Related Help & Discussion' started by pachinkofan, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. pachinkofan

    pachinkofan Well-Known Member


    other day I had a loose cable meaning the pc at first gave me a HDD read error, then a no HDD found error.
    Anyway, once I'd fixed it I realised I've only got the pictures etc backed up to my external hard drive and was looking for a recommendation on a program to use to mirror the c: drive.

    Basically I want to be able to reinstall the system I have at the moment as it was the day I backed it up when it does die and I buy a new HDD for the gf's pc to start it going again.

    Needs to have raw access etc, and not worry about file permissions like a couple of the programs I've been trying have had do [i.e. it basically came back and went "can't copy this users files as you're not allowed to see them" though maybe that was the fact I wasn't running it in admin, and willing to spend some cash, but thought I'd ask first as the only time I've transferred the full HDD was when the original was still working and I was transferring it to a larger system drive in a new pc.

  2. Bob Maddison

    Bob Maddison Well-Known Member

    ViceVersa will do all you ask. You can back up the whole HD (including 'open' files), or just one folder
  3. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    If you're running any Microsoft OS from Vista onwards then you can make a "system image" using Windows own backup and restore facility located in control panel.

  4. Bob Maddison

    Bob Maddison Well-Known Member

    Whilst you can make a 'system image' in Windows, in ViceVersa, once you have made a back up on an external HD, subsequent updating can be very quick as only files that have changed are actually copied. Unchanged files are left as they are. It can be set to add new or changed files to the copy, or to simply mirror the original, deleting the older files.

    I keep 4 separate back up files on 2 HDs and only update the oldest. That way I always have three 'good' copies at any time. This also means that I revert to any earlier file version such as pre-updates of programs / utilities / configurations.
  5. pachinkofan

    pachinkofan Well-Known Member

    Sorry, forgot to mention it was XP we're on at the moment.
    Will go check ViceVersa out.
    Checked out, now free or pro version?

    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013
  6. Bob Maddison

    Bob Maddison Well-Known Member

    I use the pro version ($60), but is worth trying the free version first, although this is actually only a 30 day trial. There is also an upgrade to Pro Plus which I haven't tried as the Pro version does all I need.
  7. pachinkofan

    pachinkofan Well-Known Member

    Well, tried it yesterday evening, and almost straight away got an error on the pagefile sys saying it couldn't copy it as it was in use, so I'll maybe try the old western digital hdd manager etc that just grabs a hard drive on boot up / dos and does it that way.

    All this just so I can transfer to hdd and get it to boot up like nothing's happened ;)

    Don't get me wrong, I can backup all the regular stuff [synctoy] but would be nice to not have to install all the programs etc again.

    Well, ended up going with the previous version of Acronis True Image.

    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  8. Bob Maddison

    Bob Maddison Well-Known Member

    When using ViceVersa you need to use Volume Shadow Copy (VSS) if you want to copy active files. Just go to "change profile settings" - "Advanced". You need to do this whatever method you use to copy any active file such a an OS file. If you have any large files (and you probably will), there is a size limit. You can bypass this by typing in \\?\ before the normal address for the source and target (i.e.: \\?\C:\. . . .) I believe this might be a permanent feature of the more recent versions of VV.

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