I always get a good feeling inside when I can help someone get a dead computer up and running or remove some malware that has rendered their PC virtually inoperable. The worst times in the computer business are when a hard drive fails and there is no backup. It doesn’t matter who this happens to, family, friend, customer, it’s one of the worst feelings in the world. With so much personal information, family pictures, and music being stored on the computer these days, it’s not really any different than losing personal items in a fire or flood. It can be devastating. Although data recovery is more affordable than it has been in the past, it’s just so much easier and less expensive to perform routine backups.
Sadly, most people still don’t have a backup solution. Even if you just copy your personal files to an external hard drive once per month, it would be better than nothing. The real problem is that most people still don’t understand data storage; it’s all just magic to many computer users.
In my experience, the best solution is a product that is easy to configure and does the job quietly in the background. It should have an indicator that it is working though, or disaster is still right around the corner.
For Windows servers I use R-Drive Image from R-Tools. This is low cost disk imaging software that runs on Windows Server and allows me to get email alerts if the backup has failed. When you provide remote support you rely on others to manage the backup disks and you don’t want to find out when it’s too late that someone forgot to connect the backup drive. The image is also the same image that is created by the software we use for our data recovery business. Another great program from R-Tools called R-Studio.
When people ask what I use for personal computers, I tell them about Acronis True Image. Not only do I use this product for my personal computers, but I have been using Acronis to image a computer for backup and to upgrade desktop hard drives for years. Acronis backup, restore, and recovery products are so revolutionary that the top 2 hard drive manufacturers in the world offer their customers limited versions of Acronis disk cloning software when they purchase a new hard drive. It’s easy enough to use that almost any home user could replace their own hard drive.
With Acronis True Image , you can schedule your computer to do a full backup every night, automatically. With Acronis, you can do full image backups and restore your computer, even to a new hard drive. Your PC will magically boot up with all of your software installed and working just the way it was before the crash or accident. Another amazing accomplishment by Acronis is the ability to restore your existing operating system, software, settings, files, and configuration to a brand new computer. If you have ever tried this in the past, chances are you ran into the notorious blue screen of death. Now with Acronis True Image you can restore to dissimilar hardware, and it adds support for Windows Dynamic Disks too.
If you need a portable backup drive, which is good when you rotate backup media, I have been using Toshiba Canvio II drives for a few years. For Desktop hard drives I use the Toshiba Desktop Model.
I know from personal experience that these products work.