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[Discuss] How do Linux guys back up Windows?

> From: at [mailto:discuss-
> at] On Behalf Of David Kramer
> Windows,
> on the other hand, is more than a collection of files.  It has magical
> things in special places, 

There are lots of ghost-like products out there, some are even free or cheap.  But there's only one I've ever been satisfied with, and it is Acronis TrueImage Home.  If you get it, you should get the bundle including Plus Pack, and the cost is $40.  

My requirements basically are to be as similar as possible to Time Machine.  Complete system backups with optional excludes, running in the background with low priority so users don't notice or complain about performance.  At least daily, if not hourly.  Self-maintaining the disk space on the backup volume.  Ability to self-service restore individual files, or boot from rescue media to restore the whole system.

They don't tell you this, but why do you care about the plus pack?  So you can boot from the media and create a backup while the OS isn't running.  For a company, this is a very useful feature:  Install the OS once, including all the drivers and standard issue applications (7-zip, MS antivirus, etc) create a backup that doesn't include any license keys in it.  Later, restore this image onto new systems and then just apply the machine-specific settings such as licensed software and stuff.  Including True Image.

Some other products I've used were Image for Windows, Ghost Corporate, Paragon (whatever it's called), and recently somebody suggested trying DriveImage XML.  I haven't tried it yet, so I don't know that one...

My complaints about the others were:  Ghost, 2 yrs ago, could only run while the system is off. So you schedule your backup to run, and it needs to reboot in order to create the image.  Paragon was confusing as hell, and very work intensive while running.  Image for Windows did a good job, but (2 yrs ago) it computes the daily incrementals by doing awhole new full backup, diff'ing with the old whole one (which means transferring the whole image across the network) and only storing the new diff.  Very time consuming and resource intensive.

Acronis doesn't have any of those problems.

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