Discussion:
Any backup programs that do not store in proprietary formats?
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T
2018-05-01 00:08:04 UTC
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Hi All,

I am looking for a backup program (paid or free) that will
store its archives in a non-proprietary format. I other words,
it can store its archives in a format that ANY file manager
can read.

I am basically looking for a replacement for Cobian Backup,
which is abandon ware.

I have tested Macrium Reflect, which is a sweet package, but
their tech support has verified that they can only store
in their proprietary format, so they are out.

You guys have a favorite that archives in a non-proprietary
format?


Many thanks,
-T
Paul
2018-05-01 01:01:46 UTC
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Post by T
Hi All,
I am looking for a backup program (paid or free) that will
store its archives in a non-proprietary format. I other words,
it can store its archives in a format that ANY file manager
can read.
I am basically looking for a replacement for Cobian Backup,
which is abandon ware.
I have tested Macrium Reflect, which is a sweet package, but
their tech support has verified that they can only store
in their proprietary format, so they are out.
You guys have a favorite that archives in a non-proprietary
format?
Many thanks,
-T
So what's your preferred output format ? TAR (Tape Archive) ?

Remember that a typical commercial backup program in 2018,
uses VSS, and it makes an inventory of clusters. Then, on
a good day, it sequentially accesses the clusters, for least
wear and tear on the drive. Now, given the access pattern,
what kind of output format would you expect ? No, Scotty, it
isn't a friendly format.

It can't be TAR, as TAR is "file-sequential" and the disk
heads would have to fly all over the place during TAR construction.
If a file was fragmented, TAR would make the disk heads fly
all over and capture the file. Whereas one of the twenty or
so VSS based programs, would capture the clusters in
ascending-LBA-number order.

https://www.raymond.cc/blog/10-commercial-disk-imaging-software-features-and-backuprestore-speed-comparison/

(I tried DriveImage XML mentioned on that page some time ago,
and like RaymondCC says, it's dog slow compared to the rest.)

Robocopy can copy files, but while I've used it for FAT32 boot
drives (because there's no permissions to speak of, just a few
attributes), Robocopy may not be able to nicely handle Junction
Points or whatever. Robocopy isn't touted as a file-by-file
backup program.

You could examine a program like Retrospect, which back in its
day was a file-by-file intended to drive a physical tape
drive. The last copy I bought of that (a ton of years ago),
would also back up to a hard drive. At one time, it had
a 2GB size limit for output hard drives, but that was
probably fixed, as the person I set that up for the last
time was using a 40GB output drive.

Macrium has an option to convert from MRIMG to VHD.
VHD can be mounted in a number of virtual machine environments.
VHD is mount-able in Windows (even in WinXP as long as your
C: is NTFS and you have a copy of VHDTool). VHD can be
parsed by 7ZIP archiver, if you need random file access, but
I've been noticing lately that a lot of my VHD files
seem to have a geometry declaration that upsets 7ZIP
and prevents traversal.

Ghost probably wouldn't be any good - the older versions
might be file by file, but the output is likely proprietary.
I think there was some sort of "Viewer" so you could see
and extract individual files.

You could probably kinda-sorta backup to TAR, but you'd need
to run an ICACLS from top to bottom of the drive, to capture
all the permissions properly, and store that file on the
partition before backup. You would have to be certifiable
nuts to try this.

I'm not going to claim it's un-possible, what you're asking,
but it's getting damn close.

Many of the backup programs have a mounter for their output file,
that gives random access to the captures partition(s). Ghost had
that. Acronis had that. Macrium has it.

Maybe your needs are somehow legal and not technical ?
Personally, as long as a format is "recoverable" and
has a verify, and has a few viewing options, I'm pretty
happy.

A non-proprietary format would be "dd", a sector-by-sector
image of the drive. If you zero the white space on each
partition before capture, I have a block compressor that
runs at 300MB/sec that will remove all the zeroed areas
of the disk from the archive, and reduce the amount of stored
info to about the same size as Macrium ("just the clusters with files").
But I doubt you'd appreciate my programming talents :-/

*******

The built-in Windows backup stores each partition as a
separate VHD file. Leaving to the imagination how the
MBR and first track are stored.

*******

It's possible to do a VSS freeze of a volume from user-land.
Maybe you'll be writing this mythical "friendly" backup yourself ?

I could certainly do it with "dd" here, but only with gales
of laughter from the audience here. My "dd" method exists as
a "reference platform", like if I had nothing and I was dialing
in a second method, and I wanted "insurance", one of my "dd"
methods would provide that insurance. The first backup program
I dialed in, "dd" was the emergency restore method in my
plan. I had a "dd image" of the drive before I started.

Retrospect has a trial. With sales contact info, of course.

https://www.retrospect.com/en/store/trial?locale=en

(600 page user manual, doubles as a sales guide. Modular,
"charge charge charge" for plugins design. Our IT department
used this stuff at one time, and slogging through the manual
is an experience. It took two solid days of scripting on the
Mac, to setup a complete backup run there. It took 12 pages
of written notes, to explain to an end-user the steps to look
for when doing a Windows backup.

http://download.retrospect.com/docs/win/v15/user_guide/Retrospect_Win_User_Guide-EN.pdf

The average backup product has a 150-200 page manual, so you can
tell from the size of the Retrospect manual (3x the competition)
just what it's like. Still, it's possible you'll find the trial
amusing. You never know.

I couldn't find details on the Retrospect output format today.
The product may have changed hands a time or two since I used it.

Paul
T
2018-05-01 01:16:31 UTC
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Post by Paul
So what's your preferred output format ? TAR (Tape Archive) ?
Hi Paul,

Tar...Chuckle. Preferred archive: anything I can read with Thunar!

:-)

Wow! That was a write up! I will have to read it
through several times! Thank you!

I still use Tar for certain things. Dump/xfsdump/restore/xfsrestore
for a some things too, but this is Windows, so ...

-T
Stan Brown
2018-05-03 02:25:58 UTC
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Post by Paul
Robocopy can copy files, but while I've used it for FAT32 boot
drives (because there's no permissions to speak of, just a few
attributes), Robocopy may not be able to nicely handle Junction
Points or whatever. Robocopy isn't touted as a file-by-file
backup program.
I think of it more for synchronizing than for backups.

The array of options is dizzying, but fortunately you can store the
ones you always use.

One that I stored is /XJ, skip junctions.
--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
http://BrownMath.com/
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
Shikata ga nai...
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2018-05-01 01:43:22 UTC
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Post by T
Hi All,
I am looking for a backup program (paid or free) that will
store its archives in a non-proprietary format. I other words,
it can store its archives in a format that ANY file manager
can read.
[]
Going to be difficult, if you want to be able to back up your boot
sector/partition table/MFT for restoration after disaster; I don't think
conventional file managers (e. g. Windows Explorer) dead with those.

If it's just the _data_ part (in my case, the D: partition), then I find
SyncToy works as well as any (and certainly what it produces is readable
with Explorer or anything similar, since it basically just does a copy
(just speeds the process, if you're backing up to somewhere you have
already backed up to previously, by only dealing with what's changed
since last time).
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

I love the way Microsoft follows standards. In much the same manner that fish
follow migrating caribou. - Paul Tomblin, cited by "The Real Bev", 2017-2-18.
T
2018-05-01 01:51:19 UTC
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Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by T
Hi All,
I am looking for a backup program (paid or free) that will
store its archives in a non-proprietary format.  I other words,
it can store its archives in a format that ANY file manager
can read.
[]
Going to be difficult, if you want to be able to back up your boot
sector/partition table/MFT for restoration after disaster; I don't think
conventional file managers (e. g. Windows Explorer) dead with those.
If it's just the _data_ part (in my case, the D: partition), then I find
SyncToy works as well as any (and certainly what it produces is readable
with Explorer or anything similar, since it basically just does a copy
(just speeds the process, if you're backing up to somewhere you have
already backed up to previously, by only dealing with what's changed
since last time).
Just looking for the data.

Thank you!

If I was going to do an image of the whole stinker, I would
use CloneZilla
Roger Blake
2018-05-01 03:05:21 UTC
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Post by T
Just looking for the data.
If you don't need to backup open files you could give Robocopy a try since
it comes with Windows. It does not grok shadow copy but otherwise works
well.
--
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Roger Blake (Posts from Google Groups killfiled due to excess spam.)

NSA sedition and treason -- http://www.DeathToNSAthugs.com
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Badges don't grant extra rights -- http://www.CopBlock.org
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Paul
2018-05-01 04:38:16 UTC
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Post by Roger Blake
Post by T
Just looking for the data.
If you don't need to backup open files you could give Robocopy a try since
it comes with Windows. It does not grok shadow copy but otherwise works
well.
Isn't there some way to create a shadow as a separate step ?
It doesn't say here though, whether the results had any
integrity or not.

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/9104795/how-to-use-volume-shadows-copy-and-robocopy-on-win7

That's one of the problems I have with backup/clone, is no
handy utility to determine whether all file system features
were successfully reproduced or not. I suppose it's too much,
to expect such a thing to exist.

Paul
Roger Blake
2018-05-01 16:46:24 UTC
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Post by Paul
Isn't there some way to create a shadow as a separate step ?
It doesn't say here though, whether the results had any
integrity or not.
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/9104795/how-to-use-volume-shadows-copy-and-robocopy-on-win7
Interesting, will have to look at that. I have used a shadow copy aware
program called "hobocopy" (https://github.com/candera/hobocopy) to squirrel
away a copy of open files, then use robocopy for the primary backup to
external media.

Hobocopy has since been replaced by "shadowspawn", which mounts a shadow
copy as a drive letter (https://github.com/candera/shadowspawn), but I
have not tried that one yet.
--
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Roger Blake (Posts from Google Groups killfiled due to excess spam.)

NSA sedition and treason -- http://www.DeathToNSAthugs.com
Don't talk to cops! -- http://www.DontTalkToCops.com
Badges don't grant extra rights -- http://www.CopBlock.org
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Stan Brown
2018-05-03 02:29:39 UTC
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Post by Paul
Post by Roger Blake
Post by T
Just looking for the data.
If you don't need to backup open files you could give Robocopy a try since
it comes with Windows. It does not grok shadow copy but otherwise works
well.
Isn't there some way to create a shadow as a separate step ?
It doesn't say here though, whether the results had any
integrity or not.
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/9104795/how-to-use-volume-shadows-copy-and-robocopy-on-win7
The questioner in that article says that Robocopy can't copy open
files. I'm skeptical of that statement.

When I've updated my batch file that calls Robocopy, it gets copied
just fine. My password manager data file, which is always open, also
gets copied just fine.
--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
http://BrownMath.com/
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
Shikata ga nai...
mike
2018-05-03 04:11:07 UTC
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Post by Stan Brown
Post by Paul
Post by Roger Blake
Post by T
Just looking for the data.
If you don't need to backup open files you could give Robocopy a try since
it comes with Windows. It does not grok shadow copy but otherwise works
well.
Isn't there some way to create a shadow as a separate step ?
It doesn't say here though, whether the results had any
integrity or not.
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/9104795/how-to-use-volume-shadows-copy-and-robocopy-on-win7
The questioner in that article says that Robocopy can't copy open
files. I'm skeptical of that statement.
When I've updated my batch file that calls Robocopy, it gets copied
just fine. My password manager data file, which is always open, also
gets copied just fine.
I think the problem arises when you're WRITING the file at the same
time that it's being robocopied.
dadiOH
2018-05-01 11:37:14 UTC
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Post by T
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by T
Hi All,
I am looking for a backup program (paid or free) that will
store its archives in a non-proprietary format. I other words,
it can store its archives in a format that ANY file manager
can read.
[]
Going to be difficult, if you want to be able to back up your boot
sector/partition table/MFT for restoration after disaster; I don't think
conventional file managers (e. g. Windows Explorer) dead with those.
If it's just the _data_ part (in my case, the D: partition), then I find
SyncToy works as well as any (and certainly what it produces is readable
with Explorer or anything similar, since it basically just does a copy
(just speeds the process, if you're backing up to somewhere you have
already backed up to previously, by only dealing with what's changed
since last time).
Just looking for the data.
For unpacked data I use Karen's Replicator. If I wanted it packed, I'd use
WinRar.
mike
2018-05-01 04:20:39 UTC
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Post by T
Hi All,
I am looking for a backup program (paid or free) that will
store its archives in a non-proprietary format. I other words,
it can store its archives in a format that ANY file manager
can read.
I am basically looking for a replacement for Cobian Backup,
which is abandon ware.
I have tested Macrium Reflect, which is a sweet package, but
their tech support has verified that they can only store
in their proprietary format, so they are out.
You guys have a favorite that archives in a non-proprietary
format?
Many thanks,
-T
Maybe it would help to learn why you're doing this.
What are you gonna do with the non-proprietary backup when you get it?

A couple of clicks in Macrium will mount the backup and give
you access as a drive letter. What's unacceptable about that?

You could mount the backup and copy the contents into any
format you please.

Remember that Macrium does more than just copy files.
If you click the "create image...required to backup and restore windows"
you also get the boot sector and the reserved sectors.

One particularly useful function for windows 7 is to sysprep it
and backup the sysprepped version.
If your motherboard fails, you can boot the rescue CD and restore the
sysprepped version
to virtually any other motherboard and it will probably boot.
There are probably issues with UEFI, but I don't have any of those
that aren't bricked.
You'll still have to activate, but you haven't lost everything.
I do this about once a year.

Just backup your system before you do this. Sysprep will modify your
system and you'll have to go thru the new install setup/configuration.
Restoring the backup is simpler.

Which brings up the other elephant in the room.
How do you test your backups to make sure they worked?
It's good to do that at least once when you switch backup methods.
I restore the backup to a blank HD.
Doesn't do any good to have a bad backup that just destroyed your
working system.

It's never as simple as it oughta be...
T
2018-05-01 06:05:39 UTC
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Post by mike
A couple of clicks in Macrium will mount the backup and give
you access as a drive letter.  What's unacceptable about that?
Not what I was meaning.


What I am after is if a disaster happends and you want to
recover files from your backups, I want to be able to do
it with any file manager.

Macrium requires Macrium to recover.
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2018-05-01 22:31:46 UTC
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Post by T
Post by mike
A couple of clicks in Macrium will mount the backup and give
you access as a drive letter.  What's unacceptable about that?
Not what I was meaning.
What I am after is if a disaster happends and you want to
recover files from your backups, I want to be able to do
it with any file manager.
Macrium requires Macrium to recover.
If disaster strikes, meaning your only HD dies (if it's a laptop it
usually only has space for one HD), then the first thing you'll need to
do is get a working system back. This means, if you don't have a way
(Macrium or similar) of restoring the OS from image, you've got to find
an OS install disc, install it, activate it, get all the updates,
reinstall all the additional software (you do have the install files,
don't you?), then tweak everything back to how you like it, assuming you
can even remember what those tweaks were and how to do them. THEN you
can reload your _data_ from your any-file-manager backup.

If you have an imaging system such as Macrium, you NEED a boot CD in
order to restore the image. (I can't stress this enough! I _always_ make
my backup images by booting from this CD anyway, rather than running -
in my case Macrium - from within Windows. I feel safer that way.)

So, unless you _are_ going to restore the OS (and all the other
software) by the long-winded way anyway, you _will_ have (e. g.) Macrium
anyway - so discarding it for that reason is less valid.

However, I _do_ backup my D: partition using SyncToy (so the backup _is_
readable with ordinary explorer). But I have Macrium anyway, for imaging
C:-plus-hidden. It fits on a mini-CD, which I find easier to keep with
my backup drive. (I could even tape its paper sleeve _to_ the backup
drive, though I haven't.)
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

If you bate your breath do you catch a lung fish? (Glynn Greenwood 1996-8-23.)
mike
2018-05-02 08:00:58 UTC
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Post by T
Post by mike
A couple of clicks in Macrium will mount the backup and give
you access as a drive letter. What's unacceptable about that?
Not what I was meaning.
What I am after is if a disaster happends and you want to
recover files from your backups, I want to be able to do
it with any file manager.
Macrium requires Macrium to recover.
Backup is a lot harder than it looks.

My definition of DISASTER is that the system
is corrupt and won't boot to a viable system.
You absolutely need something like Macrium
to recover from that.
If the system won't run or is held ransom,
You will have to boot something else to get it back.
That something might as well be Macrium, because it works
over a WIDE variation in system configurations.

Most people leave their system as one partition and don't
really have any place to store full backups.
If you put your windows stuff on C: and the rest on D:,
you can backup C: frequently and save more than one iteration.
A Macrium full backup of my C: takes 10GB.

I have a "mike" directory on C:. It contains a directory tree
of all my stuff. There's an "apps" directory that has most of
my applications, mostly portable ones. I use as few MS programs
as possible because they get all tied up in registry entries
and copy protection/activation.
I don't let anything stay in "Users" unless it's absolutely
positively required to be there. Anything that resides in
a default Microsoft directory tree is at risk.

D: can be backed up as files, because they don't interact with the registry.

You cannot just copy system files back and hope it works.

There's another issue that many don't consider.
How does your file backup system determine what to backup?
If you edit a file to change a phone number, does the
backup system know that it changed and needs to be backed up?
File sizes and file dates are unreliable indicators.

If your definition of 'disaster' is that you accidentally
deleted a non-system file, any file backup will do.
But I'd stay off the internet if you expect that to be enough.
NY
2018-05-02 08:35:09 UTC
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Post by mike
There's another issue that many don't consider.
How does your file backup system determine what to backup?
If you edit a file to change a phone number, does the
backup system know that it changed and needs to be backed up?
File sizes and file dates are unreliable indicators.
How else would you determine that a file had changed - other than by doing a
byte-for-byte comparison of each file on the main drive versus the one in
the backup, which would be horrendously slow if the change to a file was in
the *last* few bytes of a big file.

I think most backup programs use last-modified time to determine what to
back up.


People are talking about restoring the whole C drive in the event of a
complete HDD failure or corruption. How often do you re-make the system
backup, so as to restore the PC to a recent state rather than one from
several years ago which will then need all the subsequent
additions/deletions/changes re-applying.
mike
2018-05-02 09:22:30 UTC
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Post by NY
Post by mike
There's another issue that many don't consider.
How does your file backup system determine what to backup?
If you edit a file to change a phone number, does the
backup system know that it changed and needs to be backed up?
File sizes and file dates are unreliable indicators.
How else would you determine that a file had changed - other than by
doing a byte-for-byte comparison of each file on the main drive versus
the one in the backup, which would be horrendously slow if the change to
a file was in the *last* few bytes of a big file.
Yes, that's the issue.
Post by NY
I think most backup programs use last-modified time to determine what to
back up.
Keyword: most.
What happens if you move a file? Or copy a file?
It's good to test it.
If you do a manual copy, you get a popup asking if you want to replace
the file. For automatic, silent copies from a random program, I'd test it.
Post by NY
People are talking about restoring the whole C drive in the event of a
complete HDD failure or corruption. How often do you re-make the system
backup, so as to restore the PC to a recent state rather than one from
several years ago which will then need all the subsequent
additions/deletions/changes re-applying.
I'll try to describe it again...
If your C: is small, you can easily do it frequently.
I rarely make changes to my system, so I only do a C: backup
about monthly.
I use Macrium to backup C: to a file on D:
Then I copy that backup file to an external archive drive. If I'm
installing new stuff, I typically back it
up BEFORE I make changes, then again AFTER I've decided that the new
stuff is working properly. Ditto for updates.
System Restore oughta work for that,
but It seems most likely to fail if I don't have a current backup.
I've never needed the archived backup, I can just mount the backup
archive from D: or restore it. If I ever do have a catastrophe, I
feel confident that I have enough stuff saved offline.

For data, I have a thumb drive plugged into the router that gets
mirror copies of all data files I create. That gets sync'd to
D: periodically, and again to an external backup drive periodically.
When the archive gets over 5GB, I copy it
to a DVD.

I have people call me for help when disaster strikes.
They have a terabyte drive with one partition filled to
the brim. They can't back it all up, cuz there's no place to store it.
I can't count the hours I've spent helping people recover systems
that had no backup. They absolutely REFUSE to manage their system
to facilitate frequent backups.
NY
2018-05-02 10:27:22 UTC
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Post by mike
I have people call me for help when disaster strikes.
They have a terabyte drive with one partition filled to
the brim. They can't back it all up, cuz there's no place to store it.
I can't count the hours I've spent helping people recover systems
that had no backup. They absolutely REFUSE to manage their system
to facilitate frequent backups.
I have a 4 TB drive with one partition, which I used for TV recordings,
digital photos, home movies. I don't have a 4 TB backup drive. But... I have
set up several SyncToy folder pairs which back up TV to one backup drive,
digital photos to another, home movies to another, and I backup as and when
I change/add something.

I also backup my Windows Live Mail email folder and I've generated .iaf
files for the various email accounts so I don't need to enter the server
names, usernames/passwords etc. I've only had to resort to the email backup
once when I accidentally deleted a folder within WLM and emptied the recycle
bin before i noticed; copying back was as simple as remaking the folder in
WLM and then dragging/dropping the .eml files (one per message) from the
backup into the folder in WLM.

I really ought to be more disciplined in removing a backup drive and storing
it away from the PC whenever I'm not actually backing up to it, to guard
against fire/theft. At least, even with the drive left plugged in, I'm
guarding against failure of the real drive or deleting from it or corruption
of a file (eg by making a stupid change and not undoing it before saving and
overwriting the good version). If I was doing it properly I'd have the
backup drives in a NAS somewhere and backup to them over SMB using
\\NAS\folder\file notation. But that would mean laying on Ethernet or using
Homeplug devices; I've found that wifi is horrendously slow when backing up
to my laptop, even with good signal strength.
(PeteCresswell)
2018-05-02 14:49:14 UTC
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Post by mike
A couple of clicks in Macrium will mount the backup and give
you access as a drive letter. What's unacceptable about that?
I have switched to Macrium and been using it for a couple years+, but the
problem with all of the database-based backup utilities that I have tried
(including Macrium) is that if, for instance, I have fat-fingered a Word
document, saved it, and only discovered the problem days later I have to
mount a whole bunch of incremental backups and hunt through them one-by-one
looking for a "Good" version of the doc.

What is needed is a presentation of all incremental backups on a file-by-file
basis with all versions of a given file appearing sequentially in a
selectable list.

Not gonna happen, I am sure.... probably for reasons I wouldn't understand
anyhow.

I went to Macrium from a file-based utility called SecondCopy partially
because SC was getting weird on my machine - and Macrium seems to be a really
solid product... but the easy availability of multiple versions of a given
file still calls out to me.
--
Pete Cresswell
mike
2018-05-02 17:59:37 UTC
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Post by (PeteCresswell)
Post by mike
A couple of clicks in Macrium will mount the backup and give
you access as a drive letter. What's unacceptable about that?
I have switched to Macrium and been using it for a couple years+, but the
problem with all of the database-based backup utilities that I have tried
(including Macrium) is that if, for instance, I have fat-fingered a Word
document, saved it, and only discovered the problem days later I have to
mount a whole bunch of incremental backups and hunt through them one-by-one
looking for a "Good" version of the doc.
What is needed is a presentation of all incremental backups on a file-by-file
basis with all versions of a given file appearing sequentially in a
selectable list.
Yep, that's the problem with incrementals.
I quit doing incremental backups decades ago after several failed restore
attempts because the tape for incremental 6 of 15 wouldn't read...

Small OS partition and frequent full backups of that has never let me
down. I cull the backups when I need space, but usually have at least
a dozen spanning several years.
Post by (PeteCresswell)
Not gonna happen, I am sure.... probably for reasons I wouldn't understand
anyhow.
I went to Macrium from a file-based utility called SecondCopy partially
because SC was getting weird on my machine - and Macrium seems to be a really
solid product... but the easy availability of multiple versions of a given
file still calls out to me.
JJ
2018-05-01 06:16:53 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by T
Hi All,
I am looking for a backup program (paid or free) that will
store its archives in a non-proprietary format. I other words,
it can store its archives in a format that ANY file manager
can read.
I am basically looking for a replacement for Cobian Backup,
which is abandon ware.
I have tested Macrium Reflect, which is a sweet package, but
their tech support has verified that they can only store
in their proprietary format, so they are out.
You guys have a favorite that archives in a non-proprietary
format?
Many thanks,
-T
Most file manager support at least ZIP. But if you intend to backup files
including their security attributes, from NTFS drive, ZIP archive is not a
good archive for this - because it doesn't support NTFS extended and
security attributes. The only archives (that I know) which support NTFS
extended and security attributes, are RAR, 7-Zip, and WIM.

Otherwise, any arhive format will do - as long as they support Unicode file
names. i.e. not CAB or ZIP.

If you use ZIP, make sure no file you want to backup, do not contains any
character which is not within ANSI character set.
T
2018-05-01 06:25:22 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by JJ
Post by T
Hi All,
I am looking for a backup program (paid or free) that will
store its archives in a non-proprietary format. I other words,
it can store its archives in a format that ANY file manager
can read.
I am basically looking for a replacement for Cobian Backup,
which is abandon ware.
I have tested Macrium Reflect, which is a sweet package, but
their tech support has verified that they can only store
in their proprietary format, so they are out.
You guys have a favorite that archives in a non-proprietary
format?
Many thanks,
-T
Most file manager support at least ZIP. But if you intend to backup files
including their security attributes, from NTFS drive, ZIP archive is not a
good archive for this - because it doesn't support NTFS extended and
security attributes. The only archives (that I know) which support NTFS
extended and security attributes, are RAR, 7-Zip, and WIM.
Otherwise, any arhive format will do - as long as they support Unicode file
names. i.e. not CAB or ZIP.
If you use ZIP, make sure no file you want to backup, do not contains any
character which is not within ANSI character set.
It doesn't not need to be that fancy.

I do like Macrium, except you have to have Macrium to recover files
Paul
2018-05-01 11:52:18 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by T
Post by JJ
Post by T
Hi All,
I am looking for a backup program (paid or free) that will
store its archives in a non-proprietary format. I other words,
it can store its archives in a format that ANY file manager
can read.
I am basically looking for a replacement for Cobian Backup,
which is abandon ware.
I have tested Macrium Reflect, which is a sweet package, but
their tech support has verified that they can only store
in their proprietary format, so they are out.
You guys have a favorite that archives in a non-proprietary
format?
Many thanks,
-T
Most file manager support at least ZIP. But if you intend to backup files
including their security attributes, from NTFS drive, ZIP archive is not a
good archive for this - because it doesn't support NTFS extended and
security attributes. The only archives (that I know) which support NTFS
extended and security attributes, are RAR, 7-Zip, and WIM.
Otherwise, any arhive format will do - as long as they support Unicode file
names. i.e. not CAB or ZIP.
If you use ZIP, make sure no file you want to backup, do not contains any
character which is not within ANSI character set.
It doesn't not need to be that fancy.
I do like Macrium, except you have to have Macrium to recover files
If you do your Macrium backup in two steps

1) Backup to MRIMG.
2) Use built-in capability to make a VHD file from the MRIMG

the VHD files can be mounted in W7/W8/W10 and randomly accessed.
You don't need Macrium once the VHD is made.

Win7 builtin "Backup" uses VHD as a format.

Win10's version of "Win7 backup" uses VHDX.

The difference is, .vhdx supports differencing
and also holds more than 2.2TB of files. The .vhd
format, you can "declare" a 3TB volume in a .vhd,
but as soon as you "write out" more than 2.2TB of
files, it will fall over. So no matter what the
storage device size is, with .vhd, the limit is
2.2TB of files per archive. The .vhd file itself
cannot be larger than 2.2TB in size (with all the
file clusters stored in it).

The disadvantage of .vhd, is doing a volume restore.
Windows 7 backup knows how to do that, but the .vhd
format in Windows 7 backup is "one .vhd per partition".
Whereas the Macrium .vhd format, is a "disk drive image",
so if a disk had four partitions, all four partitions
as well as the boot track and the MBR would be stored
in a single VHD.

7ZIP can open .vhd files too, but I'm having more and
more trouble as time goes by with this, as I seem to be
getting a lot of "geometry declarations" that 7ZIP
doesn't like. And attempting to clean that up using
VPC2007 "compact" function is wearing a bit thin.
(VirtualBox may have a "compact" too, but they don't
have a full matrix for file type support. VPC2007
causes less damage with things like internal identifiers.)

The OS should be able to "mount" a VHD with fewer issues.

Random access isn't enough. Being able to pick out
single files from a "converted" VHD is nice, but it
does not represent a whole solution. You still need
Macrium to work with MRIMG files for a complete
restore solution.

And if you wanted a VHD to play with, you can try
out "disk2vhd" from Sysinternals. Which uses VSS shadow
copies as far as I know.

*Don't* use the .vhdx tick box, unless you're ready for
it. It's possible a platform may need Hyper-V installed,
before you have some means to mount those. A .vhdx can
hold more than 2.2TB of files, which is about its only
desirable feature. Once you have a .vhdx, *then* what do you
do ? I only have one computer here with SLAT/EPT to
support Hyper-V, and if my "Hyper-V" computer were to
die, I'd be screwed. This is why I'm not interested in
any intellectual investment in Hyper-V. Too "exclusive".
If I happened to have two computers with SLAT/EPT, I'd
be using Hyper-V by now.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/disk2vhd

A subtlety with .vhdx, is if a tool you're using is
actually using differencing, you need *two* files. If
you see a 20KB empty .vhdx and a 2TB .vhdx file,
*keep both of them*. If you ignore the 20KB one
or throw it away, you *can't read* the 2TB one next
to it. If you work with .vhdx, tread carefully.
I think some little test I was trying, I learned
about that the hard way.

If I knew of an actual "good" way to meet your
requirements, I'd have told you by now. I don't think
I have any method that "strictly" meets your
requirement list, and you'd be disappointed.
Lots of backup tools have "Viewers" and that's
about as good as it gets. You can't expect to
forensically preserve permissions, ACLs and all
those gubbins, without a "bag" to hold them in.
When I use TAR as an example, yes, it stored the
metadata back in its era, that the designers thought
would be enough. But that's not enough today.

And now that Microsoft is throwing curve balls
from the mound (allowing users to format NTFS
partitions using cluster sizes larger than 64KB),
you're going to have to be extra careful with
even what "versions" of backup software you're running.
I haven't done any tests yet, to see what backup
tools throw a hissy fit when they see one of those.
WinXP already said "no, thanks" when shown one of those.

Paul
T
2018-05-01 12:48:39 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Paul
Post by T
Post by JJ
Post by T
Hi All,
I am looking for a backup program (paid or free) that will
store its archives in a non-proprietary format.  I other words,
it can store its archives in a format that ANY file manager
can read.
I am basically looking for a replacement for Cobian Backup,
which is abandon ware.
I have tested Macrium Reflect, which is a sweet package, but
their tech support has verified that they can only store
in their proprietary format, so they are out.
You guys have a favorite that archives in a non-proprietary
format?
Many thanks,
-T
Most file manager support at least ZIP. But if you intend to backup files
including their security attributes, from NTFS drive, ZIP archive is not a
good archive for this - because it doesn't support NTFS extended and
security attributes. The only archives (that I know) which support NTFS
extended and security attributes, are RAR, 7-Zip, and WIM.
Otherwise, any arhive format will do - as long as they support Unicode file
names. i.e. not CAB or ZIP.
If you use ZIP, make sure no file you want to backup, do not contains any
character which is not within ANSI character set.
It doesn't not need to be that fancy.
I do like Macrium, except you have to have Macrium to recover files
If you do your Macrium backup in two steps
1) Backup to MRIMG.
2) Use built-in capability to make a VHD file from the MRIMG
the VHD files can be mounted in W7/W8/W10 and randomly accessed.
You don't need Macrium once the VHD is made.
Win7 builtin "Backup" uses VHD as a format.
Win10's version of "Win7 backup" uses VHDX.
The difference is, .vhdx supports differencing
and also holds more than 2.2TB of files. The .vhd
format, you can "declare" a 3TB volume in a .vhd,
but as soon as you "write out" more than 2.2TB of
files, it will fall over. So no matter what the
storage device size is, with .vhd, the limit is
2.2TB of files per archive. The .vhd file itself
cannot be larger than 2.2TB in size (with all the
file clusters stored in it).
The disadvantage of .vhd, is doing a volume restore.
Windows 7 backup knows how to do that, but the .vhd
format in Windows 7 backup is "one .vhd per partition".
Whereas the Macrium .vhd format, is a "disk drive image",
so if a disk had four partitions, all four partitions
as well as the boot track and the MBR would be stored
in a single VHD.
7ZIP can open .vhd files too, but I'm having more and
more trouble as time goes by with this, as I seem to be
getting a lot of "geometry declarations" that 7ZIP
doesn't like. And attempting to clean that up using
VPC2007 "compact" function is wearing a bit thin.
(VirtualBox may have a "compact" too, but they don't
have a full matrix for file type support. VPC2007
causes less damage with things like internal identifiers.)
The OS should be able to "mount" a VHD with fewer issues.
Random access isn't enough. Being able to pick out
single files from a "converted" VHD is nice, but it
does not represent a whole solution. You still need
Macrium to work with MRIMG files for a complete
restore solution.
And if you wanted a VHD to play with, you can try
out "disk2vhd" from Sysinternals. Which uses VSS shadow
copies as far as I know.
*Don't* use the .vhdx tick box, unless you're ready for
it. It's possible a platform may need Hyper-V installed,
before you have some means to mount those. A .vhdx can
hold more than 2.2TB of files, which is about its only
desirable feature. Once you have a .vhdx, *then* what do you
do ? I only have one computer here with SLAT/EPT to
support Hyper-V, and if my "Hyper-V" computer were to
die, I'd be screwed. This is why I'm not interested in
any intellectual investment in Hyper-V. Too "exclusive".
If I happened to have two computers with SLAT/EPT, I'd
be using Hyper-V by now.
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/disk2vhd
A subtlety with .vhdx, is if a tool you're using is
actually using differencing, you need *two* files. If
you see a 20KB empty .vhdx and a 2TB .vhdx file,
*keep both of them*. If you ignore the 20KB one
or throw it away, you *can't read* the 2TB one next
to it. If you work with .vhdx, tread carefully.
I think some little test I was trying, I learned
about that the hard way.
If I knew of an actual "good" way to meet your
requirements, I'd have told you by now. I don't think
I have any method that "strictly" meets your
requirement list, and you'd be disappointed.
Lots of backup tools have "Viewers" and that's
about as good as it gets. You can't expect to
forensically preserve permissions, ACLs and all
those gubbins, without a "bag" to hold them in.
When I use TAR as an example, yes, it stored the
metadata back in its era, that the designers thought
would be enough. But that's not enough today.
And now that Microsoft is throwing curve balls
from the mound (allowing users to format NTFS
partitions using cluster sizes larger than 64KB),
you're going to have to be extra careful with
even what "versions" of backup software you're running.
I haven't done any tests yet, to see what backup
tools throw a hissy fit when they see one of those.
WinXP already said "no, thanks" when shown one of those.
   Paul
Thank you!
T
2018-05-01 06:57:11 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by T
Hi All,
I am looking for a backup program (paid or free) that will
store its archives in a non-proprietary format.  I other words,
it can store its archives in a format that ANY file manager
can read.
I am basically looking for a replacement for Cobian Backup,
which is abandon ware.
I have tested Macrium Reflect, which is a sweet package, but
their tech support has verified that they can only store
in their proprietary format, so they are out.
You guys have a favorite that archives in a non-proprietary
format?
Many thanks,
-T
Any of you guys have any experience with KLS?
http://kls-soft.com/main/index.php
Paul
2018-05-01 12:19:38 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by T
Post by T
Hi All,
I am looking for a backup program (paid or free) that will
store its archives in a non-proprietary format. I other words,
it can store its archives in a format that ANY file manager
can read.
I am basically looking for a replacement for Cobian Backup,
which is abandon ware.
I have tested Macrium Reflect, which is a sweet package, but
their tech support has verified that they can only store
in their proprietary format, so they are out.
You guys have a favorite that archives in a non-proprietary
format?
Many thanks,
-T
Any of you guys have any experience with KLS?
http://kls-soft.com/main/index.php
Looking at screen shots on the web site, it seems to be able to
back up the C: drive. Couldn't find a PDF manual.

You'll probably have to install a trial, to figure
out what good it is. Since the output is your
preferred ZIP format, this could be a contender.

Paul
T
2018-05-01 08:04:25 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by T
Hi All,
I am looking for a backup program (paid or free) that will
store its archives in a non-proprietary format.  I other words,
it can store its archives in a format that ANY file manager
can read.
I am basically looking for a replacement for Cobian Backup,
which is abandon ware.
I have tested Macrium Reflect, which is a sweet package, but
their tech support has verified that they can only store
in their proprietary format, so they are out.
You guys have a favorite that archives in a non-proprietary
format?
Many thanks,
-T
How about Backup4all?

http://www.backup4all.com/
Paul
2018-05-01 12:04:49 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by T
Post by T
Hi All,
I am looking for a backup program (paid or free) that will
store its archives in a non-proprietary format. I other words,
it can store its archives in a format that ANY file manager
can read.
I am basically looking for a replacement for Cobian Backup,
which is abandon ware.
I have tested Macrium Reflect, which is a sweet package, but
their tech support has verified that they can only store
in their proprietary format, so they are out.
You guys have a favorite that archives in a non-proprietary
format?
Many thanks,
-T
How about Backup4all?
http://www.backup4all.com/
That's not an OS backup tool.

That's a file-by-file tool, similar to the Win10
version of Windows 7 backup, that has a file-by-file
option in it. Windows 7 backup in Win10 makes
a series of "200MB ZIP files" to hold the output.

That's great for backing up your Todd\Downloads folder,
and not a candidate for System32 or WinSXS or other
touchy places.

"If it outputs ZIP, it's not for the OS goodies."

A company doing a file-by-file tool, has to be
*damn good* to keep up with the Microsoft innovation
rate. I don't know if Microsoft gives these companies
any advance warning or not, of impending disasters
they're rolling out.

The shadow copy based tools are slightly less sensitive
to Microsoft curve-balls. But, since the tools still
dabble in metadata, there are bound to be effects. For
example, Macrium supports "resize-on-the-fly" on a restore,
and this involves the file index it collected as the last
step of the backup. When run that way, Macrium is going
to be more exposed, because it is in effect, copying
files rather than just restoring data clusters to
their original locations. One side effect of
"resize-on-the-fly" is the partition has less
fragmentation (but not zero fragmentation) after
the restore is finished. Not every VSS tool
supports resize (some may offer their own
Disk Management functions for after-the-fact
changes to the partition instead, a two step
approach).

Paul
T
2018-05-01 12:52:08 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Paul
That's not an OS backup tool.
Only looking to backup up certain directories
T
2018-05-01 08:11:46 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by T
Hi All,
I am looking for a backup program (paid or free) that will
store its archives in a non-proprietary format.  I other words,
it can store its archives in a format that ANY file manager
can read.
I am basically looking for a replacement for Cobian Backup,
which is abandon ware.
I have tested Macrium Reflect, which is a sweet package, but
their tech support has verified that they can only store
in their proprietary format, so they are out.
You guys have a favorite that archives in a non-proprietary
format?
Many thanks,
-T
How about SyncBackPro?

https://www.2brightsparks.com/
NY
2018-05-01 08:32:39 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by T
Hi All,
I am looking for a backup program (paid or free) that will
store its archives in a non-proprietary format. I other words,
it can store its archives in a format that ANY file manager
can read.
I am basically looking for a replacement for Cobian Backup,
which is abandon ware.
I have tested Macrium Reflect, which is a sweet package, but
their tech support has verified that they can only store
in their proprietary format, so they are out.
You guys have a favorite that archives in a non-proprietary
format?
I use Microsoft SyncToy (don't be put off by the "Toy" in the name). It
makes a file-for-file copy to the backup, rather than amalgamating all the
files into one big backup file, so it is very easy (using Windows Explorer
etc) to retrieve a specific file or folder from the backup if the original
gets trashed. It doesn't run automatically and it doesn't maintain versions
of file history, but those are not features that I would need.

It does incremental backups: if you run it on a pair of folders (source and
backup) that have already been synchronised in the past, it only copies the
new or changed files since the last backup.
Shadow
2018-05-01 12:57:10 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by T
Hi All,
I am looking for a backup program (paid or free) that will
store its archives in a non-proprietary format. I other words,
it can store its archives in a format that ANY file manager
can read.
I am basically looking for a replacement for Cobian Backup,
which is abandon ware.
I have tested Macrium Reflect, which is a sweet package, but
their tech support has verified that they can only store
in their proprietary format, so they are out.
You guys have a favorite that archives in a non-proprietary
format?
Any sync program that can do a simple file-copy (including
open files). You could 7-Zip the result, if you need space.
e.g. FreeFileSync or AOMEI Backupper (both free).
You can't IMAGE a disk or partition and produce a 100%
explorer-viewable file, since it will contain partition etc
information.
[]'s
--
Don't be evil - Google 2004
We have a new policy - Google 2012
Zaidy036
2018-05-01 15:01:41 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by T
Hi All,
I am looking for a backup program (paid or free) that will
store its archives in a non-proprietary format. I other words,
it can store its archives in a format that ANY file manager
can read.
I am basically looking for a replacement for Cobian Backup,
which is abandon ware.
I have tested Macrium Reflect, which is a sweet package, but
their tech support has verified that they can only store
in their proprietary format, so they are out.
You guys have a favorite that archives in a non-proprietary
format?
Many thanks,
-T
I have been reading this thread with interest and think what you are trying
to do is similar to me so here is my solution.

I travel with an iPad and wanted access to my home Win 7 PC’s data files
while the PC is off during travel. The PC backs up to an NAS and I use
RoboCopy to copy data into a daily folder (Mon, Tue, etc) and Acronis for
weekly incremental images. The NAS requires a password for remote access
while I travel. The image also requires a password but cannot be accessed
from the iPad’s iOS. All of this is handled automatically by a batch
running unattended overnight on the PC which is on 24/7 except during
travel.
--
Zaidy036
Java Jive
2018-05-01 21:10:58 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by T
Hi All,
I am looking for a backup program (paid or free) that will
store its archives in a non-proprietary format.  I other words,
it can store its archives in a format that ANY file manager
can read.
I am basically looking for a replacement for Cobian Backup,
which is abandon ware.
I no longer use any proprietary backup tool - reason? In the days
before HDs became cheap, I used to back up to tape, and discovered the
hard way that if the final tape became unreadable for any reason, the
*entire* backup was lost, because that was the one containing all the
directory and filename information! Duh! Talk about building in a
guaranteed weakness!

Others have mentioned Ghost, and it too suffers from this syndrome, if,
as I still do, you break up the backup into segments each about 2GB long
(so that if necessary they can go onto a FAT32 USB drive), then, if the
last segment is corrupted, the entire backup is lost. Nevertheless, I
still use Ghost, but in a very limited way, as described below.

I split every system I own, Linux or Windows, into two areas, system
disk or partition and data disk or partition, and I back them up
seperately in different ways.

I use Ghost only for Windows system images, making them every two or
three months or whenever I'm about to make significant changes such as
trying out new software, and I have Ghost Explorer installed on every
Windows system so that if necessary I can use any Windows machine to
retrieve individual files for any other Windows machine. I make the
backups using a W98-DOS mode bootable USB drive to run Ghost, and I back
up the system image to the data disk or partition, so that when that
next gets backed up, the system backup will be included. Also, this
means that each PC always has its latest Ghost image on it for
convenient restoration.

For my Linux systems, I've gone a rather different route, I have a
script that installs all my custom software, configures my website, etc,
so that if a Linux installation get corrupted, I boot from a standard
Linux installation USB to reinstall it, then run the script to customise
it, and about an hour or two later the machine is ready to use.

For Windows data, I use a Win32 implementation of Linux's rsync called
DeltaCopy, which, as its name implies, only backs up changed files. Be
aware that if you have files with accented filenames, you will need to
find a DLL from an external source to replace one of those supplied with
DeltaCopy. I download and set up DeltaCopy so long ago, and now just
copy the program and start menu directories onto new builds, that I
can't remember any more detail of the problem than that, but at the time
I solved it simply by searching the web. The program works very well
for me, running as well on 64-bit machines as 32-bit.

For Linux data, again I use rsync.

So where does the data go, and what about backup formats? It goes onto
a NAS device running under Linux, which runs the rsync daemon (server)
to receive the data from rsync and DeltaCopy, and has both Windows
(Samba) and Linux (NFS) sharing to allow access from each client OS to
the backed up data. You may care to note that DeltaCopy also has a
server component which would allow you to set up a Windows PC or server
to be the destination of the backups. Because Linux and Windows have
different permissions systems, I run a program overnight on the NAS to
ensure that the Linux permissions set on the Windows data allow access
from Windows machines. This is done by adding all Windows users to a
Linux group, and giving that group access to the data. However, I've
recently realised that you can get rsync to change the ownership for
itself, but haven't yet had a chance to try this out.

So no proprietary format is involved, and if just one file is corrupted,
a raft of others aren't lost. I can access the data on the NAS any time
via its shares without needing any special program, with the exception
that I need Ghost Explorer to read the Ghost backups if I need to find
individual files from a Windows system disk image.

My phone and tablet are backed up via USB to the Windows data partition,
and thence they too get backed up to the server.

The ease of using this system has revolutionised my backing up, I just
set a back up going a little before I go upstairs to bed, and it's
usually completed in time for me to shut down the PC before doing so,
and if not, I leave it going overnight. Now the biggest source of loss
of data is when yours truly get a little too zealous doing data
housekeeping!

However, I should point out that the system took some setting up.
Besides the replacement DLL needed for DeltaCopy, you also need to
configure its client at least, and the server if you intend to use it.
The NAS itself needed some customisation to make it more useful than as
supplied, and of course you need to configure its rsync daemon to match
how you configured the DeltaCopy client. None of this would be for the
technically hard of thinking, but once it works, it just works.
(PeteCresswell)
2018-05-02 14:51:17 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Java Jive
I split every system I own, Linux or Windows, into two areas, system
disk or partition and data disk or partition, and I back them up
seperately in different ways.
Amen!.... I thought I was the only one.

Still cannot figure out why OS publishers like MS do not build that strategy
into the way their systems are installed.
--
Pete Cresswell
mike
2018-05-02 18:47:37 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by (PeteCresswell)
Post by Java Jive
I split every system I own, Linux or Windows, into two areas, system
disk or partition and data disk or partition, and I back them up
seperately in different ways.
Amen!.... I thought I was the only one.
Still cannot figure out why OS publishers like MS do not build that strategy
into the way their systems are installed.
Very simple. Complexity causes the support phone to ring.
Your system in a pile of corrupted bits is not their problem.

When you promise something like recovery, you'd better deliver.
You want all the pissed off customers calling Macrium.
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2018-05-03 00:13:51 UTC
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Post by mike
Post by (PeteCresswell)
Post by Java Jive
I split every system I own, Linux or Windows, into two areas, system
disk or partition and data disk or partition, and I back them up
seperately in different ways.
Amen!.... I thought I was the only one.
By no means. I image my system and hidden partitions - mainly because of
the impossibility of easily restoring it otherwise (combination of the
anti-piracy measures, and the ridiculous habit of storing _everything_
in the registry). I just copy (using SyncToy, so some would say I sync)
my D: partition. (In both cases I cycle round two or three
images/backups.)
Post by mike
Post by (PeteCresswell)
Still cannot figure out why OS publishers like MS do not build that strategy
into the way their systems are installed.
My XP netbook (Samsung NC-20), which I bought new, the first time I used
it, asked me how I wanted the C: and D: partitions arranged. OK, it
would have defaulted to them being equal, but at least it was going to
make the two. But yes, that was a Samsung rather than Microsoft thing,
as far as I can see.
Post by mike
Very simple. Complexity causes the support phone to ring.
Your system in a pile of corrupted bits is not their problem.
Their half-arsed mechanism of having "my" type folders is no less
complex. Having all systems default to two partitions, and all software
default to storing data on other than the system one, would not be
complicated. They could have introduced this at 7, 8, or 10 (or even XP
or earlier); the usual argument about backwards compatibility doesn't
wash, since from some version on (not sure if it was XP or 7), they've
already made some old software not work by making certain folders
inaccessible to software that doesn't know about them (with a very
complicated system - a fudge - for getting round _that_).
Post by mike
When you promise something like recovery, you'd better deliver.
You want all the pissed off customers calling Macrium.
No, you want them to buy a new PC.
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

... of the two little boxes in the corner of your room, the one without the
pictures is the one that opens the mind. - Stuart Maconie in Radio Times,
2008/10/11-17
Diesel
2018-05-03 16:08:38 UTC
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Post by Java Jive
Post by T
Hi All,
I am looking for a backup program (paid or free) that will
store its archives in a non-proprietary format.  I other words,
it can store its archives in a format that ANY file manager
can read.
I am basically looking for a replacement for Cobian Backup,
which is abandon ware.
I no longer use any proprietary backup tool - reason? In the
days before HDs became cheap, I used to back up to tape, and
discovered the hard way that if the final tape became unreadable
for any reason, the *entire* backup was lost, because that was the
one containing all the directory and filename information! Duh!
Talk about building in a guaranteed weakness!
Others have mentioned Ghost, and it too suffers from this
syndrome, if, as I still do, you break up the backup into segments
each about 2GB long (so that if necessary they can go onto a FAT32
USB drive), then, if the last segment is corrupted, the entire
backup is lost. Nevertheless, I still use Ghost, but in a very
limited way, as described below.
I split every system I own, Linux or Windows, into two areas,
system disk or partition and data disk or partition, and I back
them up seperately in different ways.
I use Ghost only for Windows system images, making them every two
or three months or whenever I'm about to make significant changes
such as trying out new software, and I have Ghost Explorer
installed on every Windows system so that if necessary I can use
any Windows machine to retrieve individual files for any other
Windows machine. I make the backups using a W98-DOS mode bootable
USB drive to run Ghost, and I back up the system image to the data
disk or partition, so that when that next gets backed up, the
system backup will be included. Also, this means that each PC
always has its latest Ghost image on it for convenient
restoration.
For my Linux systems, I've gone a rather different route, I have a
script that installs all my custom software, configures my
website, etc, so that if a Linux installation get corrupted, I
boot from a standard Linux installation USB to reinstall it, then
run the script to customise it, and about an hour or two later the
machine is ready to use.
For Windows data, I use a Win32 implementation of Linux's rsync
called DeltaCopy, which, as its name implies, only backs up
changed files. Be aware that if you have files with accented
filenames, you will need to find a DLL from an external source to
replace one of those supplied with DeltaCopy. I download and set
up DeltaCopy so long ago, and now just copy the program and start
menu directories onto new builds, that I can't remember any more
detail of the problem than that, but at the time I solved it
simply by searching the web. The program works very well for me,
running as well on 64-bit machines as 32-bit.
For Linux data, again I use rsync.
So where does the data go, and what about backup formats? It goes
onto a NAS device running under Linux, which runs the rsync daemon
(server) to receive the data from rsync and DeltaCopy, and has
both Windows (Samba) and Linux (NFS) sharing to allow access from
each client OS to the backed up data. You may care to note that
DeltaCopy also has a server component which would allow you to set
up a Windows PC or server to be the destination of the backups.
Because Linux and Windows have different permissions systems, I
run a program overnight on the NAS to ensure that the Linux
permissions set on the Windows data allow access from Windows
machines. This is done by adding all Windows users to a Linux
group, and giving that group access to the data. However, I've
recently realised that you can get rsync to change the ownership
for itself, but haven't yet had a chance to try this out.
So no proprietary format is involved, and if just one file is
corrupted, a raft of others aren't lost. I can access the data on
the NAS any time via its shares without needing any special
program, with the exception that I need Ghost Explorer to read the
Ghost backups if I need to find individual files from a Windows
system disk image.
My phone and tablet are backed up via USB to the Windows data
partition, and thence they too get backed up to the server.
The ease of using this system has revolutionised my backing up, I
just set a back up going a little before I go upstairs to bed, and
it's usually completed in time for me to shut down the PC before
doing so, and if not, I leave it going overnight. Now the biggest
source of loss of data is when yours truly get a little too
zealous doing data housekeeping!
However, I should point out that the system took some setting up.
Besides the replacement DLL needed for DeltaCopy, you also need to
configure its client at least, and the server if you intend to use
it. The NAS itself needed some customisation to make it more
useful than as supplied, and of course you need to configure its
rsync daemon to match how you configured the DeltaCopy client.
None of this would be for the technically hard of thinking, but
once it works, it just works.
Does your NAS use cloud storage as well? Or, are you making any
further backups beyond the NAS itself? If not, what are your recovery
plans in the event a drive in the NAS fails?
--
To prevent yourself from being a victim of cyber
stalking, it's highly recommended you visit here:
https://tekrider.net/pages/david-brooks-stalker.php
===================================================
The scalded cat fears even cold water.
Java Jive
2018-05-03 16:16:30 UTC
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Post by Diesel
Post by Java Jive
It goes
onto a NAS device running under Linux, which runs the rsync daemon
(server) to receive the data from rsync and DeltaCopy, and has
both Windows (Samba) and Linux (NFS) sharing to allow access from
each client OS to the backed up data.
Does your NAS use cloud storage as well? Or, are you making any
further backups beyond the NAS itself? If not, what are your recovery
plans in the event a drive in the NAS fails?
There is too much data to consider cloud storage, so instead I have two
NASs, and the first copies new stuff onto the second in the early
morning. The only thing I'm not covered against is a fire.
mike
2018-05-03 18:47:47 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Java Jive
Post by Diesel
Post by Java Jive
It goes
onto a NAS device running under Linux, which runs the rsync daemon
(server) to receive the data from rsync and DeltaCopy, and has
both Windows (Samba) and Linux (NFS) sharing to allow access from
each client OS to the backed up data.
Does your NAS use cloud storage as well? Or, are you making any
further backups beyond the NAS itself? If not, what are your recovery
plans in the event a drive in the NAS fails?
There is too much data to consider cloud storage, so instead I have two
NASs, and the first copies new stuff onto the second in the early
morning. The only thing I'm not covered against is a fire.
I've never been a fan of unattended copy for backups.
If the first NAS gets corrupted, you copy the corruption to the
backup-backup.
You probably don't discover the problem until you see a symptom and
attempt to get back the data. It's all equally corrupt.

My archived partition images can't be corrupted by anything that
happens in the future, cuz the backup-backup archive drive isn't powered
on unless I'm archiving a backup.
T
2018-05-05 02:38:09 UTC
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Post by mike
I've never been a fan of unattended copy for backups.
That is why I love an eMail report for each backup

(PeteCresswell)
2018-05-02 14:43:37 UTC
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Post by T
You guys have a favorite that archives in a non-proprietary
format?
I used SecondCopy for quite a few years.

One thing I liked about it was that I could specify generations of backup to
keep and all the versions of a given file were right there in the same place
- so I could just walk the file manager's list and choose the ones I wanted
to restore.
--
Pete Cresswell
T
2018-05-05 01:08:43 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by T
Hi All,
I am looking for a backup program (paid or free) that will
store its archives in a non-proprietary format.  I other words,
it can store its archives in a format that ANY file manager
can read.
I am basically looking for a replacement for Cobian Backup,
which is abandon ware.
I have tested Macrium Reflect, which is a sweet package, but
their tech support has verified that they can only store
in their proprietary format, so they are out.
You guys have a favorite that archives in a non-proprietary
format?
Many thanks,
-T
Just posted:

import Outlook greyed out
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1459369
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