Effective Inexpensive Backups – Part 5 of 5

Goal – Make backups that allow us to recreate the complete configuration of a machine to its exact state at any time in the past. This backs up the programs, all configurations, etc. and is valuable if your hard drive crashes irrecoverably or a virus corrupts your OS

We can use Acronis True Image to backup our entire OS to an image file that can be restored later. When you do the first backup, it saves to a large file that contains your entire OS, programs, configuration, etc. Then, you can schedule daily backups within Acronis which add additional small files to the same folder. If you ever need to restore, you can restore your entire setup to any date after the first backup. For example, if you know the virus that corrupted you OS gained a foothold on your machine last week but you are unsure of which day, you can restore your OS to Friday, then Thursday, then Wednesday, to get your OS/config to the latest time without the symptoms. There are a couple disadvantages of Acronis which include the following:

  • It is best to have another drive to restore to. Of course you can use your original drive.This is a little unsettling though as most people want to keep that data until they can prove to themselves that they have a working replacement.
  • All of your data will be restored to the earlier time.  This means that if you made a doc on the 15th and restored back to the 14th, then that doc will not exist.

For these reasons and for ease of finding a file on the backup (and redundancy) and I would recommend using a batch style backup even if using Acronis.

Please consider implementing the techniques described in this series of posts or another backup strategy to safeguard your important data – and your pocketbook. Happy backups.

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