As any experienced computer user
knows, losing data is only a
question of when I'll lose them.
This article discusses GRBackPro as a very satisfactory method of backing up and restoring data on Windows computers.
The question I prefer to ask is "How can I recover from losing data?"
Having good and reliable backups
of your data is very critical to
avoid data losses. It is estimated that
50% or more of all
businesses suffering major data loss fail within 6 months of that loss.
But also if you lose personal
documents or your family photographs you may be in big trouble!
A recent Windows 10 update resulted in many users losing their entire Documents folder contents myself included. It
took me less than 10 minutes to recover from this potential disaster by simply running a GRBackPro restore command on
that folder. GrBackPro paid for itself right there!
There are a number of elements
I need to consider when
considering backing up my files:
My data must be secure. You probably wouldn't want your
personal or financial records stored somewhere in
cyberspace where only your
simple password stands between you
and the hacker or the
company that is giving you a
free storage space.
My backup program must be easy to use.
Having a complex backup
software will significantly
impact on your daily work.
My backup program must be quick. You
don't want to spend hours backing up data
that hopefully you may never need to
My backup program must restore
easily. After a data loss, we want to recover as soon as possible.
My backup program must be affordable. For many this is the first criteria considered, although in my opinion it should be the last.
program must be well
supported. In case of
problems I wish to have a
quick support on solving
We need to distinguish between backing up data and backing up the entire computer. A
small computer (maybe a laptop)
with a small drive can be completely backed up:
data, programs and al. In this
case after a restore the
computer will be very close to a working machine
again, although this is really a job for drive imaging software. With a more complex computer it's usually faster to reinstall
the operating system and programs and then restore only the data. On a server-based network, users should be discouraged from having any
local data. This approach makes it simple to just "drop in" a new computer at any desk whether as an upgrade, a replacement, or
just a loan during repairs.
The following discussion applies to either a stand-alone computer or to a server-based network excluding the process of backing up the local workstation.
Data Backup Solutions
The safer backup system would have duplicate copies of every file and program immediately accessible whenever
data is lost. On a domain-based network it is possible to achieve this protection by using Volume Shadowing and version
tracking. For some kind of works
it is also desireable to have an
history of your data so that you
can go backup to a past point in
The simplest solution
seems to be the usage of an online storage site such as
BackBlaze, Carbonite, Google
Drive or Microsoft OneDrive. There are many such sites, some free and
some not, but they all suffer from the same problems: lack of speed and (potentially) lack of security. All online sites are
inherently slow to access because the user's upload speed is usually quite slow compared to the download speed. In
addition, it's seldom possible to be 100% sure that the online site data is kept completely secure.
A more practical solution is to use another hard drive, either
fixed or external (USB). In this
case speed and security are not an issue.
You need to cinsider however
mechanical damages: the ones for
which you are considering the
backup in first instance. Optical media (CD, DVD,Blueray) are
again mechanical that could be less vulnerable to damage but there are problems writing to optical media and they don't hold much data.
For those that have a
local area network backing up to
another computer is equivalent
to have a second hard drive. Mechanical failure or physical loss
are again here.
The solution that I fear
is used by the majority of users
is: Do Nothing. This isn't a
solution and be sure that it
will give you some pain in the
Data Backup Software
There are many programs which
could solve your backup needs. I've tried many of them,
and have settled on
GRBackPro server backup software as the software which does what I want.
Part of the choice is cost, of course, but it's important to consider whether it's possible to get assistance with the
program if it becomes necessary. One of the reasons I recommend GRSoftware is that they have been very responsive over the
years. The new version 9.x also
support AES strong encryption
and allows me to store my data
safely on the cloud. Many data
backup software uses a proprietary method of data storage. With Windows Backup,
for example, not only is the method proprietary but data backed up under one version of the software often cannot be
restored by another version, even a newer one! GRBackPro uses the standard, familiar ZIP file
format, which if necessary can be restored directly from Windows. If you have a favourite
program, by all means use it's anything better than nothing. If you're hunting for
something to use, I suggest you take a look at
GRBackPro or the Windows Server edition
GRBackPro for Windows Server.
Tags: backup software, data backup software, Windows data backup software,
Windows Server data backup software