Is there an inexpensive program that will back-up all my data as well as my apps and OS. Please forgive my naivete.
For Mac i use Synchronize! Pro X.
It is is a professional-strength system backup and file synchronization utility for Mac OS X. Pro X to backup your OS X startup disk to another hard disk, so that the backup disk is bootable.
If you are on a Windows system, you should definitely try out Comodo Time Machine. It's like System Restore on steroids. The best part is that you can restore to a previous state even if you can't boot into your OS. This can be done by pressing Home while booting up.
I think there's a version for Linux as well.
acronis is a good one ,search and ye shall find, there is also a free one out there sorry i cant remeber it, try google 'free backup progammes'
Time machine is great for mac- also for windows, if you buy an external hard drive, many come with backup software preloaded.
I've found Macrium Reflect a good all round backup program - it cost $40, though. It also helped me convert safely from XP and Vista to Windows 7. True, I haven't tried restoring with it yet, but it seems to have a good reputation according to PC World.
If you would like to automate your back ups, you can also use online services like Mozy. Unlimited storage space for less than $5 a month or 2 gigs for free.
Thanks, Taty. But I'm worried that online backup companies also spy on their consumers or, worse, steal personal information.
I went with Syncback, though I've not yet used it. Appreciate your suggestion.
Mozy actually has very extensive documentation on their privacy policies, but ultimately you must do what you feel comfortable with at all times, as far as your data is concerned, so I'm glad you seem to have found a solution that works for you. Back ups exist to give you peace of mind, after all. My one advice is that you store a back up out of site somewhere.
Taty, I like the way you think. I decided sometime ago that I'd do just that -- keep a back up where only I will know where it is!
I only use the excellent (I Think still freeware) program from "2BrightSparks.com" called SyncBackSE. It's excellent, pretty easy, waaay configurable and not for use by SuperGeeks. Best of all,........it just works !!
Thanks for helping! Free is good. So's the fact that it works!
The problem with SyncBack free, like many backup programs that I've tried, comes from the simple question that I am asked every time - "what files do you want to back up?". Answer "I don't know!" Of course, I know about my data files, but I don't know what other files Windows creates that I need to back up, I don't know where my Thunderbird saved emails are, for example. How am I supposed to know what needs to be backed up?
If you need a progam that can scan your PC and actually tell you what settings should be backups try ToDo Backup (or maybe FBackup)
Don't laugh, anyone. I'm a novice and besides that I'm OLD (64)! Why isn't my back up utility that came with XP Professional adequate to backup everything on my hard drive to the somewhat expensive Seagate kazillion-gig HDD? Why do I need another back-up program?
Again, no laughing or sniping, please!
Most backup programs cannot do a complete backup of of the applications and OS, but certain files (in practice, data files and SOME applications). To do a complete backup you need to 'clone' or 'image' the hard disc, with one of the packages mentioned by Tina below.
Another nasty surprise from the standard Microsoft backup is that it DOES NOT backup ALL extensions with the non-image tools. I lost a bunch of .js files that way. The doc mentions a bit of this but is still too vague. I now zip some of my source to avoid this.
Otherwise the Microsoft tool is not too bad, but is a bit clunky/confusing in the screens at first.
You can also select all the files that absolutely need to be backed up and 1) burn a CD (try Roxio for that, but probably the "burner" on your system will work fine) and/or 2) stick them on a flash drive and in any case 3) add an external hard drive and back up everything you need to on it just in case your computer's hard drive dies - and it will, some day.
Use free Macrium. Here is how: http://cid-475a0a48ca6d4035.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/System%20Security%20Class/System%20Security%20Class%20Doc.pdf?wa=wsignin1.0&sa=805735062
Download the PDF which gives you the necessary instructions.
There are several options depending on your operating system. For a general overview, browse articles tagged with "backup"
Several posts which might be of interest to you are:
Allwaysync, if not mentioned above, is a real time way to backup files from one location to another...regardless of where the destination is. Oh, and it's free.
If you have a Mac, then use Time Machine, Apple's own backup program, which is excellent. It has been somewhat of a lifesaver for me. So have my Mac computers (5). I gave up on PCs and Microsoft 6 years ago and wonder what took me so long.
Just some extra info on time machine:
which operating system are you using?
For Windows check out these posts:
Hmm... Thanks, Tina (and Oron). I'll take a look at these. Still haven't used Syncback yet. The more info I have, the better.