I have recently had a major system crash and had to reinstall everything, losing a lot of settings, etc, in the process. My machines are highly customized as far as settings, etc. So now I've finally decided to do VERY REGULAR backups EVERY DAY.
I have two machines, both running WinXP PRo: a desktop (30GB) and a notebook (20GB), and an 80GB LaCie USB 2.0 external drive. (Incidentally, the Document folders on both desktop and notebook are constantly synched so that they always contain the same data).
Notebook (IBM ThinkPad) already has Xpoint's Rapid Restore PC, which I'm going to upgrade to its PRO version so that I can backup to the USB drive (which I'll partititon so that it can hold the backups from both machines), freeing up much needed space on the notebook.
As to Desktop, I'm having a hard time deciding between: 1. Ghost, 2. Drive Image, and 3. Handy Backup.
What I need is a completely foolproof backup that would recover me from the worst possible disaster as swiftly as it can be.
I'm not very clear about the practical difference between imaging (as in Ghost and Drive Image) and backing up.
So my questions are:
1. Would I in either case (imaging and backup) be able to recover the system partition *and* my data and settings without hassle?
2. Which would you suggest as the most failproof option? And which program would you pick (or any other programs you feel would do a better job)?
3. What backup strategy would you choose: incremental or differential? Why?