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Is it possible to create incremental backups of one entire hard drive to another, with the latter being bootable?

Posted on 2004-04-07
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My aim is to copy incremental backups of everything on my internal hard drive to a USB hard drive I bought recently, and to have the USB hard disk be bootable (the BIOS on my motherboard supports this). Ideally, I'd like the backups to be incremental (not full backups each time). I'd also like the backing up to run in the background when the computer is idle, so that I can use Windows (XP) and applications without the processor grinding away.

I have read plenty of posts about backup and mirror software, and have looked good and hard at programs like Drive Image 7, but all of the programs I have found require full backups each time. (See solution title "Upgrading to bigger hard drive. How can i transfer all my data to include OS?" for a list of programs I have checked out.)

The programs I have tried meet some but not all of the criteria I would like -- namely, incremental backups, running when the computer is idle, and not locking up Windows.

I just thought I would ask if anyone knew whether my request is possible, before I settle for something else. (So far, Casper XP seems to come closest to what I'm looking for, but it doesn't do incremental backups and may not run when the computer is idle...)

I know hardware RAIDs are the best way to go, but this is for home PC backups.

Thanks very much
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Question by:PNeely
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by:aindelicato
ID: 10780685
Right Click on MY COmputer and select MANAGE.

Setup the USB Drive to mirror the Physical HDD.

This is incremental as any chaneg you make to the HDD will be made to the USB drive on the fly.

You may have to do 1 complete dump the first run.  This should also allow the USB drive to boot as it will contain a copy of the OS, I'm not 100% clear on the boot record of the USB drive though, you'll have to do some reading on the knowledgebase.

--D
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by:PNeely
ID: 10781494
Thanks. The help file for XP disk management says "You can mirror volumes only on computers running Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Advanced Server, or Windows 2000 Datacenter Server", none of which I have. So that option isn't available for me, I'm afraid.

Thanks anyway. Anybody else have any ideas?
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by:aindelicato
ID: 10783554
Istall XP on the USB drive so it will be bootable.

Then write a batch file that run whenever you want to copy data from C: to D:

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dm_osborn earned 750 total points
ID: 10788864
Trueimage does incremental backups:

http://www.btsoftware.com/products/trueim.htm
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by:PNeely
ID: 10802227
Thanks dm_osborn. Close enough to what I was looking for.
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