Backup recommendations

Posted on 2006-06-07
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have two networked PCs.  I use XP Pro. I've used Norton Ghost to back up the C drive on my main computer to a folder on another hard drive (the G drive) in the same computer without any problems, but it's raised some issues:
1. The G drive is 160 GB. Although the files I've put on the G drive (including the Ghost recovery points) add up to about 79 GB, the G drive shows as almost full, due to a folder called RECYCLER that is about 64 GB. What is that? The folder icon seems to be faded, as if it's a folder in use, but I don't know how. Is it part of Ghost?
2. In order to free up the G drive, I've been trying to archive the Ghost recovery points to the C drive on the second networked computer (there's been no problem transferring and sharing files in the past). When I try to archive a recovery point, I get an error message: "ERROR: ebab0013: A test that safeguards the integrity of the program failed unexpectedly. PRECONDITION failed, fileaccess: path:linkfileaccessor:.\path.cpp(775):!path:empty()"  Does anyone know what that means?
3. I've tried BackUpMyPC instead, but so far it's been running for over 17 hours and still hasn't completed its backup to the other computer's C drive.
4. I'm not married to Norton Ghost, and would gladly purchase any program that would suit the same purpose, or purchase an external hard drive that plugs into the USB. But I could really use some recommendations on the best way to go.
Sorry if this is too many questions for one post. Of course, if the answer to #4 is to stay away from Norton Ghost, you can ignore #s 1-3.

Question by:cwthornton1211

    Expert Comment

    Firstly, never been a ghost user so unable to answer as to why ghost not working.
    But i can tell you the recycler folder is the recyble bin which has a hidden attribute, so may explain why it is "faded".

    Right click the recycle bin on your desktop, see if that clears out that that mass of content you stated.

    I personally use  & recommend Trueimage from Acronis to image backups, maybe try the evaluation version before you buy from To date I never have had a problem, backing up or restoring an image to either local or network storage.

    Sorry I am unable to assist directly with the Ghosting aspect.

    LVL 11

    Accepted Solution

    Ok, multiple points here...

    1 - The latest versions of Ghost, the ones that image the drive while in Windows and running, are very likely to be problematic.  Same for TrueImage.  Anything that makes what is supposed to be an exact image of a drive while the drive is hosting an active operating system simply can't make an exact image because things change, constantly.  

    If you can get your hands on an older version of Ghost, 2003 or earlier versions, that operate from a clean boot to the program, that's the way to go.  Shop around a little if you have time.  I've seen SystemWorks 2003 for as little as $9.  Just make sure it's the version with Ghost.  Install it on a system that you don't already have Norton on, make a couple of Ghost boot disks (CD and floppy, if you can), then uninstall it.  

    2 - You can safely delete anything in the Recycler folder.  As Lawz001 said, it's just the recycle bin.  And, while you're at it, right click on the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop, select Properties, and adjust the slider to about 2 or 3% of your drives.  In it's default position, it reserves 10% of your drive, 8 and 16gb's respectively, for storing stuff you've already deleted.  A complete waste of resources.  I simply turn mine off, but I'm very careful about what I delete.  In fact, I use TweakUI to get rid of the stupid thing altogether.  It just annoys me.  So does the delete confirmation, so I turn that off while I'm turning off the recycle bin.  That part's all personal preference, and should be used judiciously.

    3 - BackUpMyPC will likely never complete.  Give it the boot.

    4 - What I recommend to my customers is, Ghost the drive once a month, do a full Windows Backup as soon as your reboot, then do weekly incremental backups.  Then, if your drive fails, you can plug in the ghosted drive, or a ghosted drive, boot up and restore you weekly incrementals.  All done.

    Good luck!
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    A final recommendation in addition to all the above:   Backing up to another local hard drive is a really good idea.  It's fast, it's easy, and it just WORKS.   And, it's relatively safe.

    However, you should still (monthly, or...?) backup everything to some kind of removeable device.   I am particular to using an external usb or firewire-connected hard drive (say, 160g, 200g, or whatever).    

    Once backed up, this external drive should be removed from the premises and stored safely, elsewhere.  (Example, if you're backing up your home PC, keep the external drive in a secured location at your office, or.....).   The reason is that while backing up toanother internal drive presumably protects you from a primary-hard-drive failure (or operator error...), you are NOT protected from:

    * Water damage (flood, pipes burst, or..)
    * Theft (yes, when your home gets broken to and PC stolen, ALLLL the internal hard drives go with!)
    * Fire (when the smoke detector rings, get OUT.  Don't risk your life trying to haul your PC out of there...).
    * etc.....

    Backing up to DVD's is an alternate solution, but it's super time-consuming and a royal pain to do.....    

    LVL 1

    Expert Comment


    1. Recycler is the recycle bins on various accounts.  they can be tricky to delete and are best done in save mode.  If you are taking about _restore folders, those come from windows system restore and they are a semi pain to get rid of as well.

    4.  I have never cared for norton products at all.  AV used to be good but now with Interenet security and stuff, Norton products are resource hogs.  

    Ive used a great imaging product recently from Acronis

    You can find torrents out there if you want the "free" version.  Personally I download the "free" versions to test software out before my company buys it.

    This is good software.  Very easy to use.    I would look into it.

    Good luck and I hope this helps!
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    Zephirus918 - Did you read all of my comment #1?  I can only assume you didn't.

    Regarding your comments on #4, you apparently didn't notice I recommended a 3 year old version, and only the Ghost portion of the install, followed by uninstalling the program upon completion of disk creation.  The full suite was recommended simply because of price and availability.


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