File Backup system

I run my small business on my laptop... after a recent scare, it time for me to get some sort file back up system. Here are some details:

* File are normal pictures, word, excel... plus a microsoft access database (the most important)
* I'd like for my business folder to be backup on nearly a daily bases
* Obviously don't wan it to slow my computer up too much
* Don't mind spending a little money to get one that is good.

Any suggestions as to what I should use?


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Boyd (HiTechCoach) Trimmell, Microsoft Access MVPConnect With a Mentor Commented:
There are two basic situations that a good disaster recovery plan must handle. A) Restore/recover a machine. B)  Restore/recover lost data.

The basic a steps to restoring a a machine are:
1) install the OS
2) Install applications
3) Restore data

Using a disk Image:
To restore/recover a machine the fastest was is to regularly create a disk image. This is normally a very time consuming process to do daily is you have large drives.  If you must recover quickly and/or regularly have you PC die then this is a great option. It handles all three of the steps listed above all at the same time.  You will only have lost data since the last image.

the other end of the solution spectrum is:

Data only backups:
This is the pimpliest method. Do regular data backups is much faster that a complete system backup. Recovering from a dead PC takes the longest with this method since you have top do all three steps listed above.  With online backups that are making copies of files every multiple times a day you will can minimize data lost.

In all cases you will have to recreate any lost data. You have to decide how fast you need to recover and how much data  you are willing to lose that you can hopefully recreate.

With all the options available I would also never depend on a single backup solution. I recommend using several together.

1) Create a new disk image after installing or updating software.
2) Daily Shadow copy backups to an external hard drive. Use at least two different drives
 3) Online solution that backs up changes files every few hours. One that keeps a version history
4) Folder syncing to an FTP site, external USB stick, hard drive, etc.

The most critical thing that is also the most neglected is to test your backup solution on a regular plan. What I see happen a lot is that people (IT people are also guilty of this) try to restore data and find that their backup solution is not working. Oops ... now there are large amounts of data lost.

Part of any good disaster recovery plan must include regular testing to see if data a can be restored.

 I would highly recommend doing a trial of different solutions. The key thing to test is how to restore lost data.  That really is the most critical part. If you can't restore then it really does not work.
Haresh NikumbhConnect With a Mentor Sr. Tech leadCommented:
Windows 7 have inbuild backup option where you can backups your all files and folder to other location

refer following link
joshbulaConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I would recommend a local external hard-drive based backup in addition to an off-site cloud backup... most external hard drives come with backup software or work with the Windows Backup that is included as part of Windows 7 and can backup a complete image of your computer's hard drive.  

Carbonite and Mozy are good solutions that backup your documents to the cloud for a good off-site solution. They also have options for local backup to an external hard drive.
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insidetechConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I recommend products from
This gives you a variety of options including the cloud backup.
It is the Cadillac of backups.
shahzoorConnect With a Mentor Commented:
As insidetech suggested i would go for acronis true image as well
you can do selective backup or file based backup
you can even mount the image and browse contents of the backup

if you are looking for a good free solution then go for paragon backup and recover

Its free and the best among other free software out there
for both there are lots of good video tutorials explaining the process

You can browse the videos before taking a decision
pdebaetsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I recommend getting two external hard drives to backup to. Keep one in your car or in some other off-site location. Backup to the other. Switch them every week or so. This way, in the worst case scenario if you lose your laptop or it is otherwise destroyed, you still have the (at most) week-old backup.

I use Areca to do my backups. it's free.
dmwynneConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Just curious How much data in MB or GB?

If all you need is the l files and you don't need an exact replica of your machine that you could restore to another machine and it would be a duplicate then you could run windows backup to run daily to an external drive, by two of them and rotate them.  

Also if you have less than 2GB to backup you could use Mozy.
Jeffrey CoachmanConnect With a Mentor MIS LiasonCommented:
I am in the Acronis camp as well...

Bottom Line?
Almost any good Backup program will do this.

The kicker is that you should be backing up to an external device.

Cloud/web based programs are convenient, ..
...But how secure is your data if the site gets hacked?
....Suppose you don't have a connection to the internet?
...backup is always easy, but how about the *actual* recovery process?

What do I do?
I just pop a usb stick into my port and simply drag & drop the source folder to it.
(Then you can even rename the folder(s) and have multiple backups, ...allowing you to "Go Back" to a previous file)

Boyd (HiTechCoach) Trimmell, Microsoft Access MVPCommented:
@dmwynne, Mozy is not FREE  for a small business. The free version is only for home users.
I used just about every backup product out there.
Acronis continues to be consistently stable and has a large user base that you can be assured that 10 years from now you will be able to restore your data if needed to be.
The longevity of a company is very important aspect of back up /restore and that is why I stay shy of free products regardless how good they may be.
Also, with Acronis, if your needs for backup change due to growth their products will scale accordingly which is a huge thing.
You might also consider buying 5-7 thumb drives (or SD media cards if your laptop has a slot for them like mine does).  Label them for each day of the week: Mon-Fri (Sat, Sun)

Copy your files to the thumb drive, replacing any existing files.  You might use XCopy or RoboCopy commands in a batch file.

Alternatively, you might add some compression to the mix and use an application like 7-zip to store the files.

Place the thumb drive in a secure location (firebox), preferably off site.
@TheHiTechCoach Yup, my bad, forgot this was for a business.  I would still recommend using Mozy Pro of something of the like as a backup to your local backups.
Backblaze has a reasonably priced cloud service.
Thomas RushCommented:
Make sure that your Access database is shut down (no activity occurring) while you take your backups, lest you risk corrupting it.   There may be backup applications designed to take a backup from a live Access database; if so, you can ignore this advice.  Otherwise, ignoring the advice about no activity on the database risks corrupting it.
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