Recovery drive or system image

I use Carbonite to back up user files on 20 computers. These are windows 10 computers. I was thinking of making a recovery drive or a system image back up for each of these computers. If the computer crashed and I had to use either of these options, which would be the quickest way to get back up and running considering I use Carbonite for user back up? recovery drive her system image back up?  Also, can I create a system image back up and a recovery drive on a Nas?
mkramer777Asked:
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Andrew LeniartFreelance JournalistCommented:
I use Acronis rather than Carbonite, but they all work in pretty much the same way.
These are windows 10 computers. I was thinking of making a recovery drive or a system image back up for each of these computers
The quickest recovery in the event of a crash is to restore an image of a machine, so your idea is sound. Restoring in this way saves having to reload programs, settings, updates (since the last image update) and so on.

If the computer crashed and I had to use either of these options, which would be the quickest way to get back up and running considering I use Carbonite for user back up?

The imaging method by far. You can further save time by using an "Incremental" image backup scheme, which creates an initial full system backup, and then updates that image with incremental image backups, so that a machine is able to be fully restored, exactly to the point of the last incremental backup taken. With an image backup, everything is saved, user files, settings, programs, the boot sector of the drive you're backing up - read "everything"
Also, can I create a system image back up and a recovery drive on a Nas?
Yes, though I'm not sure if Carbonite allows for this to be done from a NAS. I know True Image does, where you can set a NAS drive so that a crashed machine can boot straight into Acronis Restore mode across the network.

Hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew
mkramer777Author Commented:
I guess what I was wondering is if I have a Nas on our network can I use the incremental system image back up pointed to that Nas. Not talking about using Carbonite.
Andrew LeniartFreelance JournalistCommented:
I guess what I was wondering is if I have a Nas on our network can I use the incremental system image back up pointed to that Nas.

Yep, you most certainly can. I do that myself where my Incremental Image backups are saved directly to my NAS daily and then those incremental images are uploaded and synchronised with a Cloud Storage Server daily, just in case there is a failure of my NAS, such as physical failure, a ransomware or virus hit or whatever.

Edit: Just point the location of where the image is going to be saved to the NAS drive in the imaging software. Either via a fully qualified path or a mapped network drive.
Acronis True Image 2019 just released!

Create a reliable backup. Make sure you always have dependable copies of your data so you can restore your entire system or individual files.

Tom CieslikIT EngineerCommented:
Free software named AOMEI Backuper is a perfect weapon for this.
You can make a Full backup and setup schedule for incremental backups to outside or network drive.
It's easy to restore any files, folders or whole system after crash and is taking a minutes, not hours or days.
I used to used Carbonite for one company and after server crashed they was waiting 4 days to get server back online.
Disaster.
https://www.backup-utility.com/free-backup-software.html

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mkramer777Author Commented:
so windows does not have a built in program to do what AOMEI Backuper does?
Tom CieslikIT EngineerCommented:
Yes, it does,,, WIndows Backup but it's more complicated to recover backup if whole drive will fail.
Then you must install clean copy and try recover windows from backup
mkramer777Author Commented:
so what are the limitations of the free software?  I see they have a pay one.
Andrew LeniartFreelance JournalistCommented:
The imaging solution included with Windows is crude and basic. You get what you pay for.

I've trialled AOMEI backup before for a review I was writing and found that while it's ok, it doesn't really do anything special that several other Backup solutions didn't do. Just a tool with its own interface that's not much different to other free solutions. It's also slower to backup and restore unless the Pro version is purchased.

There's nothing wrong with Carbonite if you already own a license for it and if it has the ability to create Incremental backups to local storage media.

Be aware though that whichever solution you decide to use or switch to, without cloud storage as a backup, a sudden network aware virus or ransomware hit could leave you not being able to restore any of your backups at all. That's the disadvantage to backing up to only a NAS drive which remains online all the time.

Hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew
mkramer777Author Commented:
I only use Carbonite for user files incremental back up. I want to solution for a full system image to go to a Nas if a computer crashes, I can restore it.
Andrew LeniartFreelance JournalistCommented:
so what are the limitations of the free software?  I see they have a pay one.

This page;

https://www.backup-utility.com/standard-upgrade.html

Shows the differences between the Free and Pro versions of AOEMI Backup software.
mkramer777Author Commented:
But with the free one if a pc died could I restore from the backup to a new computer or is this just to be able to restore to the same computer?  I mean this:  If I have a HP laptop and it crashes and I made a backup with AOEMI and then I factory reset the HP laptop can I then use AOEMI software to get back to where I was?
Andrew LeniartFreelance JournalistCommented:
I want to solution for a full system image to go to a Nas if a computer crashes, I can restore it.

Then AOEMI could suit you. From memory, it does allow incremental image saves, but it's been a while since I looked at it. There are several others and if you ask, you'll get different recommendations from different experts depending on their own personal preferences and experiences.

I tend to shy away from free solutions myself, as like with the built-in Windows solution, I believe you get what you pay for, with little to no support. A supported commercial product is often only about $50 bucks for a non-expiring license and you have a much better chance of getting support if you ever need it. Free works, but you need to put a value on your time as well :)
Andrew LeniartFreelance JournalistCommented:
But with the free one if a pc died could I restore from the backup to a new computer or is this just to be able to restore to the same computer?

Restoring to different hardware (as in, to a different computer with a different mainboard etc) won't be possible. Even with paid solutions that support restoring to different hardware, the process is very troublesome and does not work well. Restoring to an identical hardware configuration on the other hand would be no problem as all Windows hardware drivers etc should be the same.

If I have a HP laptop and it crashes and I made a backup with AOEMI and then I factory reset the HP laptop can I then use AOEMI software to get back to where I was?

Yes, any imaging backup solution will allow you to do that, even without the need for the step to reset the laptop to factory default. You can just restore the laptop to the last Incremental image point saved at will.

Hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
What version of Carbonite are you using? For Data backup or for system backup? If it can do complete system backup (such feature is available) then yes, you can take backup with it to NAS storage, then create a bootable recovery media (USB Stick or DVD) and once the system crashes you can boot system from this media and perform restore of the entire system from the backup image located on NAS storage.
mkramer777Author Commented:
Office Power 500 (Carbonite Version)
mkramer777Author Commented:
I'm looking at the AOMEI window.  Which option would I select if I want all the users documents and the windows OS?  A complete restore?  System backup or Disk Backup?
Andrew LeniartFreelance JournalistCommented:
System backup or Disk Backup?

That depends on your own configuration setup, which without knowing, is difficult to advise. You need to understand the difference between a System Image and a Disk Image. I'd suggest not trying to shortcut your learning curve and reading the information that's freely available to you.

Check this link: https://www.backup-utility.com/help/backup-options.html

Click on both System Backup and Disk Backup on the help options available at the above page.

You'll see that both System and Disk will do what you want, backup the user's documents and the Windows OS, but one saves partition information, while the other does not. If you want absolute disaster recovery where a Hard disk has totally failed, then select Disk Backup. If you only want to backup the system drive, (Usually C:\) then select System Backup.

To avoid disappointment or unexpected restoration failure once it's too late, I'd urge you to invest a little time to understand the software you're going to be relying on for such an important function.
Tom CieslikIT EngineerCommented:
System Backup will backup whole computers (all disks and partitions)
Disk Backup will backup only disk you want C, D etc..
Partition backup will backup only one partition (sometimes windows will not start after recover since boot partition is hidden and different from backup partition)

I'm always doing System Backup and selecting Only disk C to backup to have option to recover computer
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