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Which One Suits Your Needs? (continued)

In many cases, particularly that of a home 'power user,' a complete system backup may not make sense for several reasons, depending on how much data the system holds. In my case, there is about 40 Gigs worth of data spread over 5 partitions on a single 80G drive. The OS and program files are on C, D holds my personal files, E holds my business files, F holds downloads and games, and G is where I keep a two recent disk images of my C: drive.

To perform a complete system backup onto CD-R would require something over 30 disks and at least a full day of work. Obviously, this would not be the best way to use BackUp My PC. If I burned the backups to DVD, I would need fewer disks – but it would take just as long, (perhaps longer due to DVD recording speeds) and could cost significantly more, depending on the particular DVD media used.

This scenario is further complicated by some systems delivered with huge hard drives formatted as a single C: partition, a questionable proposition, at best. (It is always recommended that data files be kept on a separate partition, preferably a separate hard drive, from the system and program files. There is some argument whether the program files should be similarly separated from the boot drive, but the value of this is unclear under most circumstances.)

On a more typical system, where there is only a few (I'd say less than ten) Gigabytes of data to back up, BackUp My PC would be an excellent choice, with a few caveats. First, let me quote from the BackUp My PC manual:

"Before performing a Disaster Recovery, decide if another recovery method can be implemented instead."

That says it all – disaster recovery is an inexact science, fraught with complication and seemingly endless variables. It is also worth noting that with Windows 2000, there is no way to test the BackUp My PC disaster recovery system without actually performing an actual recovery. The fact that it requires six floppy discs also must enter into the equation, as floppies (as well as CD-R media) can and do fail in everyday life.

Multiple copies of backups are less of an option than a requirement for security. If you think you were angry that a disaster happened at all, wait until you see how angry you get when the media holding your backups is unreadable. (BackUp My PC will make bootable CD-Rs in other flavors of Windows, eliminating the need for floppies in many cases).

To expand upon the advice from the manual, I would suggest that the decision of which recovery method can be implemented should be made long before performing a Disaster Recovery – your methods and options should be considered and integrated as
part of general disaster plan from the start. BackUp My PC is a powerful tool in what it does – but it is only one of many tools that may be implemented into a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.

For those with 'small' systems (with less than ten Gigs of data to back up) who want to make a full backup may well find BackUp My PC a complete and perfectly satisfactory solution, but I'd urge you to read along and see how it is used in other configurations, and why.





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