Let's say I back up my entire C: drive. Are subsequent backups incremental, that is, does it only backup things that have changed from the initial backup, or does it backup the whole thing every time?
I've not used Norton backup but I'm not sure it does a full backup nor whether if it does it's Incremental or not.
Here's a link from within Settings in my NS Premium to the nature of backup but it doesn't directly answer your question so hang on for someone else who knows more on this.
I prefer to use a freeware utility that will do imaging as well as backups of drives, partitions or folders etc under my control and I can set the three kinds of "update"
It's a file and folder backup tool only, so don't waste your time trying to backup your entire C drive because it can't restore the operating system or programs.
Although the subsequent backups only backup the files that have changed, they are not "incrementals" because they are not a separate backup with the original full backup being retained. The subsequent backups replace the changed files so you do not retain the previous versions, technically it's a single version "mirror" backup.
Thanks. I will try something different, maybe Karen's Replicator or Macrium.
Glad to get DaveH's confirmation.
Personally I do use the free Macrium Reflect so since you know it that would be a good choice I believe.
The best solution (in my opinion) is a imaging program. But file and folder backup tools should not be overlooked unless you have very large storage for the images and do them frequently and keep some of the images offsite in another location.
When I was limited in storage space I used to do periodic full images and then use a file and folder backup tool between the images to keep all my new and changed files backed up. Then if I had a problem I could restore my most recent image and most recent file and folder backup and be pretty current.
For the last several years space has not been an issue so I do full images every 2 weeks with daily incrementals and then use external drives to hold recent images "outside" of the systems to protect against file-encrypting malware and periodically take external drive from my house to work and copy images and then use it bring images from my office to my house and copy them there as well.
I do that last step because several years ago a fire was threatening my neighborhood and we were forced to evacuate for a couple days. When an emergency happens like that you have more important things to do than backup your system (I opened the computer and took the hard drive with me). But that gets expensive and time consuming to use external drives to shuffle external drives back and forth.
The beauty of the Norton backup is that it introduces people to offsite backups, backing up to the clouds is a good option for people to be able to have your important data in another location.
I do the same sort of thing now by being "my own" cloud. I use Radmin to make remote connections and transfer important folders between my house and office so I don't have to lug my external drives back and forth so often.
I work on a lot of systems for people and I'm surprised at how many people still don't backup there important data. Usually it's not until people loose everything that they figure out a backup routine for the next time.
My suggestion would be to do more than one kind of backup, preferably one of them being system images. And then keep a backup of the backup outside of the computer or in another location.
DaveH, I agree the best backup is an image. I recently went through the painful restoration of a laptop and a desktop. Even though I am better than some at keeping things backed up, there was no image, just a backup of the Documents folder files were scattered around on a portable hard drive and a USB flash drive.
In spite of my (relatively diligent) backups, I still ended up losing six months of music downloads on my wifes laptop. My kind of Norton doesn't offer Cloud storage, so I am either going to have to buy some or use local storage. I got the portable drive several years ago, thinking I could grab it and dash for the door in case of fire. But in reality, that probably would not happen. So the Cloud sounds best.
May I add that probably your best route, given what I think I could fairly call "critical" files from your point of view, would be to use the portable hard drive as your initial storage place and then back that up from time to time to the cloud if you prefer.
Bear in mind that Cloud storage is not "perfect" -- it can be very slow compared with backing up to a hard drive directly connected to your computer (preferably by the newer, faster USB3 connection rather than USB2. And the security is only as good as place the operates the Cloud storage you use.
My desktop only had USB 2 so when I needed to replace my initial hard drive storage in it I installed a not expensive USB3 plug in PCIe card which gave me extra and higher speed connections since I had bought an external USB3 3TB hard drive when it was on sale. And then I replaced my small active C: drive with a 240GB SSD drive for active use getting higher speed on that drive to.
Using an image of the earlier hard drive it was only a few minutes to restore that image to the empty SSD drive and end up with the old system on new faster hardware.
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