HDD Recovery Approaches

 

Four Backup Approaches

There are four backup approaches that are commonly used on personal computers today. These are the following:

Acronis True Image 10.0 Home edition is the only backup product on the market that can do all four of these approaches. True Image is the best backup utility to use.

File Backup Approach: The File Backup Approach is the oldest and most common backup method used on personal computers. With this approach, you select which of the many files stored on your main hard drive to backup and the utility will copy each of these files individually to your backup device. It is possible to select all of the files on your main hard drive to backup ---- not the best way.

Clone Approach: This approach became popular a few years ago to let you adequately backup your entire hard drive. With the Clone (or Copy) Approach, you make an exact copy of your main hard drive to another hard drive inside your computer. Then if anything happens to your main hard drive, you simply replace it with the cloned hard drive and you are up and running again.

Full Backup Image Approach: The imaging approach copies the physical sectors of your main hard drive to the backup device instead of copying each file separately. So, the backups were much faster than individual file by file backups. Images could also be quickly restored to a new hard drive on your computer and let your computer be used again quickly. The backup images could also be compressed to save room on your backup device.

Full & Incremental Backup Image Approach: Acronis introduced True Image that could make not only full backup images of your main hard drive, but could also make incremental backup images of just the changes to your hard drive since the last backup was made. This permitted frequent backups to be taken for maximum protection, but still conserves your backup storage space. This is a good approach.

Recovery Approaches

 

File Backup

Clone Method

Full Image Backup

Full/Incremental Image Backup

Basic Approach

Individual files copied and condensed to backup device one at a time.

Entire hard drive copied to another hard drive.

Entire hard drive sectors are copied and condensed on backup device.

Entire hard drive or just changes to hard drive are copied to backup device.

Backup Device Types

Hard drive (external, internal, or network) drives, or CD/DVD.

Internal or external hard drives.

Hard drive (external, internal, or network) drives, or CD/DVD.

Hard drive (external, internal, or network) drives, or CD/DVD.

Individual File Backups

Yes

No

No

No

Full System Backups

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Backup Space

Used File Space

Entire Hard Drive

Used File Space

Only Changed File Space.

Backup Speed

Slow

Medium

Medium

Fast

Restore approach

Create & Format partitions. Install OS, restore individual files.

Place Cloned hard drive inside computer.

Restore image to new hard drive.

Restore full & incremental images to new hard drive.

Restored Items

Individual Files

Entire Hard Drive

Individual Files or Entire Hard Drive.

Individual Files or Entire Hard Drive.

Restore Speed

Very Slow & Complex.

Medium

Medium

Medium

Worst Feature

Slow Backups. Poor backups of full system. Complex Restores of full system.

Requires a spare hard drive to do the clone. BEST METHOD.

Restore Image step required. Storage Space.

Restore Image step required.

Best Feature

Backup just a few files. Not really adequate today.

Simple physical replacement.

Quickly restore full hard drive.

Quickly restore full hard drive. Minimal backup drive space.

Summary

File Backup Approach: This approach is generally the slowest method of doing a backup. You need to find and specify all of your files to be backed up by this approach, which can be time consuming and difficult to do. Its ability to backup your full hard drive and get it working again after a hard drive crash is poor and complex. This approach is OK for backing up a few important data files.

Clone Approach: This approach is sometimes used to protect you from a hard drive crash. BEST METHOD.

Full Backup Image Approach: Backups are fast and cover your entire hard drive and not just a few selected files. While a restore is required to put your main hard drive back in operation, this is usually very fast. With condensed images you can also store several full backup images on your backup device. This is a good second approach to consider.

Full & Incremental Backup Image Approach: It is an great way to backup your entire hard drive and you can rebuild a working hard drive in a few minutes. It is also a good way to backup your individual files that have recently changed. The incremental backup system makes this automatic and easy to do. Using the incremental images, you can save many backup images on one external hard drive. It is the fastest and most space efficient way to do your backups.