I'm kind of looking for backup solutions of the whole HD, that after this, will create incremental backups.
And that will store incremental as well as total backups as compressed archives on the HD. (Kind of what Norton Ghost did, but without needing to have a 100GB backup for your 200GB disk where only 50GB is used.
An easy backup requires me to plug in the drive, start the automatic program, which sets itself in the systray, background scanning my HD and updating any internal software (found on the ext. hd).
Literally a system that does it all (automatically) when being connected to a pc via USB.
It's not particularly hard to get a backup working. I think the biggest problem people face is the need for an extra drive. This costs money -- money you could spend on a graphics card, CPU or RAM.
I use Acronis, and I've got about 100GB of data backed up to a 500GB eSATA drive. The ten backups (one full + 9 differential) take up about 200GB total (I used maximum compression). I have a Q6600 @ 3.3GHz, and 8GB RAM; it takes under 1 hour to back up the system and it will do it automatically. If the PC is off at the scheduled time, it pops up next login asking to run missed backups.
I've had to use the backups and restore, so glad I went out and got that 500GB drive. For backups, I would highly suggest an eSATA drive over USB / IEEE1394. I get a full 65-70MB/s on that whereas my Firewire drive can barely do 30-35, its even slower on USB. Get the eSATA, your backup won't take an hour. With USB, I bet it takes 2-3 hours. Backups are particularly intensive, as you need to go through each file, check if it exists and then check if its newer if a copy exists. eSATA greatly helps, more I/Os, more bandwidth.
I wonder about the software they use for these solutions: is it a proprietary software or a special version of Acronis/Ghost/whatever?
I'd guess the former, but I really don't know
As for me, I have two layers of backups: a "normal" backup, performed daily by SyncBackSE (excellent program, btw) and a "Disk Image" backup also performed daily by ShadowProtect Desktop, a little known piece of software that is nonetheless PCMag's Editor's choice (over Acronis, Ghost, etc.)
I might be biased or clueless, but I don't like the idea of storing the firmware on the PLATTER. Come on, what if you need to actually recover the data. Swapping the controller won't help with that if the firmware is bad. Swapping the platters...ughhh... too much work for the average consumer. Looks as though possibly the 7200.12 also stores the firmware on the platter. Anyone know if WD stores it there too? I've had to RMA at least 3 seagate 7200.11's per month, that is pretty sad.
@ToddAndMargo: It depends on how many versions of the file it keeps. Since it's continuously backing up, you may be out of luck a few days later. And since it's an image backup, it's designed to backup everything and restore everything. It's possible to restore a file but I bet it's not easy.
I agree with "computabug". I wouldn't trust a seagate to back up my data. They would be the last ones to be trusted with precious digital information given their failure rates.
another thing to consider on backup is backing up your drivers and apps, as opposed to your data. Radarsync does this nicely -- you select apps and drivers for it to backup for you and it saves them in an online pack in case you need to reformat or get a new computer. http://www.radarsync.com