I hear it's important to "clone" the SSD image (as a way to quickly recover from viruses, malware, and other misfortunes -- and by restoring the system occasionally, it will make you more confident your system is not infected).
My new Samsung series 830 SSD comes with a free copy of cloning/backup software called "Norton Ghost". The software requests a variety of parameters to be set. Is there advice here at The SSD Review on how these software parameters should be set?
I use Arconis for this which works very well. I haven't used any Norton software in a long time.
After I do a fresh install I create a disk image. Then I install apps that I use just about everyday and then do a Incremental Disk Image update.
I now have two files that I can restore from at anytime.
I set Arconis to do an Incremental update everyday at 11am. I now have images of just about any day in time that I can restore from. The Incremental update only saves things that have changed from the last update so these files are super huge.
I use a 1 TB HD for storing images on. With this I can go a fair amount of time before I have to deal with a full disk. When that happens I generaly go through what I have and delete all backups except the first two.
Usually I make backups of folders and files etc to another HD and really important stuff I throw on a Buffalo Terra Station that is set to Raid 5.
At anytime you can pick one of your Arconis backups and double click on it to open that image and pull files off if you need to. Its very simple.
I have no idea how Nortan Ghost works, but it used to be a good tool.
In my old MTRON 7x SSD Raid 0 Arconis has saved me many times so I just stick with that.
Symantec Ghost is a ghost of the past for me too. Acronis is the best for full backups, obviously if you have an SSD you'll need version 2011 or later as earlier versions do not fully support SSD alignment.
I would also recommend the use of a light virtualization program like Shadow Defender for extra protection against rootkits. When it's activated all changes to the protected disks are undone upon rebooting. If you want to use Shadow Defender PM me first for details, don't get it from their website!
I also use snapshot software (Rollback RX) which is great if you want to test different software that require rebooting, you can test them and then undo their installs whenever you want. It's also great if you want to easily save and load different software/driver setups to fit different purposes.
Rollback RX can also undo system crashes, something very usefull if you are experimenting with overclocking: There is no need to run checkdisk after a crash to correct file system errors, just reboot the machine, load a saved snapshot before the scandisk pre-windows interface comes up, and any changes that have happened since the snapshot was taken (including any errors from a crash) are instantly undone in 3 seconds flat.
Last edited by Bad_Machine; 27-Jan-12 at 10:19 AM.
Thank you -- Buckeye, OS-Wiz, and Bad_Machine -- for your helpful advice.
I'be been reading through the Norton Ghost User Guide, and there are two items that still perplex me. I can use your insight on these. (Yes or No, on each.) This text is copied straight from their User Guide:
Disable SmartSector™ Copying -- SmartSector technology speeds up the copying process by copying only the hard-disk sectors that contain data. However, in some cases, you might want to copy all sectors in their original layout, whether or not they contain data. Lets you copy used and unused hard-disk sectors. This option increases process time and usually results in a larger recovery point. [FabFour: Are the disk sectors that do not contain data somehow important to the operating system (Windows 7), or to some copy protect mechanisms that might be built into the operating system?]
Ignore bad sectors during copy -- Lets you run a backup even if there are bad sectors on the hard disk. Although most drives do not have bad sectors, the potential for problems increases during the lifetime of the hard disk. [FabFour: Note also that their phrase "hard disk" is ambiguous. Do they mean the source hard disk, or the destination hard disk? And moreover, what if one of them is an SSD? How does that affect this option to "ignore bad sectors during copy"?]
FabFour -- I would think neither question applies to a full physical image copy, or clone. A clone is a sector by sector (segment on an SSD) copy of every sector on a disk. But if Ghost does use them then #1 should be off, and #2 on.
I used Ghost a few times for various things, but it is a pig of a program with very good features. I couldn't recommend you to use it at all. I'm not really aware of any other quality prgs as I haven't used many