Backup and restore like a Technician
There are many backup and recovery applications available today and selecting one should be based on what you are willing to use as your backup storage device.
Some use Home Server or network area storage to store their drive images while other may simply put a second hard drive in there system and use that.
Backup and Restore, Bare Metal Recovery and File Recovery often have limitations and we need to know just what is most important to you before you dive into a single solution that could leave you completely out of luck.
When we Google'd "What's the best backup solution" we could say the result where everyone has a "Best" solution.
That means we all head to the name that sounds the best right? Not really and to save you hours of headaches you might want to follow a few simple guidelines we have in place for servers.
First of all, when you have a new computer and everything is setup in that new computer it's best to run the third party recovery disk setup. Lenovo uses a scaled down version of Acronis which comes as a software bundle on Seagate drives. This is basically a bare metal recovery which creates a hidden partition on your hard drive. It works great when a virus corrupts your system or some software has gone wild. But in the case of a failed hard drive you're going to be out of luck.
So what else can you do to protect your system better?
When we build a system or configure a server we start off with a simple backup from the OS. In Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 you'll find restore as well as backup. The snapshot image that Windows takes is good enough to rebuild your system from a new hard drive. But history and experience tells us not to put all of our server configurations into one backup.
When our first backup is run we then clone the drive to an external drive. Now we can test the system directly to make sure all is well with our backup solutions. Remember, you'll need to have your OEM Disk or Windows Disk to start the recovery process. If your system is a brand name system you can look in your backup section for "Boot Disk" and "Recovery Disk" which might also include some test tools.
Now we have a windows backup scheduled to run and a master clone of the same. This will require 2 additional hard drives that didn't ship with your computer.
Like I said, you might not like the way it is but when you follow a processes and can survive 12 years and 5 failed drives you know your plan is working correctly.
Look below the Backup Recovery link to the left for specific backup scenarios that might match your system. We do suggest a built in hard drive for your primary backup location then you can use external drives for additional but different backup types.