Reliable backup software for Windows XP

I have been getting a lot of abuse from Norton Ghost (v10) lately. Despite having more backup space than I can currently use, it aborts some backups, serves up annoying popups every once in a while (or more than every once in a while), and is a general pain in the neck.

Do any of my readers have a favourite backup program that they could point me to? I would say that money is no object (that’s not entirely true) but I am interested in something that is reliable and relatively unobtrusive.

Oh, and did I mention that Ghost is a real resource hog? It slows operations down to a crawl sometimes and is very resistant to attempts to postpone its online backups to a more convenient time.

7 Responses to “Reliable backup software for Windows XP”

  1. mc4bbs says:

    I prefer Vice-Versa — it’s VERY configurable.

    Of course, you really need to understand HOW Windows works (or dosen’t) in order to create backups and restore backups properly.

    Chaz’ Backup Hints:

    1) Keep all of your PERSONAL files (configurations, music, videos, documents, bookmark backups, etc.) in your “My Documents” folder. This keeps all of your personal stuff backed up in one easy place.

    2) Don’t bother backing up your “/Programme Files”, “C:/” drive, nor “/Windows” directories. Keep your original software CD-ROMS (or .ico files) on CD-ROM or on a master server with their activation codes. This is due to the fact that 90% of Windows software needs it’s registry information in order to work properly — and backing up your registry honestly is a pain in the ass and leads to future problems.

    3) Denote any ‘special directories’ in the directories I mentioned not to backup above, such as C:/Windows/Fonts (these are the fonts your system has loaded — if you use non-standard fonts, they are there, and you’ll want to save ’em!); perhaps you want to keep your Yahoo IM message archive? That’s buried in C:/Programme Files/Yahoo/Messenger/[something… something]

    Of course, your computer is different than mine and you probably use different application than I as well — so again, you need to have some experience with the inner workings.

    The best way to ensure your system is being backed up in s useful manner is to take another computer and attempt to RESTORE your backup and test functioniality (known in the corporate world as a D/R test, something I do often for very large UNIX systems).

    Your VERY basic D/R plan:

    1) Obtain hardware with storage at least the same size.
    2) Install O/S (Windows, Linux, etc.)
    3) Install O/S patches (Windows SP1, SP2…) via Windows Update Service
    4) Install your software from CD-ROM
    5) Overlay your personal data onto the new “image” on the new computer.

    CAUTION: If you restore OUTLOOK or other ‘live’ data service from a LIVE server, do not replicate your mail, as anything you recieve on the restored computer will NOT download on the old (original) PC.

    Let’s chat more about this when I see you in two weeks.

  2. mc4bbs says:

    If you want to try/experiment with Vice-Versa, download it at

  3. smlee4 says:

    why do u need a backup program, and what do you backup?

  4. chrishansenhome says:

    I need to back up my computer on a regular basis, as I would be pretty well lost if I lost any of it. Ghost is pretty sh*tty, and I need something that will reliably and silently (but perceptibly) back up my data on my home computer.

  5. smlee4 says:

    backing up.. the registry of your computer too?

  6. chrishansenhome says:

    oh, absolutely; the registry most of all!

  7. smlee4 says: