After been "burned" many times with backup images that fail to restore due to data rot issues (among others), I am looking for a software that is able to backup an entire volume along with it's boot information (disk snapshot / cloning), while PC is working (shadow copy), so a full restore can be done in case of total drive failure even if some bits of the backup image get corrupted over time.

Optionally it will be nice to do incremental backups too, but that is not a deciding factor. So far I've checked out the following. I've highlighted which part of them failed me using a minus sign in front:

  • Acronis True Image: +Real-time +Boot info/system files +Incremental backup -Parity
  • Macrium Reflect Pro: +Real-time +Boot info/system files +Incremental backup -Parity
  • CrashPlan Unlimited: +Real-time -Boot info/system files +Incremental backup +Parity (cloud only)
  • Clonezilla: -Real-time +Boot info/system files -Incremental backup -Parity
  • WinRAR: +Real-time -Boot info/system files +Incremental backup +Parity
  • RAID 1 (mirror): +Real-time +Boot info/system files -Incremental backup -Parity

I just want to be able to take backups, that I can rely on them, without the need of taking my Windows offline to build them.

I am using Windows 8.1 x64 Pro. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

  • You could WinRAR and acronis backup. I know its lame but it works. – cybernard Aug 6 '14 at 21:48
  • Both RAID 5 and 6 have parity and 6 has more parity so it is better. You can lose 2 hdd with RAID 6 and still be fine. A minimum of 4 hdd required for RAID 6. – cybernard Aug 6 '14 at 21:51
  • @cybernard I thought about creating PAR2 files each time, but it's lame as you suggest. About RAID: The way parity works on them, doesn't protect from bit rot. On the contrary, can lead to devastating results. Click the link I put on RAID 1 for more info. – Saxtus Aug 7 '14 at 12:51
  • I use RAID 6 with full monthly scans and no problems so far. – cybernard Aug 7 '14 at 21:23
  • I have the same problem you do, only I need it for Windows 10. – jalazbe Aug 29 '17 at 9:44

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