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No time for Backup? But plenty of time for wailing especially when you urgently need your data. No need for that! Get yourself an extra (USB-)Harddrive. Here and now is not the place to bore you to death with cryptic command lines and longish scripts. I rather point out what you can do to safe your precious data.


All major OS can run those OpenSource tools “rsync” and “dd” and the syntax is very similar in all Operatingsystems.

Linux is sleek but still comes with Double D,not that I would complain. InnocentI always was a great friend of Double D (actually Dual Dump) “dd” is one of the oldest but easy to use tools you can backup separate partitions as well as entire hard drives.

Some examples to get a guided grip on DoubleD, to backup an entire partition with dd use:
dd if=/dev/disk1 of=/dev/disk2 bs=512 (bs=512 a greater block size speeds it up a bit)

or for a complete harddrive use
dd if=/dev/disk of=/backup/filename.dd bs=512

Unfortunately dd doesn't copy single files. To copy single or all files (file by file) rsync does the trick.
rsync -av –delete –exclude "verysecret.txt" /source/data /destination/backup

This is a just a syntax example

The 1st time it takes ages but thereafter it only copies data which has changed. No need to be envious dear windows user – Cygwin brings you the divine power of Linux into your windows and with it come tools like “dd” and “rsync”. But you can also have those little powerful tools by them selves – no need to install the whole lot that comes with Cygwin.

Linux – not much to be said here

Linuxer generally know what they are up to


you want to copy (mirror) whole harddrive – type:

dd if=/dev/sda of=/somewhere/else/backup_sda.dd bs=512 (creates a file that contains the whole HDD)
dd if=/dev/sda1 of=/somewhere/else/backup_sda1.dd bs=512 (creates a file the contains the first partition of your HDD)
dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=512 (creates a mirror of your 1st HDD to the 2nd one)

rsync -av /home/geeks2rent/ /backup/ (copies all from geeks home directory into the backup directory)
rsync -abRvz –exclude "/cdrom" U –exclude "/lost+found" –exclude "/proc" /U root@www.peace.mil:/backup/mirror (copies the entire system to a different server and there into the directory /backup/mirror

The command on the receiving server (listener)
nc -vvn -l -p 3000 -w 3 > test.tgz
the command on the sending server (sender)
nc -vvn 3000 < TEST.tgz

further infos to Netcat can be found here: http://www.datastronghold.com/articles/3.html

I know there are many more tools around but the tools I like are dd, rsync, nc, scp. I am not very fond of the graphical interfaces but that is my personal taste.

i love the get-it-done attitude of the commandline and not the cant-do-a-thing-but-am-gorgeous of many of those graphical tools.


One way of doing back up is by using Windows own capabilities.

1) system restore points
creating system restore points. to do so click on “start” “help and support” in the “help and support center “select the item “Undo changes to your computer with System Restore “ the wizard assists you in accomplishing the task. or just start the program “C:\WINDOWS\system32\Restore\srdiag.exe

2) ntbackup
Yes NT is still alive "XP" allegedly stands for "Experience" ..snigger.. (W2K is NT 5.0, XP is NT 5.1 and Vista is NT 6.0) Vista reads Virus Intruder Spyware Trojan Adware.
Additional info on ntbackup http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308422/
Double click on c:\windows\system32\ntbackup.exe or click on “start” “run…” and then type ntbackup.exe. The “backup wizard” guides you through the backup. but as so often Microsoft comes up with a rather good idea but the intention rarely gets any further. Some even say “NT” stands for “Nice Try”.

rsync for windows: Syntax examples:
rsync comes from the unix world and there is no such limiting thing like a drive letter.
in UNIX all is one big idea. therefore if you want to backup "C:\WORK\*" you have to type "/cygdrive/c/work/*"

rsync -av –delete /cygdrive/c /cygdrive/f/
this copies all from c:\ to f:\

Example 1 – rsync recursively to a unix server with an openssh server :
rsync -r /cygdrive/c/work/ remotehost:/home/user/work/
Example 2 – Local rsync recursively
rsync -r /cygdrive/c/work/ /cygdrive/d/work/doc/
Example 3 – rsync to an rsync server recursively :
(Double colons?? YES!!)
rsync -r /cygdrive/c/doc/ remotehost::module/doc
http://www.exavault.com/rsync_setup_windows.shtml )

As if this isn't good enough, it get's even better in the combination with Visual basic scripts.

(a crash-bang-translation of this german VBScript you can find here: rsyncbackup.vbs)

The only important thing in the file rsyncBackup.vbs is that you have to adjust the following lines according to your needs.

'sourceFolders = Array("BITTE TRAGEN SIE DIE QUELLPFADE IM SKRIPT EIN") (means enter source path here)

sourceFolders = Array("C:\Documents and Settings\Geeks2rent\" , “e:\tools”)

this backs up the content of the folder “tools” on drive e:\ and user settings.
Dim excludeFiles
excludeFiles = Array("Cache", "parent.lock", "Temp*")

'const DESTINATION="BITTE TRAGEN SIE HIER DEN ZIELPFAD EIN" (means enter target path here)
const DESTINATION="f:\backup"

The Windows-Script rsyncBackup.vbs creates snap shots of your data to a locally attached device (preferably NTFS). The tool rsync copies at each run only an incremental backup of the files, which changed since the last backup – thanks to Hard-Links.
On the backup target each snap shot will appear as a full backup. you only need to define the directories you want to backup once in the script.


Since the Mac Operating System runs on top of a unix based system, you can also use tools like “dd” or “rsync” from the command line.

sudo dd if=/dev/disk1 of=/dev/disk2 bs=512
(sudo makes sure you are running with sufficient privileges.)

To find the correct value for disk1 and disk2 type “diskutil list” at the command line

additional information on how to use rsync with your Mac: http://www.egg-tech.com/mac_backup/

sudo /usr/local/bin/rsync –eahfs –showtogo -a -x -S –delete \ –exclude-from backup_excludes.txt $* / /Volumes/OSX/

As much as "I" adore the comandline especially my Mac friends (even that am german i do have friends …one or two…) are desperatly in need to use somethinggraphical
An enhanced rsync tool for the Mac is rsyncx! for further infos look here: http://archive.macosxlabs.org/rsyncx/rsyncx.html

Carbon Copy Cloner

The old Mac OS was able to transfer the system directories by dragging them to a different partition and could be started from there without grumbling. This was a quick and simple way of making a copy in case you lost your data. With the Carbon Copy Cloner a Mac-OS-Installation migrates almost as simply onto a different device. You are able to exclude directories from the cloning process.

super duper from shirtpocket

(i didnt made this up even though it sounds like it)

This simple to operate tool serves the purpose of backing up on a mac very well. The unregistered version can create a full backup of a device to a different partition or into a disk image. In the registered version you dont always have to type in a password and you can also choose between different types of backups.