The Paranoic's guide to laptop data management

Hah! That title sure got you in here!

I’ve gotten a pretty reliable system of making sure my data is backed up all over the damned place - I haven’t lost a file in a couple of years thanks to offline files, folder redirection, a listing somewhere in a text file containing everything I need to install to get a new machine up, blah blah blah.

My problem is that I’ve hit a wall on the “reinstalling” part. It is so goddamn boring to spend a day or two reinstalling a machine whenever a drive goes bad, and I don’t ever want to do it again. Dual hard-drive laptops with a a mirror would be nice, but no one actual makes these and I can’t really go buy a new one now anyway, so it’s kind of irrelevant except for long-term.

So, my ideal scenario:

  • Every night, something does the standard differential image since the last + full image every week or so of my running machine. If it goes down, all I need to do is slap in a new hard drive, network boot, and choose which image to install.

Does this actually exist? Even something without the network boot would be nice.

Acronis, sir.

Woo, and $50! I love you, man.

That does look excellent. Special tip for Europeans: Amazon UK has Acronis True Image v8 for less than £16 net. That translates to €32 including VAT and shipping to Germany… 8 euros cheaper than the Amazon’s German version!

At that price I don’t even bother with the trial download. :)