Tuesday, October 23, 2007

2 other Nifty Programs

2 other programs caught my attention over the weekend, Acronis True Image Server 7.0 and GSplit 2.1.

Spent the weekend sorting out my notebook computer. Apparently it had some issues with msn still hanging the whole computer occasionally. I guess it’s a windows thing. Probably in-built into the windows programming codes, there’s a statement that says that if the user has used his computer for about 8-12 months, start creating all sorts of nonsense for him to make him format his computer. Or something along that line..

As with all other computers I’ve had, this one is no exception to that. Spent Friday night formatting my computer. It all started when I tried to use Partition Magic to adjust the partition settings on my computer. When I first got my notebook, I cleanly forgot to set the partitions and everything, so each time I think of using an imaging program, I get turned off thinking of the HUGE partition that I have.

So anyway, long story short, Partition Magic which has had a good track record of performing well amongst my friends caused my hard disk to crash. Again, Microsoft’s amazing new technology.. also probably goes to show how many errors there were on my computer after a year..

So I had to restore with the recovery disc and this time I got me a 10Gb partition for my OS done right. And after setting everything to how I like it, I decided to try Acronis True Image. Powerful tool.. it allows you to make an image of any partition on ur hard disk and saves it as an archive file, with an approximate 40% reduction in file size. And this allows you to restore your computer easily at the click of the mouse.. it also allows you to perform incremental backups.. like for example, I did a backup on Saturday afternoon, and maybe today (Tuesday) I feel like backing up my stuff again, so all I need to do is just to set the incremental backup on and it’ll pick up and edit the file from where it left off the last time, appending any changes I made to the partition since Saturday. Pretty neat, saves u time and space. It also allows you to write these backup archives directly to a DVD, automatically chopping up the huge archive file and prompting you to insert a new disc when it’s done. So you sorta create your own version of a Recovery Disc. =)

I guess the only thing that bothered me was that AFTER I created the archive file, a nice and big 5.56Gb file on my computer, I was not able to burn it onto a DVD. A standard single-sided DVD allows you approx 4.7Gb of space. . After pouring through the entire help file on Acronis’ True Image, I realize that after I have created the archive file, I am not able to split it up to burn them onto DVDs.. instead, if I had wanted this done, I should have chosen that option initially.

There are both pros and cons to keeping the image on ur harddisk as opposed to leaving them solely on an external media, like DVDs. For one, it’s much easier to perform a restore operation when the image is already sitting in some partition on ur computer. Just click and wait and it’s done. However, if any freak accident does happen to ur harddisk/notebook, you might just wind up losing the image as well. Let’s not also forget that the size of that archive file will depend on how big a partition u are imaging. The 3rd alternative? Be kiasu, leave one ur harddisk and do a back-up on an external media too.

So that leads me to the next other lovely program.. GSplit. Interesting name aside, this amazing program’s a freeware. So use it and spread it and fight the selfish buggers at Microsoft with it. =P GSplit allows you to split up huge files into smaller more manageable packages for whatever reason it may be, emailing, burning to cds, uploading to the net, etc.. all this is done with only a few simple steps. If you can point your browser to be able to read this blog, you’re probably able to operate this software, it’s that simple, no rocket scientist stuff here.

You can determine if you’d like to split the files according to pre-determined sizes (fixed settings for DVD, CDR, floppy etc) or specify exactly how many bytes each package should be. The other way works too, you can also specify how many packages you want ur huge file to be split into and the program will sort the rest out. I split my 5.56Gb file into 2, so it’ll fit comfortably into 2 DVDs.. After a short wait, the part1 and part2 of the files are created along with a tiny little assembly file. Double-click on this file and it’ll join back ur files into it’s original form.. so you can simply split the file and send it to someone across the net and he doesn’t need to have GSplit installed to be able to combine the files. Great stuff..

So combining these 2 programs, it’ll probably allow for a much more enjoyable process of restoring my computer the next time I need to format it. =)

Download Acronis True Image Server 7.0 here. (from Acronis site, the installer I have is to large to upload. Maybe I should use GSplit on it! Drop me a comment if you need any help.)

Download GSplit 2.1 here.

View the previous 2 programs that i find amazing here.

Comments? Suggestions? Programs not working or you found something better? Do leave me comment! =)

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