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DriveBackup (Figure 7) lets you create a disk image of each partition on your local hard drive.  In the case of a hard drive failure, you can restore the image(s) to a new hard drive and all of your applications, settings and data files will be restored.  You don’t even need to start with “bare metal” (a blank, formatted drive) and reload the operating system and applications or restore data. 

NTI DriveBackup job summary

Figure 7: NTI DriveBackup job summary

This “Bare Metal Restore” saves a significant amount of time if you experience a hard disk failure.  To restore, you merely reboot the computer using a Linux-based CD and restore the image from your Media Vault to a new hard drive. 

To test this, I created images of my “C” and “D” drives on my test notebook.  I then blew away system files on the C drive.  Using the boot disk, I ran the restore utility.  Interestingly, my options were to restore the C drive, or the C and D drive, but not the D drive individually.  And, I couldn’t select the “C and D” drive option.  Fortunately, I was able to restore the C Drive without incident and the system booted properly. 

I also tried to create an image of a second notebook using the NTI scheduler.  It kicked off at the scheduled time, but aborted 7 minutes later with a General error (code 64) – whatever that is….

The Media Vault Pros (again, not the mv2120) also come with a subscription for online backup through HPs partner, Spare Backup. The subscription is for 2 GB of data and up to 25 users.  Of course, you can pay for more storage.

I installed the client and ran some test backups.  I found the user interface to be a bit confusing, but a call or two to tech support, who answered quickly, resolved the issues.  2 GB is not a lot of storage, but it is included.  But before buying more, I’d investigate a few other online storage services, such as Mozy (reviewed), and compare features and ease of use.

Note, however, that Spare Backup lets you back up network shares (as mapped drives) and external drives, while Mozy Home does not. This lets you use Spare Backup to back up shares on the mv5150 itself instead of only client machines.

The fourth option is back up to an external USB drive.  A click on that tool takes you to the USB Backup tab in the web administration interface (Figure 8).  There, you’ll see the USB drive as well as each share and how much space has been used on each share.  The Media Vault reformats the USB drive using the EXT3 filesystem before creating the backup.

Media Vault Backup to USB screen
Click to enlarge image

Figure 8: Media Vault Backup to USB screen

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