TCO Should Include Value as Well as Cost: indirect vs direct costs
Part 4: What? No Backup Hardware?
A third scenario to consider is backing up a computer that doesn't have built-in backup capabilities. Such a system might include an older laptop or a standalone, unattended system that is not connected to a network. How does one economically back up such a system?
The most cost-efficient way to back up a standalone, unattended system with only one hard disk (such as an embedded system running Windows) is to create an image on the same disk drive. You can create a partition and then schedule backups to a complete image and incremental images onto this partition.
Should the system's software fail for any reason and the system suffers a logical crash, it is possible to restore the latest backup from the hidden partition. Since the system is not connected to a network, this would require hands-on intervention by a technician; but the restoration would take a matter of minutes from the hidden partition; it would not be necessary to rebuild the hard disk from scratch.
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