I personally would agree with the geeksqaud guy for the most part; as much as I dislike them. Here’s how I conduct small personal system backups in two parts.
1- I image the main drive which contains installed applications and o/s. This creates a single image file of several GB in size. It goes onto a drive with big red sticker titled “_ BACKUP _”.
2- Then I manually copy my super important personal media and data files to the same drive. I use a basic drag’n’drop operation for this. Or a perhaps a simple freeware sync program.
So this “_ BACKUP _” drive now holds two things. My o/s with installed applications. And my personal data.
I figure if anything goes wrong with my “perfectly prinstine setup” I would want to restore it exactly the way it was, no troubleshooting, no muss, no fuss. I pull out the image and restore the disk image. Problem solved! If and when your system is experiencing a seemingly unsolvable problem. It’s best to just restore instead of wasting time troubleshooting something obscure. I’m certainly not going to spend hours digging through thousands of files and troubleshooting. If there is a an internal problem with an application or windows, chances are you’re not going to know what specific files is causing it. Restore the whole thing and be done! That covers #1.
For #2, this is where a simple file-sync program absolutely shines absolutely! As you build your media and data collection all you need to do is drag and drop the new files to the backup drive. Or have a simple MANUAL sync program do the tedious work for you. You specify the source and destination and the program runs through, making a list of differences. Correctly set up it will simply add files from your media directories to your backup drive. You approve it and the job is done!
Of course there are variations on a theme and as the saying goes - different strokes for different folks!
Now, I dislike totally automatic backups for one simple reason. Here’s why. The most important thing with backups is to know exactly what is getting backed up and what is not. A backup program should be clear and concise with no ambiguity as to what is happening. And the point here is to have two copies of everything. And to also know you can restore the system successfully. This means that you’ll have already tested the solution and have complete confidence it will work as intended.