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Disc-bootable backup software

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Cyber Akuma    1

I noticed that there was a topic about this, but it was just a poll rather than a guide or FAQ......

Ok, just to be sure I didn't fail Backups 101: From my understanding if I have a set of incremental backups I can restore from any point an incremental backup was made, not only from the latest incremental correct? And a set of incremental backups after a few months or years of backups will actually take up more space than a full because they will contain deleted data that wouldn't be present if you did a full correct?

Assuming that is true and I didn't fail on the basic fundamentals of backups.... I am trying to find out what options there are for doing backups off of a boot disk to an external drive (most likely USB). Thing is, there are a few requirements I need it to be capable of:

1: This will be a windows system, and most of those backup bootdisks are Linux based, which depending on the distro tend to have good to glitchy NTFS support last time I used them, especially NTFS write support. Dunno if that's gotten any better nowadays.

2. I want to backup the entire OS drive, not just a partition, but the boot sector and MBR itself. Well... most likely I will stick with MBR, but just in case, can any handle GPT as well?

3. Pretty sure 99.99% of backup apps do this, but just tossing it out there, it would be preferable if it would compress the backup image too. Speed of backup/restore isn't an issue here, just reliability..... and not taking up terrabytes to backup gigabytes.

4 Not sure how possible this is, especially on a drive-level rather than partition level backup, but it would be nice if it would ignore the page and hibernate file, since those would be huge, change all the time and thus set off the incremental backup, and and have zero reason whatsoever to be backed up.

5. The system will have two SSDs in RAID0, will backup programs have an issue with this? (There will also be a RAID5 but those are just storage and don't need to be backed up over a bootdisk. Also, I would only need the latest version of the data on the RAID5 backup, no need to go back to any certain earlier points).

I used to use Acronis a few years ago (And it seems to be the current popular one in the poll, maybe I should give it a second chance....), but from my understanding their latest version of the software is terrible. Are there any good free or paid offerings that will let me do all this?

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