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Computer hardware, software, networking and internet: Discuss Backup and storage...The time has come for me to buy some more external storage for my laptop. At the moment I'm using ...
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Old 15-12-2014, 00:13   #1 (permalink)
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Backup and storage

The time has come for me to buy some more external storage for my laptop. At the moment I'm using a 500gb hard drive as my backup and just praying that my laptop doesn't give up on me before I can backup all my pictures. I want to get a NAS style system or similar that offers me RAID capabilities. I have been looking at something like the Drobo but it a just too expensive, then I looked at the WD my book duo. This seems just perfect for my needs but I was wondering what other solutions are out there. If anybody could give me some recomendations and if possible some pics of your setups that would be really helpful.

Also, what software do you use for creating the backups, I currently have to use a simple peice of code that creates an archive of my laptop onto my external HDD.
Any help is appreciated. 😄
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Old 15-12-2014, 00:38   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Backup and storage

I back up weekly using Syncback SE. I've set up four backups - Docs, Images, AVs and my profile. They run automatically if the computer is on and the programme is open. I plan to get another drive to enable me to back up twice a week and be able to swap the drives in and out ( my rig has 3 HDD slots accessible from the front of the cabinet) so the drive that is not in the computer is stored elsewhere. I occasionally also copy stuff onto DVD, although I do realise that home burnt DVDs are not permanent and can deteriorate. HDD represents the best value for money in terms of GBs for your buck. A 1TB HDD is about £40 and a bit more if you want an external one in a case with a power supply.

Don't forget that a network backup will take a lot longer than USB3 or maybe USB2. Also a portable drive will be slower than a mains powered one, but probably faster than a network backup.

Be careful with RAID. I assume that you are going to mirror drives, but I know someone who was (I think) using multiple discs and striping for faster read/write but the controller packed up. He replaced it with an identical unit but was unable to recover the images stored on the system. I don't think that you need anything fancy. Just one or more external drives and a backup programme or just copy & paste the folders you want to back up.
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Old 15-12-2014, 12:05   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Backup and storage

I have an internal RAID system on my computer to give some protection from a disk dying. I mainly rely on SyncBackFree to maintain data on 3 external USB disks - one a mirror so I can just copy back if necessary and 2 backups so I can retrieve all the files I accidentally deleted . I also have an external server that maintains backups, although to be honest I turned it off to save heat generation in the hot weather and haven't yet turned it back on....

Keeping a backup elsewhere to prevent loss from fire etc. is a good idea.

I recall seeing on a forum (might have been this one) recently someone who kept a server concealed in his garage to provide a degree of off site storage as well as backup.
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Old 15-12-2014, 12:13   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Backup and storage

FWIW - I don't bother to back up the system drive. I can re-install programmes. I just back up data.

But now I have in excess of 5TB, soon to be over 8TB, I am going to look at disc imaging.
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Old 15-12-2014, 18:50   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Backup and storage

I don't either - I just back up my data.

On the other hand, it would be better if I did, because I found it took a lot of messing about with apparently unrelated settings to make Win7 work as I wanted; and the same with Microsoft Word. In my case, it's more involved than just feeding in DVDs or clicking on downloaded executables to get back to where I am.

I feel this keenly at the moment, as I have a new PC on order, and I fear I'm going to have to do this...
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Old 15-12-2014, 19:24   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Backup and storage

Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenBatey View Post
I feel this keenly at the moment, as I have a new PC on order, and I fear I'm going to have to do this...
I feel your pain

Maybe a disc image would be good in your circumstances.

I've just done this having taken delivery of my new computer about a week ago. Took me two days to get it how I wanted it, and I'm still finding details that need fixing, but although I find it a real PITA, it does give the opportunity to have a clear out and not install some stuff that was little used. This is why I'm hesitating over doing a disc image. Although in theory it makes it easy to have the machine as you left the old one, it also brings all of the baggage too.........
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Old 16-12-2014, 23:41   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Backup and storage

I've been toing and froing over this as well. It would be good to have Windows as I know it (not to mention all my Firefox settings) without having to do anything, but at the same time there would be a lot of stuff carried over that wasn't needed like drivers (different motherboard, different video card etc.). I also have to reinstall Access anyway since a Microsoft update means it doesn't actually let me print out my Christmas card labels. I've had this problem for some time.

I've half decided to perhaps make a disk image, and install in the new computer so that I can decide via BIOS settings which version to boot. It could get me up and running more quickly, but still only postpones the evil day. The new computer has a solid state drive, so I couldn't compete on boot speed without making an image on another one - which I don't have. I also suspect that Windows itself may think I was cheating, when suddenly finding a different motherboard, video card, extra RAM and so on and not accept that it was correctly licenced.
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Old 17-12-2014, 00:49   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Backup and storage

When you weigh up the pros and cons the fresh start does seem to be the way to go. You are right about the image. For me not so difficult as I'm considering imaging the new rig that I've just bought just in case I have to do a re-install at any time, so no issues with incompatible hardware.
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