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Thread: Backup Solutions?

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    Backup Solutions?

    I currently run a machine with 2 Seagate Barracudas. The first partition on my second disk is what I call my "filestore" and has, among other things, all of my music and downloads.

    Playing with Linux the other day, I was in a hurry to do something and screwed the partition's NTFS file system (it's very easy to do, even if you think you're experienced ).

    I've tried to recover it, but most of the files were broken and it's not really worth it (99% of my music is legal and can be ripped again, and a lot of the downloads were outdated anyway)

    I have a RAID controller on-board, but that would still not be any use in such a situation, as with mirroring I'd just be knacking 2 disks simultaneously.

    So I pose the question - what do you think would be the best backup solution in such a scenario. I was thinking along the lines of USB HDD to back my important stuff up once-a-week, but there could be some sensitive stuff on there and I'm sure a USB HDD would be first to go if my house was to be burgled.

    Thanks a lot

    Al

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    Well atleast with a USB HDD you have the option to keep it off premises ie your m8's house, parents or at work. You could also just hide it in your house making it much more unlikely to get stolen.

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    Asking silly questions menthel's Avatar
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    I have an USB hdd that backs up my music etc, put together from an old 40gb hdd and a usb hdd/cd kit that came from aria for about £20. Cheap and easy way of doing it if you have a spare hdd lying around.
    Not around too often!

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    I've just ordered a 200GB HDD and a firewire/USB2.0 drive enclosure from scan. It will contain drive images, archives, install scripts and so on. I may encrypt it, or at least parts of it, but when its not in use it will be away from the PC anyway.
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    Hmm drive enclosure... I really like these Seagate Barracuda's and would love to have one USB-enabled... can you recommend an interface for me? Thanks

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    Agent of the System ikonia's Avatar
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    ok - depending on the importance and the size of the data here are my suggestions.

    a.) a dds tape device - dds3 or 4 very cheap now. Take a 1 off backup recovery of the OS and put this tape away. Everytime you apply a patch update this tape and put it back in the draw.

    b.) Have 2 more tapes, 1 for a complete backup of the "filestore" then with the second take a complete backup of the filestore, and run an incremental backup once a week - say every sunday at midnight. Then the last day of the month update the complete backup tape with a new complete backup of the "filestore"

    This solution gives you an OS recovery solution, and a quick recovery solution of the filestore (if you just delete a single file for example) or a complete recovery if your disk fails

    The other solution is partition mirroring mirror partition 1 to partition 2 on disk 2 and partition 2 to partition 1 on disk one (using a 2 disk solution)

    You could also use a product like say "norton ghost" or HP "ignite" or Sun "Jumpstart" to take a compelte image of your system to a tape or USB disk once a month, unplug the disk and put it in the draw, this is not as flexable as the solution above however it will work.

    The other option is a second machine to do a network backup to, but this is then starting to get silly.

    if your running a windows base OS this is pretty easy, if your running a unix based os give me a shout if you want any help.
    It is Inevitable.....


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    USB hard drives fail, the only real safe method is mirroring 2 drives in raid which is what I am going to do, im gonna whack 2 300gb 16mb cache maxtors into a shuttle and use that as a file storage machine.
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    Agent of the System ikonia's Avatar
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    mirroring is not a fix all.

    eg: if you have corruption that corruption mirrors to the second disk if your config is not correct.

    a carefull hand is required
    It is Inevitable.....


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    I have a dds 4 tape drive (got it with a poweredge server that cost me £50, but thats a whole different wonderful story).

    Its slow takes a long time to backup but 40gb on a tape is nice (especially when you got 30 tapes in the £50 deal )

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    My solution is to copy all my main stuff to a DVD. Burners are dirt cheap, and blank DVDs are less than 50p if bought in bulk. I have a copy onsite, and copies offsite, in case my house burns down. I find that this deals with the bulk of my problems. Used to use DDS tape drives, but they are too damn slow, especially when you want to recover.

    That then just leaves you with a much lower volume of recent updates to backup. I use a USB Key drive - very small and light, so easy to take offsite - and my MP3 player, which can be used as a USB/Firewire removable disk drive under Windows.

    Nomadd

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    Asking silly questions menthel's Avatar
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    You have to realise that all of the above suggestions could fail and that you just have to make the best choice you can with the funds you have available.
    Not around too often!

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