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Thread: Backing up Options

  1. #1
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    Question Backing up Options

    Hey All

    Just wondering what the best way to go for backing up my new system is, when I get it.

    Been told these so far:
    * Use extra hard drive to make copy of main hard drives.
    Draw back is extra drive has to be bigger than combined total of two main drives which cost's.
    * Use CD-RW drive + software to make image's of main hard drive's to cd, tho with main HD's (2x 80gb sata drives in raid 0) holding quite alot of info, don't know if cd will be able to hold total contents of both drive's.
    * Use back-up software (installed on main HD's) to make part of main drive's into a copy of them. Tho this kinda defeats the object tho, as I want a form of back up for when/ if main drive's either fail or I wipe them by accy.
    Can't remeber the others.

    Cheers for all help, Dave
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  2. #2
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    Use something like norton ghost to make a set of restore cd's you can then reinstall when needed (image will span cd's) and will be compressed too.

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    How fast is norton usually at creating and updating the multi imaged cd's ? (32xCd-Rw drive)
    Most importantly is it easy to use ?

    Cheers, Dave.
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    Don't dismiss DVD Writers. A CD holds 700MB while a DVD holds over 6 times the data. For a rough guide blank CDs cost 20p while blank DVDs cost under £1. CDRW costs £30ish while DVD Writer costs around £100 (4x using both + & -). Since 160GB HDs are no longer expensive as such it would be worth considering that option. For maximum safety you'd want to only connect the HD (power and data cables) when actually backing up (but you could leave it in your case). You could still use CDs/DVDs in order to keep something off-site in case of fire or theft. You could use RAID to create a backup on the fly too.

    Are you sure you need to copy EVERYTHING off the current HDs though? Surely the actual important data is FAR smaller than 2x80GB?

  5. #5
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    • Dave_07's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI X99A Gaming 7
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7 5930k (6 core) @ 4.3Ghz
      • Memory:
      • 16Gb Corsair DDR4 2800Mhz
      • Storage:
      • 2x 500Gb SSD's (Raid 0)
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 2x SLI MSI GTX 980
      • PSU:
      • EVGA 1000w PSU
      • Case:
      • Corsair C70
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 Pro 64Bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • G-Sync AOC G2460PG 1080p and LG Flatron W2261VP
      • Internet:
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    Im not that keen on the whole backing up to cd or even to dvd idea, would perfer a much more simple way, I was going to get one of those Maxtor easy/one touch ext drives, but heard too many bad things about them. So might have to, as you say Austin, use extra 160gb drive, tho would i need extra software for that ? (Norton Ghost ?)
    Also Austin what is using raid for backing up on the fly ?

    Edit: It's not really bits to backup more to preserve the setup as a whole, can't say how many times i've had to start over from scratch with my current system and it's getting annoying.
    Just want to totally get rid of that risk for next system.

    Cheers, Dave.
    Last edited by Dave_07; 01-11-2003 at 12:49 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Here's my usual spin on RAID (I think it's about right). Just to clarify RAID is where you typically use 2 or more HDs to speed things up, keep a constant backup or both. You need a specialist controller although this can be built into the mobo, not all controllers are equal but diffs aren't overly significant. You can use the following types of RAID:

    RAID 0 (striping) = Uses your HDs together and splits files up into stripes and places them across multiple HDs. This makes writing and reading faster. The size is limited to the size of the smallest HD multiplied by the number of HDs in the array (collection of HDs). The speed is also dictated by the speed of the slowest HD in the array. That's the basics I won't get into stripe sizes.

    RAID 1 (mirroring) = Writes identical data to each HD simultaneously so basicly keeps an immediate and constant backup. If one is infected by a virus then so is the other, it's a safe guard against drive failure more than anything else. This is not about speed but data safety, reading is sped up a little as data can be read from both HDs simultaneously. Again the smallest and slowest HD dictates the capacity and speed.

    RAID 5 (both) = Stripes across 2 HDs (RAID0) while you can use 1 more HD to keep parity info. You can use the parity info to rebuild any one of the HDs should they fail. You actually constantly swap between which HD gets the parity data so no 1 HD actually stores only parity data. RAID 5 requires more hw support and is more expensive even before you get into actually buying the HDs. There is a small overhead in calculating the parity data so you don't get the same speed boost as RAID 0. The capacity is equal to the smallest HD multiplied by the number of HDs in the array minus 1 (for the parity). Again as for RAID 0 or 1 you should really get identical HDs.

    RAID 10 (IIRC) = Tries to do RAID 1 + 0 which gives you 10. It tries to use 2 HDs to provide a speed boost whilst also keeping parity but from what I read some time ago it doesn't really work in practice.

    The speed improvement with RAID isn't as remarkable as you may imagine. 15% is often as good as it gets IIRC but basicly you'll never achieve true double speed, in fact with a poor stripe size you can easily be slower than a single HD. The downsides of RAID are the added cost, more HDs means a higher chance that one will fail, more power draw, more heat inside your case, more noise (2+ HDs are louder than 1) and more difficulty in upgrading your HDs or mobo/RAID controller.

    PS. I'd strongly rec Norton Ghost, I also tried Partiton Magic and a few other methods and Ghost was the only one to work properly for WinXP ... definitely what I'd use for minimal hassle.
    Last edited by Austin; 01-11-2003 at 04:32 PM.

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    I was about to mention RAID - but Austin hs summed it up well.

    RAID 1 would be your answer my friend
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    I'd go with DVD or HD myself.
    But it depends on how big (and filled) your main HD is.

    Backing up 100gig using CD-R would take a very long time (and 100+ discs).
    DVDs probably won't be much speedier (20-25 discs, and they burn slower).

    If you have lots of data, then a second HD would be preferable IMO (whether it is RAID-1 or not).
    I prefer to be more selective with what I backup..

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    RAID 10 (IIRC) = Tries to do RAID 1 + 0 which gives you 10. It tries to use 2 HDs to provide a speed boost whilst also keeping parity but from what I read some time ago it doesn't really work in practice.
    It usually known ( well as far as compaq raid cards are concerned ) as raid 0+1 , you have a mirrored set , which you stripe. its nice for sequential write operations , but not so great fro random access ( raid 5 is better for this ) it also give you a greater degree of redundancy which is a mixed blessing - its more fault tolerant , but it also means that you only ever get 50% of the storage you pay for.

    As far as speed goes - the system can write twice as quickly but usualy wont read so fast. However for squential read/write operations ( such as a backup, or a database log file ) its fine
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    How important is your data?

    If it is very important, do NOT rely on another hard drive in the same machine (whether for saving images created by a backup program, by Ghost OR by RAID) for backups.

    Why?

    I had a PSU failure - it took out motherbaord, a £300 video card, a DVD-RAM drive and all three hard drives in that machine!!!!


    This data was important to me. It held all sorts of company-confidential stuff, accounting data, my contact manager database, email archives and so on.

    Fortunately, I ALSO had copies on DAT tape


    What backup strategy is used is usually dictated by how expensive and/or inconvenient it will be if you lose everything.

    I keep Norton Ghost images of system installs, but can reinstall everything from cold if I have too. I also keep data on a separate drive partition from the OS, programs, etc and important data is on a partition of it's own.

    The Important data partition is backed up to DDS-3 DAT tape daily, and ALSO copied to an archive directory on my server. That archive is backed up onto SLR-6 tape automatically. In addition, a scheduled backup copies that partition to a partition on another hard drive in the primary machine. Oh, and tapes, disks etc are in a fire-proof safe.

    I simply CANNOT afford to lose that data. Among other things, Customs and Excise crucify me if I lost it

    If you just use your machine for games and a bit of web browsing, then backing up is not critical. If the data is important, for pities sake, keep it SOMEWHERE other than on the same machine. If that means CD/DVD, then do that, but NOT on the same machine ..... just in case all hard drives are destroyed at the same time like mine were.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by Austin
    Don't dismiss DVD Writers. A CD holds 700MB while a DVD holds over 6 times the data. For a rough guide blank CDs cost 20p while blank DVDs cost under £1. CDRW costs £30ish while DVD Writer costs around £100 (4x using both + & -). Since 160GB HDs are no longer expensive as such it would be worth considering that option. For maximum safety you'd want to only connect the HD (power and data cables) when actually backing up (but you could leave it in your case). You could still use CDs/DVDs in order to keep something off-site in case of fire or theft. You could use RAID to create a backup on the fly too.

    Are you sure you need to copy EVERYTHING off the current HDs though? Surely the actual important data is FAR smaller than 2x80GB?

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