Backup Strategy

  johnincrete 06:48 15 Jan 2009

In the "good old days" of mini-computers with removeable disks (that were the size & weight of a curling stone!) every night we backed up completely to a second disk and automatically closed down. In the morning, the disks were swapped so that we booted up from last nights backup and, if Ok, yesterday's disk was copied to tape which was put into the fireproof safe for a month and the disk became tonights backup. With regularity, we had disk crashes due to the flying heads hitting the disk surface so backup disks were regularly employed.
So, the point is:
1. what is a good strategy on a PC
2. what is the best (and simplest) software
3. how do I calculate what size of external disk to buy
4. can I use the same external disk to store the backup of two computers that both run XP Home SP3
5. for documents, pictures and videos that are not frequently accessed, I intend to move the raw files to an external drive and to burn CD's and DVD's of the audio and video so that they do not clutter up my working hard drives. Is this OK?
6. Again, in the "good old days" programmes were on a separate disk drive to the data they used. Is this possible with a PC using two internal hard drives? I'm thinking about leaving everything on the existing hard disk but moving the data to a new hard drive which would be backed up daily with the programme one being Imaged to the external drive perhaps weekly.

Big list of questions but I want advice from you great people out there who have actually done it rather than read it and who are not influenced by hidden commercial agendas (I sure plural of agenda is something else!)

  howard64 07:34 15 Jan 2009

1. any backup plan is better than nothing. I use acronis home to keep a full backup on an ext drive. I copy my documents to a dvd every 3 months. I do not have a lot of new stuff these days.
2. as above acronis.
3. the biggest you can afford although at the moment I would go for 2 500GB rather than the new 1TB.
4. Yes you just have different folders on the drive for different pcs.
5. a very good practise.
6. I have c: drive for my progs and E: drive for my documents etc.

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