Data Back Up Advice

  si67 16:26 25 Jul 2007

Hi all

Currently I have a PC with a 40GB hard drive. This is partioned as follows:

C:\ 10 GB (operating system only)
D:\ 30 GB (data only)

I have a 250 GB Maxtor external hard drive connected by Firewire and back up my data to it using Dantz Retrospect twice a week. I only back up the D:\ drive and do not back up the operating system.

I am having a new PC bulit with 2 x 250 GB hard drives. They will be partioned as follows:

Disc 1 - 50 GB (operating system only)
Disc 1 - 200 GB (data only)
Disc 2 - 250 GB (data only)

My questions are:

1. Do I need to external hard drive now that I can back up to Disc 2?
2. Or is it safer to back up to Disc 2, then use the external hard drive to back up the back up?
3. Should I be backing up the operating system too? I will have the CD and licence key for the new PC.

Sorry for the length of the post, just wanted to explain things clearly.

Thanks in advance.


  mole44 16:42 25 Jul 2007

get a seperate drive to back up to,the whole idea of backing up is so that if your main drive goes down you have a safe copy to reinstall from.i use Norton Ghost others prefer different sofware,i back up one a week so i`m at least safe.any personel data i use a pen drive.

  UncleP 17:38 25 Jul 2007

I would advise against relying on a back-up stored on the same computer as the primary data files. There are too many minor catastrophes eg fire, theft, computer fault, malware, your irate partner lobbing it out of an upstairs window etc etc, where both source and back-up may be lost. A back-up to an external store, whether HD, DVD or tape, is safer in that this may be removed to a safe environment away from the computer itself.

One important element, often overlooked, is that you should validate each back-up ie make sure that the copy contains the files that you want to safeguard. There are too many horror stories of blank, corrupted or incomplete backs-ups only detected when they were really needed.

I prefer to use disk imaging software (in my case Acronis TI) which backs up the whole HD - OS and all - as it saves having to re-install and up-date anything if the worst occurs. It's a powerful and versatile system which takes a little getting used to, and it requires more storage space than just backing up your data files, but once you are used to it the whole process is simple and straightforward.

  Diemmess 18:03 25 Jul 2007

I know the current trend of advice on this forum is away from partitoning altogether as a waste of time. Use external USB instead of a second internal HD.

Personally I think you have been doing the right thing in the past, if only because backups of the OS can be so much smaller and faster.

Your new computer changes things. (I treated myself to a new box a month or so ago).
Also Acronis 10 (or more) is a fine, quick and easy way to backup anything, and on the hoof even!

Suggest Disk 1 partitioned to-
Drive c: OS and Apps on 30gbs
Drive D: Data and immediate backups 220Gbs

Put second HD as large as you like (single partition) in a USB case and use it for long term archives as well as copies of D:\backups plus the ability to use this external drive as a portable powerhouse of all that is precious.

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