External Hard Drive backups

  Sam Gee 15:20 07 Mar 2009

Hi I am using a 500GB Buffalo external hard drive .I notice that the list of backups is getting quite long can I delete all but the recent ones or is that the wrong thing to do.I have a 4GB flash drive I was thinking of using for backups and using the Buffalo for increasing my normal day to day use. I would be greatful for any advice on these questions.
Regards Sam

  Sam Gee 15:26 07 Mar 2009

Extra to my letter I notice that my usage on the buffalo so far is 22GB so it would seem that I would want more than a 4GB flasdrive,unless the usage is all the old backups on file.

  awest3 15:54 07 Mar 2009

To answer your question we probably need to understand a) how you took the backups b) what you have backed up.

If you are just backing up your data it may be useful to use the grandfather/father/son tecnique. where you over write the oldest backup when you take the next backup, this gives you 3 copies at any given time.

If you change the data between backups (normal) then you should be safe...beware deleting data that will not ge on the latest backup which you may want to recover.

Also remember that if you have any nasties (virus etc) which you take a copy of they will be restored should you decide to recover from that backup...usually a good idea to clean up prior to running a backup.

If you are taking backups using a program like Acronis then its a different story as this depends on what sort of backups you have taken..incremental (where only changed data is backed up) or full (where all the data is backed up).

most people just want copies of their data (letters, photos, video's etc) and so the drag (from your HDD) and drop (to your external HDD) is perfectly acceptable.

If it is just data then copying the data to a DVD (it may take a few) once in a while in addition to the external HDD might also be an idea.

If the uasge on the external drive is only 22gb then a 4gb flash drive might be ok, if its 22gb per backup then obviously not.

Its ok to use an external HDD both for normal work and backups, except of course that if you lose the external HDD through a hardware fault then you will have lost both data and backups...so maybe not a good idea...this is where having a dvd backup comes in handy.

in my machine I have two drives C&D so I take a backup of C onto D and a backup of D onto C in addition to an external HDD backup.


  Sam Gee 17:05 07 Mar 2009

Hi Al thanks for you comprehensive reply.The backup is just the built in Vista one so I think I am safe in cutting down to the latest two or three.Thanks again.

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