Do you double backup your files?

  Arnie 23:54 23 May 2006

About two years ago I accompanied a friend who purchased a Windows 2000 OS CD and an installed CDRW drive from a local computer shop.

The helpful dealer popped the disc into the new drive just to check that everything was ok.
After a few seconds there was a loud shattering noise and the disc was found to be split from the centre to the outside, although it was still in one piece.

I couldn’t believe that the drive was still working ok after the disaster. However, it made me very wary of relying on one backup disc for a particular application.

Since the dealer was a Microsoft product agent he quickly obtained a new replacement disc for my friend.
I was told this had occurred previously on a couple of occasions!

Whilst backing up some programs and other data this afternoon it, reminded me of the incident.

Now I always backup my files twice. MP3s, software files and music files. This uses 6 DVDs.
My C: drive is backed up to a second drive using Acronis v.8.0 - build 937. This is followed by an image check and I have found it to be quite reliable.

I hope this posting reminds some of the less vigilant forum users to double backup their valuable data.
From my reading previous threads, I know that many of you do backup twice.

  Forum Editor 00:04 24 May 2006

is often something that people do in response to an earlier disaster. Regular forum users will be tired of me repeating this, but there's an old IT-industry joke that the best time to back up your files is just before your computer crashes.

It's not unknown for CDs to shatter in the drive, and it makes good sense to double-up on the backup copies. In the corporate world backups are commonly made to tape drives, and I always advise clients to remove at least one backup copy from the premises each night - usually a responsible member of staff is nominated to take the backup home.

In the home-user situation there's less need for such stringent routines, and a couple of separate CD or DVD copies would seem appropriate. I'm not generally in favour or retaining critical backups on hard drives for obvious reasons - far better to keep backups on some kind of removeable media - although disk imaging is a different matter. I'm referring to data backups.

  Arnie 00:14 24 May 2006

It adds weight to my reason for being very careful to backup my data.

  DrScott 00:20 24 May 2006

Isn't backing up software a bit tricky though? If my Windows Office 2003 disk shatters in the DVD-drive, am I not looking at a few hundred pound bill just for new software?

Or is a drive image the only safe way?!

I do my backups to a redundant laptop drive via a enclosure: I'm relying on the probability of both harddrives dying at the same time being rather low!

  Forum Editor 00:50 24 May 2006

Microsoft are well aware that people will want to make a backup copy of expensive software - for the very reason you mention. In truth they couldn't prevent you from doing it, but that doesn't arise - they're quite happy for you you to make a personal backup of your Office CD.

  Danoh 01:10 24 May 2006

Extra internal Hard Drive dedicated to backups; C drive-image & 3 generations of data backups.
External Hard Drive for Laptop Image & data backups.
Absolutely critical data also backed up and duplicated on CDs/DVDs.
Certain data also backed-up in online storage.

I have never made any personal backups of installation CDs for O/S nor Application programs!!
So thanks very much for the reminder!!
{now to remember to do it before the eventuality! :-}

  fleamailman 02:44 24 May 2006

I only have backups, my comp is just 6gb so it is not backing up so much as continually freeing space which turns out to be the same. In fact, one of the best ways to store data is to share data. btw I retrive a lot of old harddrives from disused comps, agreed that it is not as sure as burning stuff to DVDs but if you, and the person one is cross-storing with, have an external harddrive box...

  Totally-braindead 07:03 24 May 2006

The only thing I do have that I backup more than once are my photos. I keep 2 copies and check the disks are ok every few months because disks can fail. Nothing else I use the computer for personally is so critical to me that I couldn't afford to lose it so for everything else theres one backup only.
Very good advice though Arnie and I also keep a small book with email addresses and websites/passwords in case the worst does happen.

  anskyber 07:52 24 May 2006

Yes, well 3x really. I run 2x 250gigs in RAID 1 so there are 2 copies of everything including the OS in that format. I then "image" the drive to an external HDD, so that deals with an external system or rather removable back up and finally critical data is backed up to DVD.

  dth 12:29 24 May 2006

I would just add to the FE's comments on work back-ups - do the same for your home back-ups. Have a copy at work or a relatives. If your house burns down - your back-ups will fry too.

Two other points. Always check your back-ups. We discovered at work that the back-up tape drive had stopped running 6 months ago by accident!

Finally have a range of back-ups. I discovered that I had deleted an important file by mistake. Of course the file was not on the recent back-up DVDs that I'd made (as I must have deleted it some time ago) but it was on a back-up from 12 months ago.

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