People’s backup regime

  paddyjack 20:31 15 May 2006

I know this chestnut has been raised before, but I just have a gripe at the moment.

Most of my work is backed up to DVD’s, but they can be cumbersome so I decided to invest in an external HD.

2 months ago I invested in a 250g external HD, and proceed to back up to that, it was also handy for exchanging stuff between computers.

Shock horror I go the fire it up this morning to back up some stuff on it. You guessed it, it was a non-starter.

Phoned the company no problem about exchanging it, but I can say goodbye to anything on the disk. Could they not just repair the defunct electrics I asked. Not worth it was the answer.

Apart from hard copy is there any really good backup medium.

Its belt and braces from here on again while I try and work out exactly what I’ve lost.

  ade.h 20:36 15 May 2006

You've hit the nail on the head. No form of backup can be 100% trustworthy (DVDs are not totally infallible either, nor is flash memory) so TWO external copies is the order of the day if you want to be really safe.

  SG Atlantis® 20:38 15 May 2006

Don't rely on just one form of backup.

System backed upto hdd and dvd. monthly
Data backed upto hdd, dvd and cdr. weekly
Have a restore disk made by Compaq software.
And then just the restore partition on the computer.

  DieSse 20:48 15 May 2006

*but I can say goodbye to anything on the disk.*

So you just do a fresh backup on the replacement - the chances that when your main hard drive fails, that your backup drive will fail too, are so remote that it's hardly worth catering for. If you really do want to cater for this possibility, you need two drives and two backups. Hard drives are more reliable than any other form of home backup.

The professional way is to have three generations of backups - and rotate them one after the other - so called Grandfather, Father, Son, for obvious reasons.

A backup should not lose you any data - all your data should still be on your primary drives.

If you're archiving - which is a different kettle of fish altogether, then you need to adopt a multi-level strategy, using perahaps 2 copies of DVDs plus a backup drive.

  paddyjack 20:59 15 May 2006

Sorry you are right DieSse part archiving part back up.

Most of the stuff I lost is from a recent trip to Spain. So now it is just hope that they still have a copy in Spain.

Will heed my own advice in future, and copy to more than one medium as everybody says you should, and do not put it off untill tomorrow.

  Sir Radfordin 23:29 15 May 2006

Like most uses the back up at home isn't something I do as often as I should...

...but at work we've got the following system:

4 tapes cover Monday - Thursday
3 tapes cover Friday wk 1, 2 and 3
3 tapes cover Friday Month 1 wk 4, Month 2 wk 4 and Month 3 wk 4

So only if someone deletes something between one back up finishing and the next one starting - or takes an age to discover it has been deleted do we loose anything

  fleamailman 02:49 16 May 2006

All harddrives have a lifespan so I tend to back up onto cds only the stuff I am going to keep forever like family photos and mp3s. I am not too fussy about the rest, just I try to keep two copies, one on the comp and one on the backup.

  anskyber 12:39 16 May 2006

Well the answer has to be as many have described above. My paranoia displays itself in this way for back up purposes.

PC with two 250gig HD set in a RAID 1 configuration. (ie both discs have all the files data and even the OS. In the event of one HD failure the other carries on and also copies back to the replaced failed HD)

To cover the issue of an irreversable breakdown through say a virus or similar the key data and OS are backed up (imaged) to an external HD and important files also to DVD.

Not sure what to do when the house burns down though!!!

  Charence 13:10 16 May 2006

I backup photos onto a CD whenever I manage to take another 600MB worth of photos. I also backup some important work onto a 4GB PDA and sometimes upload it to my web host. Backing up onto PDA didn't seem the best of ideas though, yesterday it suddenly decided to lose everything on its hard drive; good job my PC is still running *touchwood*.

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