Backup index

  Gary Wood 18:33 27 Feb 2005

I store all of my files in two places: on an external hard drive (which gives me easy day-day access) and on CDs/DVDs.

My external HDD has just failed. I'm in the process of arranging a replacement. However, once this is setup I will have to recopy everything from all my backup CDs onto the HDD. The problem with this is that I group files together on the HDD and so will need to recreate the file structure from scratch. (i.e. most of my CDs contain some letters, some faxes, some emails etc. but on the HDD is a folder called correspondance in which there are folders for each year and within these folders for each type of communication.). I can't keep to this structure on the CDs/DVDs because each of these just contains as much data as they can hold.

I'm wondering therefore if it's possible to make a backup which is an index of the external HDD, but not the files themselves, and then use this to recreate the file structure in the event of disaster. (i.e. I want to create a file that would be able to reorganise files if I were to just copy all of the CDs onto the HDD).

Can anyone advise if this is possible and what software I would need?

(I realise I could achieve a similar outcome using incremental backup software, but don't find this a particularly satisfactory solution because I like the CDs and DVDs to be stand alone so I can just open them up and drag individual files off them, not have to extract files through a backup application.)



  groundhog 19:31 27 Feb 2005

In your present position you will need to find a program that will identify each individual file on your CD/DVD on a file by file basis, it will then have to establish what type of file it is and what year it belongs to and then copy it back to your new HDD into the right place. I'm sorry to say I have not heard of one that can do this yet.

It's not impossible and should be fairly stright forward it's just that I think you will need a bespoke program to do it. Do you know any programmers.

However for the future I would recommend Nero Burning Rom to save your files from the external HDD to the CD/DVD's this would meet all your requirments ie. Full Disks and it would also maintain the intergrity of your file structures plus it would allow you to reload an individual file.

I'm sure someone else on the forum may have other and better suggestions.

  Gary Wood 20:17 27 Feb 2005

Thank you for your reply.

Unfortunately, I do not know any programmers. What I was hoping for is a program that could take an index of the drive at regular intervals (say each week, or straight after lots of files had been put on the drive). This index could then be used to correctly move the files back to their place in the file structure if I ever have to restore from CD.

I use Nero to create the CDs. However, the files are stored on a different HDD until I have finished working on them and/or have enough to warrant writing to CD. Only once the files are on a CD or DVD do I copy them to the external HDD and put them into the appropriate folders in the file structure.

  groundhog 22:57 28 Feb 2005

Could I suggest that you do your Cd/DVD saves backwards ie. move files to Ext HDD then save to CD/DVD from there this would maintain your folder hierichy, I've not used it but I wonder if NERO's progressive backup using multisession disk would work.

I'm sorry I can't be more helpful.

The best of luck.

  Gary Wood 00:25 01 Mar 2005

Thanks for your further reply. I don't think there's going to be a simple answer to this. I can't really do the backups backwards as you suggest, because once the files are on the external HDD they're mixed in with all the files that were already save there, so it'd be impossible to tell which ones I needed to backup to CD.

I don't really want to use progressive/incremental backup proceedures either because these tend to compress the files into one big file to put it on to CD and span it across multiple disks if necessary. It's difficult, therefore, to restore just a single file whereas at the moment I can do that just by drag and drop.

I need to spend some more time looking in to the options provided by various backup programs to see if any of them have facilities that would do the kind of thing I asked about in my original post. If that turns out not to be possible, I think I may just have to get a second hard disk and backup files onto both. That way, if one fails, I'll still have the stuff on the other drive.

I'll post back if I find out anything else.

Thanks again for your reply.


  groundhog 22:21 01 Mar 2005

Have a look at argenrum they may have something that helps the good news is that they do a free trial version.

Their site click here

  Gary Wood 23:08 01 Mar 2005

Thanks for this. I've had a quick look at their site but couldn't find anything that would offer the functionality I want. I have sent them an email explaining what I need to see if they can suggest anything. Will post back here if/when I get a response.


  groundhog 22:41 02 Mar 2005

Best of luck

  Gary Wood 22:53 02 Mar 2005

Will let you know outcome.



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