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Old November 5, 2010, 07:00 PM
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Default What is your preferred method of Backing up your PC

Hey all,

I am running a Vertex 2 (120GB) as my primary, a Vertex 1 (100 GB) for steam games, and a Pair of 2TB Caviar greens in RAID1 as storage. Once the 3TB + drives are out I will add a second RAID1 storage array.

I have had HD failures long ago and while I do back up my most important documents, pics and files to DVDs and more recently BDs, It is still a PITA because you lose all of your saved games, recent files, movies etc. etc. etc.

So, I would really rather not lose my stuff ever again, which is why on my last 3 pcs I run everything in RAID1. Since it is not economically feasible for me to do so with SSDs, I just have my SSD automatically backup onto my HDDs. The array is also used to share movies and pics across the home wireless network.

I had a small scare the other day after sleeving my PSU. I hadn't noticed that the SATA modular cables weren't straight though between the PSU connector and the first sata power connector. So when I hooked my PC back up it actually would just spin the fans for a second, then turn off. After re-checking all of my cables I realized what I had done, and that I possibly could have just fried my RAID1 array by having the 12v wire in the wrong position. Thankfully everything is fine, but it made me realize that there are ways to kill a RAID array.

But, My question is this:

What is the best way to backup 2TB + of data on a regular basis?

Anyone use a drobo or similar for this purpose? Or am I just waaay too paranoid about data loss.
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Old November 5, 2010, 07:06 PM
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I use Acronis True Image Home. I am backing up about 80GB of data though.
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Old November 5, 2010, 07:07 PM
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Home made file server with RAID 5 = winsauce
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Old November 5, 2010, 07:17 PM
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Yep, I use acronis to image my computer to the network storage. Has the benefit that if you reformat, you can go into the backup and get those little files that you would have forgotten to backup manually. Im planning on picking up a 2TB green to backup my most important stuff (pictures from the last 8 years, over 1tb movies) and keeping it offsite.
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Old November 5, 2010, 07:58 PM
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I have dual back-ups. Why? Your Raid 1, it's connected to your PSU? And if your PSU fails in a big bang, both your drives can die.

I have a Raid 50 array (8x 1Tb drives) for 5.5Tb of space. Same condition though - my PSU fails, the array can blow up in smoke. Or if a leak occurs in my loop.
For that second back-up I use a WD External USB drive, 2Tb. I have 1.7Tb filled. I back-up once a month, actual files and folders so I don't need any particular component or computer to retrieve any file. My laptop could fulfill that role easily.

Costly setup? Sure, but you don't know how many of my customers have come to me with dead HDDs - and I have to tell them that their precious pictures cannot be retrieved. Those memories are priceless.
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Old November 5, 2010, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neolithium_Wpg View Post
Home made file server with RAID 5 = winsauce
RAID isn't a backup though. You can lose data in more ways than just a failed hard drive.

I myself have SyncToy backup every all my media + documents once a night.
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Old November 5, 2010, 10:51 PM
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I have several layers of backups for different things, but for me backup essentially means keeping data in two places that cannot (under most imaginable circumstances) be lost at the same time.

Since you asked about 2TB+, I back up my larger files (pictures, movies, music, games) on encrypted external drives. The primary copy of this data is stored on my desktop, again on an encrypted partition. For the pictures, I also have them stored with offsite backup, although at reduced resolution due to limited space (better than nothing if the house burns down).

For smaller stuff that I work on every day (documents, school work), I have this stored at several places, because this is small and storage is cheap:
  • Computer where I worked on the document
  • USB key (encrypted partition, back up immediately after I'm done my working session)
  • Home server ( NOT RAIDed - I want some of my existing hard disks to die before I make this a proper redundancy hehe)
  • External drive (kept in a blob with the movies and pictures)
  • Offsite (back up once every 4 months, along with the reduced resolution pictures)

There's still a couple weaknesses in my scheme, in that I don't use RAID so I corrupt or lose a few copies of my files when a single HDD dies, and that it's still possible (although unlikely) that I can have a power surge take out my primary copy and my external drive if it happens while I'm running a backup. Maybe one day I'll get insane enough to have opto-isolated USB and run my external HDD off a battery.
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Old November 6, 2010, 06:04 AM
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I just slip a 640GB and 1.5TB in my hotswap bay and use backup4all to update a mirror of my internal 640GB programs drive and 1.5TB archival/storage drive. :P
The backup drives are kept in a box that has a large slotted foam insert(with spacers for drives that are not half-height.
At this point in time my 250GB boot drive does not have a proper backup, just files here and there on other drives/systems. It does not have much on it and I would not be too overly devastated if it failed.(not that I want it to though) I do intend to get my boot drive a real dedicated backup sometime though.

Downsides
In event of fire, that box is still in my house and would get roasted along with my PC.
Mildly easy to forget to backup as frequently as one probably should.

Upsides
I am in control? (of when backups happen and can manually check for vital file corruption before backup if required.)
Can transport backup elsewhere with ease for safety.
Backup drives are not compressed/encrypted so I can readily grab a file that had either been accidentally deleted or modified.(I have not been doing that sort of thing, but shit happens)

Last edited by MacJunky; November 6, 2010 at 06:11 AM.
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Old November 6, 2010, 07:15 AM
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Acronis True Image yup me too works great
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Old November 6, 2010, 06:46 PM
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Thanks for the input guys!

I have been using NERO backitup, but it is not a great piece of software. I downloaded the trial of acronis and am fairly impressed with the detailed settings and the ability to have multiple separate backups.

I don't really want to have a second PC running as a file server, and external 2TB drives with esata are expensive.. So, I think I'll grab a good external esata drive enclosure and another WD 2TB green while they are on sale. Then I can have acronis continue to backup my SSD to my internal HDDS on a daily basis, and have the internal HDDs backup to the external every second week or so. I can only imagine a 2TB backup taking a little while... And of course just like now, my pics and docs go on a BD and into a fireproof safe now and then.

Thanks again!
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