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Best Non Integral System Backup Option?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Resurrection_Joe, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    INTEGRAL HELLSING

    Anyway

    *cough*

    I've been putting off buying a back up device for my computer, but my Arts partition and my Off Road partition are getting too fat to put on CD so what is the best option

    I have all my IDE channels full now

    40GB HD
    60GB HD
    CDRW
    DVD

    In a large tower case with 4 slide rail 5.25" bays with 2 full. 1 open front 3.5" and I believe 2 open internal 3.5"

    So what is the best and most economical choice in backup

    DVDRW

    I know they're getting cheap, but is the standard of disc type war over? And how safe is the media? I could put the disc in a lead block to keep it from scratching or breaking, but are there other ways a disc could be rendered inoperable



    BIGGER MAIN HD

    100G Main / Use 60G For Backup. This is ok, but it's internal and can possibly be taken out but a problem with the computer or a virus. Plus transferring will be a pain in the ass.



    USB2/FIREWIRE External HDD

    I am leaning towards this, but I have heard fleetingly of durability concerns. Can a external HD be unplugged for long periods safely data wise?

    SIDENOTE

    Any opinions on what's better: Firewire or USB2



    IDE PCI AND ANOTHER HD

    This seems redundant, but I can get another HD for backup and ad another two optical drives (DVDRW and CDROM)



    Any other options are cool too, I haven't researched removable HD, RAID controllers, or Tape at all and have a limited understanding on each

    Anyway, thanks for any and all opinions
     
  2. BranndonC

    BranndonC 3/4 ton status

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    i'd suggest maybe DVD-r or if you do go external hard drive, go firewire, its been covered here before that its faster than usb2
     
  3. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    I need to buy a USB2 or Firewire (or both) card anyway, mine doesnt seem to work for some reason...

    Thanks
     
  4. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    If I were in your shoes, I'd buy a DVDRW drive that supports DVD-R/DVD+R/DVD+RW (so you can really use almost any disc out), and a large hard drive. I would use a M$ utility called Robocopy (robust file copy) to mirror the work/data partitions to a "FullBackup" folder on the backup hard drive once a week, resetting the archive bit on copied files. Then, using Robocopy, run a daily copy of any changed data (using Robocopy's archive switches) to a different folder for every day of the week. maybe once a month or so, make a backup set on DVD of the "FullBackup" folder (dvd's only hold about 4.7Gb), and once a week, copy the changed folders (named via day of the week) to a dvd.

    With this method, if you have a catastrophic failure or a virus turns all your data to happy faces, you'll have some degree of current data in an archive. Neat thing too, you can go back after a year and see how primitive you really were back then...
    If you drop a DVD writer in, you can toss the cdr and dvd reader, freeing up an IDE channel for the hard drive.
    If this stuff's that important, be ready to spend a couple hundred bucks on hardware. I'm pretty sure you can download robocopy from MS for free.
    I wrote some batches about a year ago that when executed, will figure out what day it is, and work accordingly. If it's tuesday, it will tell robocopy to copy the entire specified drive, except for certain files, to a backup device or other hard drive; for other days, it only copies data that's marked changed, and copies it to a folder named after the day of execution.
    If you don't like the command line, be careful and read the documentation before trying this, you could hose your data if you use robocopy improperly.
    This is only for file copying as a backup, though, it won't work properly on databases or similar active data sets.

    What kind of annoys me is that these supposedly bleeding-edge trade computer magazines come out with articles like "New MS utility will change the way you backup your data", when I've been using the "New" utility for years. Very irksome, those are supposed to be a source of new info, and they're way behind the average computer geek. I recently read an article about a management utility "new for Win2k" that I'd gotten off the NT4 Reskit and had already integrated into all of my network machines before Win2k was a standard, even at sites I don't normally work from. Hype annoys me, can you tell?
     
  5. mudhog

    mudhog THEGAME Staff Member Super Moderator

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    go with a dvd burner i just bought one last night $159 and it does dvd-r rw and dvd +r rw cdr and cdrw /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  6. Goober

    Goober 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    So what is the best and most economical choice in backup


    [/ QUOTE ]


    No matter what method you choose to use for your backups, there is always a compromise.


    TAPE

    Tape backups have been around for a long time and have a good history of being reliable and fast. You can schedule tape backups to occur whenever is convenient, even when you are sleeping. Tapes also have the capacity to store very large amounts of data in a very small package and can easily be stored at a remote location (like a safe deposit box, safe or a trusted friends safe). Initial hardware costs can be a little high but the hardware will last for a long time. Depending on how much you want to spend you can get storage capacities ranging from 10 GB to 1.3 TB per tape.


    CD/DVD

    Backups to CD's/DVD's are the cheapest way to make and store backups. Depending on the format and media you choose, the amount of storage available can vary:

    CDRom 650-700 MB
    DVD-5 (SS/SL): 4.38 gig
    DVD-9 (SS/DL): 7.95 gig
    DVD-10 (DS/SL): 8.75 gig
    DVD-14 (DS/ML): 12.33 gig
    DVD-18 (DS/DL): 15.90 gig
    DVD-RAM (SS/SL): 2.40 gig
    DVD-RAM (DS/SL): 4.80 gig

    Most optical media is considered to have an effective shelf life of around 30 years. This is the cheapest way to backup your stuff at home.


    Extra Hard Drive (mirroring)

    Having two large hard drives of the same capacity allows you to maintain two identical copies of your Operating System and all your files.

    There are basically 3 methods of mirroring a disk:

    The first is manual : backup your hard drive to the second drive, with appropriate backup software. Most operating systems have a backup application with the OS.

    The second is automated by software : install a backup software and schedule your backups at regular intervals.

    Both of these options would be easy for you to do with your current hardware.


    The third is hardware RAID : Get a motherboard or add-in card that accepts RAID configurations and set a low-level RAID configuration that will do the mirroring automatically and invisibly.


    Mirroring can be a lifesaver if you have a hard drive failure. The problem, like you said, is that it doesn't help at all if you have a fire and your computer gets destroyed.


    Removable Media

    Removable media drives are very easy to use but they aren't really popular anymore since CD's and DVD's are so cheap. Floppy disks were the most widely used removable media for many years but their capacity topped out at 1.68MB using DMF.

    Zip Drives are available in sizes ranging from 100MB up to 750MB per disk. They have a hard plastic case and look like a floppy disk on steroids. Internally the Zip disk is similar to a floppy disk, a flexible magnetic disk. They work great and are available in external/internal and ATAPI/SCSI models. You can also make these disks bootable (just like a floppy).

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    Jaz Drives are really cool. The are essentially a removable hard drive with a 1 or 2 GB capacity. The disks come in a hard plastic case that is easy to transport. Jaz Drives are similar to a Zip Drive except the media is actually a rotating metal disk, just like a regular hard rive. I'm not sure but I think the Jaz drives only came with a SCSI interface. Jaz disks are bootable, just like a hard drive.

    [​IMG]


    I used both Jaz and Zip drives for years. My external/SCSI Zip drive is packed away in a box (for sale with media, CHEAP /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif) since I didn't use it much anymore. It was really handy for storing tax stuff, Quicken backups and other misc stuff. I also have an internal and an external SCSI Jaz drive (both for sale with about a dozen disks, CHEAP /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif). I really loved those drives. The external one is easy to transport to another location and just plug into another machine. I still have one disk that boots to DOS 6.2 and has my old Wildcat BBS on it. I have another that boots to FreeBSD and has a bunch of tools on it. It makes it easy to plug in and boot another computer and take a look around without generating any security logs /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif.



    So, depending on how much money you want to spend there are a few different routes. Whatever way you go, I would burn all critical data to a CD or DVD and place it in a remote location.


    Here are a few options:

    Cheap and Easy

    Use your 60GB drive as your master, your 40GB drive as a slave and schedule backups to get stored on the slave drive. Once you have enough information on the slave drive to fill a DVD, burn a backup disk.


    A little bit of cash

    Buy a new large capacity hard drive put it in an external USB enclosure. Leave your 60GB drive and your 40GB drive as they are. Perform scheduled or manual backups to the external drive and have the added functionality of a transportable hard drive. These external enclosures are simple to use and compatable with almost anything out there. You can also purchase the enclosures with drives already installed but they will cost a little more. USB 2.0 and Firewire are the most common interfaces for these drives and both have similar performance characteristics but I prefer Firewire for technical reasons that I won't bore you with. Both are great.


    Simplest long term solution for secure backups

    Go pickup a tape drive and just do backups to tape. Once you go over around 90MB capacity the price of a tape drive (and the media) rises sharply. Plan on spending at least $500.00-$1000.00 for a cheap high capacity tape drive.


    Absolute safety and security

    Run out and buy the following parts:
    <ul type="square"> [*]2x Seagate 10K6, 146.8GB, Ultra 320 SCSI hard drives set up in a mirrored array. ($800.00 each) [*]Adaptec Ultra 320 SCSI controller ($349.00) [*]Quantum SDLT 220 Tape Drive ($2895.00) [/list]
    All you need to do is setup your automatic backups and decide how often you want to pull the tape

    Total cost: $4844.00



    So it really comes down to how much you want to spend. At home I just burn critical data to a CD or DVD and put it in the safe. It's cheap and very easy.


    /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  7. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    Thanks for the advice so far guys

    I think I should mention this though

    I have my HD partitioned as follows

    40G

    Main - OS and Applications
    Games - All Games

    I don't care if these get wiped out because all it is is a lot of reinstalling, a pain in the ass, but hey I don't care

    The other one is the end all one

    60 GB

    ARTS
    WORKS
    MEDIA
    DOWNLOADS
    BACKUP
    OTHER

    If I lose this I'm killing myself


    So in essence, as long as I save my Favorites and Address Book and Email folder and the goofy assed My Documents folder backed up (which I backup in my Backup partition along with old web page versions and my old WIN98 install) the first HD is expendable. (spirits forbid ) /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    So what I'm trying to say is, I can make a folder for each partition in my backup device, and dump each partition in. Easy! So if I backup my 60GB HD, everything is on CD's or DVD's

    I reallllly don't trust programs to backup my stuff for me, and I don't really care if I have to manually reinstall everything instead of just get it back as was from a ghosted drive. I figure it's a good way to get rid of clutter.

    Anyway, now that you know this, any difference in your recommendations?

    I think I'm pretty much set on DVDRW or Firewire External HD, and I don't trust DVDRW, because my CDRW was always a pain in the ass to recover from, and once it formatted my art backup! /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif

    Anyway thanks for the advice so for, I appreciate any more that you're willing to give
     
  8. BranndonC

    BranndonC 3/4 ton status

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    BTTT on a side note... does anyone have any software to recomend for backing up complete systems to DVD-RW? i re-read this post but didnt see any that i could use. Thanks
    Branndon
     
  9. jakeslim

    jakeslim 1/2 ton status

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    internal drive used solely for backup. a very secure feeling. I also did a full windows install on backup drive just "in case" of a catastrophe. One thing that I've noticed that if a drive goes bad, i mean serious crash and iminent doom, you can sometimes access the bad drive as a slave drive. So, the full windows install on the backup lets me changed to a master drive, then boot up, recover from backup files(on same drive) and all is good.
     
  10. Goober

    Goober 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    internal drive used solely for backup

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Cool idea. You could put a "clean" install of Windows on an old, small (1 gig) hard drive and keep it handy. Just make sure you have copy of your current OS on there. It would really be a shame if you had Windows 95 on your "backup" and you tried to read a WinXP disk formatted with NTFS. /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif


    Another cool thing you can do is a clean install on the same hard drive but install to a different directory (like c:\winback instead of C:\Windows). That will let you boot and get to your old stuff.

    /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  11. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    I'll toss my 2cents in.... First watch the local sale ads for HD and the multiformat DVD burners. I got a 80GB HD for $19 after rebates and quite often the 120 goes on sale with rebates for $49. I have the 120GB in my computer, partitioned to 35gb for OS and applications then the rest is D drive for files. If the OS goes down I can format reinstall and not worry about D:

    First buy the DVD+/- RW, I got a multiformat Memorex 4x drive for xmas and its cool! You can grab 18GB and toss it in the back up and it automatically splits it over 4dvd's. Buy the DVD(dash)R and DVD(minus)R media pretty cheap these days 10 packs for $15-25 and 25 on a spindle for $35. The dvd's I bought seem pretty tough, since I burn it and put it in a case for backup I dont worry about scratches. Plus with the DVD burner you have the choice of doing alot of things burning movies, backups, putting a bunch of porn on one disk /forums/images/graemlins/ignore.gif and stowing it away. Burning 100's of MP3's to a dvd toss it in any newer dvd player and you got music for days! (up to about 9000songs, so like 6 or my 9 backup dvd's at newyears where mp3's. I ripped almost all the cd's I have with Jack the MP3 Ripper, it goes out and find all the cd info and rips the song with aulbum and song info.... no typing).

    Next after the DVD burner, I'd watch for the USB2 Hard drives to go on sale and pickup a USB2 card on ebay. If your just doing backups and not daily access the USB2 should be cheaper and probley more compatable with most machines (most all new machines comes with USB/usb2 and not always firewire). If your bent on speed then go for the firewire card and the firewire drive (sometimes the drive that are a little more $$$$ have both USB2 and firewire as an option). Almost any USB or firewire card you buy will have 1 internal port for adding front ports, I'd toss the new drive in the bottom and plug it into that internal port to keep it out of the way.

    Third option would be a ATA100/133 card then pop in a 3rd harddrive in one of those 5.25 bays. /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif
     
  12. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    BTTT on a side note... does anyone have any software to recomend for backing up complete systems to DVD-RW? i re-read this post but didnt see any that i could use. Thanks
    Branndon

    [/ QUOTE ]

    EZ CD creator 6 the free version with my cd-rw has DVD burning support, you can grab 6gb of info and drop it int he two be burnt window and it sections it over 2 dvd's! My last backup was 9 DVD's /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif
     
  13. BranndonC

    BranndonC 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    BTTT on a side note... does anyone have any software to recomend for backing up complete systems to DVD-RW? i re-read this post but didnt see any that i could use. Thanks
    Branndon

    [/ QUOTE ]

    EZ CD creator 6 the free version with my cd-rw has DVD burning support, you can grab 6gb of info and drop it int he two be burnt window and it sections it over 2 dvd's! My last backup was 9 DVD's /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]
    thanks thats an option. i was kinda hoping for some software that if my whole HDD crashed i could just pop in my discs and start over. I'll keep looking but may use what you recomended for my music and pictures and such. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     

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