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epp_b

Your regular backup routine

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epp_b

I'm interested in hearing what everyone here uses for their regular backups. The kinds of things like the software and hardware you use, unique and interesting ways of backing up, maybe some background to how you derived at your prefered backup methods, and things like that. Maybe we could help eachother out and suggest ways to improve are respective methods. :)So, I guess I'll start...I have two hard drives that are exactly the same (same brand, model, size, etc.), but I only ever use one at a time when I'm working. On a weekly basis (sometimes every two weeks) I insert both of my hard drives into my two KingWin drive bays using their drive rack counterparts. Everything on the second drive gets wiped, and then I copy all of the partitions from the first drive (the drive I used the last week) onto the second drive. When it's all done, the first drive gets put on my bookshelf and the second drive goes where the first one was. My favorite part about this backup method is that it is inherently validated. I know that the backup drive now sitting on my shelf is valid, beacuse I was just using it. I also know that my backup worked because the drive I'm using now is working.I previously used PartitionMagic 6, then version 8 for making these backups. Unfortunately, I've grown tired of the problems they've given me (especially on Windows XP, which it technically supports...but I don't think it really supports XP the way it should). I just purchased BootIt NG, which seems to work a lot better.I also used to copy my primary system partition to the end of my hard drive where I had some free space in the extended area. I would then hide it for safe-keeping if all-of-a-sudden I were to get a virus or some software I tried decided to trash the OS. This worked very well for Windows 98, but not so well for XP. BootIt NG's partition imaging capabilities will soon replace this.I also have a daily backup which consists of using ViceVersa Plus to synchronize my data (which is on a separate partition from the system partition) to a 20GB 2.5" HDD in an external USB 2.0 enclosure.

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greengeek

I have a few folders just for backups and I copy them to CDR every few days. The main stuff is downloaded programmes, work files and photos. I don't care if the OS gets lost, I always have fun doing format and install. This current machine, the only one on the 'net, has been running Xandros 2.0 Business Edition since it came out without updates or reinstalling.

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burninbush

I'm a long-time fan of Ghost, which I was using at work long before ever getting near linux. It will easily do your operation, which sounds like a disk clone. As long as your two drives are identical, you could just use #dd to do the copy operation. Don't think I've ever had two identical drives, so I use other methods. Basically, I periodically do a cleanup operation, then make a fresh Ghost image set to the =other= hard disk [always have 2 or 3] -- and then burn the previous image set off to dvd, and after verifying the copy was good [md5sums] I delete the older image set from the harddisk. I always make my dvd backup disks bootable to msdos, each holding a copy of ghost.exe and some msdos tools that I have found useful at such times. I can get back up with nothing more than a dvd set if necessary. I couldn't be happy without image backup schemes. For my linux parts, I just use tar -czf to make images of them, again storing to dvd blanks -- those are so cheap these days it seems wrong to use anything else. [anybody want a nice Exabyte 8mm scsi tape drive?] I use loadlin in a small msdos first partition to boot everything, so the tar images give me great freedom about swapping linux distros back and forth. Data files, and incremental backups? My practice here is to have "backed@date" folders, and "pre-backed" folders on my data partitions -- which hold files I have already backed off to dvd, and those not yet backed off. When I need room, I delete some of the backed folders. Sad to tell, I don't really have a catalog system -- my practice is to just do a dir /s >files.txt and save those in a folder whenever I burn a backup disk. Easy enough to search them with grep when I want to find something not currently on hard disk. There's a side benefit to a Ghost image & restore -- a restore operation leaves your OS partition completely defragged, and can easily take less time than the standard defrag routine -- and at the end of it you have that fresh backup.

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epp_b
As long as your two drives are identical, you could just use #dd to do the copy operation.
Yeah, I realize that, but I like to complete control and oversight of each operation...it's a control thing :D

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striker

stubborn as always :D

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Temmu

i keep all data on a sep drive from the os...a data folder and a dowloads folderthose get backed up to cd, the data much more often than the downloads.when i install an osi image the c:\ after all drivers, patches are up and workingand againafter i've loaded all software & its patchespartition magic saves the os image (the 1st one i make) in cd-sized chunks which get burned to cd.the 2nd image, the one with all software, gets stored on a sep physical hard drive on another pc.

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epp_b
partition magic saves the os image
Since when does PQPM do images?

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Temmu

a-oops!true image.

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epp_b
a-oops!true image.
Ah, Acronis. Yup, good program :hysterical:

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henderrob

I use Ghost and image my C drive and split it over several DVD's. These images are on D drive with daily backups performed by nightly schedule. Once a week I back the latest images to DVD+RW's.I use Windows XP backup and schedule a backup of My Documents to my external drive and copy this to a DVD+RW.I hope to never use this to restore as I have had to in the past. Restore is no fun. Having to restore is even worse.

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Pete!

Applications and data on a separate drive from the OS.PlusRegular Back-ups to a separate computer in the home network.Plus (for Quicken)Back-up to removable media after every transaction entry

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Temmu
...Plus (for Quicken)Back-up to removable media after every transaction entry
wow.now that's what i call a backup schedule! :thumbsup:

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LilBambi

Well, you know the old saying on backups ..."Backup as often as you don't wish to duplicate the exercise of typing in the data":thumbsup:BTW: If you have an external hard drive or another internal hard drive, or if you don't mind manually writing the backups to CDR (after creating them locally on your hard drive), the free program from 2BrightSparks.com SyncBack Free is great!

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Gary

I use Acronis True Image and would not ever use any else. It works.

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volunteer

I use Karen's Replicator (Free) for backing up my email, My Docs, Bookmarks, pictures, music, and several other folders with my web pages. I backup weekly to one of three external drives. I use Drive Image, Ghost, and recently adding Acronis True Image and Disk Director to backup the OS at least every month. I've started to install winXP Pro in a small 10 GB partition and my programs and other data on a different partition or drive.I maintain four Windows PCs and three Linux PCs. I backup some things on the Linux PCs because I always have 30GB + of unused space on the hard drive.

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epp_b

volunteer, how is Disk Director as a program? I downloaded the trial one time, but the trial version is very cripped.

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Marsden11

Having 10 to 12 machines and doing backups on them individually would be a huge waste of time. All user accounts are stored on my SB Server on a 300GB RAID5 with Volume Shadow Copy enabled. The SBS is backed up every night. One backup handles just SBS and is stored on a two server LB node with a RAID5 array. The user data is backed up to a 7 tape DLT4 library machine. Since the nightly backup is over 190GBs, optical media is out of the question (I really don't want to feed it DVDs). The DLT4 tapes only run $30 a piece so it is not too expensive and each tape can store 40GBs uncompressed or 70GBs compressed. I rotate the library cartridge out once a week.

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epp_b

Wow, that's some serious backup, Marsden!

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Marsden11

Naw, just a bunch of machines, a network and I leverage it to make my personal intervention trivial.

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Shamrock

Interesting topic. I'm rather limited in my backup scheme due to lack of supplemental hardware such as external drives or DVD so backing up my main data partion is a no go but I make a point of keeping nothing critical there. Important docs get backed up. Fortunately, I'm also as limited in my need for a truly extensive and comprehensive backup procedure. But with respect to "background to how you derived at your prefered backup methods, and things like that," I refer you to www.langa.com, the site of Fred Langa, an industry fixture for a very long time. E.g. he was once editor of Byte magazine. If that ain't old school, nothin' is lol. A search of his site for "backup" will provide you with a comprehensive article on his insanely thorough backup procedure. I think anyone would benefit from at least reading it, except maybe Marsden, heh heh. I intend to implement some of Fred's methods soon. As for myself, the following seems to suffice:A. Very frequent backups of the system partition and system state using NTBackup for small issues since it only takes a few minutes and allows restoral from within Windows. Despite Fred's distrust of Volume Shadow Copy, I find it to be reasonably effective and again, sufficient for minor issues such as bad driver or app installs. B. For disaster recovery, should it occur, I image C: via bootable cd about monthly. As it stands right now, though, a lack of appropriate media for remote storage permits me only to copy the backups to another partition. Obviously, this is no good if the disk itself fails. I intend to implement a more stringent backup strategy shortly and I appreciate hearing about these other methods.For me, the best method for imaging is to use something akin to the Ultimate Boot CD. I don't recall the url right now, but a google search will quickly turn up the originating site for this image.[EDIT]Incidentally, to Scott: I sincerely hope you don't mind me mentioning Fred's site. It was strictly in response to this post and not intended as an edorsement.

Edited by Shamrock

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Temmu
I use Acronis True Image and would not ever use any else. It works.
hear! hear! :hysterical:
I use Karen's Replicator (Free)
i've also used it to keep a project backed up to another pc. :whistling:
... Fred Langa, ...Volume Shadow Copy.
fred's a good source. volume shadow copy is fine. :rolleyes:

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Soporose

Well I must say I am STUNNED at the number of you guys who clearly do not have backups off-site.If your backups are in a position to get stolen/incinerated/flooded/vandalized/etc along with your originals, then you DO NOT have disaster recovery.As for restores - well, if restores are a PITA then you probably will not do trial restores occasionally just to make sure everything is as it should be. Restores should be a piece olf p*ss.This is what I have used every day for well over a year - with absolutely no action/intervention on my part at all. I don't have to remember to do ANYTHING. Ever.http://www.DataSafetyCenter.comEvery principle of good practice is covered PLUS no hardware purchases or replacements, no media, no consumables, and restores couldn't possibly be any easier.Absolutely wouldn't do it any other way.

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LilBambi

Please, use caution in choosing an online backup system, IF you decide to use one.Your data could have sensitive information and there are sharks about.Do your reseach on any data recovery or storage company before you choose to use them.Just common sense really.

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Soporose
Please, use caution in choosing an online backup system, IF you decide to use one.Your data could have sensitive information and there are sharks about.Do your reseach on any data recovery or storage company before you choose to use them.Just common sense really.
Very true. And you can't get much more integrity and reliability than a system hosted/backed by Connected/Iron Mountain. If some of the worlds biggest financial institutions can trust them, I believe I certainly can.

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FuzzDuckie

even after the recent issues in the last year or so of various big name banks etc...LOSING their data or large amounts of date getting stolen?I still am wary of storing anything more than pictures or webpages online.As far as backing up...I used to use tapes...many years ago.Which is better in the long run...an external hard drive or internal? A friend of mine (who is into networking /hardware) has said that external hard drives are ot all that....and don't do well for heavy duty storage...but that was about 2 or 3 years ago). I'm also limited by costs. I'd do a temp back up with CD-Rs but my CD ROM is broken right now. Even if I continue with that plan...the costs in the long run would be a bit much depending on the schedule I pick to DO backups.QUite frankly...every time I come to read about how to back up or what to use for hardware/software....I get intimidated by what is posted! Scary. I want something that is easy, cheap, simple to use and painfree. None of this partition stuff...that scares the **** out of me..."well you divide it into x number of partitions...." WAIT NO!!! All I want to do is have a COPY of certain files (My Documents, Pictures, any coding files/projects, Downloads folder....not sure what else...) I may be a computer geek but there are just some things that are beyond me.....please don't horsewhip me for my lack of a backup plan. I already know.

Edited by FuzzDuckie

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greengeek

Something that is "easy, cheap, simple to use and painfree" is not going to work for multi gigabyte backups if they're done fairly often. You really need to read up on some of the methods if you have stuff you can't afford to lose. :)

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Soporose

> even after the recent issues in the last year or so of various big name> banks etc...LOSING their data or large amounts of date getting stolen?Certainly. That's a completely different issue. > I still am wary of storing anything more than pictures or webpages online.For a start all data is compressed and encrypted before transmission. And if you think these Iron Mountain data centers might be a push-over, do some research. We all know there is no such thing as absolute 100% inviolate. But are you really worth the time, effort, resources and expenditure it would cost to even start to attack your account at a secure data-center?> As far as backing up...I used to use tapes...many years ago.I still have two TBUs - never use 'em. > I want something that is easy, cheap, simple to use and painfree. I gave it to you! Why not take up a free trial (a fortnight from memory) just for the **** of it. They won't even ask for your credit card details for the trial.

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LilBambi

Everyone should do their own research before doing anything with a company -- before entrusting their data to them.Iron Mountain has certainly been around the block a few times, and the likes of Choice Point and others - after their own security breaches have chosen Iron Mountain for data storage according to ComputerWorld.But data theft is serious business these days ... and the companies where data has had to be entrusted in the past have made mistakes (Choice Point, some of the banking institutions and others). And Choice Point's was not initially Internet related - according to the information on the thefts, they wouldn't have gotten in at all if it weren't for social engineering tricks the perpetrators used.Not to mention Mafia insiders infiltrating firms, U.K. cops warn.Data theft concerns should be on everyone's mind before they choose a company to entrust their data. That was my point. It's just plain good sense.Hence my statements earlier....Everyone should do their own research before doing anything with a company -- before entrusting their data to them.

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LilBambi

And frankly, you never mentioned "Iron Mountain" in your earlier posts.You mentioned another company's domain:

WHOIS results for DataSafetyCenter.comGenerated by www.DNSstuff.comRegistrar: WILD WEST DOMAINS, INC.Status: REGISTRAR-LOCK [the normal status for a domain when it is locked]Dates: Created 31-jul-2004 Updated 03-mar-2006 Expires 31-jul-2006DNS Servers: NS.NSHOSTS.COM NS2.NSHOSTS.COM I was referred to whois.wildwestdomains.com; I'm looking it up there.The data contained in this Registrar's Whois database, while believed by the company to be reliable, is provided "as is"with no guarantee or warranties regarding its accuracy. This information is provided for the sole purpose of assisting you in obtaining information about domain name registration records. Any use ofthis data for any other purpose is expressly forbidden withoutthe prior written permission of the Registrar. By submitting aninquiry, you agree to these terms of usage and limitations of warranty.In particular, you agree not to use this data to allow, enable, orotherwise make possible, dissemination or collection of this data, in part or in its entirety, for any purpose, such as the transmission of unsolicited advertising and solicitations of any kind, including spam. You further agree not to use this data to enable high volume, automated or robotic electronic processes designed to collect or compile this data for any purpose, including mining this data for your own personal or commercial purposes.Please note: the owner of the domain name is specified in the "registrant" field. In most cases, the Registrar is not the owner of domain names listed in this database.Registrant: Domains by Proxy, Inc. Registered through: The Identity Center Domain Name: DATASAFETYCENTER.COM Domain servers in listed order: NS.NSHOSTS.COM NS2.NSHOSTS.COM For complete domain details go to: http://www.secureserver.net/whois.asp?prog_id=Bill_Hely
Iron Mountain Whois:
WHOIS Record Forironmountain.com Certified Offer Service - Make an offer on this domainPrivate Registration - Make personal information for this domain privateSSL Certificates - Make this site secureSite Confirm Seals - Become a trusted Web Site Registrant: Make this info private Iron Mountain Incorporated 745 Atlantic Ave Boston, MA 02111 US Domain Name: IRONMOUNTAIN.COM Administrative Contact , Technical Contact : Iron Mountain Incorporated webmaster@ironmountain.com 745 Atlantic Ave Boston, MA 02111 US Phone: 617-535-4766 Record expires on 04-Feb-2008 Record created on 03-Feb-1995 Database last updated on 10-Jan-2005 Domain servers in listed order: Manage DNS KANDNS06.DIGITALARCHIVES.COM 216.229.145.70 NUSDNS06.DIGITALARCHIVES.COM 216.229.153.70 Show underlying registry data for this record Current Registrar: NETWORK SOLUTIONS, LLC.IP Address: 216.229.154.15 (ARIN & RIPE IP search)IP Location: US(UNITED STATES)-PENNSYLVANIA-COLLEGEVILLERecord Type: Domain NameServer Type: IIS 5Lock Status: REGISTRAR-LOCKWeb Site Status: ActiveDMOZ 2 listingsY! Directory: see listingsWeb Site Title: Iron Mountain Home PageSecure: YesE-commerce: YesTraffic Ranking: 1Data as of: 06-Apr-2006
I would think a company that could be verified would be preferable.

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epp_b

The only remote backup I would consider is with someone I personally and physically know (friend, family, etc.). For example, I might setup a NAS drive with a built-in FTP server at their place and use some sort of FTP RAID setup.

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