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Backing up data


Ilikeoldfords

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Ok guys. I have never backed any of my data up anywhere and I know I am pushing my luck at this point. My question is this. What is the best way to do this? External hard drive? Online back up? I guess I dont know if there are any more ways to back up stuff. If the hard drive, then where is the best place to get one? Is there anything I should know about hard drives?

 

My point is I just really dont want to lose my pictures, music, important documents, etc. Thanks for any pointers in advance!!

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I prefer a second internal hard drive so you bandwidth is maximized. So like I've got both a 1.0TB and a 1.5 TB hard drive in my main computer and the laptop has a 640 GB drive so I can backup both computers to the one drive. Windows system I highly suggest a drive image software like Norton's Ghost or similar. This guarantees the entire system is recovered exactly the way it is right now. Windows takes time to rebuild from ground up re-installing all the software and move in the data. So like I said a full disk image is best for quick recovery.

 

For Linux I've played with TAR (Tape ARchive), Grsync, and now Unison. Since most of my data is in my home folder make it easy I can just synchronize between the laptop and the main computer and BAM! Backup.

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Use an external hard drive.  Some are better than others but a 1TB one can be had for $100.  I got one from best buy and a couple others from staples on black friday.  For online backup, everyone seems to suggest http://www.code42.com/crashplan/   It works very well, I have personally used it for my sisters computer when she ran off to college and I knew she wouldn't ever back up.  It is completely automatic so I knew she would be backed up.  

 

On windows 7 there is a backup on it that also does a system image. It might be a windows 7 professional and up thing, but it's what I use because it always gives error flags when it screws up, such as the drive being unplugged, so I know to plug it back in or whathaveyou so it can carry on.  Other programs just never seem to integrate as well.  I backed up someones computer in this way and they installed a program that screwed up a lot of files, I restarted and it had screwed up the boot files as well.  It asked if I wanted to simply recover the computer from an image file.  I picked the one it had made just hours before and it wiped the hard drive and copied everything back to the exact state it was in that morning, before he had screwed up the files.  It took a mere 10 minutes.  I started doing that on all laptops now so I don't have the headache of tracking down issues, just wipe and restore.  

 

As for aftermarket programs for if you aren't able to do windows backup, I have no clue.  Never found one I liked, though that http://www.code42.com/crashplan/ website will do it locally as well which worked kinda slick, but doesn't do the image file thing. 

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Thanks so much for the thoughts gentlemen. I think I am leaning towards an external hard drive at the moment. I dont have a desktop PC, just my dell laptop with windows 7. I have looked into the online back up thing as well but for the amount of space I will need will cost a ton of money. I would rather just spend the one time fee for the hard drive. I totally forgot that windows has that back up and recovery thing.

 

Now, on another note, my wife has a Macbook Pro. I am assuming here when I ask, she wont be able to use the same external hard drive as I do, will she? We will probably have to get one for the Mac as well as my Dell.

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The crashplan website I linked is unlimited data for $9 a month for 2-10 computers.  Works on mac or pc..  Problem is when internet goes down, then what..  When you need to recover it all at once and your internet is slow, you'll be waiting for days, though crashplan does over DVD's of your files to be sent to you.  

 

I think you can use the external drive as a network attached drive and make 2 partitions.  One for mac one for PC.  You plug it into the USB on the router (hope you have one) and then it's shared between both.  If you don't have a router, good luck hooking it up to a PC and sharing it with a mac, or vice versa.  

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I suggest against the on-line backup solution being the security of your data is at risk. Laptop only yes I would suggest the external drive as well but be patient with backups. I've also seen cheap prices on USB external drives but your limited to the bandwidth of the USB port. Larger system drive or large amount of files might take some time for backing up. So make sure to schedule this at a point of time you don't need the laptop.

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Ok. I was always a little hesitant about the online back up because of those reasons. Internet issues and data security are enough to make me decide against it. My router unfortunatly does not have a USB port. Looks like we will just have to get 2 hard drives just to be safe I guess.

Thanks again guys for the input. I am not totally stupid on a computer, I just am definitely not the greatest either. Looks like I will start hunting for a couple of external hard drives. I heard Best Buy has some good deals? Anything I should know about when I look to purchase one?

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This is what I would get http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822178116  One for each computer, huge space, USB 3.0 if you ever upgrade to it (much faster than 2.0), very cheap, good reviews.  Make sure to keep it on the 2TB version so you can get the special promo.  

Special savings w/ promo code EMCPAHD53, ends 10/2
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This is what I would get http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822178116  One for each computer, huge space, USB 3.0 if you ever upgrade to it (much faster than 2.0), very cheap, good reviews.  Make sure to keep it on the 2TB version so you can get the special promo.  

Special savings w/ promo code EMCPAHD53, ends 10/2

 

 

Heck even the 5TB is a really good price. If you do have USB3.0 on the computer it will help a bunch. But if your like me with older machines with USB2.0 or even older with USB1.1 then you'll have just ride it out and be patient.

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Well its easy to pay more for 5TB but I'm going to assume he would never use that much.  I spent 4 days looking for a motherboard to buy and you constantly get on that path of spending more on features you won't use just because you think its a better motherboard because of some million dollar feature you'll never use.  For instance, thunderbolt.....sure it's 20gb/s, usb 3.0 is only 5gb/s.  Problem is, you have very little choice of selection with thunderbolt whereas USB stuff is everywhere.  Firewire is much better than USB, but try and find something that uses it and you'll see the problem.  Features you can't utilize are useless. 

 

One neat thing is that these external drives are hitting 150MB/s read rates and that means you get to watch your 10/100/1000 ethernet go straight to 100% when you play over a network between computers.  But it also means USB 2.0 can't even come close.  It is rated for 60MB/s but the overhead seems to drag it down to 37.5MB/s, tops. 

 

This is all on windows anyways.  Macs have a file system 100x better than windows and doesn't get all bogged down with overhead and file size issues.  

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may i add some thoughts.... what type of router do you have? does it have a usp port for adding storage devise.? some of those will let you install a usp external drive and backup to it, kinda like the cloud only you can take the drive with you and done have to worry about hackers hacking a big cloud storage data center. if your router does support this then it can be easy and often happen in the background kinda like MAC's Timemachine.

if you want to only back up the important files the document, music, downloads., then it's great option, as you wont need gobs of bandwidth .

as for something to plug into computer. i'd go external as your on a laptop, then you can take the drive with you in case of fire.

 

depending what your storage needs are a small old headless desktop stuffed full of drives can be a great home server., running Linux, mac or windows, windows home server is nice for the features it offers. it can stay on and in a closet not bothering anyone.

have one such setup it's been in the closet for a number of years now, i've never had to put hands on it sense it's install. it runs Linux, serves all my storage needs here in the house, i save movies to it and stream them to PS3 and smart tv's and ipad/pods. All my documents and it serves my web site right off my home cable connection.

 

for brands, i'm a fan of Seagate, not once have i had one fail.(knock on wood) western digital are said to be good as well. i had one years ago that was plagued with bad sectors. i tend to look for the full size external cases, so i could alway take it apart and install the drive in my pc if i ever needed to, you having a laptop, should look for the smaller "portable" external storage devises.

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My router is a Century Link C1000A. It does have a usb port that I should be able to use for a data back up port. That should allow for data storage from both the Mac and my windows, correct?

 

Thanks so much for that link ISX. I think I will pick one of those up pretty quick here.

 

Thanks again to everyone for the input. Much appreciated on my end. Reasons like this is why I like this forum and group of guys/gals so much.

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Hmmm...

 

michael.morningstar.com - 1.0 TB and 1.5 TB drives.

 

post-1-0-47439300-1411945908_thumb.png post-1-0-65302700-1411946266_thumb.png

 

rosalie.morningstar.com - 500 GB.

 

laptop.morningstar.com - 640 GB.

 

shop.morningstar.com - 80 GB and 80 GB.

 

What I've been doing for backup which is very unusual. I've been copying my home folder around to the other machines. Then copying MoparMom's home folder around as well. So now that give 4 copies of our home folder scattered around the 4 machines. So really I don't need the 1.5 TB much but I store all my partition drives on the 1.5 TB as backups. Yes. I do have a internal domain name system so I can call machines by name and assign task to other machine(s) to free my own. My laptop is the only machine here that has USB3.0 technology right now. The shop computer is the only one with USB1.1 technology.

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Are these both laptops?  If so, that probably means this drive will be all over the place rather than tied to one desktop.  You could partition the drive in half then plug it into one laptop or the other..  Each computer would have half.  I was thinking one was a desktop that would be sharing it but if not then yeah, split it in half.  You see on Mike's first pic he has one hard drive in view and its broken up in to 10 partitions.  Each partition would look like a hard drive.  I have a big external drive at work that I partitioned a bunch so everyone could back up to their partition.  

 

You can do it without partitions but being 2 "virtual" hard drives removes a lot of mixing of files and problems that could happen. 

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WINDOWS

A single physical hard drive can be split up and made into multiple logical drives. In Windows this will turn into drive D, E, F, G, etc. The reason I did this even back in windows was I kept my windows on its own separate partition and then my data in its own partition. This made it quicker and easier for defragging, virus scans and backing up. If Windows partition got infected I know that only that partition was in danger. So I only had to scan the one partition the rest of the data was totally safe. I normally ran Norton's Ghost so I had a full drive image so it would completely repair a unbootable system or a completely failed hard drive.

http://us.norton.com/downloads-trial-norton-ghost

 

LINUX

As for me now with Linux nothing changed. I've kept the partitions still. There is no drive letters all partitions are just another folder so there is no drive limitations. I was using TAR backups but every time you wanted something from a backup it took a extremely long time to unpack the TAR ball. So now I'm just using Unison to sync two drives (or partitions) together.

http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/unison/

 

Another good backup program.

http://clonezilla.org/

 

BOTH

Never backup to the same drive (within partitions).

 

Make sure to backup to another physical drive or media (CD, DVD, USB Sticks)

 

Should always backup the drive as a full image for best results and less loss of time to restore.

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Mike why use a program in Linux? i have been using the dd command for years works great.....

not saying it wrong. maybe i should look into this. i do know that dd has suite4d my needs. can even copy windows or any drive for that matter.

 

i think we are getting off topic or to in-depth for the OP.

a single external drive would suit you just fine. one you can take from laptop to laptop or the option i would go would be, a better router with a NAT storage option, and plug the drive in there and fallow the directions on the router and then in windows map the network drive, ( it's EASY!!) then BAMN your done. both laptops back up automatically and no moving of drives from on pc to another.

 

my Dlink router does this and was my option till i built my home server.

 

i really think for ease of use and not forgetting to do backups this is the best option. i've set numerous clients up this way and they love it. kinda the set it and forget it method.  

you could have tow different user shares. so one pc would not see the others documents.

i've never been a fan od the "geek squad" from best buy, they only want to up sell up sell up sell. and rarely fix the problem.  Frys electronics are good people usually. or have someone help you remotely.

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