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(Post Link) post #1 of 27 Old 04-11-13 Thread Starter
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Backups - am I paranoid?

Both Liz and I use Mac laptops. We both have thousands of photos and Liz thousands of hours work on family history with notes and documents.

We both use Carbon Copy Cloner - a fantastic prog. that copies your entire hard drive to an external hard drive which you can then use to boot from if the laptop drive fails.

Liz copies hers to a 160 gig hard drive and I copy mine to a terabyte one. Today there was not enough space on the 160 gig one. No problem - I partitioned the tera and cloned both onto it.

Then I thought - what if the external failed?

So I went and bought another one - partitioned it and cloned both again.

So now we have three copies of each - original and two hard drive versions. I clone each week to update.

Am I being way over the top here?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulR View Post
Both Liz and I use Mac laptops. We both have thousands of photos and Liz thousands of hours work on family history with notes and documents.

We both use Carbon Copy Cloner - a fantastic prog. that copies your entire hard drive to an external hard drive which you can then use to boot from if the laptop drive fails.

Liz copies hers to a 160 gig hard drive and I copy mine to a terabyte one. Today there was not enough space on the 160 gig one. No problem - I partitioned the tera and cloned both onto it.

Then I thought - what if the external failed?

So I went and bought another one - partitioned it and cloned both again.

So now we have three copies of each - original and two hard drive versions. I clone each week to update.

Am I being way over the top here?
Only you can answer that based on how important the information is, though I'd recommend that if you have multiple backups and they are important to store a cloned version off-site for added security...

I have a backup to one machine in the house and then to a RAID NAS so technically have at least 3 backups of all our information... I would lose out if the house burned down though at this stage...!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmicusPro View Post
Only you can answer that based on how important the information is, though I'd recommend that if you have multiple backups and they are important to store a cloned version off-site for added security...

I have a backup to one machine in the house and then to a RAID NAS so technically have at least 3 backups of all our information... I would lose out if the house burned down though at this stage...!
Hadn't though about the house burning situation.

But - hey - did our parents keep the negatives of photographs "offsite" just in case the prints got burned?

I guess I was more worried about hard drive failure - but now you've got me thinking - thanks for that
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Originally Posted by PaulR View Post
Hadn't though about the house burning situation.

But - hey - did our parents keep the negatives of photographs "offsite" just in case the prints got burned?

I guess I was more worried about hard drive failure - but now you've got me thinking - thanks for that
lol sorry, belt n braces paranoia here
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Do you use a programme to do the backup or simply copy stuff
to the external drive?
I have used windows backup and now use the programme on my
Seagate external drive. Both are supposed to only backup data
that has changed since the last backup and yet with both the
amount of data on the drive grows to far more than is on the pc
hard disc. So I don't think they do what they say they do.
Would it be as well to just copy and paste from one drive to the
other?



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Carbonite Online Backup

in case your house goes up in flames, or burglars clean you out
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(Post Link) post #7 of 27 Old 04-11-13 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibbo View Post
Do you use a programme to do the backup or simply copy stuff
to the external drive?
David - we use Apple Macs and the programme is called Carbon Copy Cloner. It does just that - clones/copies your entire hard drive to an external one. The beauty of it is that you can then use the external drive to to boot up if your internal one fails. Another computer if you will.

I am not sure that there is a Windows equivalent but I expect someone will correct me if there is.

Last edited by PaulR; 04-11-13 at 16:55. Reason: Clarity
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I wonder if someone can advise of an equivalent for windows.
I have looked at going down the apple route but simply cannot
justify the cost. I would rather put the difference into camera
kit



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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibbo View Post
I wonder if someone can advise of an equivalent for windows.
I have looked at going down the apple route but simply cannot
justify the cost. I would rather put the difference into camera
kit
I understand that entirely - Macs are expensive.

That said their after care is fantastic.

I took my four year old Macbook back with a failed screen- totally black. No warranty - it was 4 years old.

They replaced both the screen, well the video driver and hard drive (after phoning me first) - they said the hard dive was failing and would cost 80 (I had a CCC copy so no problem with backup). I agreed.

Went to pick it up - charge 0.00.

I reckon they are a bit like the Police and they have an attitude test. If you go in there steaming and saying "I paid over 2k for this and you want to charge me 80 - WTF?" They will say " I am so sorry sir but it is out of warranty and we just have to charge".

If , like me, you go in there and say "Thanks for identifying the problem - how much do I owe you". They will say "No problem sir, no charge" and I thank them (genuinely).

Actually that is a prime example of why CCC is so good. I got a computer back with a completely empty (new) hard drive. I just hooked it up to the external hard drive and cloned it all back - full restoration within half an hour.

Last edited by PaulR; 04-11-13 at 17:56.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulR View Post
I understand that entirely - Macs are expensive.

That said their after care is fantastic.

I took my four year old Macbook back with a failed screen- totally black. No warranty - it was 4 years old.

They replaced both the screen, well the video driver and hard drive (after phoning me first) - they said the hard dive was failing and would cost 80 (I had a CCC copy so no problem with backup). I agreed.

Went to pick it up - charge 0.00.

I reckon they are a bit like the Police and they have an attitude test. If you go in there steaming and saying "I paid over 2k for this and you want to charge me 80 - WTF?" They will say " I am so sorry sir but it is out of warranty and we just have to charge".

If , like me, you go in there and say "Thanks for identifying the problem - how much do I owe you". They will say "No problem sir, no charge" and I thank them (genuinely).

Actually that is a prime example of why CCC is so good. I got a computer back with a completely empty (new) hard drive. I just hooked it up to the external hard drive and cloned it all back - full restoration within half an hour.
Sounds good and proof that, in all situations, being calm can result in much better service!

Regarding Windows equivalents, I tend to use Synology's software but I'm pretty sure you could use Acronis or other software (can't remember the name of the last one I used) that does a full backup. I have all I need backed up as to me it's more about the data than the programs so long as I have the ability to reinstall, if only because I have other machines on which to use said files.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmicusPro View Post
Regarding Windows equivalents, I tend to use Synology's software but I'm pretty sure you could use Acronis or other software (can't remember the name of the last one I used) that does a full backup. I have all I need backed up as to me it's more about the data than the programs so long as I have the ability to reinstall, if only because I have other machines on which to use said files.
I understand that but you, obviously, have some knowledge with computers and can reinstall data as necessary.

I am a bit thick - could learn how to do it if necessary but it isn't because of CCC - just copy the lot and download it where you want. I think there are many like me.

I guess what I am trying to say is that this is such a simple concept - copy your hard drive in it's entirety - operating system et al, and you can then use it should the original fail. CCC does exactly this.

Surely there must be a Windows equivalent?

Last edited by PaulR; 04-11-13 at 18:29. Reason: Clarity
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There are Windows Disk Cloning tools but that isn't advised as a way to do backups.

You need to consider
Disaster Recovery - offsite backup
Hardware failure - multiple copies on different discs
Accidental deletion - if you don't notice a mistake at the time can you restore a deleted file from say 3 months ago
Each consideration requires a different solution
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Quote:
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There are Windows Disk Cloning tools but that isn't advised as a way to do backups.

You need to consider
Disaster Recovery - offsite backup
Hardware failure - multiple copies on different discs
Accidental deletion - if you don't notice a mistake at the time can you restore a deleted file from say 3 months ago
Each consideration requires a different solution
Nope - still don't get it.

What can possibly be wrong with taking a copy of a working HD i.e the one you are using right now?
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You can use shadow copy as an equivalent of Time Machine for accidental file deletion, and you can do remote or local backups.

Some further reading on OS X and Windows can be found here:
Cloning on Windows, Mac etc.
Cloning v imaging
A selection of (not upto date) PC cloning apps (Think I used EaseUS Partition Master)
A selection of (not upto date) Mac cloning apps
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Nope - still don't get it.

What can possibly be wrong with taking a copy of a working HD i.e the one you are using right now?
Because you are potentially also copying corruption that could get worse and render files or the system inoperable.
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I find myself to be selective with importance. The most important stuff gets stuck on a SSD that I bought (which I believe to be more reliable than a normal hard drive?) and everything gets sent to an email that i made for the sole purpose of being a place where files sit.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firstcaralfa View Post
I find myself to be selective with importance. The most important stuff gets stuck on a SSD that I bought (which I believe to be more reliable than a normal hard drive?) and everything gets sent to an email that i made for the sole purpose of being a place where files sit.
So long as you accept that e-mail is an inherently insecure medium...
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Thanks for all the info - I am happy to stick with CCC.
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Thanks for all the info - I am happy to stick with CCC.
If your os x has it use time machine on an external drive, this will give you another level of resilience.
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My 2p's worth.. There's an old saying in IT. Don't expect your data to be always available unless you have 3 copies in different places...

2 in your house and one offsite is a good idea. I have a NAS at my sister's house which gets changes uploaded to it every 3 hours. I am paranoid, but if I lost all my photos, or even just some of them I would be a very unhappy boy.

An easier offsite backup option is cloud storage, but if you have a lot of data it can be expensive. Crashplan is quite nice. I have set it up for a few friends.

You back your data up at your friends' house over the Internet (automatically) and they can back theirs up on your computer. No charges. Data is encrypted on the remote end so your friend can't see your files. Does mean you really need a computer on most of the time as most home broadband connections aren't very fast when uploading so it takes a while.

Only changes get pushed over the Internet, so to get things up and running quickly take your computer to your friends house and do an initial backup over their local network. THat will be many times faster than using the Internet.

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I use Bitcasa. You get 10GB free of cloud storage and mirrors selected folders on your computer. You can also access them from a different computer, so great if travelling. All free and seems to work seamlessly in the back ground, no pop ups, no ads or anything. I just back up my critical stuff on this to keep within the free 10GB limit, and have an external 300GB hard drive which we back up all of our photos on to every few months etc, and keep at my parents place.
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How's this for stupid...

I am quite conscientious about backups so I backup my iMac hard drive to an external Seagate hard drive and I copy my photographs, music and important documents across to my wife's laptop so we have a 3rd copy.

I'm less worried about any individual component failing as I am about multiple copies.

When we recently relocated to the UAE I realized after a few days that my iMac, external hard drive AND wife's laptop were all in the same crate on the same ship that travelled through the Suez canal, along the coast of Yemen and round the tip of Somalia
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There's pirated software/media etc but your data was at risk of being pirated


I store some of my data on my PC as well as on two NAS drives (on site).
Some stuff is just stored on both NAS drives.
Other data is stored on the PC, both NAS drives & online (Dropbox)
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As long as you are you are using something like Windows 7, then Windows has its own backup software which works okay for simple backup and recovery. You can set up full backups to an external hard drive say once a week, and changed files during the week. If you lost your main hard drive, it's just a Windows install (which is actually simpler than most people think) and then a restore from the last full backup and then the incremental backups and everything is back. There is also an option to restore from a backup without a reinstall, but you need to have created a backup disk to do it.

My data is on a NAS box and then I keep 3 copies of the data on another PC. The most up to date copy is then backed up with VirginMedia to cloud storage for an off site backup. It originally cost 5 a month extra to upgrade my account and I currently keep 180 Gb on it for emergencies. The software is a bit flaky, but they've been promising to replace it for ages.
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I find that the windows backup keeps growing and growing in size
rather than overwriting. After four or five backups my external
drive is nearly full. Nearly 1tb of backed up data when there is
less than 300gb on my hard drive. This is daft to say the least.



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