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External Hard Drive for backup

what do you guys usually do for backup? I am thinking of getting an External hard drive. Any recomendations or alternate solutions?

thanks,

Prakash S
Saturday, January 31, 2004

For a desktop? Or a laptop?

If tape it out of your budget, my general recommendation would be to get a pair of large hard drives and a hot-swap enclosure. Put the drives in carriers, then switch them every night

Philo

Philo
Saturday, January 31, 2004

I have my own server for this specific purpose.  I simply zip my work folders and upload them over FTP or the network depending on where I am.

Eric DeBois
Saturday, January 31, 2004

Prakash,
If I remember correctly, you have a Laptop. I use an external USB hard drive with OneTouch backup for my laptop. Whenever I want it (mostly once a week) I press the OneTouch button and back it up.

Krish
Saturday, January 31, 2004

Philio:

yeah, I have a laptop.

Eric, do you do a backup of that server?

Krish,

Which one do you use, and how much did you pay for it?

thanks guys.

Prakash S
Saturday, January 31, 2004

+1 for the external Maxtor OneTouch drives. I love mine!

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Sunday, February 01, 2004

-1 for the Maxtor One touch 160 GB drive.  It crashed 3 months after I got it, and it cost a bundle to recover all the data off of it.

Cybersuraa
Sunday, February 01, 2004

I bought an ACOM Data USB 2.0 / FireWire HDD (80GB/5400RPM) a while back.  That + Norton Ghost 2003 has served all my backup needs well.

Immature programmer
Sunday, February 01, 2004

>>Eric, do you do a backup of that server?

Sort of. I occationally burn all the zips to a CD, but its more in the way of archiving than backing up so to speak. But since all the zips exist both on my laptop and the server, I figure its enough. Ive been thinking about putting in an extra HD in the server and either have a software raid or just put a script in there that copies the zips to the second drive, but I havent really felt the need to do that.

(But then again, you only "feel the need" for a stronger backup scheme when something has already gone wrong.)

Eric DeBois
Sunday, February 01, 2004

I have 3 x 20gb Lacie firewire pocket drives. I have a script that does an xcopy backup of my data. At present I get around 2.5 complete backups per drive, uncompressed. I keep one of the drives on my desk for the next backup, one in my safe and one in a safe at my dad's office. I don't rotate them as often as I should which means the offsite one gets a bit out of date sometimes. Not the cheapest option, but it seems to work pretty well. Faster and easier to restore from than the tape drive I used to use.

The machine I'm backing up from has multiple drives and the important stuff is stored in a CVS repository on one drive and worked on in a working area on another drive...

Len Holgate (www.lenholgate.com)
Sunday, February 01, 2004

I too take the network backup approach. There is a Win2k server here in my home office that I store all my data on. I also have a small Linux box here that handles my email and DNS services.

I built a very cheap (under £350) and silent http://www.mini-itx.com/ box, installed Linux on it and installed it in the home office of an understanding friend (he doesn't have to be too understanding as the box really is silent when the disk is spun down). We both have DSL.

I then use a rsync script running on my local Linux box at 4am each morning that mounts the Win2k box's data share via smb and syncs any changes to the remote server. I have another script that does things the other way so that my understanding friend has a samba share on the mini-itx box that he can use to back his data up.

In theory you could do this between two Windows boxes, but I have found rsync on Windows to be too unreliable (it freezes during transfers). My original plan involved the Win2k box communicating directly with the remote Linux box using rsync, but that was unreliable which is why I do the somewhat less efficient thing of mounting the Win2k share on the local Linux box and syncing from that.

I found tapes and CDs too unreliable (mainly that I couldn't be relied on to put the right media in at the right time). This way I know that all my data on my Win2k box is backedup remotely every day.

The only flaws in my plan at the moment are:
- I have to make sure I copy any data on my laptop to the Win2k server for backups (must get rsync running on the laptop or write some scripts to do it)
- there are no historical backups (altough I do keep anything that gets deleted as the rsync scripts are set up not to mirror deletes)
- I'm not backing up any open files (with my SQL server I backup the databases to files within the data share to get round this problem)

I plan to add another mini-itx box at another friends house at some point (and again will backup their data onto my local server for them).

Andy Norman
Sunday, February 01, 2004

"+1 for the external Maxtor OneTouch drives. I love mine!"

Nice and easy, but slow on USB.  But if it's just for backups not a big deal.  If you actually want to use files on it or move stuff back and forth regularily, the firewire Lacie D2 is MUCH nicer.

Crusty Admin
Sunday, February 01, 2004

Mine is Firewire and USB 2.0. You are right that it's quite a bit slower on USB 2.0 (and hardly usable at all on USB 1.1), but it's as fast as an internal drive when used via Firewire.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Sunday, February 01, 2004

Prakash,
I have an older Maxtor OneTouch model. I don't remember how I paid for it. I think around $80 with some mail-in-rebates etc. from CompUSA. And I think it's this model. So far it hasn't given me any problems.

http://www.maxtor.com/en/products/external/personal_storage_5000/personal_storage_5000le/index.htm

Krish
Monday, February 02, 2004

>it's quite a bit slower on USB 2.0 ... but it's as fast as
>an internal drive when used via Firewire.

Is this true?  I thought USB 2.0 and FireWire were roughly the same transfer speed?

I'm also looking at a portable but was leaning towards USB 2.0 as USB is more common than FireWire.

Matt Foley
Monday, February 02, 2004

I am going to go for the maxtor solution for my wife's office. The main argument: she wants control, but if it is anything beyond "oneclick" she will not do it.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, February 06, 2004

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