cost effective safe backup

  Aristocatman 20:14 17 Aug 04

Any good ideas on this one? Not since the days of my old Jumbo tape backup have I had a safe system (but SLOW!). I need to backup large quantities of data pictures, video etc. Cd's are too small & have proved unreliable, I was using a second drive on an older PC as a network backup 'store' but a power supply fault took out the motherboard & two 40 Gb drives everything lost! I looked at online backup good idea but too expensive for the amount I wanted to store. Dual layer DVD's look promising 8Gb? Any other systems?

  johnsims 21:27 17 Aug 04

I use both CDRs and a hard disk on a second networked machine. I also use a USB pen drive for the relatively small amount of absolutely vital data as a third line. Stopped using a DAT drive (only 2Gb and too slow).

Trouble is whatever you use, the media has the potential to go belly up on you, that's why I have a belt and braces approach and back most things up to at least two different places.

You could use some of your ISP's free webspace, and upload some to that, they will keep backups on a regular basis so that should solve part of the problem. Multiple pay as you go dial up ISPs to increase your free web space? You would probably only have to dial in once a month to keep the account active, therefore it's a cheap option.

  Aristocatman 21:57 17 Aug 04

Offsite storage definitely appeals, I will investigate the ISP route Using an offsite backup facility was going to cost me £60+/month bit expensive for home/hobby interest stuff.

2Gb DAT 10 years ago we used one of those to backup a whole companies network of 40 odd Pc's used for CAD & Office work - thought it was huge capacity at the time (after 70Gb tape streamers it was!)
I mus admit I thought using 2 disc drives was pretty safe you don't expect both to fail. Not the first time a faulty power supply has killed a motherboard first time for disk drives as well.

Lucky not to lose everthing some of the files are on other PC's on the network still a hell of a loss though.

  €dstowe 06:37 18 Aug 04

A power supply fault such as you describe must be extremely rare and is unlikely to happen again but, I can understand your reticence in using the same method again.

How about a removable hard drive? By that I mean one in a caddy which is connected in the main body of the machine, not one of theses external USB/firewire jobbies.

Such a drive behaves as a fairly normal hard drive but is only connected when you are actually doing the backups and thus reasonably safe from the effects of power failures/surges/interruptions. Being only infequently running saves wear and tear on the drive so it should last a very long time.

Being removable as well means that you can take it away and store off-site if necessary.

All of my studio machines have removable hard drives like this, dedicated to backing up.


  scotty 13:43 18 Aug 04

DVD RAM discs are more reliable than standard DVD+/- discs (even more so if you use them in cassettes). I use LG4040 which supports DVD+, DVD- and DVD RAM (removed from cassette). DVD RAM discs hold over 4GB, are reasonably cheap and very easy to use. I have three disc which I use on a rotation basis so even if disaster strikes, I have most files on the other discs.

This route also has the advantage that you can easily store a copy off-site to protect against loss due to fire.

I use a simple batch file to back-up all the directories required (data files, address book, e-mail). I created a desktop shortcut so all I do is insert a disc and double click on shortcut. Keeping it simple means you are more likely to actually perform back-ups.

  woodchip 14:15 18 Aug 04

You need a External USB2 Hard Drive and some backuo software as is on the Oct PCA mag CD ACEBACKUP 2003 click here

  woodchip 14:26 18 Aug 04

250Gb One Touch Ext. HDD click here

  wee eddie 15:53 18 Aug 04

I would just like to add.

For added longevity, get a drive that has USB2 and Firewire connections.

  Aristocatman 18:36 18 Aug 04

Thanks everyone for your ideas, edstowe I had forgotten caddy drives they tend to be cheaper than USB/firewire externals. I would need a 80Gb drive for a full backup & these are dropping in price quite nicely. Who sells the caddies, you don't see them advertised these days?

  woodchip 18:43 18 Aug 04

Computer Fair £26

  woodchip 18:44 18 Aug 04

Computer Fair £26 for external £20 for internal

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