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Thinking about 100% safe data storage and have considered the following options;
(1) Install additional hard disk,
(2) Install DVD drive
(3) Buy external Hard Disk
I guess some of you hardened old hands have experience of some, if not all, of these so I would be grateful for a few pointers .
Add (4) removable HD in tray system
(5) The humble CD
It all depends on how much critical data you need to store.
If the data is so critical it must be stored on a series of devices so that say, each day a different device is used in rotation.
Every now and then (having backed up that days data first) you must test the readability of the previous backup.
It does complicate things a bit doesn't it but that is the only way you can be sure of a fighting chance when things go pear-shaped.
How secure are we talking here and is it personal, business (perhaps client data) or whatever ?
Good backup procedure gets a bit paranoid, but ask anyone with network administration background and they will always tell you that you can never be paranoid enough !
CDR is fine and very inexpensive for most people.
Encryption and off-site storage are other potential inclusions, but for starters you'd be hard pressed to find anything more practical that CDR.
Hard drives (internal or external) are excellent and offer much higher capacity than CDR if you have very large files or projects to back up. Unless you keep multiple copies over different drives though, if the drive fails your backups are gone.
I use a tape drive to back up the network shares and server. All my staff knows this so they know to dump copies of anything important into their network share to ensure that a copy will be backed up at work. Some of them also take advantage of CDR and since all of them have this available they can and will perform their own local backups sometimes. Every day the tape from the previous nights backup goes home with me and I rotate lots of tapes so we can roll back completely or selectively a whole month. At end of month a monthly compile backup is written to DVD(s) and stored offsite.
My personal files at home are written to CDR but unlike many I take the time to index the disk contents and put a comma delimited file on the disk that acts as a searchable catalogue.
I also keep a copy of the contents of this file in a database do I can locate items at will from any backup disk. It only takes a few extra minutes to do this and once the initial database is up and running it offers an 'easy to locate' system for all files: once I've located the file I want it identifies the parent CDR it is on and I select that disk from my backup store. You obviously only need to do this if you handle a lot of information.
Anyway, your rule of thumb should be that two backups are better than one and no backup is worth a hoot if you haven't tested it in full.
CDR is just fine, as long as you put a little thought into how to find individual files once your backup collection goes over a handful of disks.
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