A best-case full backup idea...does anyone here know how to do this ?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by smallhagrid, Jul 8, 2013.

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  1. smallhagrid

    smallhagrid Registered Member

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    I love having a full image or clone backup of my PC ready all the time - but my poor memory and time itself tend to mess up my well-made plan...

    Thinking about it a little, there's lots of apps that do full system images and/or drive cloning and many can be automated to work on a schedule.

    So that takes care of one part of it...

    But there is a flaw in this and it is what I wonder about:

    Suppose you have a drive devoted to just your backups and it stays running all the time - sort of defeats the idea of keeping that drive as wear-free as possible, right ??

    So I got to thinking=> suppose there was a way to have this perfect backup idea working like this:

    1 - Your PC turns on (powers up) this drive somehow.

    2 - The backup app does it's thing fully.

    3 - Your PC then shuts off the backup drive until next time it is scheduled.

    I did some searching and found some goofy ideas to control mains power to devices via either parallel or USB outputs by hacking up cables and making complicated relay circuit boards, and most of them refer to bits of Linux-based code or manually pressing keys to make them work - so they're not quite useful for this idea.

    Has anybody here done something like this, or maybe has some ideas of stuff that will work together easily to make something like this happen ?!?

    BTW:
    My PC stays on whenever I'm at home (overnight too), and I have imaging/cloning stuff that I like already, so really what I'm asking is if someone knows how to manage the automatic powering/de-powering of an external drive via s/w and maybe a cable or other device ??
     
  2. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    smallhagrid,

    Excessive number of power cycles may cause more harm to the HDD than keeping it always on. I wouldn't worry about keeping the drive always on.

    Isso
     
  3. smallhagrid

    smallhagrid Registered Member

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    Thanks Isso:
    I don't want to debate the merits of power cycling in this matter, please.

    And here's why:
    Way back when, HDDs would last a very long time=> but lately I've noticed that as warranties shortened so did the lifetimes of the HDDs.
    Mostly this has applied to SATA drives, and the bigger they've been it seems the shorter they've stayed good.

    Perhaps it is a mere coincidence, but I have a dear friend who is right now lamenting how her PC with treasured photos in it has become a useless brick because it's under 2 y/o HDD quit with zero warning.

    In my mind that means that if I take a brand-new HDD and get a full system clone onto it 1x per week - that is very little running time and a good bet for it to last quite a while longer as a result.

    I've still got ancient IDE drives like 40 - 80GB ones that work as well as they did most of a decade ago, and I've also got a 300GB drive that didn't even make it to the 2 year mark.
    (To each, his own ?!?)

    Thanks.
     
  4. Isso

    Isso Developer

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    If you have a look at APM (Advanced Power Management) you'll see that HDDs can enter IDLE state after some period of inactivity. This means that the heads are parked and the motor is stopped.
    So rather than powering off the HDD completely you might want to play with APM settings. There was a utility called Drive Power manager (or something similar) - it might do what you want.
     
  5. treehouse786

    treehouse786 Registered Member

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    with regards to the OP's post, this is something you could try.

    you can set an alarm in the bios of your computer to turn it on at whatever time you want.
    schedule task the backup job
    schedule task to shut pc down after backup is complete (most backup programs have an option to automatically switch off the pc once the backup has been completed
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
  6. treehouse786

    treehouse786 Registered Member

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    windows also has some basic built in HDD power management
     

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  7. smallhagrid

    smallhagrid Registered Member

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    Thanks Again Isso:
    APM is per system usually as opposed to per device and I don't want to power-down my main HDD.

    As it turns out, your suggestion of Drive Power manager helped me to find:
    http://www.drivepowermanager.com/
    And it does do this per-device.
    Now I must see if it will operate as it says it will from the command line and can thereby be arranged with another app to do exactly what I asked about.

    Thank You !!!
     
  8. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    You don't have to install any app to do this.
    In the power options select "Put the computer to sleep"= "never" and then adjust the option "turn off hard disk after" "x minutes".
    Your main/OS HDD will never power-down but all your other disks will "sleep" after x minutes of inactivity on those drives.

    Panagiotis
     
  9. MarcP

    MarcP Registered Member

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    There are plenty of USB drives that auto-power down (or spin down) after a certain idle time.
     
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