can someone recommend an external drive backup system, please?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by iceni60, Mar 19, 2007.

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  1. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    hi, i've never used any backup software/hardware. i've only ever used DVD/CD/floppies for my backups.

    i'd like to buy something that has an external drive so i can just plug it in to the computer and then easily make a complete image of the internal drive, or just backup the bits i want. i think i'd like it to be able to do incremental backups (so it just backs up the stuff that has changed)

    i only use linux, just about all my filesystems are ext3. but, i was thinking about maybe backing up friends filesystems too before i fix stuff, so i'd like it to work with windows too.

    would it be possible to have something that holds all my linux backups and i can use to backup windows computers before i fix them?

    is there an all-in-one device that does backups i can get, or will i have to get an external drive and put some separate software on?

    what do you recommend? thanks.
     
  2. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    drives such as the maxtor onetouch let u press a button to run backup, but i think you have to install their software for that to work.
     
  3. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    thanks, i'll have a look at that. so you think it might not work with linux??
     
  4. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    i doubt it would work, but u could email maxtor/seagate just to be double sure.
     
  5. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    ok, thanks.

    i thought there must be lots of hardware devices that just let you plug them into a USB port and image a drive, or part of a drive. i haven't looked much yet because i thought loads of people here would know about it o_O i'll go and have a look :cautious:
     
  6. zcv

    zcv Registered Member

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    A less expensiive alternative is an internal HD housed in an external drive enclosure with USB connection.

    Don't know what size your looking for, but nowadays, an ATA drive is less than 1 USD per GB.

    ATA drive enclosures will average around 20.00 US.

    I recycle myn older/smaller HD's that way - have two for my Desktop and two for my Laptop.
     
  7. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    thanks, i'll have a look for that and post what i find tomorrow to see if anyone thinks i've picked the right thing :cautious: thanks.
     
  8. zcv

    zcv Registered Member

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  9. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Hey Ice

    There are many external HD with IDE/SATA/USB or combination connections
    ANY size 40G to 500G
    Some will come with preinstalled back-up/imaging software: not always fully featured if you get my drift: ie Linux support and "skeleton" features; but there are as I recall many open source softs ?
    Better to get third party tools for back-up.
    Most external drives with or w/o enclosures are dirt cheap
    Get a reliable manufacturer
    If you want external storage of videos get a BIG external.
    Also, There are now thumb style drives with !!4G storage

    Get one that has on/off switch built in.
    Maybe get a HD in enclosure that you can change rather than a sealed unit.

    Terabyte will support Linux partitions, drive, back-ups, boot managers etc: super reliable.

    Good Luck.

    here's a quick link for a nice clean enclosed drive
    http://www6.tomshardware.com/2006/10/30/lacie_safe_desktop_hard_drive/
    lots of discount prices available
    Tom's HW has a lot of good info
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2007
  10. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    My problem in choosing an enclosure is which brands provide quality, fans/ alluminium casing, shock protection (even though it's not meant to fall...)
    How does one choose with confidence that the HD will survive?
     
  11. zcv

    zcv Registered Member

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    Hi Someone,

    I have Kingwins - aluminum, no fans.

    I also have one Apricorn whcih is pricer with a fan which I really don't need. These drives are not running for long, they are for backups and the aluminum does a good enough job of heat dispersal.

    I've had the Apricorn and one of the Kingwins for more than two years and still running fine. I power them up (all are self powered - very important and with on/off switches) at least once a day.

    Shock? Don't know - never dropped one. I imagine if you drop one from a sufficient height, it'll break.

    As I wrote, my investment is not great, I put my old HD's into them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2007
  12. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    i use this enclosure and i find its very much worth the price. the fan keeps the drive cool, installation is easy, and so far its running great with no problems.
     
  13. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    thanks for the help :cool:

    i was just thinking about it :eek: lol so, i could just get a HDD with one of those enclosures, then use a linux livecd with some scripts, or a linux program on the cd, to do all the backups. would that work? maybe something like knoppix has some backup stuff on it o_O will that support linux and windows, or do i need to buy some software for windows support?

    i definitely need it for linux, the windows bit is if i start fixing more computers in the future so that can wait if i can add something to the external HDD later on. can you image a drive while you're using it? or, was i right thinking i'd need a livecd, or some program, for that?

    EDIT, i just remembered i've got two unused brand new drives here. one's an IDE and the other is a SATA, so i just need to buy an enclosure? or do i need to get a special HDD with an on/off switch o_O Longboard mentioned that in post #9
     
  14. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    i know acronis true image can your boot drive while ur using it, but i would rather use a boot cd.

    and yes, u just need to buy the enclosure.
     
  15. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Hello Ice

    LOL: The "Iceni60 Home Tech Shop"

    The enclosure should have an external powerswitch and power supply and the connections you want. There are even USB>ide and USB to sata connectors that work if you want them: the USb connectors are just so easy to use.
    http://www.google.com/search?&q=usb to sata connectors
    http://www.google.com/search?&q=usb to eide connectors

    There is really no need for the external Hd to be 'On' all the time.

    In fact there are real security advantages in being able to easily disconnect and physically remove particularly if you want mobility (or to put in fireproof safe :eek: )
    Some smaller USB external HD will be ok via the USB port power supply but not bigger ones and particularly not 'daisy chains'
    Fans are an optional extra unless the drive is a BIG one or in a tricky environment.
    My external USB drive is 320G and works well with no fan.
    The purists may disagree. (just more noise and more moving parts)
    Most reasonable local retailers will have some enclosures in stock.

    Look:
    http://www.google.com/search?&q=external Hd enclosures
    http://www.google.com/search?&q=linux disc imaging
    http://www.partimage.org/Main_Page
    http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/imagel.html

    Particularly if you are going to work with Windows check the Terabyte page, you are obviously highly adept and the tools will hold no probs for you.
    (Acronis gets all the publicity and does work with Linux but....)
    Storage Craft Shadow Protect seems to be getting good comments here in some threads.

    (I dont propose to turn this into another imaging discussion; just offer some options :) )

    I've prolly exhausted my meager store of knowledge now
    Good luck.
    :)

    PS I know next to nothing about External HDD and any drivers and how to access/map/format them in Linux, I'm sure you've got it covered.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2007
  16. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    Just to give you a different idea. I use and external drive on USB with Acronis True Image s/w. I know that is windows but once installed you can create an emergency disk that boots up some form of Linux.

    This program can image both Linux and Windows partitions even MBR and can do it either from Windows or the boot CD.

    There is also an imaging program for Linux. Far too complex for me but I am sure simple for you. I did ask about in this section of Wilders so a search should bring it up.

    If you don't like TI then the Paragon version will also do it.

    They both from time to time offer free earlier version of their programs and also on magazine cover disks
     
  17. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    To answer some of the points raised:

    Someone, you can be sure the HDD will fail, the question is when.

    iceni, I use external HDD to backup stuff, including images. You have several options:

    Make two partitions, one NTFS, one FAT32 and backup Windows to the first and Linux to the second. You can also use TrueCrypt to encrypt the drive.

    I also save the TIB images to this HDD, among other things, and use scripts to copy files. You can easily achieve this using cron + scripts a la cp mv etc...

    If you want only incremental backups, this can be tricky, but you could try checking the time stamp, convert to internet time, subtract from existing time stamp of the file in question and if a certain delta is reached (e.g. 7 days), then you should copy or overwrite etc. If you want only changed files, you could try checking the hash of each one or again, use time stamp with shorter delta (e.g. 1 day).

    I use internal WD 160GB SATA in an aluminum enclosure, do not use any smart one-touch or franky-four-finger software for copying. I rely on myself and scripts. The HDD + enclosure + 3 years warranty cost me 120 dollars.

    Backup itself, here are some options:

    TrueImage works well with ext partitions, you can use Windows / BartPE to image Linux partitions. You could also try Partimage, comes with SystemRescueCD, alongside GParted, which is good for partitioning any which way you like it.

    Mrk
     
  18. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    I recently bought a Maxtor external drive, model 3200 160 GB at Radio Shack on sale for $70. That's cheap.
     
  19. zcv

    zcv Registered Member

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    No, its the enclosure that has the on/off switch.

    And if you didn't get idea by now - yes you can image to the external.


    LOL, exactly right Mrkvonic.
     
  20. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    wow, thanks for all the help and links everyone. i'll re-read this thread in the next day or so to see if i've missed anything before i buy something.

    as it is, i'm just going to get an enclosure and see how i go from there, i'll see if any come with software that might be useful, but the hardware is more important i think so if it doesn't come with useful software that's no big deal. i'll be near a big computer shop tomorrow so i'll have a look in there too. thanks.
     
  21. hitbit

    hitbit Registered Member

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    You might look at Dynamode for enclosures or Freecom for the built in type.
    I use 1 of each and find both v good. Dynamode is great for making use of old smaller hard drives from your pc as you upgrade. The only drawback is that the backup drive is smaller than the active drive in the pc. I bought a 320 gig Freecom which came with incremental updating software. Its doing a grand job.

    hitbit
     
  22. NICK ADSL UK

    NICK ADSL UK Administrator

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    Just a small tip from me in that it will pay to stick to the main brands like Seagate/ Weston digital / Maxtor ETC with many years of experience behind them when purchasing an external hard drive
     
  23. zcv

    zcv Registered Member

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    Good advice Nick.

    The oldest HD in one of my enclosures is a Wetern Digital - 6.5 years and still chugging along. Spent 4 years in the Desktop and 2.5 in the enclosure.
     
  24. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    i went to that big shop i mentioned and they had an enclosure and a Maxtor external drive. i've got photocopies of them here somewhere. i'll scan them in to the computer when i set up the scanner. i haven't set that up yet on this install :rolleyes:
     
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