Disaster recovery options

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by sallypt, Jul 27, 2008.

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  1. sallypt

    sallypt Registered Member

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    I want to have my backups stored on DVD for a worse-case scenario (computer is stolen or backup drive fails). Currently, I am doing daily incrementals and each days backup files fit onto one DVD. But writing those files to DVD is a full-time job and I simply can't keep up with it.

    I thought a differential might be better since it wouldn't matter which day I backed up to DVD. I could do it once a week and feel comfortable with that backup. However, the size of the differential file (or files if I break it up) is so large that the time it takes to write to DVD pretty much matches the current method.

    What I would like to do is something like this:
    - Create a main backup and then copy that to DVD
    - Then sometime later (a day, a week), run a backup of just the changed files and write that to DVD.

    That way I am not having to almost constantly having to create DVD's to keep a current backup. Is something like this possible? If not, I would appreciate hearing how others backup to DVD.

    Currently, I have two external book drives for backup. I use the first to do the daily backups. It stores about six months of backups. I then move those to the second drive and create a new backup on the first. That gives me about a years worth of backups at any one time, which I need to have for my work. But there's no way to recover in a worse case, as mentioned. I'm thinking of buying a third book drive and switching it with the second one every six months so I can store it off-premises. Does that sound like the best way to go? I would appreciate any thoughts on the subject.

    Using Acronis 11
     
  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    I don't understand why you say, "there's no way to recover in a worse case," you have two sets of backup Images which seems to be ideal.
    For the DVD situation, use the 2-step method for putting the Backups on to DVD. First make the backup to one of your externals but specify dvd sized splits. Then burn them to dvd using your favorite burning software. Many here use a split size of 1492mb - easy to remember for those who know American history. Three of these splits fit on one dvd with very little waste.
     
  3. sallypt

    sallypt Registered Member

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    Worse case - computer stolen. It would be very difficult to retrive the backup if I didn't have backup.

    Worse case - backup drive fails and is not recovereable. This happened to me once already. The second backup drive only has old backups on it. I try to keep those as current as possible but at certain times, they can be several months old, making them pretty much useless except for retrieving certain files that haven't changed.

    I do backups everyday. Which means I have to create a DVD everyday. While the DVD writing software will work in the background, it still pretty much takes over my computer, making everything else very slow, to the point of making it almost not useable for a good couple of hours. I could deal with this if it were once a week but doing it everyday causes too much of a strain on my everyday work so it just isn't feasible.
     
  4. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    If you want to backup to dvd with true image you need to do it differently than your current plan.

    1. you need to partition your hard drive and seperate your "system" from your "data". Get your "system" as small as possible by only loading your important programs on the c:/program files. All your large games/data files etc go on the data partition.

    2. Next use true image to backup your c: system partition to dvd's (at most you shouldn't need more than 2 dvd's). You data partition is best to backup only the data that changes (when it changes). My important data I just backup uncompressed.

    That's the only way to backup to dvd's. If you have a 500gb hard drive it is very unpractical to backup to dvd's using true image. If your hard drive crashes, restoring your computer system partition from 2 dvd's should take less than 30 minutes. Once you restore the "system" the important part, you can take your time restoring the "data". That's the only way I would do a daily backup to dvd's, I would probably even shrink my system partition further so it would fit in 1 dvd.
     
  5. sallypt

    sallypt Registered Member

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    Thank you for the reply. Changing the way the disk is layed out would be a nightmare and not something I could even consider at this point but it's kind of what I thought the answer would be. I just wanted to be sure. I think I will go with the third book drive and just swap them every six months or so.
     
  6. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    sallypt,
    Food for thought.
    1. External drives should not be connected 24/7.
    2. Suggest you alternate between external drives every backup or at least every week. If one external fails, you do not want your other drive to be too outdated.
    3. Be sure that some of your backups are of the "disk" image type which includes all partitions. If your system drive fails, a "disk" image is your best and quickest solution to recovery. If you have not done so, look at your disk via your Disk Management options so you know how your drive is partitioned.
    4. Many of the "regular" forum members additionally use extra backups made by other software. You might want to occasionally consider this for your 3rd external drive. Even drag & drop onto a DVD for your personal folders that change could help. Occasionally exporting your email and address book could also help. If emails are important to you, you could consider storing an extra copy on your ISP.
    5. If your computer is a desktop, consider adding another internal drive to assist in easier and quicker backups.
    6. If some files are static or rarely change, maybe you could move those into special folders and these could be backed up by other means and not included in every backup.
    7. The most important thing is keep making the backups and to test some type of a restore procedure. Should you need to restore or replace your computer, you need to know that your backup program will not fail you and pre-testing is the closest to fool-proof that you can do. It is always good to have a plan B in case plan A fails.

    Depending upon the situation and the amount of time passing, if your computer fails, you will be upgrading to a newer model. This means a reinstall of all programs with some programs even being new. The data now that you must protect is the data created by these programs in use now. Also, gather up all the install disks and downloaded programs and get them together in a group. This would make for easier recovery should you need to go to a new computer with new hardware.

    An Acronis full "disk" image is most helpful in recovering an existing disk or upgrading to new larger disk--all on your existing computer. If upgrading to a brand new computer due to theft or hardware issues, its only purpose will probably be to mount one of your backups and copy or restore some of your data or personal folders.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
  7. Stewamax

    Stewamax Registered Member

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    Hmm...

    Since you are serious about risk management, where do your generations of backups live physically? If you have a fire....

    It might be worth investing in a 'media chest' (ordinary fireproof chests do not keep temperatures low enough) to keep your latest or most critical media.
     
  8. sallypt

    sallypt Registered Member

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    I have been working on rearranging my data and implementing the other suggestions made here. I just wanted to say thanks to all who helped.
     
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