Newbie asks, what media do you use for backups?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by allizomeniz, Nov 19, 2012.

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  1. allizomeniz

    allizomeniz Registered Member

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    I did my first backups the other night with some DVDs but it was a horrible experience. I had to babysit it the whole time and keep changing disks. And with three computers to backup I ended up with nine disks to keep track of. Also, the disk drive on my laptop revved up so fast I thought it was gonna explode.

    So I'm curious, what's the best option? I'm thinking of just using a flash drive. That seems like a safe option since you can remove it from the computer when it's not in use, but I'm not sure if there are any downsides I don't know about.

    So, a couple of questions:

    1) What about flash drives?

    2) Can you create a new partition on the hard drive and backup to that (with Macrium Reflect), and is it secure to do it that way?

    Appreciate it. :)
     
  2. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    1. You can use flash drives. But I wouldn't recommend it unless you kept several of them and rotated your use between them. Flash drives just don't seem robust enough for critical, long term storage (at least not to me.) I own and have used gobs of them over the last few years and while I've had few failures, I don't use them for my imaging. I use portable USB hard drives. (If you decide to try using flash drives, make sure to test them by doing restores from them. All the images in the world don't mean anything if you can't restore from them.)

    2. Yes, but I would never recommend it. What if your hard drive dies? If it won't spin up to load the OS, it also wouldn't spin up to restore.
     
  3. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    allizomeniz,

    DVDs are the worst choice. Slow and time intensive to use (you have to be there to swap discs) and their retention of data over the long term is unreliable.

    I'm with HAN, use HDs. Internal or external. My preference is a second internal HD with occasional copying of images to an external HD or to a HD in another computer.
     
  4. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    i agree with the slowness of them ... but if you get good media like ty or even better imo falcon pro discs you can be assured your data will be safe if you keep the discs from getting all scratched, out of the heat etc. i will keep a baseline image on falcon dvd-r's just to have a "extra" backup in case i have a issue with my backup drives. but only a baseline image. all others are kept on hdd's.
     
  5. allizomeniz

    allizomeniz Registered Member

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    It sounds like an external hard drive is the way to go. Has anyone used a Toshiba Canvio 3.0? I did some checking and that seems to be the one that's most available in my area and has the best price. I don't mind paying more for quality, but I don't want to overspend if I don't have to. Wal-Mart has the Toshiba and I love their easy return policy. :D
     
  6. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    I like Toshiba's just fine. I own a couple. :D

    Just be sure to not run the built-in software bundled with the drive unless you really want to. The description for the drive on Walmart's link says it comes with NTI's Backup Now software. I prefer to choose my own backup software...
     
  7. allizomeniz

    allizomeniz Registered Member

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    Really appreciate the advice Han.

    Out of curiosity, is there some reason why I wouldn't be able to restore from a flash drive? I'm just curious why you said that. Has it ever happened to you?
     
  8. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    imo now that the toshibas are western digital made i wouldnt touch them anymore. i deal in computer parts everyday and i recently stopped stocking wd drives. it used to be opposite where seagate were the bad ones now i have FAR FAR less bad drives from seagate than wd any day of the week. i personally wouldtell you to go with one of the seagate backup plus 3.0 drives they are really awesome drives i sell a ton of them and have got only a couple back as defects out of prob 200+ we have sold already. also with seagate if you decide later to take the drive out of the enclosure and use it in a pc or laptop you dont have to worry about the drive not having the sata connecter like many of the wd drives that only have a usb connector soldered directly to the drive.
     
  9. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    flash drives are just not reliable enough to use as backup medium trust me. we see a ton of usb drive failures come in where people want us to try to get their info off of them i personally only buy some of the best ones out there for my own use and i have even had some of those die out of the blue.
     
  10. AaLF

    AaLF Registered Member

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    I always partition my HDD to Windows 7 alone & everything else in the next room. Its pretty rare for a HDD drive to die & lose all the data. I've always had the CDrive partition die for various reasons. The data partition just keeps on keeping on.
     
  11. chrisretusn

    chrisretusn Registered Member

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    I use other hard drives and also flash drives for backups. Examples:

    I have a second hard drive installed in my main use machine (also acts as a server) in which all backups are stored.

    On a laptop I use for work, backups are made to an external USB hard drive. Occasional backups are also made to my main use machine.

    At work I backup data files to a second internal hard drive and also backup to a dedicated flash drvie. On top of that, selected critical data is backed up to another normal use USB stick I use for portability so I can work on things at home, this is mostly sync backup, but it is still a back up.
     
  12. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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  13. PJC

    PJC Very Frequent Poster

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    I use Flash Drives.
    No problems with them...:cool:
     
  14. andylau

    andylau Registered Member

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    HDD is better, internal or external

    Each backup(image) file, I have two copies which are stored in two different HDD
     
  15. MarcP

    MarcP Registered Member

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    I use 2 1TB external HDDs. I back up to one of them, then sync the drive to the other. So I always have a backup or my backup. :p
     
  16. allizomeniz

    allizomeniz Registered Member

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    I really appreciate all the feedback. I decided to go with two flash drives. We just have home computers and nothing really changes that much on them except personal data which I back up to DVDs. I probably won't make images that often, I just want to be able to recover the C partition if necessary without having to redo all the Windows patches and reinstall programs. I figured with two flash drives I can alternate them, then if one craps out, I'll still have the other one. I may live to regret it, but for what I'm doing I think (hope) it'll be okay. :D
     
  17. HAN

    HAN Registered Member

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    To achieve a good, safe comfort factor, be sure to test your setup by actually performing a restore. It's the only way to know for sure things work...
     
  18. ams963

    ams963 Registered Member

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    Backing up to an external HDD is the best way. ;)
     
  19. AaLF

    AaLF Registered Member

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    I have been biten more than once by failed back-ups. I prefer two (2) backup programs. So if one fails, there is "plan B". Of course I am only backing up my CDrive so volume is not a problem.
     
  20. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    1. Internal SATA Hard Drives.
    2. Network RAID1 Server.
    3. USB 2.0 SATA Hard Drive.
    4. CD/DVD's (occasionally).
    5. USB Flash Drives (rarely)
     
  21. Solarlynx

    Solarlynx Registered Member

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    Now I use for backups:
    - Cloud backups :thumb:
    - External disks
    - Internal disks on the same comp other then the disk of original location
    - Internal disks of other comps
    - DVD disks - for especially valuable data
    - USB flash drives - long ago in the past
    - diskettes - ages ago :)
    I always prefer synchronization if it's possible.
     
  22. Keatah

    Keatah Registered Member

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    I've been advising people about the importance of backups since the days of the Apple II computers. After many years of real-world testing I've found the USB HDD to be the best option, today, for the home & small business user.

    I've experimented with all kinds of media: 5.25 & 3.5 floppies, tape drives, CD-R/W, CD-R, DVD-R, Zip disks, Flash media & USB keys, paper printouts, external HDD, ftp/cloud services, and more. Tried them all.

    Today my choice of media is the portable HDD. It is so for many reasons:
    1- cheap and spacious
    2- fast (USB 3 variety)
    3- filing and organizing is a snap
    4- you can get them anywhere
    5- versatile, mixed backups, file folders, disk images
    6- easy to use and convenient (you aren't juggling 20 throw away discs)
    7- secure, put it in a bank safe accompanied with CD/DVD discs if it's that important
    8- reliable, I've got a 33-year old HDD and it works, I also have an 8-year old modern-style disk also working. Both retaining data without refresh so far.

    I won't bore you with the mechanics and procedures of making backups. You can figure that out yourself depending on your system configuration and what you need to protect.

    But I will say this. Regardless of any medium and procedure, you must know exactly what you are backing up and verify that you can restore from that backup. This means a full up operational test. This may be as simple as copying files with Windows Explorer, or as complex as replacing the disk in the computer and restoring to that. What good is it if your backup is inaccessible or doesn't contain what you need? Might as well not have made it in the first place. Remember, it's not only the mechanical integrity of the data you need be concerned with, but also the ability to restore it to the proper location.

    Meantime, you can get more opinions and suggestions here:
    http://dpbestflow.org/backup/backup-overview
    http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/backup-strategy.html
     
  23. Keatah

    Keatah Registered Member

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    Whoaa.. I musta been a little high. That's waaayyy too long. The whole point of backups is to ensure multiple copies of your important work.

    You need to ensure that the copies you make are reliable, complete, and accessible.

    For bonus points, you make 2 copies!
     
  24. safeguy

    safeguy Registered Member

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    Whatever you use, don't use CD/DVDs. Period. They're just not worth it.
     
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