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Author Topic: Backup Software  (Read 5191 times)
Nick Rains
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« on: June 29, 2008, 06:19:30 AM »
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Does anyone have any thoughts on whether a the proprietory archive formats of some software (Windows, Paragon, Acronis etc) are better/safer that a simple copy type back up?

I boughtt Acronis True Image V11 but am not entirely happy with it, it's quite fragile on my system but works fine otherwise. However, it occurs to me that I cannot access my backup files unless I use this software whereas with a simple copy backup I could just access the external drive like normal.

(I'm talking about just data files here, not system restores and disk cloning etc.)
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Nick Rains
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k bennett
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« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2008, 08:23:24 AM »
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However, it occurs to me that I cannot access my backup files unless I use this software whereas with a simple copy backup I could just access the external drive like normal.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=204307\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Well, that's the issue, isn't it?

One of my students had an external drive that used a proprietary encrypting program to keep her backups "secure." When her computer crashed, she lost the key and after many weeks of trying to contact the company, finally learned that she would never be able to recover the encrypted files.

I keep my data on external drives. I use a simple application that backs up new files to the drive, and ignores old ones -- there are plenty of such apps out there, mine happens to be LaCie's Silverkeeper (only because it came with an early external drive.)
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Paul79UF
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2008, 04:26:00 PM »
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I keep my data on external drives. I use a simple application that backs up new files to the drive, and ignores old ones -- there are plenty of such apps out there, mine happens to be LaCie's Silverkeeper (only because it came with an early external drive.)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=204314\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I do the same thing, except I use software named "GoodSync".
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kaelaria
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2008, 04:28:42 PM »
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Microsoft SyncToy - fully customizeable, works great, free!
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2008, 06:44:46 PM »
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I use SyncBack Freeware - copies everything from the hard drive to the backup drive daily, and once a week it deletes anything on the backup drive that's been removed from the hard drive.  Free and easy to use.  The only thing it has troubles with are Windows system files, but if I have a hard drive crash I'll be rebuilding Windows anyway.

http://www.2brightsparks.com/downloads.html#freeware

Mike.
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Farkled
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2008, 09:03:37 PM »
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I do use ZIP format, but nothing proprietary.  No passwords or other encoding.
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Panopeeper
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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2008, 09:07:32 PM »
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One of my students had an external drive that used a proprietary encrypting program to keep her backups "secure." When her computer crashed, she lost the key and after many weeks of trying to contact the company, finally learned that she would never be able to recover the encrypted files
Honestly, what would you think of the "encrypting" software, if your files could be recovered without knowing the passphrase?
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2008, 04:50:00 AM »
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On my Macs I use ChronoSync to create mirror back ups of my date files. I use several 750GB OWC external FW800/400 drives to create redundant back ups. I rotate a set of back up drives weekly through a safe deposit box at my bank to have a copy of critical data and all photos and videos off site in case of a fire. I also have a 1.4TB drive on my network to create on going back ups using Apple's Time Machine.

Before I switched to Macs about 14 months ago, I used Retrospect to create mirror drives on my PCs. I never used software to create incremental backups just mirrors of my data.

Cheers.
Bud James
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Bud James
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budjames
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2008, 04:50:30 AM »
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On my Macs I use ChronoSync to create mirror back ups of my date files. I use several 750GB OWC external FW800/400 drives to create redundant back ups. I rotate a set of back up drives weekly through a safe deposit box at my bank to have a copy of critical data and all photos and videos off site in case of a fire. I also have a 1.4TB drive on my network to create on going back ups using Apple's Time Machine.

Before I switched to Macs about 14 months ago, I used Retrospect to create mirror drives on my PCs. I never used software to create incremental backups just mirrors of my data.

Cheers.
Bud James
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Bud James
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2008, 08:00:46 AM »
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Were you using it on that post(s)?
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DavidB
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« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2008, 08:15:16 AM »
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Nick, there are definitely benefits (including peace of mind) to having the backed-up data directly accessible.  Not just for restoration, but also for when you just want to have a look at what's changed.
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On my Macs I use ChronoSync to create mirror back ups of my date files. I use several 750GB OWC external FW800/400 drives to create redundant back ups. I rotate a set of back up drives weekly through a safe deposit box at my bank to have a copy of critical data and all photos and videos off site in case of a fire.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209079\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Similar to my own setup.  A couple of questions though:  How often do you update the backups?  How far back do you keep the backups? (i.e. how many sets of disks do you have?)
If your oldest backup is a week old, then if there was a problem (e.g. a software bug that corrupted files) you'd only have a week to notice it.  I do a lot of testing of beta software here so I'm particularly aware of this.

I keep most of my images on RAID storage (except for those on laptop internal drives) and mirror these to a set of external disks at least weekly (these are stored on-site but off-line).  Every month we swap this with another set stored off-site.  So we have RAID protection of files during the week, an on-site copy that's up to a week old, and an off-site copy that's up to a month old.

Everyone will have different requirements (affected by factors such as volume of files created/modified daily, value of the data, etc).  But I'm curious: how many people here would regard what I'm doing as underkill/overkill/just-right for their own setups?
Instead of weekly/monthly cycles, would you use daily/weekly (or even daily/weekly/monthly) cycles?  Or something else?

Quote
I also have a 1.4TB drive on my network to create on going back ups using Apple's Time Machine.
We have networked Time Machine ( TM) volumes on a NAS box for some machines, but use external drives for mobile TM on some of the laptops.  For instance on my own laptop I use an external 320GB drive in two partitions: one for TM and one for mirroring the media folders from the internal drive so I can maintain two copies when on the road.

Do you maintain backups of the TM data?  We're still refining the best procedures for mirroring those to partitions on disks which are part of the backup sets.
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2008, 05:41:38 PM »
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Nick, there are definitely benefits (including peace of mind) to having the backed-up data directly accessible.  Not just for restoration, but also for when you just want to have a look at what's changed.
Similar to my own setup.  A couple of questions though:  How often do you update the backups?  How far back do you keep the backups? (i.e. how many sets of disks do you have?)
If your oldest backup is a week old, then if there was a problem (e.g. a software bug that corrupted files) you'd only have a week to notice it.  I do a lot of testing of beta software here so I'm particularly aware of this.

I keep most of my images on RAID storage (except for those on laptop internal drives) and mirror these to a set of external disks at least weekly (these are stored on-site but off-line).  Every month we swap this with another set stored off-site.  So we have RAID protection of files during the week, an on-site copy that's up to a week old, and an off-site copy that's up to a month old.

Everyone will have different requirements (affected by factors such as volume of files created/modified daily, value of the data, etc).  But I'm curious: how many people here would regard what I'm doing as underkill/overkill/just-right for their own setups?
Instead of weekly/monthly cycles, would you use daily/weekly (or even daily/weekly/monthly) cycles?  Or something else?

We have networked Time Machine ( TM) volumes on a NAS box for some machines, but use external drives for mobile TM on some of the laptops.  For instance on my own laptop I use an external 320GB drive in two partitions: one for TM and one for mirroring the media folders from the internal drive so I can maintain two copies when on the road.

Do you maintain backups of the TM data?  We're still refining the best procedures for mirroring those to partitions on disks which are part of the backup sets.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209107\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I've settled on a hybrid system:

Acronis True Image for an incremental system backup to an archive file on a second internal drive. If the system drive fails it will completely rebuild from this automatically and rename the d drive as the c drive. Done weekly.

SynchToy and Scheduler (XP) for data backup (contribute setting) so all files copied to external 1Tb drive if changed or added. Done nightly at midnight. Desktop and email folders copied too.

This seems pretty versatile, I can rebuild my system in a short time and have all data no more than 24 hours old. I could also take the ext. drive away and still access the data since it is all copies, not archive files.

Once the full backups have been done for the first time, which took about 9 hours for 750Gb, each increments take only a short while.
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Nick Rains
Australian Landscape Photographer
www.nickrains.com
iPad Publishing
www.photique.com.au
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