Raid/backup/gahhhhhh advice please!

Jupitus

Old and short, no wonder I'm grumpy!
Staff member
Moderator
FH Subscriber
Joined
Dec 14, 2003
Messages
3,088
Folks - recently got taken offline for a week at home through win2k refusing to boot due to a missing file. Reasons for this are not known, although virus not ruled out but it may have been disk corruption or failure for all I know.

The wife got mighty pissed off about not having the pc as there are alot of resources we use for at home education. This means I can spend some cash if necessary to avoid a repeat.

I have got up and running by installing a new 340Gb SATA HDU, putting win2k on that, enabling large drive access in win2k, and then reading important stuff from the old 250Gb HDU onto the new disk.

Now then... preventative medecine please. Please can I get some solid advice about how to go about regular backups, raid arrays etc etc or whatever people would advise. I do have a RAID enabled mobo (Asus).

Thankledoodles!!
 

GReaper

Resident Freddy
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
1,979
Varies how far you want to go.

A reasonably easy solution is to get a USB external drive and copy various files on a weekly basis. You can use a utility like SyncToy or one of many other backup or file copying utilities to keep the files safe on the external drive. This won't give you much security if anything goes wrong with your house though (flood, burns down, etc.) as all your backups are in one place, however it's quick and easy to do - but you need to be fairly religious about taking the time to plug in the drive and backup on a regular basis.

Another option for backups are online backups. You can use a service like StrongSpace or possibly Amazon S3 with JungleDisk. You'll have the advantage of backups in a safe location away from your computer. The main disadvantage with this setup is that backups are only as fast as your Internet connection. You'd have to be fairly strict about what gets backed up and what doesn't, uploading a 300MB video is going to take a while. You may just want to limit yourself to essential documents if you go with this route.

If you want RAID then go for it, buy another 340GB disk and setup your drives for RAID1. Just remember the fact that RAID is not a backup solution. It'll help with drive failure, but if you delete a file accidentally then RAID isn't going to help you get it back.
 

Gahn

Resident Freddy
Joined
Jan 16, 2004
Messages
5,056
Raid1 Solution,as Greaper pointed out, will save u from the disaster of an HD death, but since it is a sheep redundant copy of what u got on the main hd, doesn't save you from accidental erasing and so on.

Keep in mind that any kind of syncro software needs a bit of tweaking if u want to avoid the same problem, on the other hand a real backup software will let u choose from a wide range of backup types (Full, Differential, etc). Giving u some flexibility on what u want to achieve, baring in mind that backing up can take some time.

In the end u'll need to implement both solutions, Raid 1 for disaster recovery and Backup for normal salvage of data.

I tried, for home usage, Ghost 12.0 from Symantec and i found it a good solution, since he can save data and make images of your disk (i had an experience of a double failure of 2 Hds in Raid 1, and u know that Windows Update can give headaches sometimes ^^) for fast replacements and pc migrations.
 

xane

Fledgling Freddie
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
1,695
External USB "backup" drives are incredibly cheap and easy nowdays, I got a Maxtor for my missus, it's 60Gb, very small and light, is powered off the USB port and has a "one-touch" solution, she just plugs it in to her laptop, and presses the button on the front, the installed software does and incremental backup of all the document areas.

Some of my friends carry round these type of drives instead of using memory sticks, they are very portable. One of these and a fireproof box kept in the garage gets you a very good safe backup, but you have to learn to keep it regular.

The alternative, for the lazy, is to get a Network Attached Storage (NAS) drive, connect into the network, you can use wireless if you like, and use Windows Backup, SyncToy or anything similar to keep a perfect copy of any folders you wish, this can even be automated. You can put it in the loft or garage too for security, this is an excellent way to guard against theft of the PC.

Ghost has saved my ass a few times, great software that boots off the CD/DVD you've backed up on to, so no pre-install needed.
 

Jupitus

Old and short, no wonder I'm grumpy!
Staff member
Moderator
FH Subscriber
Joined
Dec 14, 2003
Messages
3,088
External USB "backup" drives are incredibly cheap and easy nowdays, I got a Maxtor for my missus, it's 60Gb, very small and light, is powered off the USB port and has a "one-touch" solution, she just plugs it in to her laptop, and presses the button on the front, the installed software does and incremental backup of all the document areas.

Some of my friends carry round these type of drives instead of using memory sticks, they are very portable. One of these and a fireproof box kept in the garage gets you a very good safe backup, but you have to learn to keep it regular.

The alternative, for the lazy, is to get a Network Attached Storage (NAS) drive, connect into the network, you can use wireless if you like, and use Windows Backup, SyncToy or anything similar to keep a perfect copy of any folders you wish, this can even be automated. You can put it in the loft or garage too for security, this is an excellent way to guard against theft of the PC.

Ghost has saved my ass a few times, great software that boots off the CD/DVD you've backed up on to, so no pre-install needed.

Cheers Xane - as it happens I went and got a 500Gb external Maxtor for 80 quid :)
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom