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How to back up data on multiple drives?

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July 28, 2013 10:38:48 PM

Just recently my computer acquired a virus, because of the extensive amount of damage that was caused, I decided to do a clean install of windows. As I was going the the grueling process of backup up my data via a flash drive to another PC, I was thinking of ways I could avoid this in the future.

I have 2 drives in my PC, one is a 120GB SSD for the OS and some software, and the other is a 1TB HDD for just about everything else. I would like to back up both on a set schedule, say once every 3 days and when doing the backup, it deletes the old one. This is where I run into a problem, how do I backup both drives fully, so that if anything were to happen, I could easily wipe them and restore from a backup on both drives? Thanks for your time.
a b G Storage
July 28, 2013 11:19:02 PM

I would prolly start with something like acronis true image. It can create a disk image for your boot drive. this will allow you to fully restore the OS in one step. It will also allow you to do differential backups. So lets say you've discovered that virus you can roll back to a date of your choice.
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a b G Storage
July 29, 2013 1:48:46 AM

Full backups like that will take a lot of time. You are better off backing up the data once, then scheduling incremental backups which only change the data that has changed. Will depend on which software you use. I grabbed the HAF XM which was the best full size case I could find that also had a drive bay/dock in it. This is best as you just slide your backup drive in, back up the data then pull the drive so nothing happens to it. RAID1 is NOT a backup solution! For a true backup you want a drive that is NOT attached to your computer. There are a lot of cheap 3TB drives out there right now, that might be a cheap solution. But you'll want to make sure you are using USB3 as USB2 will take a long time. (HAF XM uses SATA ports, so its much faster.)
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July 29, 2013 7:48:53 AM

4745454b said:
Full backups like that will take a lot of time. You are better off backing up the data once, then scheduling incremental backups which only change the data that has changed. Will depend on which software you use. I grabbed the HAF XM which was the best full size case I could find that also had a drive bay/dock in it. This is best as you just slide your backup drive in, back up the data then pull the drive so nothing happens to it. RAID1 is NOT a backup solution! For a true backup you want a drive that is NOT attached to your computer. There are a lot of cheap 3TB drives out there right now, that might be a cheap solution. But you'll want to make sure you are using USB3 as USB2 will take a long time. (HAF XM uses SATA ports, so its much faster.)


But is it possible to keep a full back up of both drives on, say, one 3TB drive? How would I restore from the 3TB drive to both the SSD and HDD that I have? That's where I'm really confused. Also, I like that idea of only backing up files that have changed. But remember, I want to back up both drives to one large drive.
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a b G Storage
July 29, 2013 8:50:48 AM

Yes you can back up both drives to a single 3TB drive. The boot drive image file will be a single file. No different then a gaint mp3 file. The entire backup for the other drive can be stored into it's own folder in the 3TB drive. Or if you want you can partition the drive.
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a b G Storage
July 29, 2013 8:54:45 AM

Correct. They will be two sperate files on the 3TB drive.
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a c 375 G Storage
July 29, 2013 12:17:49 PM

Obviuosly, your backup drive needs to be at most as large as the combined drives you will be backing up. This is assuming no compression. Most backup software can make use of compression so if you are lucky, you will get 2:1 or better compression. In your case a 3TB will be plenty to start with.
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