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external hard drive for backups

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September 5, 2004 1:14:36 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops,comp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Hello Everyone,

I have a somewhat complicated situation and would greatly appreciate
advice.

I have two computers I need to back up. The first one is a laptop with
a 60 Gb hard drive, which is split evenly between Linux (RedHat 9.0)
and Win2000 (FAT32 file system). The second is a desktop with a 250 Gb
hard drive with Windows XP on it (I assume NTFS file system). I would
like to be able to back up both the desktop and the Windows partition
of the laptop onto an external hard drive with minimum hassle (e.g.
pressing a button). Of course, I wouldn't mind backing up the Linux
partition as well but I recognize that this is probably much more
technically challenging and am willing to settle for less right now.

I've seen a few external hard drives out there (mostly Maxtor and
Seagate) but wasn't clear on several issues:

1. Is it possible to connect the hard drive to two computers at once?
If yes, is it possible to do so only part of the time?

2. Will there be any problems arising from the fact that the file
systems are different on the two Windows systems?

3. Will there be any problems arising from the fact that the operating
systems are different (2000 vs. XP) on the two Windows systems?

4. Are there hard drives that are "Plug and Play" or does some
software generally need to be installed for the hard drive to be
recognized? One of the reasons I am asking is that I read a horror
story on Amazon about someone installing (whatever that involved) a
Maxtor external hard drive on their system and corrupting the primary
hard drive in the process. I would not be able to replace the data on
the hard drive and so even a 0.1% probability of this happening would
be unacceptable. I am particularly concerned about the laptop as it
has two partitions and hence screwy things are more likely to happen.

5. Would it be more advisable to just purchase two different external
hard drives for the two computers? Of course, the question # 4 would
still apply.

6. If only one hard drive is used for both computers, how does one set
up backups for each of them?

7. What backup software should I use? Amazon.com reviewers complained
about software that comes with both Maxtor and Seagate (more so
Seagate).

Any other tips would be tremendously appreciated.

Feel free to cc the reply to my email.

Thanks!

Alex
Anonymous
a b G Storage
September 5, 2004 4:30:18 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops,comp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

In article <d3d1b4a1.0409050814.525b7b5@posting.google.com>,
Alex <aturchin@iname.com> wrote:
>Hello Everyone,
>
>I have a somewhat complicated situation and would greatly appreciate
>advice.
>
>I have two computers I need to back up. The first one is a laptop with
>a 60 Gb hard drive, which is split evenly between Linux (RedHat 9.0)
>and Win2000 (FAT32 file system). The second is a desktop with a 250 Gb
>hard drive with Windows XP on it (I assume NTFS file system). I would
>like to be able to back up both the desktop and the Windows partition
>of the laptop onto an external hard drive with minimum hassle (e.g.
>pressing a button). Of course, I wouldn't mind backing up the Linux
>partition as well but I recognize that this is probably much more
>technically challenging and am willing to settle for less right now.
>
>I've seen a few external hard drives out there (mostly Maxtor and
>Seagate) but wasn't clear on several issues:
>
>1. Is it possible to connect the hard drive to two computers at once?
>If yes, is it possible to do so only part of the time?
>
>2. Will there be any problems arising from the fact that the file
>systems are different on the two Windows systems?
>
>3. Will there be any problems arising from the fact that the operating
>systems are different (2000 vs. XP) on the two Windows systems?
>
>4. Are there hard drives that are "Plug and Play" or does some
>software generally need to be installed for the hard drive to be
>recognized? One of the reasons I am asking is that I read a horror
>story on Amazon about someone installing (whatever that involved) a
>Maxtor external hard drive on their system and corrupting the primary
>hard drive in the process. I would not be able to replace the data on
>the hard drive and so even a 0.1% probability of this happening would
>be unacceptable. I am particularly concerned about the laptop as it
>has two partitions and hence screwy things are more likely to happen.
>
>5. Would it be more advisable to just purchase two different external
>hard drives for the two computers? Of course, the question # 4 would
>still apply.
>
>6. If only one hard drive is used for both computers, how does one set
>up backups for each of them?
>
>7. What backup software should I use? Amazon.com reviewers complained
>about software that comes with both Maxtor and Seagate (more so
>Seagate).
>
>Any other tips would be tremendously appreciated.
>
>Feel free to cc the reply to my email.
>
>Thanks!
>
>Alex


I use and like Acronis TrueImage (now v8) to backup what sounds like a
similar situation over a LAN. If the external USB disk is hooked up
to the desktop system it will be accessable to the laptop via
workgroup TCP. Backup at 100Mbps is fast enough for me.

TI8 can image a running w2k/XP system and the recovery is done from a
bootable CD, which I have done a couple of times.

On the desktop it's the same, except that it's disk-to-disk and even
faster. TI compression is good, and can keep a couple backup
generations of each system on one big disk. If your data is _really_
important consider buying a second big disk and flip-flop them for
backups. It's never a good idea to wqrite to just one backup media.

Always verify your images when you make them. The target disk has to
be formatted NTFS to get past the 2 (4?) GB limit in FAT32. External
devices are beginning to make me nervous. All it would take is
a power glitch during a backup to screw the whole disk and all your
backups. I'm have it powered by the UPS when I'm writing to the disk.

My big disk is internal to a desktop. I'm about to buy a second big
disk and put it in another machine on my network and flip-flop my
backups electronicaly.

--
Al Dykes
-----------
adykes at p a n i x . c o m
Anonymous
a b G Storage
September 5, 2004 8:23:23 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops,comp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc Alex <aturchin@iname.com> wrote:
> Hello Everyone,

> I have a somewhat complicated situation and would greatly appreciate
> advice.

> I have two computers I need to back up. The first one is a laptop with
> a 60 Gb hard drive, which is split evenly between Linux (RedHat 9.0)
> and Win2000 (FAT32 file system). The second is a desktop with a 250 Gb
> hard drive with Windows XP on it (I assume NTFS file system). I would
> like to be able to back up both the desktop and the Windows partition
> of the laptop onto an external hard drive with minimum hassle (e.g.
> pressing a button). Of course, I wouldn't mind backing up the Linux
> partition as well but I recognize that this is probably much more
> technically challenging and am willing to settle for less right now.

You can do a Linux backup with "tar" while it is running.
Just do "tar cvjfl target_file.tbz2 /". You can back up the
FAT32 partition in the same way from Linux. Works well.

If you don't habve the time, use "z" instead of "j" to get
gzip compression.

> I've seen a few external hard drives out there (mostly Maxtor and
> Seagate) but wasn't clear on several issues:

> 1. Is it possible to connect the hard drive to two computers at once?
> If yes, is it possible to do so only part of the time?

No. Only SCSI supports this from the hardware and the bus,
but most OS'ses don;t even support this there.

> 2. Will there be any problems arising from the fact that the file
> systems are different on the two Windows systems?

Yes. You cannot do NTFS backup reliably with Linux.

> 3. Will there be any problems arising from the fact that the operating
> systems are different (2000 vs. XP) on the two Windows systems?

See last item.

> 4. Are there hard drives that are "Plug and Play" or does some
> software generally need to be installed for the hard drive to be
> recognized? One of the reasons I am asking is that I read a horror
> story on Amazon about someone installing (whatever that involved) a
> Maxtor external hard drive on their system and corrupting the primary
> hard drive in the process. I would not be able to replace the data on
> the hard drive and so even a 0.1% probability of this happening would
> be unacceptable. I am particularly concerned about the laptop as it
> has two partitions and hence screwy things are more likely to happen.

Under Linux firewire and USB2 are pretty much "Plug and play"
(depending on Distro) and I have never heard of getting damage
on _anothe_ hdd from it. I think this kind of stupid behaviour
is MS only.

> 5. Would it be more advisable to just purchase two different external
> hard drives for the two computers? Of course, the question # 4 would
> still apply.

It is always advisable to have at least 3 independent backup media sets.

> 6. If only one hard drive is used for both computers, how does one set
> up backups for each of them?

Huh? Put them into separate files?

> 7. What backup software should I use? Amazon.com reviewers complained
> about software that comes with both Maxtor and Seagate (more so
> Seagate).

For Linux and FAT32 use "tar". For NFTS you will have to use
some toy-quality-level app from the MS world.

Arno
--
For email address: lastname AT tik DOT ee DOT ethz DOT ch
GnuPG: ID:1E25338F FP:0C30 5782 9D93 F785 E79C 0296 797F 6B50 1E25 338F
"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" - Tacitus
Related resources
Anonymous
a b G Storage
September 5, 2004 8:23:24 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops,comp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

In article <2q0srrFpicgbU1@uni-berlin.de>, Arno Wagner <me@privacy.net> wrote:
>In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc Alex <aturchin@iname.com> wrote:
>> Hello Everyone,
>
>> I have a somewhat complicated situation and would greatly appreciate
>> advice.
>
>> I have two computers I need to back up. The first one is a laptop with
>> a 60 Gb hard drive, which is split evenly between Linux (RedHat 9.0)
>> and Win2000 (FAT32 file system). The second is a desktop with a 250 Gb
>> hard drive with Windows XP on it (I assume NTFS file system). I would
>> like to be able to back up both the desktop and the Windows partition
>> of the laptop onto an external hard drive with minimum hassle (e.g.
>> pressing a button). Of course, I wouldn't mind backing up the Linux
>> partition as well but I recognize that this is probably much more
>> technically challenging and am willing to settle for less right now.
>
>You can do a Linux backup with "tar" while it is running.
>Just do "tar cvjfl target_file.tbz2 /". You can back up the
>FAT32 partition in the same way from Linux. Works well.
>
>If you don't habve the time, use "z" instead of "j" to get
>gzip compression.
>
>> I've seen a few external hard drives out there (mostly Maxtor and
>> Seagate) but wasn't clear on several issues:
>
>> 1. Is it possible to connect the hard drive to two computers at once?
>> If yes, is it possible to do so only part of the time?
>
>No. Only SCSI supports this from the hardware and the bus,
>but most OS'ses don;t even support this there.
>
>> 2. Will there be any problems arising from the fact that the file
>> systems are different on the two Windows systems?
>
>Yes. You cannot do NTFS backup reliably with Linux.
>
>> 3. Will there be any problems arising from the fact that the operating
>> systems are different (2000 vs. XP) on the two Windows systems?
>
>See last item.
>
>> 4. Are there hard drives that are "Plug and Play" or does some
>> software generally need to be installed for the hard drive to be
>> recognized? One of the reasons I am asking is that I read a horror
>> story on Amazon about someone installing (whatever that involved) a
>> Maxtor external hard drive on their system and corrupting the primary
>> hard drive in the process. I would not be able to replace the data on
>> the hard drive and so even a 0.1% probability of this happening would
>> be unacceptable. I am particularly concerned about the laptop as it
>> has two partitions and hence screwy things are more likely to happen.
>
>Under Linux firewire and USB2 are pretty much "Plug and play"
>(depending on Distro) and I have never heard of getting damage
>on _anothe_ hdd from it. I think this kind of stupid behaviour
>is MS only.
>
>> 5. Would it be more advisable to just purchase two different external
>> hard drives for the two computers? Of course, the question # 4 would
>> still apply.
>
>It is always advisable to have at least 3 independent backup media sets.
>
>> 6. If only one hard drive is used for both computers, how does one set
>> up backups for each of them?
>
>Huh? Put them into separate files?
>
>> 7. What backup software should I use? Amazon.com reviewers complained
>> about software that comes with both Maxtor and Seagate (more so
>> Seagate).
>
>For Linux and FAT32 use "tar". For NFTS you will have to use
>some toy-quality-level app from the MS world.
>
>Arno
>--
>For email address: lastname AT tik DOT ee DOT ethz DOT ch
>GnuPG: ID:1E25338F FP:0C30 5782 9D93 F785 E79C 0296 797F 6B50 1E25 338F
> "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" - Tacitus
>
>


I could have added that Acronis TI will backup and restore Linux
partitions and disks with a mix of WIndows and Linux partitions.
while running windows. Been there, done that.

You can back up a dual boot windows/linux system from Linux with dd,
but with my knowledge on linux it's a pain. I have not gotten past the
2GB file system limit (My problem, not Linux) and you need to script
the backup to compress the image.




--
Al Dykes
-----------
adykes at p a n i x . c o m
Anonymous
a b G Storage
September 5, 2004 10:56:39 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops,comp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc Al Dykes <adykes@panix.com> wrote:
> In article <2q0srrFpicgbU1@uni-berlin.de>, Arno Wagner <me@privacy.net> wrote:
>>In comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.misc Alex <aturchin@iname.com> wrote:
[...]
> I could have added that Acronis TI will backup and restore Linux
> partitions and disks with a mix of WIndows and Linux partitions.
> while running windows. Been there, done that.

> You can back up a dual boot windows/linux system from Linux with dd,
> but with my knowledge on linux it's a pain. I have not gotten past the
> 2GB file system limit (My problem, not Linux) and you need to script
> the backup to compress the image.

No need to do that for the Linux part and for the Windows part
only if it is NTFS. Unless you want to backup the bootloader
as well. But for that it is better to be able to reinstall it.

Arno
--
For email address: lastname AT tik DOT ee DOT ethz DOT ch
GnuPG: ID:1E25338F FP:0C30 5782 9D93 F785 E79C 0296 797F 6B50 1E25 338F
"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" - Tacitus
!