What do you use for backup today?

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Over the past few years the capacity of disk drives (and the amount of
space typically used on them) has greatly increased, and now it is
getting more and more difficult to figure out how to back up these
drives.

What type of hardware (and software) do you use on your systems for
backup?

Up to now, I've used HP DDS tape drives (DAT drives) for backup. But
DDS2 is limited to 4 GB, and DDS3 is limited to 24 GB, and that's
getting to be to small to hold even one backup on a single tape (or
even on several tapes in some cases).

So, what else is there? These DAT drives already cost me a fortune in
the good old days, and today they cost nearly as much as the rest of
the computer, when I can find them ... and even DDS4 is still limited
to 40 GB. DLT drives are several times more expensive at the cheap
end, although they do have capacity to hold an entire drive of data.

Are there other practical alternatives? What about external USB
drives, can that work? Old stuff like Zip drives and so on is
history, as it has even less capacity than tape. Archiving to CD or
DVD is also too low in capacity. It's getting to the point that the
only affordable option seems to be some sort of disk-to-disk copy (or
RAID for those who can afford it), but it would be nice to have
removable media that could be put in a safe place.

So what is everyone else building into their new machines for backup?
And do you just use standard backup tools like ntbackup on Windows or
dump on UNIX, or do you use special software purchased separately?
41 answers Last reply
More about what backup today
  1. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mxsmanic <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote:

    > Over the past few years the capacity of disk drives (and the
    > amount of space typically used on them) has greatly increased,
    > and now it is getting more and more difficult to figure out how
    > to back up these drives.
    > What type of hardware (and software) do you use on your systems
    > for backup?

    I have a second hard disk drive, 1/6 size of the main. I also have
    a recently purchased DVD writer.

    I don't use software. I just copy the stuff.

    Have fun.
  2. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    generally I let the transmission handle this, I prefer automatic.....oh
    wait.....wrong direction...I ghost a 10gig os partition every week to
    another off box HD(1394 external). data and project files are burned to CD
    and also stored in a separate partition on the off box drive.

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:eq3fd1dmrsbre7ako2g64e14u2sq9a09rt@4ax.com...
    > Over the past few years the capacity of disk drives (and the amount of
    > space typically used on them) has greatly increased, and now it is
    > getting more and more difficult to figure out how to back up these
    > drives.
    >
    > What type of hardware (and software) do you use on your systems for
    > backup?
    >
    > Up to now, I've used HP DDS tape drives (DAT drives) for backup. But
    > DDS2 is limited to 4 GB, and DDS3 is limited to 24 GB, and that's
    > getting to be to small to hold even one backup on a single tape (or
    > even on several tapes in some cases).
    >
    > So, what else is there? These DAT drives already cost me a fortune in
    > the good old days, and today they cost nearly as much as the rest of
    > the computer, when I can find them ... and even DDS4 is still limited
    > to 40 GB. DLT drives are several times more expensive at the cheap
    > end, although they do have capacity to hold an entire drive of data.
    >
    > Are there other practical alternatives? What about external USB
    > drives, can that work? Old stuff like Zip drives and so on is
    > history, as it has even less capacity than tape. Archiving to CD or
    > DVD is also too low in capacity. It's getting to the point that the
    > only affordable option seems to be some sort of disk-to-disk copy (or
    > RAID for those who can afford it), but it would be nice to have
    > removable media that could be put in a safe place.
    >
    > So what is everyone else building into their new machines for backup?
    > And do you just use standard backup tools like ntbackup on Windows or
    > dump on UNIX, or do you use special software purchased separately?
  3. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mxsmanic wrote:
    > Over the past few years the capacity of disk drives (and the amount of
    > space typically used on them) has greatly increased, and now it is
    > getting more and more difficult to figure out how to back up these
    > drives.
    >
    > What type of hardware (and software) do you use on your systems for
    > backup?
    >

    I have an iOmega external, Firewire drive the same size as my main HD. I
    use iOmega's Automatic Backup Pro software. It will backup data or the
    whole system. The key is that is will backup open files, so it get
    everything. This software was part of the package with the drive.

    Clyde
  4. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    I've settled into using a Maxtor One Touch USB/firewire drive with
    Retrospect software from Dantz (software comes with the drive). This is the
    easiest backup procedure I've ever used. Just push a button. Or for that
    matter I could auto-set it to back up daily.
    Additionally I make a Ghost image backup on the USB/firwire drive as well.

    --
    Jan Alter
    bearpuf@verizon.net
    or
    jalter@phila.k12.pa.us
    "John Doe" <jdoe@usenet.love.invalid> wrote in message
    news:Xns96943D331B2E7wisdomfolly@207.115.63.158...
    > Mxsmanic <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >> Over the past few years the capacity of disk drives (and the
    >> amount of space typically used on them) has greatly increased,
    >> and now it is getting more and more difficult to figure out how
    >> to back up these drives.
    >> What type of hardware (and software) do you use on your systems
    >> for backup?
    >
    > I have a second hard disk drive, 1/6 size of the main. I also have
    > a recently purchased DVD writer.
    >
    > I don't use software. I just copy the stuff.
    >
    > Have fun.
  5. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:eq3fd1dmrsbre7ako2g64e14u2sq9a09rt@4ax.com...
    > Over the past few years the capacity of disk drives (and the amount of
    > space typically used on them) has greatly increased, and now it is
    > getting more and more difficult to figure out how to back up these
    > drives.
    >
    > What type of hardware (and software) do you use on your systems for
    > backup?
    >
    > Up to now, I've used HP DDS tape drives (DAT drives) for backup. But
    > DDS2 is limited to 4 GB, and DDS3 is limited to 24 GB, and that's
    > getting to be to small to hold even one backup on a single tape (or
    > even on several tapes in some cases).
    >
    > So, what else is there? These DAT drives already cost me a fortune in
    > the good old days, and today they cost nearly as much as the rest of
    > the computer, when I can find them ... and even DDS4 is still limited
    > to 40 GB. DLT drives are several times more expensive at the cheap
    > end, although they do have capacity to hold an entire drive of data.
    >
    > Are there other practical alternatives? What about external USB
    > drives, can that work? Old stuff like Zip drives and so on is
    > history, as it has even less capacity than tape. Archiving to CD or
    > DVD is also too low in capacity. It's getting to the point that the
    > only affordable option seems to be some sort of disk-to-disk copy (or
    > RAID for those who can afford it), but it would be nice to have
    > removable media that could be put in a safe place.
    >
    > So what is everyone else building into their new machines for backup?
    > And do you just use standard backup tools like ntbackup on Windows or
    > dump on UNIX, or do you use special software purchased separately?


    Mxmanic:
    No doubt you'll get a slew of responses to your query each one touting his
    or her favorite backup scheme, so let me give you my "take" on this
    subject....

    In my opinion, the best backup system for the average home user and even
    small business owner in most cases is having his or her desktop computer
    equipped with two removable hard drives and using a disk imaging program
    such as Symantec's Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image to "clone" the
    contents of their working hard drive to another removable hard drive. There
    are other advantages in having two removable hard drives on one's desktop
    computer but the most significant one is providing a near fail-safe backup
    system. The speed, flexibility and peace of mind you get with this
    arrangement far outweighs (for most users) the relatively small additional
    cost of equipping one's desktop computer with this hardware configuration.
    Note that the removable hard drive mobile racks we are discussing are
    designed to be installed in desktop computers and not laptop or notebook
    computers. The size, weight, and design considerations of laptops/notebooks
    do not allow for this hardware configuration.

    Using this setup, backing up your hard drive is simple, straightforward,
    fast, and most important of all -- effective. By easily and relatively
    quickly making a clone of your hard drive, using a software program like
    Symantec's Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image, programs which are
    specifically designed for this purpose, you get, what seems to me, the
    ultimate backup solution given the present state of personal desktop
    computer technology. Unlike backup programs that merely back up your data
    files - that is, the files you've created in the various programs and
    applications you use - by cloning your hard drive, you're backing up your
    operating system, your registry, all your programs and applications, your
    configuration settings, your data files - in short, everything on the hard
    drive from which you're making (for all practical purposes) a bit for bit
    copy.

    And you're doing all this in one fell swoop, the result of which is the
    creation of an exact duplicate of your working hard drive. And for *added*
    safety you can remove this newly-cloned hard drive from the premises, not to
    mention making unlimited additional clones you desire for near-absolute
    security.

    While it is true that backup software programs can backup the files you have
    created in your various programs, they are unable to backup your operating
    system and (for the most part) the programs installed on your computer. As
    others have pointed out more that once, many, if not most, computer users
    have invested substantial time and effort in customizing Windows and
    configuring their applications to work the way they want to and putting all
    of that back the way it was can be a difficult, frustrating, and
    time-consuming effort.

    So when the day comes - as it *surely* will - that your hard drive fails
    because of some mechanical or electrical defect, it's a wonderful feeling to
    know that you have a perfectly good copy of that failed hard drive that you
    simply shove in the computer, boot up, and you're off and running. Or if you
    ever get some miserable computer virus that plays havoc with your system, or
    for some unknown reason this or that system file is missing or becomes
    corrupt resulting in an inoperable computer, isn't it nice to know that you
    have at hand a perfectly good virus-free clone of your hard drive? And then
    simply clone that "good" previously cloned hard drive to the virus-infected
    one so that once again you now have two perfectly good hard drives. And in
    the case where the hard drive is kaput because of some mechanical/electronic
    failure, you purchase a new hard drive, simply remove the defective drive
    from the removable tray, plop in the new one, make two simple connections,
    shove it in the computer and then clone your good hard drive to the new one.
    And the added beauty of this arrangement is that you do all this from the
    comfort of your computer chair. There's no need to open your computer case
    and get into the "guts" of your computer to make complicated cable
    disconnects/connects. Everything is done outside of your computer because
    each hard drive resides in a tray (caddy) that you simply slide into the
    computer's mobile rack.

    There's *no* need to partition and format the new drive; *no* need to
    reinstall your operating system on the new drive; *no* need to reinstall
    your programs and data files. None of this is necessary. By simply cloning
    the
    previously-cloned hard drive to the new drive you once again have two
    functioning hard drives at your disposal. And a simple turn of the mobile
    rack's keylock allows the user to boot to either hard drive following the
    cloning operation.

    As previously indicated, these mobile rack devices are two-piece affairs -
    the rack itself and the inner tray or caddy (in which the hard drive
    resides) that slides into the rack. They come in all-aluminum models or a
    combination of aluminum-plastic ranging in price from about $15 to $50.
    Naturally, your desktop computer case will need two 5¼" bays that are
    available to house the mobile racks. Mobile racks come in various versions,
    depending upon whether the hard drive to be housed is an IDE/ATA, SATA, or
    SCSI device. A Google search for "removable hard drive mobile racks" will
    result in a wealth of information on these products and their vendors. I'm
    aware of many users who have been using inexpensive plastic mobile racks
    without any problems whatsoever. Unfortunately, there is no industry
    standard involving the design and construction of the racks nor the inner
    trays that contain the hard drive.Consequently, there is (usually) no
    interchangeability of these trays among the various manufacturers of mobile
    racks. Indeed, there is frequently no interchangeability of the inner trays
    among different models from the same manufacturer. This lack of
    interchangeability may not be an issue if the user will be purchasing a
    particular model of mobile rack for a single computer, however, if the user
    will have access to other computers, he or she may want to settle on a
    specific brand and model of mobile rack that will provide for tray
    interchangeability amongst different computers.

    As I've previously indicated, the cloning process itself is easy and
    relatively fast. Using Symantec's Norton Ghost 2003 cloning program as an
    example, with the two removable hard drives connected to the computer, you
    simply boot up your desktop computer with the bootable floppy disk (my
    preferred method) that contains the Ghost program and after a few key clicks
    the cloning process begins. The cloning process is practically automatic and
    you need not be in attendance during the actual cloning operation. The size
    (disk capacity) or make/model of your hard drives need not be identical; all
    that matters is that your destination drive contains sufficient capacity to
    receive the contents of your source drive. Incidentally, I've recently been
    experimenting with the Acronis True Image program because of the many
    favorable reports I've come across about this program. Using a bootable ATI
    CD, I find the cloning speed of this program is considerably faster than
    that of Ghost. And so far I've run into no problems with the cloning process
    itself. Depending upon the speed of your processor and hard drives you
    should get cloning speeds of somewhere between 700 MB to 1.5+ GB per minute
    (less if cloning to a USB/Firewire external hard drive).

    I can virtually guarantee that once you begin working with two removable
    hard drives, you'll have but one regret and only one regret. And that is you
    didn't have this arrangement on your previous computer or computers. While
    the additional cost involved in configuring your desktop computer with two
    mobile racks together with the additional hard drive and disk imaging
    software is not negligible, I can assure you it's money well spent. Frankly,
    when you consider the enormous advantages of having two removable hard
    drives on your desktop computer, the additional cost of so equipping your
    computer in this fashion practically pales into insignificance.
    Anna
  6. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    John Doe writes:

    > I don't use software. I just copy the stuff.

    What about things like the registry?
  7. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.os.windows-xp (More info?)

    John Doe wrote:
    > troll
    >

    WWWAAAAAAAAHHH! John is calling me names. Oh wait, that crying sound is
    his little heart breaking because someone told the truth about him.

    --

    sbb78247

    Speak the truth and leave shortly there after.
  8. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mxsmanic <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote:
    > John Doe writes:

    >> I don't use software. I just copy the stuff.

    > What about things like the registry?

    I don't think Microsoft has ever genuinely promoted a modular
    installation or easy backup of program data, that might promote user
    independence. For attempting to preserve my installation, I backup
    the whole Windows partition. I have used PartitionMagic, but
    currently I am using Partition Manager 2005.
  9. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    John Doe writes:

    > I don't think Microsoft has ever genuinely promoted a modular
    > installation or easy backup of program data, that might promote user
    > independence.

    You make it sound deliberate. In fact, it's just a design flaw, not
    something Microsoft has deliberately done.

    There are generally two models for configuration data: one is the UNIX
    model, with configuration files scattered all over the system, and the
    other is the Windows model, with everything in one monolithic,
    gigantic, proprietary database. Both have advantages and
    disadvantages. The UNIX model is probably friendlier from the
    standpoint of back-up and restore operations, though.
  10. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mxsmanic <mxsmanic gmail.com> wrote:
    > John Doe writes:

    >> I don't think Microsoft has ever genuinely promoted a modular
    >> installation or easy backup of program data, that might promote
    >> user independence.

    > You make it sound deliberate. In fact, it's just a design flaw,
    > not something Microsoft has deliberately done.

    In fact (fact according to our federal courts), tying users to
    Windows is something Microsoft puts great effort into, to the
    point of breaking our laws. And for very good reason. Windows, a
    monopoly with an 85% profit margin, is Microsoft's cash cow.

    > There are generally two models for configuration data: one is
    > the UNIX model, with configuration files scattered all over the
    > system, and the other is the Windows model, with everything in
    > one monolithic, gigantic, proprietary database.

    Program configuration data has always been scattered, and still
    is. Not only in the registry, but in files and folders.
    Microsoft's Visual C++ is a good example.


    >
    >
    >
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    > From: Mxsmanic <mxsmanic gmail.com>
    > Newsgroups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
    > Subject: Re: What do you use for backup today?
    > Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2005 22:43:52 +0200
    > Organization: Just Mxsmanic
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  11. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mxsmanic wrote:
    > Over the past few years the capacity of disk drives (and the amount of
    > space typically used on them) has greatly increased, and now it is
    > getting more and more difficult to figure out how to back up these
    > drives.
    >
    > What type of hardware (and software) do you use on your systems for
    > backup?

    All backups, as well as shared files, are transfered to my linux server
    with software RAID 1 (2x80 and 2x120). Further, I have a 200GB drive in
    a 3.5" enclosure that I back up all this data onto for an 'off site'
    backup one a month, minimum.

    >
    > Up to now, I've used HP DDS tape drives (DAT drives) for backup. But
    > DDS2 is limited to 4 GB, and DDS3 is limited to 24 GB, and that's
    > getting to be to small to hold even one backup on a single tape (or
    > even on several tapes in some cases).
    >
    > So, what else is there? These DAT drives already cost me a fortune in
    > the good old days, and today they cost nearly as much as the rest of
    > the computer, when I can find them ... and even DDS4 is still limited
    > to 40 GB. DLT drives are several times more expensive at the cheap
    > end, although they do have capacity to hold an entire drive of data.
    >
    > Are there other practical alternatives? What about external USB
    > drives, can that work?

    Yes. You can send entire ghost images to them or just create a backup
    plan. I wonder if any of the commercial (or freeware) backup software
    will let you set the USB HDD as a destination for the files, or if these
    softwares are able to incrementally update onlt the files that are new
    or have changed? I know there's a technique in linux to do this, and I
    should REALLY look into it soon.

    > Old stuff like Zip drives and so on is
    > history, as it has even less capacity than tape. Archiving to CD or
    > DVD is also too low in capacity. It's getting to the point that the
    > only affordable option seems to be some sort of disk-to-disk copy (or
    > RAID for those who can afford it), but it would be nice to have
    > removable media that could be put in a safe place.

    Even windows sofware RAID is quite cheap. Unlike hardware RAID, you need
    to use the manufacturer's windows drivers.

    >
    > So what is everyone else building into their new machines for backup?
    > And do you just use standard backup tools like ntbackup on Windows or
    > dump on UNIX, or do you use special software purchased separately?


    --
    spammage trappage: replace fishies_ with yahoo

    I'm going to die rather sooner than I'd like. I tried to protect my
    neighbours from crime, and became the victim of it. Complications in
    hospital following this resulted in a serious illness. I now need a bone
    marrow transplant. Many people around the world are waiting for a marrow
    transplant, too. Please volunteer to be a marrow donor:
    http://www.abmdr.org.au/
    http://www.marrow.org/
  12. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    spodosaurus writes:

    > Even windows sofware RAID is quite cheap. Unlike hardware RAID, you need
    > to use the manufacturer's windows drivers.

    The motherboards of the last two PCs I've been support hardware RAID
    for SATA drives, but I'm wary of trying it out, as things like that
    move into the "danger area" of hardware/software interactions that can
    cause lots of problems and take forever to sort out.
  13. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Please see my inline comments...

    > Anna writes:
    >> In my opinion, the best backup system for the average home user and even
    >> small business owner in most cases is having his or her desktop computer
    >> equipped with two removable hard drives and using a disk imaging program
    >> such as Symantec's Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image to "clone" the
    >> contents of their working hard drive to another removable hard drive.

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > This solution is tempting to me, too, although I don't have the budget
    > for it at the moment. It might be the way I go in future, as tape
    > drives with sufficient capacity to hold all the disk space I now have
    > would cost thousands of dollars for the drives alone, plus $100 or so
    > each for each data cartridge.

    Anna responds:
    As I've later indicated, the cost of equipping one's desktop computer with
    two removable drives, including the two mobile racks, the additional hard
    drive, and the disk imaging software, while not trifling, is *not* an
    expensive proposition for most users. I would estimate the cost would be in
    the neighborhood of $100 to $150.

    >> And you're doing all this in one fell swoop, the result of which is the
    >> creation of an exact duplicate of your working hard drive. And for
    >> *added*
    >> safety you can remove this newly-cloned hard drive from the premises, not
    >> to
    >> mention making unlimited additional clones you desire for near-absolute
    >> security.

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > Yes, being able to move the media elsewhere is important, as it guards
    > against major disasters.

    Anna comments...
    >> While it is true that backup software programs can backup the files you
    >> have
    >> created in your various programs, they are unable to backup your
    >> operating
    >> system and (for the most part) the programs installed on your computer.
    >> As
    >> others have pointed out more that once, many, if not most, computer users
    >> have invested substantial time and effort in customizing Windows and
    >> configuring their applications to work the way they want to and putting
    >> all
    >> of that back the way it was can be a difficult, frustrating, and
    >> time-consuming effort.

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > But there is an opposite side to the coin: What happens if you have to
    > restore the system to somewhat different hardware? All that OS
    > information in the registry covering the hardware configuration now is
    > obsolete. You'll be restoring a system that may not even boot. How
    > do you selective restore from a clone in such a way that you get all
    > your data and software configuration information back, but you can
    > still restore to a somewhat different hardware configuration?

    Anna responds...
    I really can't see why "there is an opposite side to the coin". The whole
    idea of what we are discussing is a mechanism that backs up one's current
    system, and does it simply, conveniently, effectively, with reasonable
    speed, and is reasonably cost-effective. To indicate that this recommended
    mechanism is somewhat deficient because it will not be as simple,
    convenient, effective, etc. to restore *another* system introduces a
    completely different objective, does it not? Anyway, should the user
    completely revamp his/her hardware, programs, etc. etc., wouldn't the user
    simply make a clone of his/her new system along the lines I've described?
    Why would a user even attempt to use his/her "old" clone to restore to a
    different system?

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > After all, if your computer is destroyed, you may not be able to build
    > one that is rigorously identical to it from a hardware standpoint.
    > And if the new computer isn't identical, restoring the software
    > configuration for the hardware may cause a heap of trouble. You have
    > to be able to modify the hardware configuration information without
    > changing anything else. How do you do that with something that just
    > clones the entire drive?

    Anna responds...
    Please refer to my remarks above. A clone is a clone is a clone. Obviously
    it's designed to be a clone of the system one has cloned from. If the user
    subsequently builds a completely new system then he or she will clone the
    contents of that new system to another clone would he not? And anyway, the
    cloned drive *could* be used (with some modification) to clone the contents
    of the old drive back to the new system for restoration purposes. See my
    further comments on this below.

    >> ... isn't it nice to know that you
    >> have at hand a perfectly good virus-free clone of your hard drive?

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > Yes, if I have an identical hardware platform to which I can restore
    > the clone.

    Anna responds:
    Honestly, isn't that what we're *really* talking about? For the overwhelming
    number of users the basic issue is backing up one's current system.

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > How do you restore the clone to the virus-infected drive without
    > infecting both with the virus? After all, you'll be running the
    > cloning program on the machine that has the virus.

    Anna responds:
    It nearly goes without saying that when a user clones his/her drive, he/she
    must ensure that the drive is malware-free and suffers no system files
    corruption. If you clone garbage, garbage is what you'll get. Presumably the
    cloned drive is virus-free, so that if the working drive subsquently becomes
    virus infected, restoring it from that "good" clone represents one of the
    basic advantages of the disk cloning process.

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > Your only choice would be to buy yet a third disk, and clone the clean
    > disk to that. You _might_ be able to clone back to the infected disk
    > eventually, too, if you can be sure that no virus will sneak in.

    Anna responds:
    You're really losing me here. Hopefully, my remarks directly above have
    clarified the issue for you.

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > But really, viruses aren't a big problem in my view. Drive failures
    > and other hardware failures are. A simple drive failure can be fixed
    > by a cloning program such as you describe. But if you have to replace
    > other hardware, or build a new machine ... then what?

    Anna responds:
    I'm glad to hear that virus infection is not particularly troubling for you.
    But believe me, it is for many, many computer users. And it's here that the
    virus-free cloned drive is especially valuable.
    So let's say that the user builds a new machine with different hardware, say
    a new motherboard, a new processor, new RAM, new HD, etc. -- in short, a new
    system. The cloned drive could *still* be used to re:clone the contents of
    the old drive back to the new system. Sure, after doing so, the user would
    presumably need to install (or reinstall) whatever drivers are necessary for
    the new system. But his/her precious programs/data would be intact. And
    there's no reason why that newly-cloned drive would not be bootable. There
    may be activation issues, of course, assuming we're dealing with Windows XP,
    but that's another issue.

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > Not that traditional tape backups are any better in this respect,
    > though. It's a problem for any kind of backup.

    Anna says...
    >> Everything is done outside of your computer because
    >> each hard drive resides in a tray (caddy) that you simply slide into the
    >> computer's mobile rack.

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > Sounds nice, but what about performance ... and purchase cost? It's
    > the former lower and the latter higher for removal drives? Disk
    > drives are the slowest link in the chain as it is already.

    Anna responds:
    As to "performance" - I take it you're referring to speed of cloning, yes?
    Using medium to high-powered processors and modern hard drives, cloning
    speed will be somewhere around 1.5 GB/min. Not breakneck speed by any
    stretch, but I would guess sufficient for most users. And the nice thing
    about the cloning process is that the user need not be in attendance during
    most of the process. Once he/she initiates the process, it automatically
    performs the cloning process.
    As to cost, as I mentioned above - about $100 to $150 for the two mobile
    racks, the additional HD, and the cloning software.

    Anna says:
    >> There's *no* need to partition and format the new drive; *no* need to
    >> reinstall your operating system on the new drive; *no* need to reinstall
    >> your programs and data files. None of this is necessary. By simply
    >> cloning
    >> the previously-cloned hard drive to the new drive you once again have two
    >> functioning hard drives at your disposal. And a simple turn of the mobile
    >> rack's keylock allows the user to boot to either hard drive following the
    >> cloning operation.

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > Unless your hardware configuration has changed. If your cloned system
    > expects video card A and you've had to replace your burnt-out card A
    > with a new video card B, it may be difficult to even boot, although I
    > suppose in that particular case you could fix things fairly quickly.

    Anna responds:
    There shouldn't be a booting problem at all. As I stated above, after the
    contents of the cloned drive has been cloned to the new system, it will
    probably will be necessary to install a new video card driver in the example
    you've given, but there should be no boot problem at all.

    Anna says:
    >> As previously indicated, these mobile rack devices are two-piece
    >> affairs -
    >> the rack itself and the inner tray or caddy (in which the hard drive
    >> resides) that slides into the rack. They come in all-aluminum models or a
    >> combination of aluminum-plastic ranging in price from about $15 to $50.
    >> Naturally, your desktop computer case will need two 5¼" bays that are
    >> available to house the mobile racks. Mobile racks come in various
    >> versions,
    >> depending upon whether the hard drive to be housed is an IDE/ATA, SATA,
    >> or
    >> SCSI device. A Google search for "removable hard drive mobile racks" will
    >> result in a wealth of information on these products and their vendors.
    >> I'm
    >> aware of many users who have been using inexpensive plastic mobile racks
    >> without any problems whatsoever. Unfortunately, there is no industry
    >> standard involving the design and construction of the racks nor the inner
    >> trays that contain the hard drive.Consequently, there is (usually) no
    >> interchangeability of these trays among the various manufacturers of
    >> mobile
    >> racks. Indeed, there is frequently no interchangeability of the inner
    >> trays
    >> among different models from the same manufacturer. This lack of
    >> interchangeability may not be an issue if the user will be purchasing a
    >> particular model of mobile rack for a single computer, however, if the
    >> user
    >> will have access to other computers, he or she may want to settle on a
    >> specific brand and model of mobile rack that will provide for tray
    >> interchangeability amongst different computers.

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > I'm not clear on this: are you saying that the drives themselves are
    > ordinary internal disk drives and it's just a special rack that allows
    > them to be connected more easily, or what? Don't you have to buy
    > special removable drives and racks that match?

    Anna responds:
    That's correct. The hard drives are ordinary PATA or SATA drives, nothing
    special about them. You just plop them in the tray (caddy), make two simple
    connections (power & data cable), and slide the tray into the mobile rack
    (which has been installed in the case's 5 1/4" bay, just like a CD-ROM).
    Takes about 30 seconds. Obviously you would want the same make/model for the
    two mobile racks so that the inner trays would be interchangeable.

    Anna says:
    >> I can virtually guarantee that once you begin working with two removable
    >> hard drives, you'll have but one regret and only one regret. And that is
    >> you
    >> didn't have this arrangement on your previous computer or computers.
    >> While
    >> the additional cost involved in configuring your desktop computer with
    >> two
    >> mobile racks together with the additional hard drive and disk imaging
    >> software is not negligible, I can assure you it's money well spent.

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > I tend to agree. Unfortunately I have no money to spend at the
    > moment. When I do, though, I'll surely look into it, as the
    > alternative of buying a DLT or DDS4 tape drive would probably be at
    > least as expensive if not more.

    Anna responds:
    I truly hope you seriously consider this hardware configuration. We gave up
    on using tape for backup purposes years ago because of the many difficulties
    we encountered with that system. We have installed or helped install
    hundreds of systems along the lines I have recommended and I can't recall a
    single user ever expressing dissatisfaction with this configuration.

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > Right now I try to keep irreplaceable stuff in a few key folders and I
    > just copy those somewhere periodically. Not very convenient and very
    > error prone, but that's all the budget allows right now. Periodically
    > I save to tape, although now I require multiple DDS cassettes for each
    > backup because of the growing size of the disks.

    Anna says:
    >> Frankly,
    >> when you consider the enormous advantages of having two removable hard
    >> drives on your desktop computer, the additional cost of so equipping your
    >> computer in this fashion practically pales into insignificance.

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > If you have the money in the first place, but I don't. Maybe someday.
    > Thanks for your ideas, anyway--it does sound like going removable may
    > be the wave of the future.

    Anna responds:
    Obviously that's a decision you have to make based on your particular
    circumstances. As I've indicated above, we're not talking "big bucks" here.
    While I recognize it's not a trifling cost for many users, it's certainly
    not an enormous amount by any stretch.
    And I would respectfully correct your final statement...
    Equipping one's desktop computer with two removable hard drives is not the
    "wave of the future", rather, it's here & now.
    Anna
  14. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    John Doe writes:

    > Program configuration data has always been scattered, and still
    > is. Not only in the registry, but in files and folders.
    > Microsoft's Visual C++ is a good example.

    Individual applications have the option of storing configuration data
    in any way they choose. Some Windows programs use the registry,
    others still use .INI files, still others have their own proprietary
    methods of holding the data. I rather like programs that hold all the
    necessary information in their own directories, since that allows one
    to restore them to a system by simply restoring the directory, without
    worrying about the registry. Of course, it's inelegant in other ways.
    It's easy to back up and restore, though.
  15. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mxsmanic <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote:
    > John Doe writes:

    >> Program configuration data has always been scattered, and still
    >> is. Not only in the registry, but in files and folders.
    >> Microsoft's Visual C++ is a good example.
    >
    > Individual applications have the option of storing configuration
    > data in any way they choose.

    Microsoft has the power to force the issue, but Microsoft would
    rather bind the user to a single installation on one machine.
    Fortunately we can still produce files in Windows that can be
    removed.

    Back to the subject of application data/settings. Some people keep
    their programs on a second partition. I have done that before, but
    nowadays the operating system installation is massive by itself,
    so I do the basic installation/settings plus the most needed
    applications, and copy the whole thing.

    Good luck.
  16. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    John Doe writes:

    > Microsoft has the power to force the issue, but Microsoft would
    > rather bind the user to a single installation on one machine.
    > Fortunately we can still produce files in Windows that can be
    > removed.

    I have no idea what you are talking about.

    Anyway, individual Windows applications can store their configuration
    information in any way they choose. The OS does provide a registry
    along with API calls to access it in a consistent way, and
    applications can store their configuration information in the registry
    if they so choose. The decision to provide a registry was an
    attempted technical solution to the problem of incoherencies across
    applications in the ways they stored configuration information, making
    back up and restore of applications difficult in some cases (because
    they stored their information in weird places, or because they even
    modified configuration data belonging to other programs).

    It was a good idea, but it's not without problems of its own. The
    biggest problem is that the registry is a "magic" file that cannot
    easily be saved and restored as a block. It is always allocated to
    the system and thus perpetually "busy." It contains mixed data from
    many different applications and so restoration en masse of the file is
    likely to cause problems. Overall, it ends up being no better or
    worse than the way things were before (and the way they still are on
    UNIX); it's just different. Unfortunately, even Microsoft is not very
    consistent in its use of the registry (try to find all the parameters
    for Internet Explorer in the registry, and you'll see).

    > Back to the subject of application data/settings. Some people keep
    > their programs on a second partition. I have done that before, but
    > nowadays the operating system installation is massive by itself,
    > so I do the basic installation/settings plus the most needed
    > applications, and copy the whole thing.

    I install applications in a folder I call \Software (I don't like the
    default \Program Files folder), but other than that I don't do much.
    Software I can usually reinstall from scratch, so the main issue is
    just saving configuration data, and unfortunately that often involves
    the registry, with all the problems described above.
  17. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    On Fri, 15 Jul 2005 12:32:19 +0200, Mxsmanic
    <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote:

    >Over the past few years the capacity of disk drives (and the amount of
    >space typically used on them) has greatly increased, and now it is
    >getting more and more difficult to figure out how to back up these
    >drives.
    >
    >What type of hardware (and software) do you use on your systems for
    >backup?

    Raided drives using PCI card not motherboard dependant (plus
    identical spare raid card), a 3rd copy on non-raided drives
    (offline system only plugged into lan or power for this
    purpose), a 4th copy on DVD (formerly CDR). 3rd copy
    updated less often, 4th even less. Then there's basic
    records and such, smaller file sets also on flash media.
    Basically the plan revolves around getting the more frequent
    backups done quicker as I find that makes it more likely to
    get done regularly. Tape made more sense in the past, IMO,
    but after HDD prices plummeted per capacity they can be
    cheap to throw into old boxes- plus "old" boxes are quite a
    bit more suitable since it's been a few years since the
    typical board started supporting 48bit LBA, large HDDs.
  18. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:eq3fd1dmrsbre7ako2g64e14u2sq9a09rt@4ax.com...
    > Over the past few years the capacity of disk drives (and the amount of
    > space typically used on them) has greatly increased, and now it is
    > getting more and more difficult to figure out how to back up these
    > drives.
    >
    > What type of hardware (and software) do you use on your systems for
    > backup?
    >
    > Up to now, I've used HP DDS tape drives (DAT drives) for backup. But
    > DDS2 is limited to 4 GB, and DDS3 is limited to 24 GB, and that's
    > getting to be to small to hold even one backup on a single tape (or
    > even on several tapes in some cases).
    >
    > So, what else is there? These DAT drives already cost me a fortune in
    > the good old days, and today they cost nearly as much as the rest of
    > the computer, when I can find them ... and even DDS4 is still limited
    > to 40 GB. DLT drives are several times more expensive at the cheap
    > end, although they do have capacity to hold an entire drive of data.
    >
    > Are there other practical alternatives? What about external USB
    > drives, can that work? Old stuff like Zip drives and so on is
    > history, as it has even less capacity than tape. Archiving to CD or
    > DVD is also too low in capacity. It's getting to the point that the
    > only affordable option seems to be some sort of disk-to-disk copy (or
    > RAID for those who can afford it), but it would be nice to have
    > removable media that could be put in a safe place.
    >
    > So what is everyone else building into their new machines for backup?
    > And do you just use standard backup tools like ntbackup on Windows or
    > dump on UNIX, or do you use special software purchased separately?

    let the boys bitch on while I add my 10p worth............

    Hardware: An internal 80gb HDD and an external 250gb USB HDD. Both Maxtor's.
    I back up both my comps to the external drive. Rather a belt and braces
    idea.

    Software: Acronis True Image 8. Nice easy to use software. (also offers good
    recovery prog which I used to recover my daughters lappy when Windoz went
    walkies)

    ted
  19. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mxsmanic <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote:
    > John Doe writes:

    >> Microsoft has the power to force the issue, but Microsoft would
    >> rather bind the user to a single installation on one machine.
    >> Fortunately we can still produce files in Windows that can be
    >> removed.
    >
    > I have no idea what you are talking about.

    Except for a show of public relations, Microsoft could not care
    less about anything except protecting its monopoly power.

    > Anyway, individual Windows applications can store their
    > configuration information in any way they choose.

    Not if they are going to be installed on my system.

    >> Back to the subject of application data/settings. Some people
    >> keep their programs on a second partition. I have done that
    >> before, but nowadays the operating system installation is
    >> massive by itself, so I do the basic installation/settings plus
    >> the most needed applications, and copy the whole thing.

    > I install applications in a folder I call \Software (I don't
    > like the default \Program Files folder),

    Long ago, probably in my Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 days, I would
    install Windows to a different folder.

    I also went through the renaming Program Files phase.

    After playing with Windows for tens of thousands of hours, I do it
    Microsoft's Way.

    Coincidentally, yesterday a related problem came up. I installed
    Age of Empires into Program Files\ instead of into Program
    Files\Microsoft Games\. Unfortunately, apparently the no CD patch
    was expecting it to be installed in ...Microsoft Games\.

    > but other than that I don't do much. Software I can usually
    > reinstall from scratch,

    Some programs can require a significant amount of configuring,
    just depends on your personal preferences I guess. I have always
    enjoyed configuring Windows and programs. Nowadays it is much more
    involved

    I mostly forget about program data, except for making a complete
    copy of the Windows partition.

    I also have a backup folder called Installation, with subfolders
    Desktop (icons from the desktop), Favorites (Internet shortcuts),
    and Launch (program shortcuts).

    Properly named program shortcuts are very useful since nowadays I
    start programs by saying "start <name>", for example "start
    browser" or "start discussion".
  20. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Anna writes:

    > Anna responds...
    > I really can't see why "there is an opposite side to the coin". The whole
    > idea of what we are discussing is a mechanism that backs up one's current
    > system, and does it simply, conveniently, effectively, with reasonable
    > speed, and is reasonably cost-effective. To indicate that this recommended
    > mechanism is somewhat deficient because it will not be as simple,
    > convenient, effective, etc. to restore *another* system introduces a
    > completely different objective, does it not?

    No. Every system must include both functions: backup and restore. If
    you can back up everything, but you cannot restore it again, the
    backup is useless. While it is true that a backup of everything might
    help if you want to _restore_ everything unconditionally, if you have
    a need to only selectively restore certain data, being constrained to
    restore everything is as bad as not being able to restore anything at
    all.

    For example, if your computer fails, and you are forced to buy new
    hardware that doesn't precisely match the old, you must be able to
    selectively restore data from the old computer so that all
    hardware-independent information is restored, but hardware-dependent
    information is not. That way you can configure the new hardware and
    then overlay it with all other restored data without corrupting your
    new hardware configuration. If you simply restore the Windows
    registry wholesale, you restore all the software _and_ hardware
    configuration data, blasting the new configuration for the machine and
    potentially making the machine unusable.

    > Anyway, should the user
    > completely revamp his/her hardware, programs, etc. etc., wouldn't the user
    > simply make a clone of his/her new system along the lines I've described?

    A clone works if you will always restore to identical hardware. But
    since hardware changes daily, the chances of being able to restore to
    identical hardware after a system has been running for several years
    are very slim. You therefore need the ability to selectively restore.

    Being able to selectively back up data isn't that big a deal, its only
    advantage being that you can reduce the size of your backups that way.
    But being able to restore selectively is extremely important. You may
    wish to only restore certain files or directories, or you may wish to
    restore only certain branches of the registry.

    It is the absence of any awareness of the uniqueness of the registry
    in most backup software that makes the registry such a pain to deal
    with. How many backup products can selectively restore only certain
    branches in a registry tree? Indeed, how would you even determine
    which branches to restore, and which to leave alone?

    > Why would a user even attempt to use his/her "old" clone to restore to a
    > different system?

    The old system may have failed, and he may have been forced to replace
    it with new and significantly different hardware. But he still needs
    all the old data and functionality.

    > Please refer to my remarks above. A clone is a clone is a clone. Obviously
    > it's designed to be a clone of the system one has cloned from. If the user
    > subsequently builds a completely new system then he or she will clone the
    > contents of that new system to another clone would he not?

    If he can. But to do that, he has to build an identical system with
    identical hardware. If the hardware is not identical, simply
    restoring an entire drive from a clone will probably not work.

    > Honestly, isn't that what we're *really* talking about?

    Sometimes. But the computer world changes quickly, and unless you buy
    several identical systems and put all but one in storage, there's no
    guarantee that you'll ever be able to restore to an identical hardware
    platform. By the time one system fails in a way that requires
    replacement, there will be no identical replacements available. The
    original clone will have to be restored to hardware different from
    that on which it originally ran.

    > For the overwhelming number of users the basic issue is backing
    > up one's current system.

    But backing things up implies being able to restore them. If you
    can't do the latter, the former is a waste of time.

    Even large companies make this mistake: they back up everything
    religiously, but they have no idea how to restore any of what they
    back up, because they've never tried. When the real disaster hits,
    they find that they can't restore anything in a way that allows them
    to build a usable system. Sometimes they can get around it, in time,
    sometimes they are stuck.

    In Windows, by far the most likely culprit for this type of problem is
    the registry, which has to be selectively restored if the hardware
    changes. And unfortunately there is very little discipline in the
    structure of the registry, so it may be impossible to figure out what
    must be restored and what must be left in its "virgin" state on the
    new machine.

    > It nearly goes without saying that when a user clones his/her drive, he/she
    > must ensure that the drive is malware-free and suffers no system files
    > corruption.

    How does one do that? For that, you need a trusted system that can
    analyze the system at risk. If you are analyzing the system at risk
    from _within_ that very system, you may not be able to detect all
    corruption. Some malware is very good at hiding itself.

    > If you clone garbage, garbage is what you'll get. Presumably the
    > cloned drive is virus-free, so that if the working drive subsquently becomes
    > virus infected, restoring it from that "good" clone represents one of the
    > basic advantages of the disk cloning process.

    A better practice might be to replace the working drive with the
    cloned drive by swapping drives, then put the old working drive on
    another machine, wipe it clean, and clone the new working drive back
    to it. And this must not be done using any software from the old
    working drive, since that might be infected.

    It can be a complex problem to resolve.

    > You're really losing me here. Hopefully, my remarks directly above have
    > clarified the issue for you.

    I've actually had problems like this, in the distant, misty past. The
    central problem is that you cannot trust anything that has been
    infected, including any OS that resides on the infected device. Since
    most PCs have only one OS that _does_ reside on the (only) disk drive,
    it isn't completely safe to do anything with them if you want to
    eliminate infection entirely. Most malware is not this sophisticated,
    but if it is, you have a serious problem.

    > I'm glad to hear that virus infection is not particularly troubling for you.
    > But believe me, it is for many, many computer users.

    They execute untrustworthy code. They click on attachments, they
    download ActiveX components, etc. At some point, they do something
    explicit that causes the infection.

    Some software can be configured to execute code implicitly, but this
    can usually be turned off. I switched from Outlook Express to The Bat
    because OE didn't allow me to turn off HTML mail completely, and it's
    too easy for executable code to sneak into HTML (even though I turned
    everything off in the Restricted Zone and set OE to use this zone).

    > And it's here that the virus-free cloned drive is especially valuable.

    Yes, but you have to keep it away from infected machines when you copy
    it back. It would be nice to be able to block all writes to a drive
    with a hardware switch for this type of situation. Then there would
    be no way to infect a cloned drive at all, period, and anything
    restored from it (using trusted software, which is no easy task) would
    be clean.

    > So let's say that the user builds a new machine with different hardware, say
    > a new motherboard, a new processor, new RAM, new HD, etc. -- in short, a new
    > system. The cloned drive could *still* be used to re:clone the contents of
    > the old drive back to the new system.

    What about the registry? Some things in the registry are
    hardware-dependent, and must not be changed by the restore; other
    things are hardware-independent, and must be restored. But these
    things are mixed in haphazard fashion in the _same file_. How do you
    select what to restore and what not to restore?

    > Sure, after doing so, the user would
    > presumably need to install (or reinstall) whatever drivers are necessary for
    > the new system. But his/her precious programs/data would be intact. And
    > there's no reason why that newly-cloned drive would not be bootable. There
    > may be activation issues, of course, assuming we're dealing with Windows XP,
    > but that's another issue.

    The old cloned content may point to software on a drive that no longer
    exists, for example. Windows can boot in safe mode with a generic
    video driver, so a video driver mismatch is survivable, but other
    drivers don't have that protection (as far as I know).

    > As to "performance" - I take it you're referring to speed of cloning, yes?

    No, I mean the speed of the drive (access time, transfer rates). Are
    removable drives slower?

    > Using medium to high-powered processors and modern hard drives, cloning
    > speed will be somewhere around 1.5 GB/min. Not breakneck speed by any
    > stretch, but I would guess sufficient for most users. And the nice thing
    > about the cloning process is that the user need not be in attendance during
    > most of the process. Once he/she initiates the process, it automatically
    > performs the cloning process.

    This raises another question: since the system is presumably running
    and still writing to the working drive, how do you ensure that the
    clone is a coherent copy of the working disk?

    Some software can take a snapshot of the entire system and use that to
    copy the clone, but this requires OS support that isn't always
    present. I know the latest version of my FreeBSD UNIX OS does this.
    It looks like Windows backup may also be doing something similar, but
    I'm not sure. If it isn't done, though, you can get incoherencies in
    the clone that may be impossible to resolve. This is especially true
    for things like databases, although usually that's more of an issue on
    servers than on desktops (on desktops you can often simply stop
    processes that are actively modifying disk data).

    > As to cost, as I mentioned above - about $100 to $150 for the two mobile
    > racks, the additional HD, and the cloning software.

    That doesn't sound too bad.

    > There shouldn't be a booting problem at all. As I stated above, after the
    > contents of the cloned drive has been cloned to the new system, it will
    > probably will be necessary to install a new video card driver in the example
    > you've given, but there should be no boot problem at all.

    What if the driver is something you need just to get the system up and
    running? Windows safe mode was invented to deal with this sort of
    issue, but unfortunately it's not foolproof (as far as I know).

    > That's correct. The hard drives are ordinary PATA or SATA drives, nothing
    > special about them. You just plop them in the tray (caddy), make two simple
    > connections (power & data cable), and slide the tray into the mobile rack
    > (which has been installed in the case's 5 1/4" bay, just like a CD-ROM).
    > Takes about 30 seconds. Obviously you would want the same make/model for the
    > two mobile racks so that the inner trays would be interchangeable.

    So the racks have some sort of sockets that made with the caddies, and
    you just bolt in the drive of your choice and thereafter you can plug
    and unplug?

    That sounds like a cool idea.

    > I truly hope you seriously consider this hardware configuration.

    I'll certainly look into it, as the tape backup situation is getting
    more and more out of sync with the real-world requirements of backup
    for desktop systems (it still works fine for servers, though, if you
    have the money).

    > Obviously that's a decision you have to make based on your particular
    > circumstances. As I've indicated above, we're not talking "big bucks" here.

    I know, but I'm really poor. I just replaced this desktop because I
    had no choice (hardware failure on the old one), and I'm not even sure
    how I'm going to pay for that. So every dollar is a problem.

    > Equipping one's desktop computer with two removable hard drives is not the
    > "wave of the future", rather, it's here & now.

    I'm not so sure. I don't know _anyone_ outside of a few geeks who
    does _any_ kind of backup of his or her desktop machine, much less
    anyone who is using removable drives to accomplish it.

    This, incidentally, is the reason why most digital photos today will
    be lost: they are all stored on disk drives that are never backed up,
    and once those drives fail, all the photos they contain will go away.
  21. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    kony writes:

    > Raided drives using PCI card not motherboard dependant (plus
    > identical spare raid card), a 3rd copy on non-raided drives
    > (offline system only plugged into lan or power for this
    > purpose), a 4th copy on DVD (formerly CDR). 3rd copy
    > updated less often, 4th even less. Then there's basic
    > records and such, smaller file sets also on flash media.
    > Basically the plan revolves around getting the more frequent
    > backups done quicker as I find that makes it more likely to
    > get done regularly.

    Sounds pretty stable. Is this for a desktop system or a server?

    > Tape made more sense in the past, IMO,
    > but after HDD prices plummeted per capacity they can be
    > cheap to throw into old boxes- plus "old" boxes are quite a
    > bit more suitable since it's been a few years since the
    > typical board started supporting 48bit LBA, large HDDs.

    Removable disks seem like an intelligent choice. I'm just looking
    into the cost and difficulty of getting it to work for me. I was
    thinking that a removable external disk would work, coupled with
    software that can completely clone the working drive to the external
    disk periodically. That would provide pretty good protection against
    drive failure, and fair protection against destruction of the machine
    (depending mainly on how closely a replacement machine could match the
    original hardware). It doesn't provide non-stop uptime, but I don't
    need that on a desktop; as long as I can be up and running within 2-4
    hours, that would suffice.
  22. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    On Sat, 16 Jul 2005 11:48:58 +0200, Mxsmanic
    <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote:

    >kony writes:
    >
    >> Raided drives using PCI card not motherboard dependant (plus
    >> identical spare raid card), a 3rd copy on non-raided drives
    >> (offline system only plugged into lan or power for this
    >> purpose), a 4th copy on DVD (formerly CDR). 3rd copy
    >> updated less often, 4th even less. Then there's basic
    >> records and such, smaller file sets also on flash media.
    >> Basically the plan revolves around getting the more frequent
    >> backups done quicker as I find that makes it more likely to
    >> get done regularly.
    >
    >Sounds pretty stable. Is this for a desktop system or a server?

    The server has the raided drives, one of the (now retired
    from regular uses) desktops has 3rd copy.

    >
    >> Tape made more sense in the past, IMO,
    >> but after HDD prices plummeted per capacity they can be
    >> cheap to throw into old boxes- plus "old" boxes are quite a
    >> bit more suitable since it's been a few years since the
    >> typical board started supporting 48bit LBA, large HDDs.
    >
    >Removable disks seem like an intelligent choice. I'm just looking
    >into the cost and difficulty of getting it to work for me. I was
    >thinking that a removable external disk would work, coupled with
    >software that can completely clone the working drive to the external
    >disk periodically. That would provide pretty good protection against
    >drive failure, and fair protection against destruction of the machine
    >(depending mainly on how closely a replacement machine could match the
    >original hardware). It doesn't provide non-stop uptime, but I don't
    >need that on a desktop; as long as I can be up and running within 2-4
    >hours, that would suffice.

    Yes that would work. My main item of priority was
    segregating data such that the more frequent backups only
    covered newer material. I really don't need 10 copies of
    exactly the same files on DVD for example, only the things
    that change or are added. Then again, the time it takes to
    fuss through doing it in very strategic manner can be more
    valuable than a few GB of drive space. Supposedly Japan now
    has 20-odd or maybe it was 30+ GB DVDs now so hopefully in
    the next couple years those will make it into the US market.
  23. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Ted writes:

    > Software: Acronis True Image 8. Nice easy to use software. (also offers good
    > recovery prog which I used to recover my daughters lappy when Windoz went
    > walkies)

    Several people have talked about Acronis, so I'm considering that, if
    I can come up with $49.

    What about UNIX? What would be the equivalent for that? I think that
    standard dump may well do the job, if I have enough spare space on a
    drive--I could just dump everything to one huge file, and then copy
    the file somewhere for safekeeping.

    Indeed, since I have two machines, conceivably I could save one with
    Acronis and the other with dump, then copy the resulting files over
    the LAN to the opposite machines. That way, unless all disk drives in
    both machines fail at the same time, I'm fully covered. Does that
    make sense?
  24. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:n2mhd19fa6oncoq1t82qgqmc2a7dsc4pcl@4ax.com...
    > Ted writes:
    >
    >> Software: Acronis True Image 8. Nice easy to use software. (also offers
    >> good
    >> recovery prog which I used to recover my daughters lappy when Windoz went
    >> walkies)
    >
    > Several people have talked about Acronis, so I'm considering that, if
    > I can come up with $49.
    >
    > What about UNIX? What would be the equivalent for that? I think that
    > standard dump may well do the job, if I have enough spare space on a
    > drive--I could just dump everything to one huge file, and then copy
    > the file somewhere for safekeeping.
    >
    > Indeed, since I have two machines, conceivably I could save one with
    > Acronis and the other with dump, then copy the resulting files over
    > the LAN to the opposite machines. That way, unless all disk drives in
    > both machines fail at the same time, I'm fully covered. Does that
    > make sense?

    sorry can't help on the UNIX.

    I suppose you could just dump the lot, if its just data, whereas Acronis is
    a full recovery software including Windoz and all applications. It has
    additions like making the installing of a new hard drive (C) easy, if and
    when required. Plus of course the boot recovery side. This I have found very
    good.

    Being a Brit the $49 is a good buy with the current exchange rate.
  25. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    John Doe writes:

    > Not if they are going to be installed on my system.

    You generally don't have any knowledge or control of how the
    information is stored. Most products don't document the way they
    store their configuration information, and Windows imposes no
    restrictions on how they can do it. The registry is a convenience
    that applications can use, but they are not required to use it.

    > Long ago, probably in my Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 days, I would
    > install Windows to a different folder.
    >
    > I also went through the renaming Program Files phase.
    >
    > After playing with Windows for tens of thousands of hours, I do it
    > Microsoft's Way.

    I believe I originally chose \Software because I had some sort of
    problem with a folder name that contained a blank.

    > Some programs can require a significant amount of configuring,
    > just depends on your personal preferences I guess. I have always
    > enjoyed configuring Windows and programs. Nowadays it is much more
    > involved

    In the days when I used computers for the sake of using computers,
    configuration was fun, as there wasn't much else to do. Now that I
    use computers as tools rather than as ends in themselves, I prefer to
    do things as simply as possibility for the sake of time and stability.
  26. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mxsmanic wrote:
    > spodosaurus writes:
    >
    >
    >>Even windows sofware RAID is quite cheap. Unlike hardware RAID, you need
    >>to use the manufacturer's windows drivers.
    >
    >
    > The motherboards of the last two PCs I've been support hardware RAID
    > for SATA drives, but I'm wary of trying it out, as things like that
    > move into the "danger area" of hardware/software interactions that can
    > cause lots of problems and take forever to sort out.

    Actually, yhey probably did not (the VAST vast VAST majority do not)
    support hardware RAID, but windows simply recognised the chips and
    installed the drivers automagically. The drivers then interact with
    whatever the chip's setting sare (RAID 0,1,5) and away you go. I made
    this mistake with linux and an old promise RAID controller built into my
    motherboard. Because it seemed to work seemlessly, I thought it was
    hardware RAID. In fact, it is not. The cheapest hardware RAID you're
    likely to find is a 3Ware card. They're quite good, too.

    Ari

    --
    spammage trappage: replace fishies_ with yahoo

    I'm going to die rather sooner than I'd like. I tried to protect my
    neighbours from crime, and became the victim of it. Complications in
    hospital following this resulted in a serious illness. I now need a bone
    marrow transplant. Many people around the world are waiting for a marrow
    transplant, too. Please volunteer to be a marrow donor:
    http://www.abmdr.org.au/
    http://www.marrow.org/
  27. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    On Sat, 16 Jul 2005 15:47:34 +0800, spodosaurus
    <spodosaurus@_yahoo_.com> wrote:

    >Mxsmanic wrote:
    >> spodosaurus writes:
    >>
    >>
    >>>Even windows sofware RAID is quite cheap. Unlike hardware RAID, you need
    >>>to use the manufacturer's windows drivers.
    >>
    >>
    >> The motherboards of the last two PCs I've been support hardware RAID
    >> for SATA drives, but I'm wary of trying it out, as things like that
    >> move into the "danger area" of hardware/software interactions that can
    >> cause lots of problems and take forever to sort out.
    >
    >Actually, yhey probably did not (the VAST vast VAST majority do not)
    >support hardware RAID, but windows simply recognised the chips and
    >installed the drivers automagically. The drivers then interact with
    >whatever the chip's setting sare (RAID 0,1,5)

    The chip has not "settings", either the user sets it up in
    the RAID bios right after the regular motherboard POST
    screen or that RAID bios just defaults to single spans.

    >and away you go. I made
    >this mistake with linux and an old promise RAID controller built into my
    >motherboard. Because it seemed to work seemlessly, I thought it was
    >hardware RAID. In fact, it is not. The cheapest hardware RAID you're
    >likely to find is a 3Ware card. They're quite good, too.


    There is no "mistake" about it, there is no benefit to a
    3ware card from this persective, in that the exact same
    promise chipset is available in a PCI card too. True it IS
    a software raid card, but in practice the difference is in
    performance/offloading, not necessarily anything more unless
    there was need to use the card in an OS that wasn't
    supported by the available drivers.

    The more problematic part with the integrated SATA on modern
    boards is that being integral to a southbridge, there are no
    PCI card replacements, if the motherboard were to fail the
    odds are high it would require same motherboard chipset and
    perhaps even a motherboard with same raid bios level, though
    not necessarily the exact same make and model of board. For
    these reasons, it's more of a PITA to use any integrated
    RAID for RAID0. RAID1 may be movable to other chipsets but
    single striped may not. Fortunately the default is single
    span instead of single stripe.
  28. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    spodosaurus writes:

    > Actually, yhey probably did not (the VAST vast VAST majority do not)
    > support hardware RAID, but windows simply recognised the chips and
    > installed the drivers automagically.

    Well, no, that's not what the manual says. The manual says that
    hardware provides RAID levels 0, 1, and 0+1, plus an Intel Matrix mode
    that I know nothing about. It says nothing about any requirement for
    supporting software, except that special drivers are required if you
    are running Windows 2000 or XP. People are using these boards for
    other operating systems with RAID, so it's not a Windows feature, it's
    a board feature.

    However, for reasons already stated, I've not attempted to configure
    RAID, anyway, so I don't know for sure.

    > The drivers then interact with
    > whatever the chip's setting sare (RAID 0,1,5) and away you go. I made
    > this mistake with linux and an old promise RAID controller built into my
    > motherboard. Because it seemed to work seemlessly, I thought it was
    > hardware RAID. In fact, it is not.

    Then what was the controller doing?

    > The cheapest hardware RAID you're
    > likely to find is a 3Ware card. They're quite good, too.

    I've debated trying RAID in the past. However, it brings up so many
    hardware and software issues that I've shied away from it. I prefer
    to keep things as simple as possible. And while RAID protects against
    drive failure, it doesn't protect against anything else (accidental
    deletion, destruction of the machine, etc.). I see it more as a
    solution for systems that must be online continuously, 24 hours a day,
    rather than as a substitute for normal backup.
  29. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Ted writes:

    > sorry can't help on the UNIX.

    I think dump will do it, based on the man page, but I'll have to try
    it.

    > I suppose you could just dump the lot, if its just data, whereas Acronis is
    > a full recovery software including Windoz and all applications. It has
    > additions like making the installing of a new hard drive (C) easy, if and
    > when required. Plus of course the boot recovery side. This I have found very
    > good.
    >
    > Being a Brit the $49 is a good buy with the current exchange rate.

    I've decided to go with Acronis, based on what I've read here and
    quite a few reviews on the Web that say it's superior to Norton Ghost.
  30. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    rather than using any backup media..... how abt just
    distributing data across a home network to several PCs
    so that you have multiple data sets? redundancy that
    is?

    Yeah it not removable.... but its easier. No?
  31. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mxsmanic <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote:

    > In the days when I used computers for the sake of using
    > computers, configuration was fun, as there wasn't much else to
    > do. Now that I use computers as tools rather than as ends in
    > themselves, I prefer to do things as simply as possibility for
    > the sake of time and stability.

    Yep. Besides the fact Windows has become obese, having more to do
    with my computer helps me go with the flow.

    And stability is a concern, especially given the fact we get no
    clue which files are important and which are needless.

    In Windows 3.1, I experimented with all sorts of file purging. Now
    Microsoft Windows has more files than I could ever keep up with.

    Also involved with doing less configuring might be having learned
    enough of the basics.
  32. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mxsmanic wrote:
    > spodosaurus writes:
    >
    >
    >>Actually, yhey probably did not (the VAST vast VAST majority do not)
    >>support hardware RAID, but windows simply recognised the chips and
    >>installed the drivers automagically.
    >
    >
    > Well, no, that's not what the manual says. The manual says that
    > hardware provides RAID levels 0, 1, and 0+1, plus an Intel Matrix mode
    > that I know nothing about.

    You still haven't said what board it is. And what the manual claims does
    not indeed necessarilly reflect the actuality of the situation.

    > It says nothing about any requirement for
    > supporting software, except that special drivers are required if you
    > are running Windows 2000 or XP. People are using these boards for
    > other operating systems with RAID, so it's not a Windows feature, it's
    > a board feature.

    The vast majority of these chips requires drivers for RAID, whereas true
    hardware RAID does not. It doesn't matter if the drivers are available
    for other OSes. A case in point: Promise's 'hardware' RAID PCI cards are
    not truly hardware RAID. Hence, they won't open source or port drivers
    for some of their cards to linux, because they're afraid of people
    finding out just how little their 'hardware' actually does.

    >
    > However, for reasons already stated, I've not attempted to configure
    > RAID, anyway, so I don't know for sure.
    >
    >
    >>The drivers then interact with
    >>whatever the chip's setting sare (RAID 0,1,5) and away you go. I made
    >>this mistake with linux and an old promise RAID controller built into my
    >>motherboard. Because it seemed to work seemlessly, I thought it was
    >>hardware RAID. In fact, it is not.
    >
    >
    > Then what was the controller doing?

    The same thing that an IDE controller does: whatever the OS tells it to
    do THROUGH THE DRIVER. True hardware RAID is completely transparent and
    does not require drivers for the RAID functionality.

    >
    >
    >>The cheapest hardware RAID you're
    >>likely to find is a 3Ware card. They're quite good, too.
    >
    >
    > I've debated trying RAID in the past. However, it brings up so many
    > hardware and software issues that I've shied away from it. I prefer
    > to keep things as simple as possible. And while RAID protects against
    > drive failure, it doesn't protect against anything else (accidental
    > deletion, destruction of the machine, etc.). I see it more as a
    > solution for systems that must be online continuously, 24 hours a day,
    > rather than as a substitute for normal backup.

    Normal backups are rarely done on desktop PCs more often than once a
    week. If you can afford to lose a week's work, then just backup to an
    external hard drive. I cannot afford a drive crash, so I use RAID.


    --
    spammage trappage: replace fishies_ with yahoo

    I'm going to die rather sooner than I'd like. I tried to protect my
    neighbours from crime, and became the victim of it. Complications in
    hospital following this resulted in a serious illness. I now need a bone
    marrow transplant. Many people around the world are waiting for a marrow
    transplant, too. Please volunteer to be a marrow donor:
    http://www.abmdr.org.au/
    http://www.marrow.org/
  33. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    spodosaurus writes:

    > You still haven't said what board it is.

    Both server and desktop have Asus boards. The desktop is a P5GDC
    Deluxe, the server is a P4-something-E Deluxe (I don't have the name
    in front of me). Both provide on-board RAID support for SATA drives.

    > Normal backups are rarely done on desktop PCs more often than once a
    > week. If you can afford to lose a week's work, then just backup to an
    > external hard drive. I cannot afford a drive crash, so I use RAID.

    I usually schedule backups in terms of rate of change, rather than
    elapsed time. The more rapidly data changes on a system, the more
    frequently it needs to be backed up, so that the potential loss from a
    failure is held constant at whatever value one chooses.

    On desktops, you have a lot of control over what changes and when, so
    the scheduling of backups can be leisurely and irregular. On servers,
    you just need to back up everything as often as possible, in most
    cases. My server is far more static, so I back it up far less often;
    about the only things that change continuously are the logs and e-mail
    spools, but my e-mail client downloads the e-mail every 30 seconds and
    the logs are not hugely important, so daily backups don't make a lot
    of sense.
  34. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    John Doe writes:

    > Yep. Besides the fact Windows has become obese, having more to do
    > with my computer helps me go with the flow.

    All software tends to bloat with time. Windows is both a bit bloated
    and a bit overcomplex, but all operating systems get that way. It's
    still the best choice for a desktop OS today, and it's a considerable
    improvement over its predecessors (the Windows 9x series of operating
    systems had a completely different architecture and were markedly
    inferior to the current NT-based series).

    > And stability is a concern, especially given the fact we get no
    > clue which files are important and which are needless.

    If you don't know what a file is for, leave it alone. If you
    absolutely must experiment, you can try changing the name of a file to
    see what breaks, but this is a risky undertaking.

    > In Windows 3.1, I experimented with all sorts of file purging. Now
    > Microsoft Windows has more files than I could ever keep up with.

    Windows 3.1 was garbage compared to Windows XP. I'd much rather run
    the latter, even if I don't know exactly what each file is for.
  35. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    me@privacy.net writes:

    > rather than using any backup media..... how abt just
    > distributing data across a home network to several PCs
    > so that you have multiple data sets? redundancy that
    > is?

    In what way?

    I already copy important stuff to both the machines on my LAN, on the
    theory that multiple simultaneous disk or computer failures are
    unlikely. But it's labor-intensive and error-prone, since I have to
    do it by hand and keep track of what I copied where.

    > Yeah it not removable.... but its easier. No?

    Easier if you can automate it or if it is very limited in extent. But
    it can get difficult to manage pretty quickly, and if you make
    mistakes sometimes you destroy the very data you're trying to protect.
  36. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    On Sat, 16 Jul 2005 11:19:29 -0500, me@privacy.net wrote:

    >rather than using any backup media..... how abt just
    >distributing data across a home network to several PCs
    >so that you have multiple data sets? redundancy that
    >is?
    >
    >Yeah it not removable.... but its easier. No?


    That can work but depending on how you implement it, may not
    be enough. You'd need still have redundancy, multiple
    copies of everything else you're still susceptible to data
    loss with a drive failure. Further, if you have several
    systems with same susceptibility to viri (for example,
    multiple storage boxes running Windows 2K/XP ) that spread
    over networks, that may mean multiple boxes go down from one
    "event".

    It is good to have at least one copy of data that is not
    online and not potentially damaged by electrical surges (we
    will ignore the theoretical perfection of powerline surge
    protection for the moment). Some people go even a step
    further and seek a redundant backup off-site, such than in
    event of fire or flood or (whatever) there is far less
    likelihood that both 'sites are effected.
  37. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:eq3fd1dmrsbre7ako2g64e14u2sq9a09rt@4ax.com...
    > Over the past few years the capacity of disk drives (and the amount of
    > space typically used on them) has greatly increased, and now it is
    > getting more and more difficult to figure out how to back up these
    > drives.
    >
    > What type of hardware (and software) do you use on your systems for
    > backup?
    >
    > Up to now, I've used HP DDS tape drives (DAT drives) for backup. But
    > DDS2 is limited to 4 GB, and DDS3 is limited to 24 GB, and that's
    > getting to be to small to hold even one backup on a single tape (or
    > even on several tapes in some cases).
    >
    > So, what else is there? These DAT drives already cost me a fortune in
    > the good old days, and today they cost nearly as much as the rest of
    > the computer, when I can find them ... and even DDS4 is still limited
    > to 40 GB. DLT drives are several times more expensive at the cheap
    > end, although they do have capacity to hold an entire drive of data.
    >
    > Are there other practical alternatives? What about external USB
    > drives, can that work? Old stuff like Zip drives and so on is
    > history, as it has even less capacity than tape. Archiving to CD or
    > DVD is also too low in capacity. It's getting to the point that the
    > only affordable option seems to be some sort of disk-to-disk copy (or
    > RAID for those who can afford it), but it would be nice to have
    > removable media that could be put in a safe place.
    >
    > So what is everyone else building into their new machines for backup?
    > And do you just use standard backup tools like ntbackup on Windows or
    > dump on UNIX, or do you use special software purchased separately?

    I use hard disks as backups. I copy my data direct using Save 'n' sync to a
    'backup' hard disk in another machine that runs 24/7. Inside this backup
    machine I also have two disks that again copy my data - so I end up with
    three copies of my 'data'.

    I figure it's easy enough to install the operating system onto a new disk
    and then just copy my data back.

    I don't like 'backup' software that creates a backup file(s). Much rather
    have the data in it's native format - that way I can copy it, share it, etc,
    without the need for backup software.

    Clive
  38. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Clive writes:

    > I use hard disks as backups. I copy my data direct using Save 'n' sync to a
    > 'backup' hard disk in another machine that runs 24/7. Inside this backup
    > machine I also have two disks that again copy my data - so I end up with
    > three copies of my 'data'.

    What's Save 'n' sync? An imaging product like Acronis or something?

    I try to keep multiple copies, too. It can be difficult to manage,
    but it's cheap and simple if you have several PCs/disk drives.

    > I figure it's easy enough to install the operating system onto a new disk
    > and then just copy my data back.

    To an extent, yes, except for the registry issues I've mentioned.

    UNIX has no registry, but it can still have problems sometimes.
    FreeBSD seems to be very good at recognizing hardware as it boots, so
    I don't actually have to change much to get it to run on new hardware
    (but if I customize the kernel I have to make sure there's enough left
    in it to boot on new hardware, i.e., no missing drivers). It's easier
    to recover on UNIX than on Windows.

    > I don't like 'backup' software that creates a backup file(s). Much rather
    > have the data in it's native format - that way I can copy it, share it, etc,
    > without the need for backup software.

    It's easier to get it disorganized that way, though.

    Acronis lets me "mount" a backup file as a virtual read-only drive and
    examine it exactly as if all the structure were restored to a disk
    drive. Then I can copy individual files, etc., as required. Works
    really well from what I've seen in my tests, so I have the best of
    both worlds (one giant backup file, but still the possibility of
    restoring individual files).
  39. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    My main HD is an 80g. I also have a 120g, 160g and another 80g in a
    removable tray and 3 other PC's on my LAN. About every 3 months, or less if
    I've not made a lot of changes, I clone my system drive to the 80 in the
    removable tray. I also back up my data directories to the 120 on even days,
    the 160 on odd days, and another weekly copy to the 160. Additionally, it is
    copied nightly to my wifes PC.

    Everthing except the cloninng (Norton Ghost) is handled automatically by
    Second Copy 200 (http://www.centered.com/).

    It has worked great for me.

    mb


    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:bcmkd1hdhdu1lhia235jub3be0nrbjan3e@4ax.com...
    > Clive writes:
    >
    >> I use hard disks as backups. I copy my data direct using Save 'n' sync to
    >> a
    >> 'backup' hard disk in another machine that runs 24/7. Inside this backup
    >> machine I also have two disks that again copy my data - so I end up with
    >> three copies of my 'data'.
    >
    > What's Save 'n' sync? An imaging product like Acronis or something?
    >
    > I try to keep multiple copies, too. It can be difficult to manage,
    > but it's cheap and simple if you have several PCs/disk drives.
    >
    >> I figure it's easy enough to install the operating system onto a new disk
    >> and then just copy my data back.
    >
    > To an extent, yes, except for the registry issues I've mentioned.
    >
    > UNIX has no registry, but it can still have problems sometimes.
    > FreeBSD seems to be very good at recognizing hardware as it boots, so
    > I don't actually have to change much to get it to run on new hardware
    > (but if I customize the kernel I have to make sure there's enough left
    > in it to boot on new hardware, i.e., no missing drivers). It's easier
    > to recover on UNIX than on Windows.
    >
    >> I don't like 'backup' software that creates a backup file(s). Much rather
    >> have the data in it's native format - that way I can copy it, share it,
    >> etc,
    >> without the need for backup software.
    >
    > It's easier to get it disorganized that way, though.
    >
    > Acronis lets me "mount" a backup file as a virtual read-only drive and
    > examine it exactly as if all the structure were restored to a disk
    > drive. Then I can copy individual files, etc., as required. Works
    > really well from what I've seen in my tests, so I have the best of
    > both worlds (one giant backup file, but still the possibility of
    > restoring individual files).
  40. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Maintane writes:

    > Everthing except the cloninng (Norton Ghost) is handled automatically by
    > Second Copy 200 (http://www.centered.com/).
    >
    > It has worked great for me.

    Pretty cool! I shall make a note of it.
  41. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Mxsmanic" <mxsmanic@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:bcmkd1hdhdu1lhia235jub3be0nrbjan3e@4ax.com...
    > Clive writes:
    >
    >> I use hard disks as backups. I copy my data direct using Save 'n' sync to
    >> a
    >> 'backup' hard disk in another machine that runs 24/7. Inside this backup
    >> machine I also have two disks that again copy my data - so I end up with
    >> three copies of my 'data'.
    >
    > What's Save 'n' sync? An imaging product like Acronis or something?
    >
    A file copying backup/file synchronisation util. I have my set to
    copy/update all the files in My Documents to my 'server'
    http://www.peersoftware.com/solutions/savensync/sns_standard.asp?sol=sns&pid=snss

    Clive


    See
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