Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Backup strategies for home network?

Tags:
  • Backup
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
Share
November 29, 2005 4:29:06 AM

My family uses three computers. The usual stuff, lot of photos, and soon lots of home video being edited to DVD. We have no backup strategy, just occasionally copy/drag stuff to another computer via Windows Explorer. Would WinXP's backup utility be sufficient for us? Or would you recommend some other strategy or software? I'm adding a second WD3200JD hard drive for the video editing work, and could probably use half of that drive for storing the backups. Thanks for your help.

More about : backup strategies home network

November 29, 2005 6:33:21 PM

Windows Backup is a nice, very basic backup package. It will do what you want, but personally I like drag & drop copying better as its faster, easier, and I can use the backed up copy immediately instead of having to go thru a restore operation.

Most people just do what you're doing right now - drag the data files onto an extra drive somewhere. Basic strategy is to make a copy of everything onto a different piece of hardware as often as possible (hourly, daily, weekly.., up to you). Better strategy would be 2 copies if possible, and one of them off-site so a fire doesn't destroy everything.

You could buy a personal backup program like Retrospect and use that to automate your backups, restores, disaster recovery (no more reinstalling 800 apps & games when a disk crashes, just use the recovery CD you created), etc., but that's a lot of work... (IMO - since I do it for a small business, and I'm too lazy to do it for home - even though I have a tape drive and software at my disposal -, it must be that I'm lazy... :oops:  )

Mike.
December 1, 2005 5:27:44 AM

Thanks for the info, guess I'll keep doing the same.
Related resources
December 1, 2005 5:47:38 AM

You could just get a simple RAID1 solution.....

GO buy two SATA HDD's (250GB should do) and put them into a computer that has a RAID controller on the mobo. Then you will have 250GB of redundant storage. Make it accessable for everyone in the house. So everyone can drag and drop stuff into it to keep it safe. It would take an act of god for the RAID-1(the RAID-1 would still work if one drive goes out....it tkes BOTH drievs going out to kill it) and the drive with the original info to all fail at once.
December 1, 2005 3:45:16 PM

That's a great idea! I may actually do it... Never even thought of it... :oops: 

Now to scratch together some $ for more machines... gah,..

Mike.
December 3, 2005 4:31:16 AM

Before I started this thread, I had asked a similar question in david uk’s thread (“1 hard drive or 2 hard drives - which is best?”) in the Hard Drive forum section. mpjesse replied there, and since he and pickxx are making similar RAID suggestions, I thought it best to move that stuff to this thread. I edited and pasted it here:
===============

reader850:
I've manually backed up my stuff for years by occasionally copying it across my home network via Windows Explorer to another computer. I'm sure there is a better way. Do you have any backup strategies, software or resource references you could point me to? Thanks much.
--reader850
-------------------------
mpjesse:
Doing it across a network is certainly one of the easier ways. However, the easiest way by far is to use RAID 1. You never have to do a thing! Of course, you'll have to buy 2 identical hard drives, get a new motherboard (if yours doesn't have RAID), and reinstall windows- but after that it's hassle free.

The other option is to buy a cheap PCI RAID controller (under $50), install it, get 2 hard drives, and save everything to the RAID drives. This way you won't have to reinstall windows.

Of course, there's plenty of tape backup products on the market. Depending on the size of your hard drive, DLT drives are the best. DLT IV supports up to 320GB tapes.
-mpjesse
-------------------------
reader850:
Thanks. I hadn't thought of RAID. My board had raid capability, and I'll soon have a second WD3200JD, but I was intending to use the extra space for a massive project to put all my home movies (mostly my daughter's dance performances) on DVDs. Also, Pinnacle works best with a second hard drive for the files being copied/edited into the DVD project. Could I partition the two drives and use say the first half of each as the RAID combo drive, and the second half of each drive as non-raid disks? Hmmm, I guess I'd have to get a third drive to achieve the same independent drive advantage for Pinnacle. I do have an old 80Gig lying around...
--reader850
------------------------
mpjesse:
You can partition RAID drives- sure. But no matter what you do with the logical partitions, they'll always be on the RAID array.

What you could do is this: 2 drives for RAID 0 (this would have windows and pinnacle on it). It would definitely make video editing MUCH MUCH faster............. Then 2 drives for RAID 1 (mirroring, this would act as both your backup drive AND extra pinnacle drive). Furthermore, you could partition the RAID 1 array into 2 drives. 1 specifically for home movies and the other for the dedicated pinnacle drive. And everything would be automatically backed up!

Not sure how many drives you have, but this setup would require 2 identical hard disks for each array (4 drives total).
-mpjesse

===============
Please read my follow-up reply/questions posted next:
--reader850
December 3, 2005 4:35:07 AM

It seems that RAID 0+1 would be ideal for me, but my four drives are 320GB x 2 (SATA) and 80GB x 2 (PATA/IDE). The RAID FAQ sticky states:
-------
Level 0+1 : Striping and Mirroring.
Level 0+1 combines level 0 and level 1 by mirroring a striped volume. Level 0+1 provides read and write performance very close (or equal) to level 0. Level 0+1 should not be confused with level 1+0. If there is 1 mirror set, a single drive failure will cause the whole array to become, in essence, a level 0 array. Level 0+1 requires an even number of drives and minimum 4. … For level 0+1, total capacity is equal to the stripe width times the smallest drive.
-------
So would my max capacity be 80x2 = 160GB? Is there some way to get more out of these 4 drives, and also have the striping performance and mirror advantages of RAID 0+1? If so, can it be done with this combination of SATA and IDE/PATA hard drives?

If not, then I suppose I should go with y'all’s suggestion to just use my two WD3200JD drives in RAID 1. Thanks so much for everyone’s thoughts and any additional comments/suggestions you may have.
--Allan (reader850)
December 3, 2005 5:50:33 PM

Nope, raid 0 and 1 both are limited to the size of the smallest drive. (you double that in raid 0 like you did of course).

What I would suggest in your case is to RAID 0 your 2 80gigs and put windows, swapfiles & apps on it, then RAID 1 your 2 320's for storage.

Since you have the CD's for your programs, that's less in need of backup than the irreplacable data, so the RAID 1 is less critical.

Mike.
December 4, 2005 9:19:38 PM

Great advice, thanks!
--Allan
December 9, 2005 10:33:46 AM

You are looking for backup strategies, RAID1 is not a very good idea for backups. Its for redundancy eg: if for some reason folders or files get deleted or corrupted then RAID1 hasn't backed up anything.

Your PC is an NF4 chipset, that means its supports hot swapable SATA. The quick easy solution is get either an internal or external SATA caddy. Turn it on when you want, use backup software like viceversa, turn it off, you can even remove it if you want. Do this as often as you see fit.

The worst that can happen is you loose all data made from your last backup. That's a backup strategy.
December 9, 2005 11:06:26 AM

Quote:
You are looking for backup strategies, RAID1 is not a very good idea for backups. Its for redundancy eg: if for some reason folders or files get deleted or corrupted then RAID1 hasn't backed up anything.

Your PC is an NF4 chipset, that means its supports hot swapable SATA. The quick easy solution is get either an internal or external SATA caddy. Turn it on when you want, use backup software like viceversa, turn it off, you can even remove it if you want. Do this as often as you see fit.

The worst that can happen is you loose all data made from your last backup. That's a backup strategy.


A RAID-1 solution is pretty good for a backup.

You're right, it wont cover you if you accidently delete something, but i assume people arn't idiots. If you accidently delete something you can use file scavenger and get it back. I just recovered a whole 300GB hd using that program.

I assume someone wont accidently delete something....and if you just want to protect in case of harddrive failure...RAID-1 is perfect.


Like i said....use RAID-1 and also keep doing what he is doing (backing up on other computers by dragging them over the network)
To lose your data it would take an act of god....thats 3HDDs crashing without time to replace one....thats insane.
December 10, 2005 6:04:21 AM

Quote:

A RAID-1 solution is pretty good for a backup.

Actually RAID-1 is all about redundancy, not about backup at all. It should only be used to safeguard you against downtime form hard drive failure, home users dont usually care about a bit of downtime.

All large business that use say RAID-5 still do regular backups, data on a RAID array can be destroyed by a wide range of means other than being deliberately deteted.

file scavenger only protects you from know deletions and only if they havn't yet be over written. Like RAID-1 It should not be considered a backup solution.
December 10, 2005 6:14:55 AM

I use Second Copy 2000 and it is simple to use. Works over a network, and you set profiles of what you wish to manually backup.
December 10, 2005 7:05:27 AM

Yes i get hat RAID1 isn't a perfect backkup solution but what are the main things home users have to deal with when your backing up?

You backup to avoid lost data when a drive fails....
You backup data if somethingf unforeeable happens such as flood, fire, lightning.


Nothing is perfect and even professional solutions still lose data.....But a RAID-1 will cover all HDD failures so you dont have to worry about losing everything when a drive fails....because ALL drives fail on a log enough timeline......and using RAID1 PLUS transferign over a network to a 2nd computer just adds security for "acts of god"

nothing is perfect....if his house 100% floods....everything will be gone uless he stored outside his house, but lets assume his information isn't THAT important. Because if it was he would have to save it at multiple locations around th globe on dedicatred servers...lol, and for a home solution thats overkill :lol: 

RAID1 and saving to a 2nd computer as well is good enough IMO to cover his needs.

You dont think so....we will proabby never know. I dobt his data will be lost. bot our ways seem pretty tight
December 10, 2005 11:12:12 AM

Quote:
You backup to avoid lost data when a drive fails....
You backup data if something unforeeable happens such as flood, fire, lightning.


You missed all the important ones:
You back up data to protect against loss or corruption due to, Faulty Memory, faulty Motherboard, faulty RAID controller, Crappy drivers, Crappy Software, Overclocking, Viruses.
In these cases RAID-1 didn't protect anything.
December 23, 2005 4:44:21 PM

I agree that RAID 1 isn't a complete solution but much better than a single drive. If you get a virus or you lose a file, a RAID setup can't fix that.

Having a second machine to back up your data is a good idea. Put that on a RAID array too.

As an alternative, I run a version control application (like CVS) on my RAID setup to "backup" my files. Each check in is pretty much a backup.

That way I don't have 50 versions of the file cluttering up my hard drive from previous backups. Since each check in is just based on the difference, it doesn't use up much hard drive space.

This way you don't have to worry about your backup drive dying since its on your RAID array.

Also, put your raid drives in hard drive drawers. That way if you have an emergency, like a fire, you can pull out one of your drives and save all your data.

You can also setup a PC in another house (relatives or friends home) and backup over the internet. I believe programs like Genie Backup allow FTP backups. (in case something happens when your not home).
!