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Best method for Backup on multiple computers/drives?

Tags:
  • Hard Drives
  • Computers
  • Backup
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
April 4, 2011 2:36:33 PM

Hi,
Looking for some help with my backup situation.

I have 2 computers (desktop & laptop), both running XP.
Hard drives are fairly small on both (about 80 gb)
I also currently have a 500gb external that is just about full.

My needs for data storage are about to get much greater for 2 reasons.

I have just had a son, and my wife and I are shooting a lot of HD video. I am also backing up my entire music collection in FLAC format.

I'd like to get a 1 tb drive for my music and laptop backup, and designate the 500gb drive for photos/video and desktop backup.

On top of that, I was considering getting a 2tb drive to serve as a backup for these 2 externals and both computers.

Is this an incredibly dumb idea? Is there a better solution?
Also, is it better to use automatic backup software on a regular basis (recommendations welcome, besides the included western digital package or Norton's included backup software) or just do a good old fashioned copy/paste once/month?

Knowing USB 3.0 is available how important should that be in my purchases? Anything to speed up transfer rate now or in the future can't be a bad thing, right?

Thanks in advance for any help.

More about : method backup multiple computers drives

a c 427 G Storage
April 4, 2011 2:52:34 PM

If your laptop and desktop are networked, I'd suggest a NAS solution. It can provide a central storage area for your backs and alleviate the need to swap an external drive back and forth between PC's.

USB3 will have more of an impact with SSD's than on any single HDD.
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April 4, 2011 5:49:03 PM

Thanks for the reply. I had looked at network storage initially about 5-6 months ago but thought it was less reliable than individual externals. Reviews seem a little better since I last explored that option, and it would certainly be easier, although a bit more expensive. Any opinions on a plug-n-play solution (like WD mybook live) vs an enclosure where I'd have to buy individual drives as well?
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a c 427 G Storage
April 4, 2011 6:24:49 PM

Personally, I'd rather be able to pick my own drives for a NAS than to purchase a NAS with the drives already included. QNap makes some good NAS boxes that come with PC client backup software. Buffalo has a couple too, although I don't think there performance is as good.

I'm sure googling for others will turn up quite a few more too.
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a c 105 G Storage
April 4, 2011 9:24:16 PM

madtired said:
Hi,
Looking for some help with my backup situation.

I have 2 computers (desktop & laptop), both running XP.
Hard drives are fairly small on both (about 80 gb)
I also currently have a 500gb external that is just about full.

My needs for data storage are about to get much greater for 2 reasons.

I have just had a son, and my wife and I are shooting a lot of HD video. I am also backing up my entire music collection in FLAC format.

I'd like to get a 1 tb drive for my music and laptop backup, and designate the 500gb drive for photos/video and desktop backup.

On top of that, I was considering getting a 2tb drive to serve as a backup for these 2 externals and both computers.

Is this an incredibly dumb idea? Is there a better solution?
Also, is it better to use automatic backup software on a regular basis (recommendations welcome, besides the included western digital package or Norton's included backup software) or just do a good old fashioned copy/paste once/month?

Knowing USB 3.0 is available how important should that be in my purchases? Anything to speed up transfer rate now or in the future can't be a bad thing, right?

Thanks in advance for any help.


You can built a FreeNAS server using the OLD computer - using RYSN feature of freeNAS... it will automatic to backup/sync data base your pre-set schedule
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April 5, 2011 2:55:15 PM

FireWire2 said:
You can built a FreeNAS server using the OLD computer - using RYSN feature of freeNAS... it will automatic to backup/sync data base your pre-set schedule


Old computer? Yes both of them are old, but my wife and I do use them both. Were you suggesting I re-commission one computer to just act as a server?
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April 5, 2011 2:58:04 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
Personally, I'd rather be able to pick my own drives for a NAS than to purchase a NAS with the drives already included. QNap makes some good NAS boxes that come with PC client backup software. Buffalo has a couple too, although I don't think there performance is as good.

I'm sure googling for others will turn up quite a few more too.


Thanks for the suggestion. I hadn't heard of QNAP before and looks like they have some solid gear. My only hesitation with NAS is that I would then lose portability. I enjoy the fact I can take my hard drive to friends/family without having to do anything really.. (probably should have mentioned that in my first post..)
:throws hands up in air:
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a c 427 G Storage
April 5, 2011 3:11:41 PM

Well, when it comes to portability, some NAS have a built in web service. You can set up a user account and/or username & password, and access the NAS from anywhere on the Internet.

Just be aware that this can be a security issue if someone guesses the password. Also, if your friend/relatives have a slow internet connection it can take a while to download files. You would also need to make sure your router/firewall allows access to the NAS from the Internet. It's also more convenient to use if you are currently using a service like DynDNS so that you don't have to remember your IP address all the time.
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a c 105 G Storage
April 5, 2011 4:40:04 PM

madtired said:
Old computer? Yes both of them are old, but my wife and I do use them both. Were you suggesting I re-commission one computer to just act as a server?


Yes! re-commission an old computer as a server with FreeNAS... P3 or P4 would be plenty good.

If you don't want to get your hand dirty, then get a $99.00 Gb Ethernet NAS with TWO drives
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