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QOTD: How Often Do You Backup Your Data?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 99 comments

In this case, being backed up is a good thing.

Backing up your data is supremely important. Anyone who has had his or her laptop stolen or has been victim of a hard drive crash know how terrible the experience is of trying to recover everything that you've lost.

Having regular backups protects you from those sorts of things, including times of embarrassing user errors. Sometimes even installing the wrong thing can result in a freak accident that could take down your entire system.

Earlier today we discussed Microsoft's decision not to include the backup and restore feature into Windows 7 Home Premium and how that could be a disservice to general computer users. Those who opt for the Professional or Ultimate versions will be able to utilize the built-in software, however.

Mac users have one of the best backup options with Time Machine, which automates the entire backup process and makes restoring old files and configurations simple.

Regardless of backup solutions, the process of protecting one's data is up to the user.

So, our QOTD is: how often do you backup your data?

Also share with us which piece of software and method you use to backup your data. And if you don't backup your data, please tell us why not!

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  • -1 Hide
    engrpiman , July 15, 2009 10:58 PM
    I have my data spread across several drives. I backup (move files) every month
  • -6 Hide
    aspireonelover , July 15, 2009 11:01 PM
    engrpimanI have my data spread across several drives. I backup (move files) every month

    bad decision, you should move the files ASAP, more like once everyday.

    TBH, I don't backup, and it's a bad decision. My current hard drive is about to die. I'm buying a new hard drive in 2 weeks.
  • 4 Hide
    08nwsula , July 15, 2009 11:14 PM
    I backup my files once when I get them and once again after I reformat one of my hdds or get a new one. I would probably go nuts and re-enact the Texas Chainsaw Massacre if I lost some of my files.
  • 0 Hide
    maxxamillion , July 15, 2009 11:19 PM
    At home I just run a simple mirror setup on RAID.

    At work I have five 3TB RAID PACKS for external daily backups. Storage Area Network (SAN) device that gets backed up daily along with 8 servers (Active Directory, Exchange, Ect.) that are backing up daily as well. These all go to the RAID PACKS at various times after hours. RAID PACKS get rotated weekly and are stored off site at a secure facility.
  • -4 Hide
    cruiseoveride , July 15, 2009 11:24 PM
    Every microsecond!

    RAID5 FTW!
  • 1 Hide
    IronRyan21 , July 15, 2009 11:25 PM
    Windows Home Server Backs Up all my Home PCs. Works Good, Already had to use it..... Runs on Mini ITX Atom Home Build with TB Hard Drive.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , July 15, 2009 11:34 PM
    External hard drive and I just drag and drop my important files every month or when I receive something that is precious.
  • 0 Hide
    doomtomb , July 15, 2009 11:35 PM
    The correct answer should be daily but unfortunately, I don't have a complicated system setup to backup my data every 24 hours or every second. I have two 640GB drives in RAID-0 which has all my data, a 1TB internal drive which I make an image of my RAID-0 setup every week or so via Windows Backup. I also have a 1TB external drive which I keep copies of most of my media files on for portability.
  • 1 Hide
    onsiteone , July 15, 2009 11:44 PM
    i use carbonite.com so all my files are backed up continuously. but i also have an external USB drive that back up all my data daily - just in case the internet A-SPlODES one day and i can't phone home to carbonite. i don't really need RAID, since if my system dies, it only takes me about 30min to reinstall everything. all my data is on a networked server and most of my daily work is done on the cloud.
  • 0 Hide
    bonjan , July 15, 2009 11:49 PM
    We've two laptops at home and both of them backup hourly to the Time Capsule. To avoid big disasters leaving us without all the data, we also backup the Time Machine contents monthly to an external USB drive that I keep at my workplace.
  • 0 Hide
    Mr_Man , July 16, 2009 12:02 AM
    I back up my flash drive's data every week, but I haven't gotten into the habit of backing up my less-important computer data.
  • 0 Hide
    ervinshiznit , July 16, 2009 12:05 AM
    I backup everyday, using the freeware version of Syncback.
  • 0 Hide
    joex444 , July 16, 2009 12:27 AM
    I do weekly backups of my OS partition to an external HD.

    My data is stored on a RAID5. To the above poster: This is not a backup method, it is a redundancy. They are not the same. (A virus can still wipe out your RAID5, which you would not recover if you must format).

    And my important data is kept on the OS partition, in the backup files on the external and on a USB flash drive.
  • 4 Hide
    SAL-e , July 16, 2009 12:46 AM
    maxxamillionAt home I just run a simple mirror setup on RAID.

    cruiseoverideEvery microsecond!RAID5 FTW!

    Bad advice.
    RAID is great, but it is not backup solution. I am not going to argue about it. Just for the users that don't know or don't want to know the difference. The external USB HDD with backup software is better then RAID.
  • 0 Hide
    cadder , July 16, 2009 1:04 AM
    I backup once a week or so. Most of my important data is older and I have it stored in multiple locations already, what I'm usually backing up weekly are my email messages and a few miscellaneous things. Also my digital photos but they stay on the memory card too. I won't delete them from the memory card until they are backed up on DVD and 3 different hard drives.

    My home backup consists of a NAS with 2 mirrored hard drives in it, a USB drive that I store elsewhere, and burned DVD's. A copy of the really important stuff also exists on my work computers.
  • 0 Hide
    hemelskonijn , July 16, 2009 1:07 AM
    For non work related stuff i don't use any backup other than my raid 5 though i know this is not winning solution i just don't care enough since all my pictures are on a remote server all my audio and video i can download again (keep in mind downloading is legal in this part of the world since we pay tax for it so its only a mather of reloading an endless list of torrents i grabbed over the past few years) and most of my scripting is old-school backed-up to zip disks.

    Zip disks even though they are slow and can only hold 250megs never failed me and as long as i don't get a click of death i guess i will keep using them if only because they cost me like 40usd each back when i bought stacks of them.
  • 0 Hide
    p05esto , July 16, 2009 1:12 AM
    Yea, that's funny some people say their back-up is RAID - good luck with that. What happens when you delete a folder on accident or get a virus?

    My NAS computer has 2 1TB drives, the first backs up to the second once a week (might go daily soon though). Then once every couple months I replicate to a third 1TB drive and store off-site.
  • -1 Hide
    michaelahess , July 16, 2009 1:14 AM
    Dual raid 5 arrays on two systems, a mirrored nas for backup of extra critical stuff, and my music. Mozy for the important stuff. Also an external HD that I do regular encrypted backups of the important stuff, that stays in my car as an "off site" backup of sorts.

    At work, I've got multiple raid 5 and 1 array's with an off site backup server at one of our other locations using NovaNet software. They do BITS backups every half hour as well as ntbackup and vmware snapshot backups daily and weekly. All but two servers are virtualized and I keep local copies on two servers and one on the off site backup server.

    I think I'm fairly safe.
  • -1 Hide
    michaelahess , July 16, 2009 1:15 AM
    Dual raid 5 arrays on two systems, a mirrored nas for backup of extra critical stuff, and my music. Mozy for the important stuff. Also an external HD that I do regular encrypted backups of the important stuff, that stays in my car as an "off site" backup of sorts.

    At work, I've got multiple raid 5 and 1 array's with an off site backup server at one of our other locations using NovaNet software. They do BITS backups every half hour as well as ntbackup and vmware snapshot backups daily and weekly. All but two servers are virtualized and I keep local copies on two servers and one on the off site backup server.

    I think I'm fairly safe.
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