Backup Software and External Hard Dives

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Jul 12, 2007 7:43 pm

What are you guys using to mirror or back up your hard drive(s) for hardware and for the software? 


I looked at Western Digital My Book Premium with 350 gigs.  That would be plenty for each computer. But, I don't know if this is what I want.  Don't really want extra storage space. 


My main concern is that if my hard drive crashed on my computer(s) that I would be able to restore everything, including the operating system, data files, programs etc to a new computer.


Jul 12, 2007 8:29 pm

I've got a 120MB and just back up my images and data.  If I have a crash, my preference is to reload all applications from the original disks in case one or more programs had developed flaws/corrupt files that contributed to the crash.  The Western Digital external you described is more than adequate...just make sure that you have offsite storage.  I keep the backup at the office and take my laptop home with me daily.

Jul 12, 2007 8:52 pm

I back my laptop up on my desktop and my desktop up on my laptop.


Actually I have a folder I call "Active Data" where I keep all the files that I actively change.  Every morning and every evening I synchronize the file on both computers.


There are lots of great synchronization programs--I use one called "Smart Synch" which is damn near free on the Internet.


When my "Active Data" file gets cluttered I simply put the clutter in a folder, burn it to a CD, date the CD, and delete the clutter folder.  The next time I synch all those deleted files are automatically deleted from the computer I did not use to burn the CD.


The only way I can lose everything is if there is a fire that gets both computers at the same time--and you can bet your bippy that the first thing I'll grab is my laptop.


It's not necessary to buy expensive equipment for backing up--you just have to be "religous" about doing it.

Jul 12, 2007 8:59 pm

Something else you can do--inexpensively.


Whenever you get a new computer you should pull the hard drive out of the old one.  I must have a dozen of them lying around.


They can be installed as a "slave" on your new machine--it's a very easy thing to do.  If you've never looked inside your computer you should--they're remarkably simple machines to take parts in and out.


Drives can be erased and reformatted with a few key strokes and all you need to do to create a slave drive is move a small jumper on the back side of the drive--there's even a diagram to show you how to do it.  You'll find it easier to do if you use a pair of tweezers.


That second drive--the slave--can become your "data drive" and the "C drive" that came with the machine can hold your software.  Generally speaking crashes and other problems happen because the programs get corrupted or infected.


So you may have to reformat your C drive at some point but your data will be safe and secure on that second drive.

Jul 13, 2007 10:54 am

Hell if I know.  I come in every morning and flip the switch.  Everything works and everything is backed up.  One less reason for being independent; I don't have to be my own tech support.

Jul 13, 2007 11:09 am

DA - HDD's go bad, inaccessible disk, mirror your data drive with a second as precaution