OK I'll Backup -- Now Where?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bill Kane, Feb 22, 2002.

  1. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    yeah, I've shamed myself into it. I've got an internal ZIP drive and a box of 10 100MB ZIPS ($$$!) My Windows has a walk-thru in Accessories-System Tools-Backup just awaitin' for me.

    Now I dont create MS Word documents to save -- not writing a book. I keep my Norton 2000 Anti-Virus Rescue Discs (one ZIP, one floppy) up to date.

    At 100MB per, I don't think I want to or can copy the entire OS. At this stage, all I can think of saving is the stuff in My Documents (half of it program setups) and my email Address file.

    Let's not go to external backup services -- so any tips what I ought to Backup?
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    My solution has been to buy hard disks (since they are so cheap nowadays) and use Ghost to clone my main hard drive. There's no fuss, no muss when I need to recover an installation once I know I have a good backup on another hard drive.
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I recommend archiving all personal files -- anything you've created like letters, emails, pictures, etc. If you're a gamer, maybe archive current save-game files. If you have a custom destop theme, maybe archive that.
    If you've downloaded any patches or updates for your applications or system drivers, archive them. (makes it easier to do a reinstall later).
    Don't archive: applications (you've got the install disks), Windows (you can reinstall that also), or music ripped from CDs (those are already "archived" on the original disc).
    I use a "zip" program (WinZip specifically) for compressing my files, for archiving. This is an essentially universal compression format; I'm more comfortable using this than the Windows archive app (no idea what it is based on).
    Finally, I used Zip discs until my roommate got a CDRW. Since all my files, compressed, are > 100MB, it is much easier burning CDs than to backup my files across multiple Zips.
    Happy archiving! [​IMG]
     
  4. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    A good 5400rpm HD (say, Seagate U6) in a removable drive bay would be my first choice, using Ghost or Drive Image to dump the entire system or partitions.
    But then again, I've already done that. [​IMG]
     
  5. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    I also use a second hard drive. I just swap out the DVD-ROM from my notebook's expansion bay and insert the second hard drive. Then I use Powerquest DriveImage to duplicate the main drive on the backup drive. If the main drive ever crashes, I just swap it with the spare drive, unhide the partitions, reload MasterBooter and I'm back in business!
    Considering how often I use my notebook and the fact it travels with me almost anywhere I go, I'm surprised the hard drive has survived this long! I already had the DVD-ROM drive replaced once and the battery replaced five times...
    All under warranty of course. [​IMG]
     
  6. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    thanks so far, guys.

    Given I HAVE the ZIP drive and $100 worth of Zip discs I prefer to use these to backup. Perhaps I'm not indicting how newbie my question is...like "archiving" and "compression" huh?

    (Also somehow, I ended up with a NET ZIP CLASSIC program, whoa, where did this come from? Obviously it's unused.) Neither is the Windows Compression option enabled -- I have no issues with hard drive/disk space, I think.

    It is WHAT files are best to backup.

    (off topic: I did my weekly virus scan and see that I'm up to 99,716 files scanned; seems like less than a year ago I was in the 70,000 range!!!)

    bill
     
  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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  8. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    thx dave. Certainly my Favorites wud qualify as a saver too!
     
  9. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Bill, just another point of data, last night it took me all of 58 minutes to ghost my 80GB hard drive (practically stuffed to the gills - 73GB) to another 80GB hard drive. Pretty darn simple process, and there's no hassles over exactly what to backup and what not to backup.

    It helps that I recently did a total re-install (loaded everything I use on a daily basis and jettisoned the rest), so my setup is now clean as a whistle and locked down tight, so my confidence level is quite high on backup intregrity.
     
  10. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Patrick,

    I see the appeal of creating an "image" of your hard-drive; you've got an exact copy of your system and a fresh reinstall is almost trivial.

    But you still need periodic (incremental) archives of user-data. Full hard-drive images would soon become expensive and bulky. Also, Win9x is known to get "crufty" after a year or two of use; it would be better to do a fresh reinstall rather than from an image from the two-year point.

    So what do you do for susbequent backups after you've made your initial system "image"?

    Bill - it's good to think about the little things like

    - Favorites (bookmarks)

    - downloaded media (fonts, clipart, sounds, music)

    - email

    - money-management program archives

    - passwords (for online services)

    - game-save files

    - System preferences (Theme, background picture, etc.)

    Those are the hardest to hunt down, since they're scattered everywhere.
     
  11. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    My life isn't that complicated that I need daily incremental backups like a business would. [​IMG]
    I do have 2 places were I store my "can't live without" files, one is my main 80GB HD, the other is my data 40GB HD. This is on top of my image HD. I try to archive the 'can't live without" files every month in a folder with such a date to indicate it's 'archival' contents. Sometimes I do the backup more than once/month for the data side. Plus, I can backup different partitions since I have an OS partition, and then 2 data partitions on my main 80GB HD.
     
  12. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    things to think about...thanks all
     
  13. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    If you want an 'everyday' backup then just use the MS Backup facility provided with every version of Windows. You can schedule it to run at set times, if that's an option for you.
    I'm like Pat in that I image my drives on a regular basis. I run two Seagate Barracuda ATA IVs (best drives ever!), an 80 and 60gb, split into several partitions. I also have 25 and 40gb drives mounted in removable bays (best to keep backups away from the machine).
    The main problem I have to consider is losing all my MP3s. I managed to delete my MP3 partition before Christmas and didn't have a backup at the time. That's around 25gb of files lost, though they were all taken from my own CDs. It took me six weeks to get them ripped, re-encoded and tagged again.
    btw - between Ghost and Drive Image I prefer the latter. I hate the license code thing you have to enter with Ghost 2002 (every time you want to restore or clone!) and Drive Image has the ability to create an image file in an NTFS partition too, something which Ghost still can't do after all these years.
     
  14. Jason Merrick

    Jason Merrick Supporting Actor

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    Does anyone know if there is a way to have Windows 2000 backup specific folders to a given hard drive of a workstation computer on a network?

    That may not make sense, let me explain...

    The server resides in the office, for physical safety of the data, I would like to backup some data to a hard drive on a workstation in another building on site that resides on the network.

    Is there a way to automate this process without buying expensive software? If software is required, can anyone recommend a package and a good place to pick it up cheap?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  15. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Jason - can you see the hard drive in My Computer? I presume you can map it. If so, it should just be a case of creating a backup job with the destination path set to where you want.
     
  16. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Patrick, if you're already using two identical drives, why not just set up a mirroring setup and have them remain identical? Seems to me that Ghosting over the drive occasionally is one of those things that most of us will leave undone too often... so maybe you're looking at stepping back a week or more in time if something happens to your main drive.

    Personally I'd rather go with a combo of Ghost and mirroring (or better yet, RAID5). Ie, have a 4 gig partition as drive C and ghost that, then keep apps and all the other stuff on another partition entirely. You could then reinstall your system in a matter of minutes, and have data security by virtue of the mirroring.
     
  17. Steven K

    Steven K Supporting Actor

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    Also, consider buying a removeable hard drive... they are cheaper now days than they were, and most of them offer either IEEE-1394 (Firewire) or USB 2.0 compatability for maximum speed.

    The nice thing about these devices is that they are very easy to pick up and transport to any location, and many of them act as portable MP3 players as well. (The Archos Jukebox 20 GB is incredible and worth every penny)
     
  18. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    I'm not too crazy about disk mirroring, and I don't have 'Mission critical' stuff for my home PC, anyway. [​IMG]
     
  19. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Firewire is definitely in my immediate future. I'll probably be looking at two or three firewire enclosures to put 120 gb disks in.

    Also been thinking about moving the actual computer into a closet and connecting a CD-R to it via firewire and using extended cables for the mouse, keyboard and monitor, in order to keep the noise level down.
     
  20. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    Imaging is the best way to backup the entire system. Depending on the complexity of your system and the number of progs and customised settings you have, it can take a long time to reinstall eveything back from individual installation discs.
    Modern imaging software such as Norton Ghost and Powerquest Drive Image will let you image directly to CDR. The easier option is to have a spare cheap hard drive. I'm not sure if the two imaging progs will support firewire drives (Rob which version of Drive Image will image to NTFS - I thought they had to be visible to DOS hence only FAT32 allowed)
    I've got both ZIP and CDRW drives in my desktop machine. I use my ZIP discs less these days. I keep all confidential data on ZIP (finances etc) so that there's less risk of them being either erased or hacked.
    Downloaded installation files can be burnt to CD or moved to a ZIP disc, as can patches and updates that have been downloaded.
    The MS Backup facility is good for everyday data backups. You can backup with it to ZIP or another hard drive.
    If you don't have much data stored on your PC, you could zip it up (using WinZIP) into a zip file named by date and then copy that to a zip disc.
    One question about MS Backup. Is there a way to get it to span its backup file into 650Mb chunks that can be burnt to CDR? Or should I use a 3rd party file splitter utility (any suggestions)?
    Files that are often forgotten in data backups:
    Email - outlook folders etc and mail settings
    Internet favourites (use the export feature in IE)
    Game and specific prog data (eg DVD Profiler database)
     

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