Computer backup

Discussion in 'General Computer Talk' started by ProperModulation, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. ProperModulation

    ProperModulation Green Type of Tube

    Just curious, what sort of backup methods do you guys (and gals) use with your home computers?

    I always set up my machines with C: partitioned around 40-50 gigs for the OS and Program Files. I use Norton Ghost to incrementally image this partition every night and store a copy on a different physical drive as well as on my fileserver. Theoretically if something catastrophic happened, I could always ghost it back to a known good configuration.

    I keep all my data files on a separate partition (usually D:\) that is checked for changes every night, and synced with a partition on my fileserver. I use Syncback Freeware Edition to handle the automated syncing with the fileserver.

    I don't back up my fileserver at all since it's just a mirror of my desktop PC and I doubt that both will catastrophically fail at the same time. One day I might put together a kickstart disk to reproduce my CentOS installation and configuration, but I haven't felt like doing that yet.

    So what utilities and methods do you use?
  2. I use carbonite as my off site back up. I do a fresh install on my XP OS once a year. Which reminds me that time is quickly approaching. Thanks for the reminder.
  3. ProperModulation

    ProperModulation Green Type of Tube

    I've thought about carbonite, but I haven't done it. The file versioning feature seems like it would take up an excessive amount of local disk space after a while, especially if you are using it to manage large binary files like pics or MP3s.
  4. I do have pics, but not that many. I don't take a lot of pictures. I do have some MP3's, but again not that many. I mostly stream my music now days. So I don't worry about that. Carbonite runs very nicely in the background. It takes very little effort on your part. Carbonite does all the work for ya. I guess I'm a Slacker :eek:
  5. ProperModulation

    ProperModulation Green Type of Tube

    I'm reading their website right now. I hear the ads all the time on Stern, but haven't checked out their site for some time now. It'd be good to have an offsite backup. Thanks for the tip!
  6. DAB

    DAB Mod Emeritus

    Windows Home Server, it automatically backs up my desktop and notebooks. It does it each night while I am sleeping and I never have to do a single solatary thing. It also allows me to run web sites and I use it as a document server for my agency. My son and a couple of family members also started using it for backing up, though when you don't do it nightly it can take a little bit of time. It does it via my wireless router so when they get in range it automatically does it.

    The good thing is that if you have a hard drive failure on your notebook or desktop. You just run the home server connector software from your CD drive and your computer will totally be restored just like the crash never happened. I was skeptical of this. But my notebook had a 60gb hard drive and I purchased a 200gb one that replaced it. I installed the new hard drive in my notebook, ran the connector software and in 45 minutes it was like my computer was right back where it left off with the 60gb. No authorization for Windows or installing programs again... its all there and ready to go.

    So that is what I use and I am running an old server that we no longer needed at the office and just purchased a copy of Windows Home Server for it. Microsoft offers a 120 trial version too if you want to test it out.
  7. MM

    MM Administrator

    I use Time Machine for my Mac. It works like the Windows version that DAB was talking about. It does it every hour or so and only saves the changes that I have made since the last back up.

    On my PC's, I usually just save everything that I do in a certain folder and back that up manually once a week or so.

    I always have copies of all my software, just in case.
  8. mrpacs

    mrpacs Well-Known Member

    Main HD = WD 150GB Raptor that automatically backs up any changed info, (with SynchBackSE), to drive D and Drive E (500GB each)

    Also, I use Sugarsync for offsite backup and access. I'm a firm believer in redundancy after getting bit much too often in the past.
  9. JoeTan

    JoeTan Well-Known Member

    do an "ftp" sync to a external HD every once in a while. If the joint goes up I grab and run.
  10. memebag

    memebag Top Brass, ADVP

    I have a D-Link DNS-323 with a mirrored terabyte for all of my important stuff. It's an amazing little box. It's running a full-blown, hackable Linux. I've got my wiki running out there.
  11. ProperModulation

    ProperModulation Green Type of Tube

    I came home from work today and my fileserver was making a horrible noise. I opened the case hoping it was just a fan, but it turned out to be the primary hard drive which is now toast. It was just the OS so no data was lost, but my FS is out of action. No biggie as it was mainly an experiment with setting up linux samba shares.

    I am reading up on the DNS-321 and it looks pretty sweet. I think I am going to pick it up with a 1tb HD and go the NAS route for backups.

    Can you use the DLink without running their setup utility on your PC? Hopefully everything can be done via the web GUI.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
  12. memebag

    memebag Top Brass, ADVP

    The only DLink utility I ran was one that found the 323 on my network and assigned it a name. I think there's some kind of backup software that came with it, too, but I don't use that. All of the admin and bittorrent stuff is done via the web app.

    Check out start - DNS323Wiki for some real fun. It comes with a custom Linux for embedded systems, but I've installed Debian on mine for giggles. I've also installed a Java VM to run my wiki.

    The bittorrent client is fantastic. You just go to the web app, drop the URL of a torrent you want and it handles the rest.

    Most of the time my PC is sleeping and my 323 is the only machine running. I hooked the 323 and my PC up to a kwh meter and the 323 uses about 1/10th as much power.
  13. Casual Fan

    Casual Fan Surprisingly nice

    What good is a backup if it's not off-site? Otherwise, you're just making extra copies for that leaky toilet or fire to destroy.

    First man: I locked my keys in the car.
    Second man: Do you have an extra set?
    First man: Yes. They're in the glove box.
    Second man: ...
  14. jef

    jef Power Pig, Hello!

    I can think of at least 2 off the top of my head:
    - Hard drive failure
    - Stolen laptop

    Having backups at home means not having to worry about pics of Junior going poof.

    But you make a good point - anything that is super critical should be on different media in a fireproof safe, safety deposit box, etc.
  15. ProperModulation

    ProperModulation Green Type of Tube

    Exactly, if your HD fails or for whatever reason your computer gets nuked, then it isn't a big deal if you have an onsite backup. It's also useful just for network storage of media files and whatnot. But it's still a good idea to have your important stuff archived offsite as well, and that's what USB hard drives are for...

    I got the DNS-321 hooked up this afternoon and it's pretty cool. It's nice to have the functionality of my old fileserver in such a small package.
  16. ProperModulation

    ProperModulation Green Type of Tube

    Apparently my post here has created some bad juju for me and computers. Soon after I originally posted, my fileserver lost its primary hard drive and I decided to scrap it and go with the D-Link NAS (which is kickass if I must say...). Then this morning I woke up to find that my desktop was unable to see its primary hard drive. It was acting weird a few days ago but I chose to ignore it until it failed, and this morning it failed hard. DAMN!

    But all the backups paid off. I was able to get a new HD and ghost it with my latest image from yesterday morning. I was back up and running in less than 20 minutes. It did take a few hours to pull all my backup data from the NAS, but that didn't require me to sit there and watch it all day.

    So I think I have paid my penance for whatever it was that I did to anger the computer gods...
  17. Since you mentioned the Norton ghost in the other thread. I have been checking it out. I think I may replace carbonite with ghost. Seems ghost offers more advanced backup, but also does similar things that carbonite does. I just wish ghost had some sort of trial to test drive it first. I like the idea of having a image which allows you to not have to run the install CD. Seems it should certainly save some time to get up and running from a flatlined HD, or doing a clean install.
  18. ProperM.....How often do you back up a image ? Does ghost do it automatically for you ? I assume when you need to restore a image after a failure. You reinstall ghost. Then just get the image from off site after signing into your account ?
  19. HCLogo

    HCLogo Member

    The machines have declared war on you... Take the red pill :guns:
  20. ProperModulation

    ProperModulation Green Type of Tube

    I may have to rename my network "Skynet"

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