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Post new topic Q: If I want to get really neurotic about backing stuff up
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Author Topic:  Q: If I want to get really neurotic about backing stuff up
Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 4 Jul 2017 9:52 am     Reply with quote

Of course neurosis is a relative term.

I use a 2TB USB external drive on my aging (upgraded to) Windows 10 rig. It contains full C drive imaging plus real time backing up. It has been running 24/7 for three years. I have another 2TB drive, new in box. If I were to pull the first one and store it for safe keeping and start up the new one, would I be preserving the old one better than just keeping it running? Would sitting idle in a box be worse for it than having it spin, in service?
The question seems sort of stupid but...I just don't know if something that was built to spin just degrades if it doesn't (gums up or something?).

I'm hoping to achieve a somewhat 'fail safe' solution for around 200GB of data that I don't want to trust to a cloud.
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Mitch Drumm


From:
Frostbite Falls, hard by Veronica Lake
Post Posted 4 Jul 2017 11:18 am     Re: Q: If I want to get really neurotic about backing stuff Reply with quote

see comments:

Jon Light wrote:


If I were to pull the first one and store it for safe keeping and start up the new one, would I be preserving the old one better than just keeping it running? Would sitting idle in a box be worse for it than having it spin, in service?

I'd think sitting idle would be better as moving parts are more likely to fail than stationary parts.

However:

Like anything electro-mechanical, hard drives can fail in the next 10 seconds regardless. A drive might be performing well and you could put it in a box and find out a year later that it won't even spin when you reconnect it. I've had that type of goofy stuff happen.

The point is, expect any drive to fail at the worst possible moment and have a plan to deal with that.

Which typically means multiple backups.

I guess there is still something to the "bathtub curve" when it comes to drive failures---more likely to fail early in life or late, not so much in the middle. So I would never rely on "I've got a new drive, so it's gotta have more remaining life than this 3 year old drive". Too much randomness and too many unknowable factors.


I'm hoping to achieve a somewhat 'fail safe' solution for around 200GB of data that I don't want to trust to a cloud.

Here's some things to consider:

Have you ever restored any of your images? If not, I'd practice that on a spare drive to familiarize yourself with the technique and menu choices.

Do you make backups of your image files, just like any other valuable file?

Do you back up your personal data files (not your Windows installation) by ordinary file-by-file means, rather than an image? If not, I would start doing that. Imaging isn't foolproof, so it's better to have an "ordinary" backup of data files. I've had an imaging program fail to later recognize an image file it made, so I could not restore.

Are your data files on a different partition than Windows? If not, you might consider that as it can simplify backups and restorations.

If your primary hard drive stops working in the next 60 seconds, do you have a known good and working way to start your PC so that you can restore any image you may have? I regularly hear of people who made an image file, but have either not made or not tested any recovery boot disk they may have.

I configured my data backup program (SyncbackFree) with 2 separate profiles that I can run with a couple of clicks. One is called "all data". The other is "critical data".

I run the former once or twice a day--that lands on a separate hard drive.

I run the latter about once a month. That also lands on a hard drive, and I then immediately copy all of those backed up files from the backup drive directly to a USB thumb drive via a simple drag and drop. About 20 gigs of stuff.

And every couple of months, I put a spare hard drive into an external dock and manually copy ALL data to it.

I make an image of my C partition (Windows and all installed programs, but no data) with Macrium Reflect about once a month. I keep the most recent 2 images. I back up those image files regularly with SyncbackFree.

That's my method. I don't use cloud backup at all.


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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 4 Jul 2017 11:55 am     Reply with quote

What a fantastic post, Mitch. Thank you for taking the time!
I won't point-by-point my response. I've got a smattering of yes, no, maybe, and huh?'s. A lot to ponder. I will spend some time digesting.

Thanks again!
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Wiz Feinberg


From:
Mid-Michigan, USA
Post Posted 4 Jul 2017 3:58 pm     Reply with quote

I save Acronis True Image disk backups three time per week, to three different drives, including external drives. In addition, even though I'm running Windows 10, I still make a weekly full image backup using the old Windows 7 Backup applet in Control Panel.

Those are just my full image backups. I run daily cloud backups of my most important docs and files to my Microsoft OneDrive account.

My website files are backed up on the websites I work on. Most are sync'd to OneDrive as I edit them.

In order to protect these various backups, I use Trend Micro security which now offers Protected Folders. These are folders I designate that are lacking write, modify and delete privileges unless I directly approve the program that is making the changes. This protection is soon to be incorporated into Microsoft Defender and will be rolled out to Windows 10 users as part of the Creator's Update, coming to all W10 PCs around September or October.

Additionally, I am using the latest version of Acronis True Image 2017 which comes with a Ransomware protection feature.

Finally, all of the activity on my PC is monitored in realtime by the newest version of Malwarebytes.
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