Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

How safe is my data?


  • Please log in to reply

#1
Icculus

Icculus

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 74 posts
So, on my computer I am running XP and have two hard drives, a Maxtor 6L080L4, 80 gig, and an ST3250823A, 250 gig.

My os and programs are all saved on the 80 gig, and I have really no problem if that is lost, as I can just install xp and everything again.

What I'm worried about is my 250 gig. It is almost full with irreplacable (sp) files and the only backup that I could use is an 80 gig external hard drive in a sabrent enclosure (that works about 1/100 of the time) so thats pretty much out.

Do I have to worry about something happening to the hard drive that would lead to data loss? I would just die if that happened. And, what would be the best way to save the data (expensive external, expensive enclosure/new hard drive, new power source/backup internal)

Also, DL Dvd's are out as I dont have a burner on my desktop.
  • 0

Advertisements


#2
SRX660

SRX660

    motto - Just get-er-done

  • Technician
  • 4,345 posts
I have been using computers for at least 10 years now. The one thing i've found is to backup, buackup and backup again files you do not want to lose. I started with floppys and had 800 of them with backups. Only problem is that sometimes they get corrupted. So i tried a Imation 120 MB floppy style external drive. Worked great and i loved the extra space. But the price of the floppys and that they also can become corrupted killed that idea. Finally there were cd burners. OH Joy, that i could save 650 MB of datain one place. The only problem that cropped up was cheap disks that peeled the metal backing layer off rendering them useless. But even today i like backing up weekly data if its not enough for a dvd. And finally there are DVD's that let you backup 4.3 gigs per disk. I use these for my main backups at 20¢ for each disk. The good part about saving to disks is that they can be transfered to any computer that can read the disks. Nec dvd-rw burners are only $35 at newegg. Why worry about dual layer. It takes what 8 minutes to burn 4.3 gigs to a dvd? 20 dvd's is 86 gigs and it takes less than a half day to burn them. I use the ridata disks that cost me $19.60 for a 100 disk set.

About using hard drives for backup.

I was talking with my doctor one day when his secretary informed him that the computer he was using for backups would not start. At that time i mentioned that i did not trust hard drives for backup purposes unless it was for short time only. He asked me why so i told him that any machine with moving parts is bound to wear out someday and computers are prone to do this quickly. I then told him about my methods to backup.

This doctor, a few weeks later, remembered what i said and asked me how he could do this. So i set him up with a cdburner and showed him how to do weekly backups. The hard drive that was in the computer that would not boot had died and although he did not lose his data it took his secretary a week to recopy all the paper work to another computer. He is now delighted with the system and likes the idea that he can replace all data and even install new computer without losing any time over installing the data. It also seems i have 6 other doctors i am under contract for to do backups on their systems. Word gets around i guess.

The moral? I would not trust backing up any data you cannot afford to lose to a hard drive. It could die at any given moment. Maybe for short periods of time (30 days or less), but for true backups use dvd's or CD's. I still have software i bought years ago that i still use on my newest computers. My Syntrillium Cool Edit 2000 was bought out by Adobe and now costs $250. It's still the best sound editor anywhere.

SRX660

Edited by SRX660, 22 February 2007 - 11:18 PM.

  • 0

#3
Kemasa

Kemasa

    Nobody

  • Technician
  • 1,575 posts
Just some additional comments :-).

Using a second hard drive is a good idea since it is fast to copy and holds a lot of data, but it needs to be removable so as to not be corrupted by virus or other problems and it also does not remove the need for more permanent backups, such as mentioned above (DVDs). Having more than one external hard drive is also a good idea since if you are backing up the data and something goes wrong, you could lose everything. In days of old, the concept was the grandfather method, where you always have two copies, in case one goes bad, in addition to the new copy that you are making.

A friend also buys different types of DVD media to try to avoid issues that may occur with one type. There is no guarantee that the data will last and since many "brands" of DVDs are actually made by a few companies, the only way you can ensure that you can different types is to use different media, such as DVD-R vs. DVD+R. Also, using rewritable DVDs can help, but those are more expensive and can not be rewritten infinite times.

You can get external DVD burners, but adding one to the system is pretty cheap, if you value your data. There are nice tape drives, but those are typically expensive and the tapes are also expensive. This is why multiple disks are sometimes used since it can be cheaper, but again you might want to use different brands.

The question of how often to backup the data comes up and the answer to that is how much data are you willing to lose. If it is important, you might need to backup every hour all of the changes.

There are also services which will store your data over the Internet, which I personally don't care for. In some cases if they can't restore your data, you don't get much. But the concept is good since the data is offsite. It really does not matter how many backups you have if something happens which causes the destruction of all the copies, like a fire.

So, my personal suggestion is to not go with just one method, but to have multiple means of protecting the data. Cost is not really an issue if you say the data is important. If the data is not important, then don't bother backing it up :-).
  • 0

#4
Tyger

Tyger

    Member 2k

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,896 posts
External hard drives and drive enclosures are pretty cheap these days so a large one isn't a very big investment. You can keep it turned off and even unplugged from the wall and machine when not actually transferring files which means it will even survive a major power surge as in lightning strike. If your files are really important this may be the way to go. You may need to add a USB2.0 card to your machine to improve the transfer rate.
  • 0

#5
Kemasa

Kemasa

    Nobody

  • Technician
  • 1,575 posts
Unless you buy multiple external disks, you have a single point of failure, as was mentioned, so it would just be one part of a complete data protection plan.
  • 0

#6
Icculus

Icculus

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 74 posts
Thanks for the help. Right now it seems like ill do the backup on dvd thing for starters, then ill probably buy another internal/enclosure or just an external to have another copy.

The data is not often modified, so im not too worried about making changes.

Are there any programs that will create backup dvds for me automatically? I checked the windows backup thing but that only makes backups to hard drives.

I have nero 7, but that doesnt seem to have that feature
  • 0

#7
fleamailman

fleamailman

    Member 2k

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,383 posts
store to DVD is best but then one is stuck with it and the money has been used so I like using an external harddrive caddie and then backing up the same stuff two or three times over old harddrives which come form thrown out computers, first because most times they are free, second because if one has the stuff backed up two of three times the likelyhood that all coresponding harddrives will die at once is remote if not nil, and lastly because the backup itself can be modified to newer harddrives as people throw their old computers away which is a way to check the that harddrive still works too

Edited by fleamailman, 24 February 2007 - 06:32 AM.

  • 0

#8
Kemasa

Kemasa

    Nobody

  • Technician
  • 1,575 posts
It is a good suggestion to use old hard drives as it is cheap, you can get multiple drives (hopefully big enough) and it makes use of what might otherwise be trash. The main point is that you use multiple hard drives so that if one fails, you still have a copy.
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP