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Data Redundancy

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  • User profile image
    Manip

    I don't want my data ever getting destroyed because of a hard disk crash... It has happened *twice* and I don't want a third to be just as catastrophic.

    My ideal solution would be a cheap raid 1 controller card with two cheap 80GB SATA disks running off of that. But there is a small problem, my system doesn't have space for either the card nor the hard disks... I can fit no more hard drives in this case without taking a currently used one out. And the only PCI slot left is right next to the very hot graphics card, needless to say it wouldn't last long.

    So does anyone know of a fairly cheap, automated method for backing up my entire primary disk? I am after a *solution* not a complex strategy that involves me spending hours fixing the backup system and updating it with the latest kernel patches.

    Network storage is an option but there is nothing automatic about it; you have to compress your disk partition (which I don't have free space enough for) and then send it across the network (Which is a pain and takes forever).

    External storage has the same problems; but firewire might be faster... But again, not automated... Microsoft Backup sucks so that is of no or little help.

  • User profile image
    Michael Griffiths

    I've always just used an external hard drive and some basic backup software that runs overnight.

    You can buy hard drive cases on the cheap; that way, you can swap out hard drives - and keep multiple hard drives. Of course, external hard drives are cheap anyway.

    USB 2.0 is fast enough, and they support Firewire as well.

    And it's just plug and play.

  • User profile image
    Manip

    Which software do you use?

  • User profile image
    Michael Griffiths

    Manip wrote:
    Which software do you use?


    I've been using the freeware program SyncBack, which I've found very useful.

  • User profile image
    Tom Servo

    Manip wrote:
    Network storage is an option but there is nothing automatic about it; you have to compress your disk partition (which I don't have free space enough for) and then send it across the network (Which is a pain and takes forever).

    Why generating the archive on the source disk to beginwith? Just tell your favorite archival/backup utility to create the archive on the network storage device? And regarding network speeds, if the budget is available, gigabit consumer gear is affordable these days.

  • User profile image
    Karim

    Manip wrote:
    My ideal solution would be a cheap raid 1 controller card with two cheap 80GB SATA disks running off of that. But there is a small problem, my system doesn't have space for either the card nor the hard disks... I can fit no more hard drives in this case without taking a currently used one out. And the only PCI slot left is right next to the very hot graphics card, needless to say it wouldn't last long.


    I think you were very close with your original thought.  Take the two SATA disks and put them a cheap external SATA enclosure.

    - SATA will be faster than or USB 2.0, Firewire 800.

    - SATA will not use network bandwidth.

    - Unlike USB/Firewire drives, Windows treats external SATA drives just like INTERNAL SATA drives.  Which means you can go RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, whatever the OS supports. 

    - Your SATA contoller may or may not also support RAID in hardware.

    - You can also add another SATA disk later and EXPAND your pre-existing SATA volume.  Good luck trying that with USB/Firewire.

    There is some info on building your own external multi-drive SATA enclosure here:

    http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/sata/sataguide_1.php

    The enclosures you can find almost anywhere; Newegg has single SATA drive external enclosures starting around $25.

    Where this all falls down, you see, is that you are looking for a "solution" that presumably includes software?  And you hate NTBackup.

    Personally I ♥ NTBackup.  Big Smile  The switches can be a pain to get just so, but all my backups are fully scripted.  My backup scripts email the backup logs to a public folder on Exchange.  I check the public folder every few days just to make sure backups are still running, and I open a few of the logs to make sure that no important files were skipped.  My script also deletes the old backups so the disk doesn't fill up.  It's completely automated.

    If there's just NO WAY you can go anywhere near NTBackup, and you have $950 burning a hole in your wallet, you can look at something like Microsoft Data Protection Manager:

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/dpm/default.mspx

    I wouldn't recommend CA BrightStor ARCServe WhatEver because a) it sucks Big Smile and b) it has remote code execution vulnerabilities that are being actively exploited.

    As for your PCI slot issues, it sounds like you already have SATA on the motherboard...?  If so, you can just get an internal-to-external riser card ($25).  Riser card doesn't have a whole lot of electronics, heat probably won't bother it.  That's assuming you don't just want to run a long SATA cable out of the back of your PC Big Smile

  • User profile image
    TommyCarlier

    I use Norton Ghost to take backups of my hard disk onto a second external hard disk (USB 2.0). When I can't boot in Windows, I can use Norton's boot CD to restore the backup.

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