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glowing ghostie!
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3,112 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I would like to hear suggestions/recommendations for MS Windows backup software and strategies. This is for a home office environment, two networked machines.

Ideally this will be something that runs automatically behind the scenes and doesn't require a lot of active involvement from me! :D

How much risk are we willing to assume? Well, if the house burns down I won't expect my backup to survive. But if one of the computers crashes, then data should be backed up.

Even just having an app that will copy a set of folders from one computer to the other on a regular basis would work (or so I would assume).
 
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Guest
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burn yer porn to dvds, have the install discs for all your programs handy.

you can use the built-in ntbackup program, and it simply makes qic images. make an image, run a script to copy it to the other system, and at the end of the week, burn the qic images to dvd or cd, delete the qic images on both systems, and start over.

all of it can be automated with windows scheduler and some basic scripting. if you are trying to backup more than just basic files, then it gets a little interesting. backing up sql databases is not as simple as just copying files.

the problem with your idea of just copying a set of folders from one system to the other is.. what happens if that system dies? you lose that machine, with its backups, and the backups of the other machine.
 

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Registered
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841 Posts
Ask yourself,

"How much is your data worth?"

If this were a home office where you work from, then investing in a reliable backup system would be worth it. A backup tape drive, software like Backup Exec and a fire-proof lock box in case your house does go up in flames.

On the cheap side, it can be as simple as re-writeable CDs or DVDs and using the Windows Backup.

On the high-end, use the tape backup and have 1 tape for each day of the week. Swap the tape each day and either store them off-site or in a fire-proof lockbox. You would want 1 tape per day in case your backup doesn't work on day then you've only lost 1 day worth of data. If you only use 1 tape then you've lost everything if your backup fails or your tape jams.

Good luck
 

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The Comedy is in the Back
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11,948 Posts
depending if your pr0n is vintage or not? if its hard to find pr0n, back it up on DVD if its not, just google it.

Usualy backing up onto DVDs is the right way to go, i'm not in favour of this automatic back up shit, but i'm not running a compnay that provides web and mail hosting, so backup isnt that necessary. Dont go to sites that might compromise your pc and you should be fine.
 

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Banned
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1,946 Posts
I have tried a few different methods but the one I'm using now works for me the best:

I bought a portable hard drive with a "back-up button" feature. I plug it into the USB port on front of the PC, press a button on the drive, and all the data folders I have specified are copied to the porta-drive. It takes less than 5 minutes. Then I take the drive home. We generally back up once a week, sometimes twice depending on if any work actually gets done around here.

I used to use a back script and burn to a CD but it took too long and I would get lazy about back ups. Now it is over so quick there is not much excuse. Sometimes I forget to bring the drive from home but that's about the only problem.
 

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Wanna come over for lunch
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208 Posts
External usb hard drive and windows backup scheduled to run at night.
The backup can pull data from the other computer over the network.
Set it up as a differential backup so it just pulls files that are new or changed.
 

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rain? whats that!
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5,834 Posts
I had two drives (not raided) when the motherboard shorted out (bad caps).
LUCKLY the drives were not affected, DEFINITELY get an external, removeable, disconnectable drive.

Oh and dont do back ups during an electrical storm :p (akin to not eating yellow snow)
 

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banned user
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6,255 Posts
I take a digital picture of my computer daily and have them developed once a week and stored offsite.
 

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Happy Camper
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2,698 Posts
Costco has one of those one-button backup USB drives. Just press the button whenever you want to back up your machine. Easy setup, easy backup. You could probably automate it so it runs on its own.
 

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Formerly kanelupis
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5,252 Posts
cheapest is DVD backup.
second cheapest is external drive
then comes raid (new mobo and drives)
or for the power downloader, tape drives (SDLT Spec 2 or spec 3 if you can find it)
 

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Gear whore
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2,922 Posts
+1 for setting up raid 1

the toughest part would be to get it working, but it does require buying a motherboard capable of doing so, and 2 identical hard drives.
 

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... as in "off my bike?"
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397 Posts
You shouldn't need any new hardware to do software RAID, as long as you have at least two hard drives in one machine. They don't even need to be matching. As long as you're running an NT-based Windows version (NT4, 2000, XP, 2003), or Linux, it should support it. Much cheaper and more flexible than hardware RAID, with only a marginal performance hit compared to hardware RAID (can still be faster than non-RAID though).

Start -> Programs -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Storage -> Disk Management
 

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Fastronaut
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6,508 Posts
You're focusing on the negative. If you do crash you'll have a ton of space to install new stuff. Also you'll be able to say " I don't have it, I never saw it " with real authority!

I burn anything vital to a CDRW, and let the rest be.
 

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SuperStyling
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3,098 Posts
Fell said:
You shouldn't need any new hardware to do software RAID, as long as you have at least two hard drives in one machine. They don't even need to be matching. As long as you're running an NT-based Windows version (NT4, 2000, XP, 2003), or Linux, it should support it. Much cheaper and more flexible than hardware RAID, with only a marginal performance hit compared to hardware RAID (can still be faster than non-RAID though).

Start -> Programs -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Storage -> Disk Management
You can only setup RAID-1 with Windows Server 2003.

With Windows XP Pro, only RAID-0 can get set which gives you faster drive performance only not redundancy. Although RAID-5 (like RAID-0) could be set up by using a hack which gives you faster drive performance and redundancy. I don't think you could do it with RAID-1.

But keep in mind, any updates with Windows might overwrite your hack, thus inoperable drives.

Just go on ebay and buy a Promise Raid card. It is very cheap. about $40 total with shipping, I just got one last week. @NCIX is like $100. Hell!
 
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