Backup Solution

January 22, 2009 at 8:08 pm (Project) (, )

I recently posted about my falling out with Raid 1.  Well I now have a new backup system in place (in addition to raid).  My 1tb external hard drive arrived and I finally have it setup exactly as I want.  It took me awhile to find the programs to do what I had in mind, so I’ll pass my findings on to you.

Image Backup:  Acronis True Image Home 2009
This was an easy find.  It’s potentially the best image backup solution out at the moment.  I use Acronis to create an image of my c: drive to back up my system and program files.  I try to keep as little of my data in the image as possible, so I excluded folders like Pictures.  I’d rather have those backed up outside of an image.  Which brings me to my second tool.

File-and-Folder Backup: Second Copy 7
This tool is great.  It’s very simple and can create a perfect mirror without adding additional files like some of the leading mirroring software.  I setup a batchfile to run the backup when windows loads, so I don’t even need to have this program running in the background.  I’m glad I found this tool because the other solutions out left me disappointed.

backup

Yay for data protection!

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Raid 1 vs External Backup

January 16, 2009 at 10:28 am (Random) ()

I’ve been using Raid 1 (mirroring) in my system now for about a year.  When looking for a backup solution I chose Raid over an external backup for a couple reasons.  Raid 1 duplicates the data automatically, so I never have to worry about my scheduled backups running.  Also, the backup is always up to date.  Performance increases did not matter to me since I’m not doing any intensive computing.   Another benefit is, if a drive should fail all I’d have to do is throw in another one (same size) and the array would rebuild automatically.  Easy.

Well, recently my system has been acting wonky.  Either my motherboard or power supply (probably power supply) needs replacing.  While researching about what’s causing my problem, I began to grow concerned about my data.  If I do put in a new motherboard, there’s a good chance I’d have to recreate the array (losing all my data).  Apparently moving raided drives to another system doesn’t happen.  After learning this I immedietly backed up all my data onto an external drive.  I think the next time I build a system, I won’t be using Raid.   External backups seem like the way to go.

RAID 1

Pros Cons
  • Automatic Real-Time Backups
  • Quick Recovery from Failed Drive
  • Performance Increase
  • Difficult/Impossible to move Raid to a different system
  • Doesn’t protect against human error (accidental deletion)
  • Often requires a floppy disk when installing windows for the drivers

External Backup

Pros Cons
  • Easy to move into any new system
  • Protects against human error
  • Can easily move data while keeping your system in tact
  • Have to schedule backups, not real-time
  • Takes longer to restore if a drive fails

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