11 Painfully Obvious Back Up Mistakes to Avoid



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Only a small amount of my files are irreplacable, most of the time in cases such as malware infection, bogged down OS, etc, I move about 10GB of files to a temporary partition and just format the rest.

All my games are on Steam, I don't have tons of music (I have a library of songs I like, rather than entire albums of artists that I like), pictures have long been archived on to DVD's, I keep movies in DVD form, or on my iPod. I use a transferal software to move files from my iPod back into iTunes after a format. Basically, a structured backup system is not something I particularly need.



There's really no reason for Windows-mostly homes to *not* have WHS running somewhere... it's dirt cheap and flat-out works (though the disappearance of drive extender does diminish the otherwise-magical quality of WHS overall). 



I'm using Acronis Backup and Recovery 10, I use it for my clients as well as myself.  I make sure that the backups get stored and encrypted onto my 500GB drive I installed just for backups and important data.  If the backup is the proper size, I will also burn it onto a DVD-DL.  In this scenario, if my main drive were to fail, I could load up a dummy copy of Windows with the software, take the backup of my computer, and image it to the new drive.  I've been thinking of taking my home server (Currently using for local storage for family members, keep files centralized) and using it as a backup server by throwing in two drives in RAID 1 through Windows.  This way, not only is the backup in another location for easy access (For me, not for anyone else), but the RAID would keep things nice and safe for the forseeable future.



Cheap and effective:

Buy $20 usb/esata multidrive dock, buy a couple of hard drives off Newegg (not seagate crap)

Make first drive bootable, boot from it esata or usb , image the whole computer.  Use second drive for random saving of data that changes, MyDocs, bookmarks, E-mail pst, music, etc...

now if your main drive dies, replace it, restore image, update important stuff and you are back in action



Once you're into the terabyte range of data, there seems no good way to create backups beyond secondary and tertiary hard drives. No one has mentioned burning data onto Blu-Ray discs, so I assume that's cost-prohibitive. I'd not use a cloud service with my Comcast cap of 250Gb/month.

I burn my music onto DVDs, and I've a couple hundred or more of those now. Music takes the lion's share of my archival data. If my hard drive got nuked right now, I'd lose a lot of music 've not processed into my permanent collection. For that reason, the only backup system that makes sense to me would be spare external hard drives I copy everything onto then store in a closet.

It kinda blows that there's no other practical media around for backing up the volumes of data we've amassed.

We're just greedy little data hogs....



I used to burn DVD's for backups (and still do occasionally) but now I just have a folder called "new" on my desktop. I fill it with whatever I'm working on or have downloaded, and it's organized into categories; music, wallpapers, videos, programs, projects and miscellaneous. I have a server strictly for backup which is encrypted, and any DVDs I burn have certain folders and files compressed into a 7z file and encrypted. I also encrypt ISOs to make them a bit smaller.

I also make backups of my profile config both in Ubuntu and Windows, and my Firefox profile too.

@aarcane: I see where you're coming from, but what if the provider changes its policy or worse, goes out of business? Safer to keep and hold on to than to be at the mercy of the content provider.



Your music and videos should not need to be backed up.  any decent electronic content provider will allow you to re-download your media (hear that, itunes users?  your provider sucks) and anything that you've ripped yourself (DVDs, CDs, etc.) is stored safely in your off-site storage unit so it can't get stolen, right?  so if you lose your music and videos, you may have a 20 hour rip-fest, but you'd probably spend that much time backing up music and movies on a regular basis anyway, so faster backups offset the maybe of having to re-rip all your movies and music.



I have a Media server that backs up to a secondary Hard Disk and then it backs up to a NAS box nightly.

I had the main terabyte HD fail and I had all my media back on line in 15 min.

I have about 800 GB of data and backups from my office pc and laptop and one backup is not enough!

I even backup my important work data (Years of Land Surveying Data)  to the office backup server which also back's up to a NAS and HD on a office PC. Which is also backed up offsite once every 2 weeks.

Hard Drives fail with ZERO warning!



Wow, I'm suprised at how many of you don't have reliable backups. I am currently using Shadow Protect to image my entire 2TB hard drive to an external drive, and also using Carbonite as an offsite solution which backs up all my 'used' files incrementaly.



I know someone who thought it would be a good idea to "back up" all her photos by converting them to video DVDs with slide shows. After she did this, she threw the original photos away.

Result: all she has now is 640x480 downsized versions of her photos, stuck in a format from which they are almost impossible to extract...

It's nice that technology has advanced us so much that even newbies can do fantastic things. Too bad it's also easier to screw up now.



she literally would have been better off just dragging the pictures to a DVD and clicking burn...  Ouch.



I don't backup often. What I do is have my movies music and pictures in one of three 2TB disks in my PC. If my boot disk (250GB WD) goes bad I can always reinstall windows and relink my media with the library feature in Win7. I have an 80GB 2.5" external HDD that I back up my MOST important files (music, documents, software, and family photos) that I manually update on a whim.


I'm looking into imaging programs but I always read mixed reviews from people; I just want something that works, period. For the moment I'm stuck doing it the hard way.



I don't backup often, but when I do, I drink Dos Equis... oh wait, what?



I guess I have a similar setup.  My boot drive is a 120GB SSD, all of my documents and games are on other drives in the computer, so if my windows install goes to shit, I really won't lose that much.



On the topic of backups: What should I do when a volsnap error deletes my System Restore data every few days?



1) back up your data to something more reliable

2) run a disk check, then reinstall windows

3) try again.



Considering I work in IT and I should know better, I really don't back up my stuff at home.  I know, it's shameful!  Nearly all of my pictures I keep in my Macbook, which I do back up to an external drive via Time Machine, and most of them have been uploaded to Flickr and Facebook, so I guess that's a psuedo-backup.  I don't back up my Windows box mainly because there's not much there that is not replaceable, I use it mostly just for gaming (although my ISP might not be happy when I have to dowload 400+ GB of Steam games!)  I have a small number of documents that are important, one being my DD-214 (proof of Military honorable discharge) that I have a digital copy that I back up.  I have another spare computer that at one point was set up with Windows Home Server...I should set that up again and starting doing backups of the windows machine.  That might be a good project for this upcoming long weekend!



I am guilty of bad backup practice myself. All I really do is make an image of my hard drive put it on an external and leave it lol. I generally did that to prepare of the situation where my hard drive dies. I backup monthly so I will be somewhat up a river if my hard drive dies late in the month and I make alot of changes to my system by then.

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