Question Best way to use my backup drive?

jinchuriki

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Sep 9, 2018
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Hey, I just bought 2x8TB hard drives, I plan on having 1 as a backup drive in case of failures.
Here are the options I thought of:
  1. Having both drives always connected, and periodically backup from one drive to the other while the backup drive is on idle.
  2. Having one drive connected and 1 drive disconnected, and periodically connect just to backup and disconnect.
  3. Same as the option above, but after backing up leave the backup drive connected and disconnect the drive we backed up from(in short - switching between the working and backup drive).
  4. using RAID1, which is similar to option 1, but it's just not really a backup, but RAID1.....
I know I might be overthinking this, but I'm just trying to same myself from trouble if possible in a few years.
Just want to note, I'm not really speaking about ransomware or anything like that, just hard drives lifespan.

Thanks for the help.
 

Math Geek

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the reason to leave one disconnected is in case of mega virus or other thing that renders all drives useless. the unconnected one is now your means to get back up and running. this is why folks use externals or a NAS type thing for back-ups.

it is unlikely both will simply fail and the back-up sitting idle and doing nothing makes it even less likely to have any issues.

swapping back and forth really does not lower potential issues any so though it is not hard to do, it serves little purpose overall other than to keep testing that your back-up is bootable.

if you engage in risky behavior and have issues with malware, then keeping one unconnected is probably the best idea. if you stay safe and avoid the temptations of the darker side of the web, then leaving the second one connected and idle is good enough.
 

jinchuriki

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the reason to leave one disconnected is in case of mega virus or other thing that renders all drives useless. the unconnected one is now your means to get back up and running. this is why folks use externals or a NAS type thing for back-ups.

it is unlikely both will simply fail and the back-up sitting idle and doing nothing makes it even less likely to have any issues.

swapping back and forth really does not lower potential issues any so though it is not hard to do, it serves little purpose overall other than to keep testing that your back-up is bootable.

if you engage in risky behavior and have issues with malware, then keeping one unconnected is probably the best idea. if you stay safe and avoid the temptations of the darker side of the web, then leaving the second one connected and idle is good enough.
Thanks for the comment! :)
Thought I don't think I'm really on the safe side of things(I do use torrents and stuff like that), I've never had any issues for the past decade or so of using that, so that's not really a concern to me.

I'll probably just have both drives connected, thanks!!
 

USAFRet

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Basic concept of a backup routine - 3-2-1

3 copies of anything you don't want to lose, 2 different media, 1 offsite or otherwise disconnected.

Not having any "issues" in the last decade does not mean it can't happen tomorrow.
 

jinchuriki

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Basic concept of a backup routine - 3-2-1

3 copies of anything you don't want to lose, 2 different media, 1 offsite or otherwise disconnected.

Not having any "issues" in the last decade does not mean it can't happen tomorrow.
And if the drives would be in a NAS server and I'll only access it as a network drive? It's not that big of a deal connecting/disconnecting every so often, but that would just makes life a little easier.
Thanks.
 

USAFRet

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And if the drives would be in a NAS server and I'll only access it as a network drive? It's not that big of a deal connecting/disconnecting every so often, but that would just makes life a little easier.
Thanks.
My systems back up to my NAS on a schedule, depending on the system.
My main system, an Incremental every night, each physical drive individually.
The OS drive in my HTPC, once a week.
Other systems as applicable.

The NAS backs up to another volume, once a week, that is inaccessible to the PCs.
In the event of a drive fail, recover from the main backup
In the case of a ransomware that went unnoticed long enough (highly unlikely) to corrupt the always accessible data on the NAS...recover from the weekly that is accessible ONLY from the NAS.

That is all almost 100% automated.

Changed a bit since I wrote this, but thisis the basics:

And yes, I've had to use that to recover from a totally dead SSD.
 

Karadjgne

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Best way to use a backup drive is to use it regularly. Daily, bi-weekly, weekly. Being a hdd, I'd disconnect it after use, no point in the constant post/windows search always trying to access it, and as said above, if it's not connected it can't get hit by mega virus or sleeper virus etc.

It's the one drive where you can boot to command prompt, wipe out the partition (clean) the infected drive, add the backup, reboot into windows and restore the original.

Removal/install is as simple as pulling/adding just the data cable from the motherboard.
 

Math Geek

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I've never had any issues for the past decade or so of using that, so that's not really a concern to me.
the quote i love in response to this is "works every time but once" !!

i'd def keep a copy disconnected from the system in some way. be it a NAS or other option. i realize what you're backing up is likely not that important but only takes one ransomware and it's gone for good. if it is important, then it should already be kept off the system anyway in some form or another.
 

jinchuriki

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Sep 9, 2018
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Thanks for the comments, I got a question about the NAS. So if I have my 2 HDD's on my NAS, is it enough to simply unmount the backup drive instead of manually plugging it off for example? Is that safe enough?
 

derekullo

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What I would do would be to use 2 - 8 terabyte drives in a raid 1 in your computer due to if a hard drive mechanically dies a raid rebuilding is much less intrusive than pulling it from a backup.

I would also use 2 - 8 terabyte drives drives in a raid 1 on a local NAS.

Having a single point of failure in your backup never sat well with me.

Additionally you can use a backup service like Crashplan or Carbonite to backup your data.
(Can't speak for Carbonite, but I have 12 terabytes backed up to Crashplan)

This configuration satisfies the 3-2-1 backup suggestion that USAFRet mentioned above.
 
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jinchuriki

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Yes, Unmount should be fine.
That way, your Windows boxes will have zero access until you mount again in the NAS software.
Thanks :)

What I would do would be to use 2 - 8 terabyte drives in a raid 1 in your computer due to if a hard drive mechanically dies a raid rebuilding is much less intrusive than pulling it from a backup.

I would also use 2 - 8 terabyte drives drives in a raid 1 on a local NAS.

Having a single point of failure in your backup never sat well with me.

Additionally you can use a backup service like Crashplan or Carbonite to backup your data.

This configuration satisfies the 3-2-1 backup suggestion that USAFRet mentioned above.
I actually thought at first to use RAID1, but been advised to just do a regular backup instead as 'RAID1 is not a backup', even though I do think it is in a way, but that's just a pandora box which I don't think would be wise to open here ^_^
 

derekullo

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Thanks :)



I actually thought at first to use RAID1, but been advised to just do a regular backup instead as 'RAID1 is not a backup', even though I do think it is in a way, but that's just a pandora box which I don't think would be wise to open here ^_^
Raid1 is not backup but it does make restoring data much more simple.

That's why i also mentioned the local NAS backup and crashplan or carbonite.
 

jinchuriki

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Raid1 is not backup but it does make restoring data much more simple.

That's why i also mentioned the local NAS backup and crashplan or carbonite.
I already have my way of uploading important stuff to the cloud, is crashplan or carbonite any different than that? My internet upload speed is also sad, so uploading everything is not really a good option unfortunately(and I'm not even considering the costs).
 

derekullo

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I already have my way of uploading important stuff to the cloud, is crashplan or carbonite any different than that? My internet upload speed is also sad, so uploading everything is not really a good option unfortunately(and I'm not even considering the costs).
Crashplan and carbonite have no data cap so you can set everything as important if you wanted to.

I was uploading 800 gigabytes a month for my initial upload of 12 terabytes to Crashplan and so that did take a little more than a year to finish, but now I have an offsite backup.
 

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