Question How to backup my external USB drive

Sep 18, 2023

I recently bought a 6Tb Seagate external drive, and I think it's a good idea to have a backup plan for it. My main computer has a plan in place, but the new drive wouldn't be able to be backed up onto the same drive due to lack of space.

I have a NAS but at the moment it's pretty full. All my devices are located in my house.

I am pretty confident, but not hugely technically knowledgeable, but I would love to get ideas as to how I can find a solution to this issue.

Many thanks.
Does this 6 TB external primarily contain "original" versions of certain personal files? Is that its purpose?

Is it connected to your "main PC"...or to some unrelated PC?

It sounds like it is not itself a backup drive.

Do you have some available internal SATA ports on the PC?

I'm wondering why you bought a 6 TB external rather than a 6 or 8 TB internal.
This depends on what you're looking to do backup from:
  • Image of OS partition (to be able quickly revert to previous state - if the OS gets unable to work properly)
  • Backup of files in general.
    • you should have an idea on how often you need to do backup (i.e. how often are major canges/additions made)
    • What kind of backup, and if you have any need to keep deleted files or previous versions of files (i.e. incremental backup or use versioning feature if that exist on your chosen software)
  • And what OS, obvious - probably Windows. But I still ask because if using Linux/Unix there already exists tools to make proper backup of files in general.
  • And file system. That hdd probably use exfat, but if using a non-Windows OS - there is the question on most efficient file system for this kind of hdd (multipe choice).
Sep 18, 2023
Many thanks. I should have said, I use an iMac, so internal options are not possible.

The drive only has my archive of movie and TV show files, that are also located on my NAS (and backed up with its own 3Tb drive). I realise I have a slightly disorganised system, but it works.

I use Synology Diskstation for my NAS, and the backup plan there works fine. Should I just remove stuff from the NAS and make some space? I probably don't really need all the files I have if I thought about it - I am also in the process of trying to reduce the disk space they use, by reencoding them in Handbrake.
Ok, so you're probably using macOS. This I have no experience with whatsoever, but there should be options - you just need to investigate some time on this yourself or using a macOS specific forum to ask.

However, a quick web search reveals <URL> that you can probably using rsync on macOS as well as Unix/Linux.

There is also FreeFileSync that also runs on macOS <link>
You should have something that can hold at least all the data you want to keep, rather than have a mishmash of things spread out and trying to juggle disk space.

If it were me, I'd make the NAS is that thing that has enough storage space and thensome. Currently all of my data that I have kept fits in about 1.6TB, so I have a NAS unit that has a 4TB capacity since my data storage consumption doesn't really grow all that much.
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