The Unwound Third > Jam Session

Backup your backup

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Now that the crisis passed... (Famous last words...) --But seriously, now might be the time to give the DW tech support people a call and describe the problems while they are fresh in your mind. --And ask if DW could have saved you some time and trouble. They've probably heard it all by now and just might give you honest and accurate information about whether or not their product would have been useful in your specific circumstances. It wouldn't hurt to ask.

I don't know what it costs these days, but it was somewhat pricey when my son first bought it. I thought it was a video game given the name, but he set me straight.

DW is $120 from their site.

That sounds about right. I think my son paid $99, but that was perhaps close to ten years ago. $120 is not exactly small change, but if it saves you  the time and headaches involved in rebuilding your system from the ground up, then it's worth it.

I'm on the PC side and use Acronis TI to create backup images of my HDD as well as clone my primary drives so I can just pop in a spare if one goes south on me. It's like what Dave Barry said when asked why he always packs a couple of spare aquarium filters whenever he summits Everest: "Better to have 'em and not need 'em than to need 'em and not have 'em."  ;)

Here's my process:
1) Paranoid me keeps all his data on a NAS drive with RAID to prevent against hardware failure.
2) This NAS is then regularly - about every three months, I don't gather that much new data really - backed up onto external USB hard drives.
3) I copy the actual files - using a program to mirror, but the actual usable files are on the external drive (=no backup archive, it's MP3s and JPGs, etc.)
4) Each of those hard drives is then copied again.
5) One backup I keep, the other backup lives in my dad's house.
6) For anything short-term, I rely on DropBox, Google Drive, iCloud.
7) 100% separation between work stuff and private stuff.

In my case, I'm not worried about the system as such, if that needs to be rebuilt so be it. I'm worried about 20+ years of digital music collecting and tons of photos and videos. I have had a laptop die on me, I have had a NAS harddisk die on me, I have had a backup drive sitting for too long and being corrupted... I have always had a relatively recent backup.

Definitely a good strategy and plan for data preservation, DerZauberer. Being aware that the backup hardware (HDD) can age out and fail, and that keeping one's backups only in one location--"keeping all your cookies in one jar"--doesn't provide adequate protection, is great advice as well. Thanks for the thoughtful post.


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