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[Raleigh] $200.00/windows backup - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Mar. 31st, 2004

08:25 pm - [Raleigh] $200.00/windows backup

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Our next door neighbor at work is a jeweller. He has a Windows system that he wants to get set up on a system of regular backups, but he's not sure how to go about it. If you're a techie in the Raleigh area who could use a couple hundred bucks to help him set it up, let me know.

Even if you're not, any tips and/or suggestions for appropriate hardware and software are welcome.

[Edit: He has a 100 GB drive that he would like to back up daily. I believe much of the content he wishes to back up consists of CAD files of jewelry designs. I think he has quite a bit of money, but no time and basic computer expertise, so it has to be dead simple.

Incorporating fishsupreme's suggestions, here's what I think I'll suggest to him:

* Buy 4 Gateway Western Digital Firewire/USB 2.0 external hard drives ($250.00 each), one for each of the following time periods:

1. daily
2. week
3. month
4. 6 months

* Buy a copy of Dantz Retrospect 6.5 for Windows (About $90.00. We use the Mac version of this, so I may be able to help him more.)
* Install on his office machine.
* Make 4 copies of his current hard drive, one for each time period above.
* Take them home and connect each in turn to his home machine. Check to make sure that the files are accessible.
* Every day, bring the "daily" drive back to the office. At the end of the day, copy/update the external drive with the contents of the internal drive. Bring it home.
* On friday of each week, swap the daily drive for the 1 week drive.
* On the 1st of each month, swap the daily drive for the 1 month drive.
* On January 1st and July 4th, swap the daily drive for the 6 month drive.

If daily backups prove too onerous, then he could do the same as above, except once/week. He says his 100 GB hard disk is full, so I'm guessing he'll want to expand it, which is why I specified the 200 GB hard disks. If he wants to save money, he could start out with 120 GB hard drives, for ~$130.00. ]


[User Picture]
Date:April 1st, 2004 01:40 am (UTC)
Depends on what he needs to back up.

Most users want to back up data -- they have a specific set of files that they want to archive. In that case, you have a variety of good options:

1.) If you're worried about technical failure only (as opposed to hardware destruction, e.g. fire), add a second hard drive and set Windows Backup (built-in) to automatically back up the files of value to you every day. Cost: $40 for a second drive.
2.) If you're worried about technical failure only and you have more than one system present, you can use Windows Backup (built-in) to have the systems back up to each other over the network. Cost: free.
3.) If you want a cheap way to make backups, buy a CD-RW drive and a CD-RW disc. Once you pick the files for a layout in your CD recording software, each day you just pop in the disc and record the saved layout -- takes only a few minutes, and each CD-RW can be reused for about two years before wearing out. Cost: $50 for a CD-RW drive, $5 for each CD-RW disc.

On the other hand, some users want to back up not just data, but a bootable system -- that is, if the hard drive fails or gets burned to a cinder, they want to be able to bring an identical system up and running overnight, with no down time. This is harder, both because it entails saving a lot more information, and because it requires saving a binary layout, not just a set of files. For this, your best options are:

4.) If you're worried only about technical failure, add a second hard drive and clone the first one onto it using PowerQuest DriveImage or Norton Ghost. Cost: $40 for the drive, $70 for PowerQuest DriveImage.
5.) If you don't mind dead... slow... speed you can use a tape drive. They're not that expensive, and you can take the tapes with you to protect from hardware destruction. This is the traditional "backup solution", and they tend to come with adequate software.
6.) Finally, the deluxe solution is a portable USB hard drive. Back up your entire drive, once again using PowerQuest DriveImage or comparable software, in ten minutes, then take it home with you. Cost: high. $170+ for the portable USB drive, plus $70 for DriveImage.
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[User Picture]
Date:April 1st, 2004 03:05 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! That's awesome. I incorporated your suggestions into an edited version of my post.
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