What is the best personal data backup scheme?
March 24, 2009 12:06 PM Subscribe
My data backup procedure is in shambles. What is the best personal data backup scheme to protect my data?
posted by burnfirewalls to computers & internet (21 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
My data backup procedure is in shambles, which is partly my fault and partly some ongoing hardware issues. I'll do my best to detail the issues. I've gone through Ask MeFi but I can't find a recent, definitive answer.
I've got a Windows XP desktop, which is the only reliable computer in the house. I've attached two identical external hard drives, each 500 GB. Until now, we've (Mrs. burnfirewalls and I) been saving everything important to one of the external hard drives, and then I manually copy all of that over to the second hard drive once a week or so.
This provides no data redundancy, in the case that the files on the first drive get corrupted.
The backup is also dependent on the operator (me) not being lazy.
Compounding the problem is that my computer will routinely not recognize the USB drives - every other time my computer is booted, it hangs in BIOS loading until I unplug the drives, and I have to then unplug and replug the power cords on the USB hard drives after Windows is booted. I also have issues with other USB devices. If I don't plug my printer into the exact same USB port every time, it re-installs the drivers. The two issues may not be related, but I wanted to include relevant details and not jump to conclusions.
I also need to retrieve the files off of three old devices - an unreliable Sony Vaio laptop, an old external hard drive, and an old internal hard drive - and incorporate the files into my backup. This is not a major issue since I have external hard drives, but, again, I want to lay out the whole problem.
The things that I absolutely need to protect from hard drive failure, file corruption, and my apartment building setting on fire are my personal photos/videos, my writing, my wife's project folder, and our website backups. Commercial music, videos, and all that shit is much, much less of a priority.
So, in short, what are your recommendations for automatic backup software (points if it doesn't require me to use said backup software to retrieve files later), offsite backups, and anything else that will keep my data safe?
Money's not a huge obstacle if it means an end to my anxiety over this!