Atlanta pc user group wednesday 9 october 2013
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Back Up Your Data. Atlanta PC User Group Wednesday, 9 October 2013. Someone once said:. If your colleagues think you are paranoid about backing up your data….. you may be doing it right, but probably not. Philosophy 3-2-1.

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Atlanta pc user group wednesday 9 october 2013

Back Up Your Data

Atlanta PC User Group

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Someone once said
Someone once said:

If your colleagues think you are paranoid about backing up your data….. you may be doing it right, but probably not.

Philosophy 3 2 1
Philosophy 3-2-1

3 copies of anything you care about - Two isn't enough if it's important.

2 different formats - Example: Dropbox+DVDs or Hard Drive+Memory Stick or CD+Crash Plan, or more

1 off-site backup - If the house burns down, how will you get your memories back?

These are not backups
These are not backups:

  • Backing up your laptop to an SD Card in the same laptop is #notabackup

  • Backing up to a hard drive that is 6 inches away from your computer is #notabackup

  • Backing up your Gmail to another Gmail account is #notabackup

  • Backing up your book by copying it to another folder is #notabackup

  • The photos that are still in your camera memory are #notabackup

Make a plan
Make a Plan

  • Take stock of your data

  • Decide how much it is worth

  • Determine the methods and frequency

  • Stick to it religiously

A plan
A Plan

  • Automatic nightly clone of entire drive to another drive.

  • Automatic versioned backups to Time Machine in basement.

  • Automatic nightly clone of home directory to Amazon S3.

  • I get bent out of shape when people whine about a crashed system.

  • Plan for it. It is inevitable. 11/16/12 1:45pm

Taking stock
Taking Stock

  • How much data do I have?

  • How much is actual data

  • How much is applications

  • How much is “meta-data”

  • How much is junk

How much is it worth
How much is it worth?

  • If my disk got “toasted” in a fire, would I pay $2,500 to have it recovered? $1,000? $500? Eh, c’est la vie!

  • Do I have 50 GB of logs that will be re-created anyway?

  • Do I need 20 versions of my documents?

  • Do I have licenses for all my software enabling me to re-install with a simple download?


  • There are many ways to think about this

  • You should use several of them in combination for your plan

  • There are also dependencies upon the type of system:

    • Windows

    • Mac OS

    • *ix

Physical vs logical
Physical vs. Logical

  • Physical takes an image of the complete disk that is ready for restoring to a new disk.

  • Physical backups do not care what is on the disk – every bit is copied to the image, even though only a fraction of the disk contains data

  • It can be compressed and encrypted for security purposes.

  • Makes for the fastest full restore

Physical vs logical cont d
Physical vs. Logical (cont’d)

  • Logical backs up only the bits that are used

  • It depends upon some sort of VTOC or directory

  • Typically the fastest backup

  • Depending upon technique, could be the fastest restore

  • Great for file versioning and old version recovery

Whole vs incremental
Whole vs. Incremental

  • Whole usually refers to logically copying a file, be it a data file or application

  • Whole also refers to the whole disk sometimes

  • Incremental refers to pieces of the file or disk

    • If a file spans some boundary, such as sectors, and only one sector changed, just copy that

    • If physically copying a disk and only one sector changed, just copy that one

Versioning archiving
Versioning & Archiving

  • Do I keep multiple copies of the file or disk I am backing up.

    • If I wish to “version” a disk, I need multiple disks

    • If I wish to “version” a file, I need extra space

  • Some allow versioning as long as there is space and then start dropping the oldest version

Operating systems
Operating Systems

  • Windows is the toughest and least flexible

  • For purposes of our discussion, you have:

    • Data – easily backed up

    • Applications – not easy if at all

    • Registry – too much hardware dependency

  • The best Windows scheme is image copying and just copying data – make sure you have your licenses to re-install programs

Operating systems cont d
Operating Systems (cont’d)

  • Mac OS X is easier to back up

    • Images work like Windows, either full disk or incremental

    • Data is clearly stored

    • Application “packages” can be copied and restored

  • For some reason there seems to be a wider choice of backup software, also

Operating systems cont d1
Operating Systems (cont’d)

  • *ix systems are not much different than Mac OS X - or should I say the other way around – Mac OS X is based upon BSD Unix

  • Application “packages” are even better maintained, for the most part:

    • Ubuntu

    • CentOS

    • Red Hat

    • About 50 others


  • Windows

    • Acronis – the best all-around image and partition management software, capable of full image, incremental, encoding, compression, and most any other feature found in any backup software. We are getting a discount code for everyone.

    • Synctoy – free from Microsoft, excellent for small volumes


  • Mac OS X

    • SuperDuper – both logical incremental image and logical files, clocks, calendars, full restore variations, encryption, compression, etc.

    • Carbon Copy Cloner – as far as I can tell, a clone of SuperDuper with all the bells and whistles

    • Time Machine (Apple) – full versioning with a space limit, one of the few that can do full disk restore, also


  • *ix

    • R is the only one I am familiar with and wish I knew more, here. It is FLOSS.


  • Carbonite – platform independent, backs up everything on your internal disk or disks – no external disks, can encrypt and has full file restore ability with limited versioning, runs in background

  • Crashplan – backs up your internal and external disks (same price), keeps five or ten versions, will restore to a specific time and date by file or complete disk, runs in background. Has a free mode where you and a friend can back up to disks at each other’s location, and a family plan for up to 10 computers.

Nass raid

  • Drobo is an example of a NAS and RAID

  • Proprietary software

  • Console monitoring

  • Multiple bays – five, up to 20 or 32 (?)

  • Each bay with different size drives up to 4 TB

  • Network support

Nass raid cont d
NASs & RAID (cont’d)

  • Multiple bay failure support

    • 1 of 4 bays, 6.7 TB available of 8 TB

    • 2 of 5 bays, about 7.5 TB of 10 TB

  • Has its own backup utility, but I did not bother

  • Platform independent

Spinrite cont d

Disk warrior
Disk Warrior

  • Boot from Disk Warrior

  • Ignores logical data

  • Builds own directory

  • Asks you to check it before putting it on the disk

  • Actually corrects some physical errors


  • Google article

    • Abstract

    • Article

  • Synctoy

  • Acronis – discount code coming

  • SuperDuper-

  • Carbon Copy Cloner -

Notes cont d
Notes (cont’d)

  • “Why You Should Always Have More Than One Backup”, Lifehacker,

  • “The Computer Backup Rule of Three”