Previous in Forum: Want to Transfer My Contacts from BlackBerry to Nokia   Next in Forum: Windows 8.1 and the Sky/One Drive
Close
Close
Close
42 comments
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: England & Ireland
Posts: 1063
Good Answers: 60

Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/12/2014 10:36 PM

I seem to be unable to back up my Dell computer on to DVD discs or flash drives, without getting error messages and am wondering if I should chose an online back up service. Looking at a 2 year old article that I have, I see Amazon, Dropbox, Google & Skydrive as possible contenders. I have a Dell Inspiron, about 5 years old, with Windows 7 & the disc reads "153 GB free of 218 GB." Can anyone suggest a good and reasonably priced service to use. It's for personal use only and content includes many photographs and some stored music.

Register to Reply
Pathfinder Tags: computer back up Online Storage
User-tagged by 1 user
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".
5
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 42296
Good Answers: 1663
#1

Re: Backing up my computer online - advice please!

03/12/2014 11:00 PM

Get an external hard drive. For $50.00-$100.00 you will get tons of memory and personal security. It's there when you need it, you can use it if your computer dies and you get another one, and it wont' ever go out of business and lose your data.

Whatever you do, don't back up to the cloud. That's like the old time party lines we had with phones. How do you ever know who has your data?

I back up to two different external drives regularly.

Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 5)
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 31320
Good Answers: 1733
#3
In reply to #1

Re: Backing up my computer online - advice please!

03/13/2014 12:13 AM

Ditto...I do the same...You should use windows backup instead of Dell Datasafe, that's how they get you.....

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-performance/windows-back-up-versus-dell-datasafe-local-back-up/9231b20e-d306-404f-a917-53d8e0d433f2

__________________
Break a sweat everyday doing something you enjoy
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: England & Ireland
Posts: 1063
Good Answers: 60
#5
In reply to #1

Re: Backing up my computer online - advice please!

03/13/2014 9:21 AM

Thanks lyn. My only concern is that I would be backing up to another hard drive that would be as vulnerable to failure just as my Dell drive is. Doubtless modern drives are more reliable, but having had 2 hard drive failures previously on my old IBM ThinkPad, I was thinking that an on-line system would avoid this potential disaster. But I take your point on data mining - our world is becoming some crooked that we are at the stage where no-one can be trusted.

Register to Reply
2
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 42296
Good Answers: 1663
#6
In reply to #5

Re: Backing up my computer online - advice please!

03/13/2014 9:36 AM

I'm sure many will say that off-site storage is fine.

I don't trust this cloud thing and some storage businesses have already failed leaving their customers without support, or refunds.

I have two separate external drives and only use them for back-up. That's the ONLY time they are powered up and used. Otherwise, they are in boxes. My IT professional suggested that they never be left connected and running.

Good Luck.

Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: England & Ireland
Posts: 1063
Good Answers: 60
#7
In reply to #6

Re: Backing up my computer online - advice please!

03/13/2014 10:10 AM

Good points.

Register to Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Safety - ESD - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Near Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 50.390866N, 8.884827E
Posts: 17996
Good Answers: 200
#13
In reply to #5

Re: Backing up my computer online - advice please!

03/14/2014 5:39 AM

Both at the same time?

To the OP:-

Its still the best way to backup though via USB3.0 for speed if possible.

I bought a "plug-in" unit that accepts any SATA hard disk 3.5" or 2.5" (I actually bought 2 for obvious reasons!) and I have 3 x 2TB Hard Disks, but I do have a lot of data to keep safe.

If you can get a good deal on say some quality (not IBM! But they belong to Hitachi now anyway) drives, check magazines for tests. You don't need 7,200 RPM really, 5,400RPM will be quieter and possibly cheaper....

You need at least two drives and each one needs to have ALL your important data.....which software you use is your choice, the free ones are usually crap. Look at online tests from magazines....You could even use MS Backup if it happens to be included with your OS (assuming Windows!) I haven't used it myself, maybe someone here can help on that point?

Most modern disks use S.M.A.R.T. data which tells you how healthy your disk(s) are, so get some software to check all your disks regularly for such infos....make sure that your disks don't overheat, ones in boxes usually do.....which is why I use such ones like this (I took all mine OUT of their original boxes!), it helps to keep the disk cool (it should not get hotter than you can comfortably touch, use a fan if needed in summer):-

__________________
"What others say about you reveals more about them, than it does you." Anon.
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1449
Good Answers: 30
#14
In reply to #5

Re: Backing up my computer online - advice please!

03/14/2014 6:12 AM

If you worry about a second hard drive also losing data then you need a RAID box. My backup is a Netgear box of 4 drives attached to my network, running RAID5. I can remove any failing drive and replace it, with the data being backed up from the other 3. I don't expect to lose any of that data unless the entire box suffers a disaster.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Earth - I think.
Posts: 2143
Good Answers: 165
#2

Re: Backing up my computer online - advice please!

03/13/2014 12:03 AM

Ok. First off, what are the error messages? Sometimes you will get an error message that a filename/path is too long. That is because of length limits on paths and filenames .

Second: IMHO Lyn is right. I will always opt for local storage/backup over something I have NO control of at all.

I am OCD about backups. I have a 1TB Western Digital NAS (Network Access Storage)drive, and two 1TB USB 3.0 drives. But then I am backing up my laptop, my wife's laptop, and my daughter's laptop.

One other thing to think about: How fast is your internet connection? USB 2.0 (which is probably what you have on your computer), runs at ~12Mbit/s. I really doubt your internet connection is anywhere near that fast.

__________________
TANSTAAFL (If you don't know what that means, Google it - yourself)
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC USA
Posts: 13529
Good Answers: 467
#4

Re: Backing up my computer online - advice please!

03/13/2014 5:47 AM

I got Carbonite.

I haven't had to use it yet, but it was $50 a year, and I got a 3 year contract.

The other ideas sound good too, but I like not having to think about it at all, and having everything stored off site has other advantages...like being able to get back years worth of pictures, in case of a house fire.

__________________
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Ben Franklin
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1296
Good Answers: 102
#8

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/13/2014 10:58 AM

I agree with lyn. I currently have 2 Western Digital USB external hard drives that I use for back up and extremely large files (movies, mostly). I have burned over 100 old movies and TV series on DVD's, which makes them loan-able and usable on old DVD players, but it would have been quicker and cheaper to save them on an external hard drive. And more reliable, too, I think. I don't think DVD-R's (or flash drives) are as permanent as people would like to believe.

Some of their drives come with Acronis, which allows you to backup and restore your system image.

There are also drives, WD has changed their naming from NAS to 'Personal Cloud', that connect via ethernet vs USB. They also have automatic back-up scheduling.

The only advantage I see of 'cloud' storage is the security of off-site backup, in case of fire, flood, etc. Even this could be covered with a small fireproof safe, I would think.

Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - Old Salt Hobbies - CNC - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Rosedale, Maryland USA
Posts: 5198
Good Answers: 266
#9

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/13/2014 12:00 PM

You seem to expect hard drive failure. If you have a hard drive failure a back-up will not have all the files necessary to restore the OS to the new hard drive get you up and running. With out the OS how would you gain access to the cloud.

Lyn suggestion of an external hard drive is the best way to go. You want to not just back up your HD but make a image of your HD to a separate partition on the external drive.

__________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in a pretty, pristine body but rather to come sliding in sideways, all used up and exclaiming, "Wow, what a ride!"
Register to Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Fans of Old Computers - PDP 11 - New Member Technical Fields - Architecture - New Member Hobbies - HAM Radio - New Member

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 2168
Good Answers: 70
#10

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/13/2014 10:42 PM

My brother-in-law swears by Carbonite but I refuse to put my data "out there". I do the same as the others and have redundant external drives. One is kept here at the house but readily available in case of fire and the other is stored off site. They are backup only so have extremely low duty cycles. The MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) on most drives these days is in the many 10's of thousands of hours...like 30 to 50K hours. Running them a few hours each month means they should be good for a few years.

__________________
Tom - "Hoping my ship will come in before the dock rots!"
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Where the sun sets on OZ
Posts: 1367
Good Answers: 27
#11

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/13/2014 11:39 PM

I understand your concern with hard drives being as how they rely on a stylus and spinning disk. One drop and... BUT now there are SSD ( solid state drives ). They are typically of low capacity but that is probably still more than you need.

Jim

__________________
Where's the KaBoom? There should be a KaBoom!
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Phnom Penh
Posts: 4019
Good Answers: 102
#12

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/14/2014 1:01 AM

Email your confidential or important stuff to people you trust and ask them to keep it for you....eg I used to email files back to my HO when I was in the field just in case.

As others have said you need to have a backup for your backup. If you are still worried then the cloud is fine.

__________________
Difficulty is not an obstacle it is merely an attribute.
Register to Reply
Guru
United States - Member - New Member Engineering Fields - Mechanical Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Petroleum Engineering - New Member Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Spring, Texas
Posts: 3403
Good Answers: 149
#15

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/14/2014 7:29 AM

The courts have ruled that any data shared with a third party and not under your personal control is no longer subject to fourth amendment protections, therefore if you back up your data on someone else's server the CIA/NSA/FBI/DHS and every other alphabet agency can root through it at will without a warrant.

I would suggest going down and buying an external HD and backing up to that. you can get an external Terabyte drive these days for practically nothing.

__________________
Who is John Galt?
Register to Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Nuclear Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Louisville, OH
Posts: 1549
Good Answers: 29
#16

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/14/2014 10:25 AM

I've been using Acronis obtained from Gene Barlow in Nevada or Utah. Better service than from Acronis directly. At a computer support group meeting a free one from GFI was demonstrated; looked good, but I have not used it.

Off-site storage of the backup-only external hard drive is definitely recommended--I need to do it that way myself! Taking the drive to a non-attached garage should do the trick. Elsewhere, such as a bank vault, would of course be better, but accessibility would suffer.

I have another external hard drive to put my photo archive on. Size needed would depend on your needs; mine are not large at this point.

__________________
Lehman57
Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 293
Good Answers: 3
#22
In reply to #16

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/14/2014 3:45 PM

You can also download for free versions that are a bit crippled for Western Digital and Seagate. To use the software you must have one of those drives in your computer. You can upgrade to the full-blown version for less following this route.

Acronis is widely concidered the best at this time.

Register to Reply
3
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Phnom Penh
Posts: 4019
Good Answers: 102
#17

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/14/2014 10:40 AM
__________________
Difficulty is not an obstacle it is merely an attribute.
Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 3)
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: England & Ireland
Posts: 1063
Good Answers: 60
#18
In reply to #17

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/14/2014 11:09 AM

Hilarious!

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Phnom Penh
Posts: 4019
Good Answers: 102
#24
In reply to #18

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/14/2014 11:12 PM

Sure is.

The first time I enjoyed that piece was when it was shown as a training video at work.

Mr Clease and his team do some good OSHA videos too.

__________________
Difficulty is not an obstacle it is merely an attribute.
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 42296
Good Answers: 1663
#21
In reply to #17

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/14/2014 12:57 PM
Register to Reply
2
Power-User

Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 293
Good Answers: 3
#19

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/14/2014 11:30 AM

Funny how all your advice is so one sided. They are all correct! There are many reasons why you should keep your own data. Just because a salesman says your data is safer with his company doesn't make it so. I know from stories that is a lie. My favorite is about Microsoft. Maybe 8-10 years ago they must have had a total failure of Hotmail/msn cloud. No one got their data back. They refused to recognize there was a problem. They blamed the customer implying that their case was unique so they must be the problem. These included commercial accounts where MS maintained complete company's email. Do you really think Carbonite is more reliable than MS? Corporations were given a free year if they complained enough.

You can't backup your hard disk the way you are trying to do it. CD and DVD folder rules are more limited than hard disk folder rules. You must upgrade before you will have success.

My suggestion is buy a reliable hard disk like this and put it in a high end box. What makes it high end, a little more robust power supply. Hard disks will live a great deal longer if they have all the power they need. I recommend WD because I highly recommend their backup software and they are the most reliable HD followed closely by Seagate. It allows a complete disk backup which includes the MBR (Master Boot Record) half the time your HD dies it is because the MBR failed. It stores the back up as an image so the copy is exact. I suggest buying up to a 2 TB HD in an attempt to double or triple the volume you want to back up. I will explain later.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?gclid=CM3A0I2Tkr0CFRQaOgodLhMAWA&Item=N82E16822236339&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleAdwords&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleAdwords-_-pla-_-All+Desktop+Hard+Drives-_-N82E16822236339&ef_id=Ud60XAAAAKZurmWU:20140314133908:s

and this Vantec NexStar 3.5" HDD Enclosure I like this better than Andy's suggestion even though I have one of those and 2 NextStars. Andy must be handy around a computer and needs massive space.

https://www.google.com/search?q=pc+retro&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=com.frontmotion:en-US:unofficial&client=firefox-a#q=Vantec+NexStar+3.5+esata&rls=com.frontmotion:en-US:unofficial&tbm=shop&spd=5751285650523668436

or if you would only want new and would never use eSATA

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?gclid=CLT10P6Ukr0CFe87OgoddX8AEQ&Item=N82E16817392020&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleAdwords&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleAdwords-_-pla-_-External+Enclosures-_-N82E16817392020&ef_id=Ud60XAAAAKZurmWU:20140314134733:s

These are only guidelines but the compete setup runs about $70 + S&H. Less than a year's subscription to web backups?

Download this backup software for no charge if your HD is a WD

http://support.wdc.com/product/downloaddetail.asp?swid=119

Why? The biggest problems with backups is they often fail when you need them. 10 years ago I read a survey that your last backup copy is useful is about 50% of the time. Putting them on a cloud probably will not help. I do not trust externals since I still remember when the REAL life expectancy was about a year. They have gotten much better but I bet they still use off brands since opening the box voids any warrantee. I had a friend who was plagued with dying external backups. He resisted taking my advice because he feared he wasn't handy enough to put together his own external drive. I had to promise not only would I pay for a new drive if my suggestion didn't last 5 years and that if he couldn't put it together he could send it to me and I would do it. That was over 5 years ago so I am off the hook. The process requires a small Philips screw driver to take out 2 screws. The housing slides off. You slide the HD on a track and it is guided into all the connections perfectly by just pushing the drive 'home'. It doesn't take a minute except for the screws. I prefer the eSATA connection for full backups because that runs at internal speeds that are more than 10 times USB2. The drawback is the connection must be made before the computer starts up since the computer recognizes your disk as an internal drive. Other backups can be made using the USB connection, which can be plugged in or removed at any time. A convenience using a box like this is you can have more than one internal drive. After making a full back up you have the option of replacing that HD with another. There is NO WAY that disk will get corrupted by malware or get damaged from a power surge or a brown out. It is infinitely more secure than on a cloud. If your internet provider has data caps you avoid those problems. Most data caps can be met with a full backup if you have a good deal of data. Mine would require several months' worth of data. What would happen if I needed that data???? I would be screwed!

I would keep more than one back up of your computer. I would make 2 consecutive full back ups. The first I would not touch. Some times when a hard disk is failing the backups become unreadable. If you are using the cloud you are probably toast! If you have room, you maintain 3 backups. You never touch one which is your 'last resort'. You do not even touch your last back up for about 20-30 backups then you switch. If your HD fails in such a way that your current back up is unreadable you have an older one that ought to be good. This will also be super useful after you discover you lost/deleted/corrupted a needed file a couple of weeks back. It ought to be in that other back up.

You can make your own rules to suit your business but I hope you now understand the basics how to cover your ass with backups. I have HDs that are 10 yrs old. I have never had a hardware failure of a HD. I have had MBR failures. Those are user error/software failure or success if the software is malware.

I contend making a backup then butting on the shelf is a must for a new computer. Re-imaging is the only way to remove stealth malware. A large protion of malware is undetectable by malware scanners.

Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 2)
Guru

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: England & Ireland
Posts: 1063
Good Answers: 60
#20
In reply to #19

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/14/2014 12:30 PM

Thank you so much for your valuable input. In fact, thanks to all of you! I'm now convinced that the storing back-up on the internet is too risky, despite the apparent advantages of there being no hardware involved.

One of you asked me what error messages I have received whilst trying to back-up - frankly, I've forgotten, it was so long ago - that's what worries me - no back-up for far too long.

Register to Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Safety - ESD - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Near Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 50.390866N, 8.884827E
Posts: 17996
Good Answers: 200
#25
In reply to #19

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/15/2014 7:00 AM

Some good sage advice many thanks, but a few of the most important things with regard to data safety and data throughput that you seem to have forgotten to mention can be read here, with references to information sources. I also believe the WD are possibly the best drives around too:-

1) Disk cooling is VITAL for longevity, any enclosure still needs a way of removing heat correctly from the drive mechanics. The slower drives generally get less hot, but in a non ventilated closed space, the life expectancy of even a cooler drive can be seriously reduced. Which is one of the reasons I prefer those open interfaces either SATA or USB, both are available on ebay for example. With the "educated finger", I can check as to how warm a drive is very easily......cheap too!!

Furthermore they can be easily put away when not needed, a further plus.

If a drive gets too hot (or cold!) data can be written "off-track". This data can be with some cheap, old, damaged drives, be difficult to read back.. It happens far less nowadays. The drive electronics do not liked being "cooked" for long periods either.....

WD themselves correctly mention on their website that their own desktop drives should not be put into enclosures with other drives! But the all of the real reasons are not stated!!!

Here is what WD says on its webpage (as do most disk drive manufacturer!!) It skates around the real problem very diplomatically......but end effect is that reliability is not as good....so you need to pay up to US$250 for RAID compatible drives, PER DRIVE!! from WD! Its normal and correct, but who understands that?

They say and I quote:-

Desktop drives are not recommended for use in RAID environments, please consider using WD Red hard drives for home and small office 1-5 bay NAS systems and WD Enterprise hard drives for rackmount and >5 bay NAS systems.

2) USB3.0 is fast and for the non expert, far easier to use than SATA and enclosures, no screwdriver needed for example!!!! Also, the interface type that I use is available in both USB3.0 and SATA formats from many different manufacturers for very little money and each can read the data on a disk (even when written on other interfaces, other PCs) with no problems at all.....I always recommend NTFS format for safety and only S.M.A.R.T. compatible drives.

Here is a current speed chart for various Disk Drive interfaces over many years (note they are all MEGABIT speeds, so divide by 10 for MEGABYTE speeds...:-

  • USB 1.1 = 12 Mbit/s
  • Firefire 400 = 400 Mbit/s
  • USB 2.0 = 480 Mbit/s
  • FireWire 800 = 800 Mbit/s
  • USB 3.0 = 5 Gbit/s
  • eSATA = Up to 6 Gbit/s right now as it depend on the internal SATA chip

Therefor the actual difference in speed of the interface alone is only theoretically around 20% between USB3.0 and eSATA. Most people won't notice the difference as the (lack of) speed of the drive itself has FAR more effect.

If you go onsite at WD (other manufacturers are much the same) THEY ONLY TELL YOU HOW FAST THE INTERFACE IS, NOT THE DRIVE ITSELF!!!! Look here for example:-

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=20

You have to search long and hard for facts about REAL drive speed!!! I gave up!!!

So I went to Tom's Hardware here for the REAL facts:-

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/hdd-charts-2013/benchmarks,134.html

The average data read throughput (in normal usage) of the fastest Hard disk Tom tested was a genuine 164 MegaBytes per second.........THAT'S SLOW MAN!!The same drive peaked at 209 MB/sec under the best possible conditions...

The "Write through average" was surprisingly about the same as the read average....which is a really good value to my mind. Other drives may be far slower....

So the higher interface speed is nice to have, but it does not tell the REAL story.......the same drive on either a USB3.0 or an eSATA connection, will in general deliver about the same speed, assuming that the interface builders have done a halfway reasonable job!!!

There is a good explanation of SATA here if anyone is interested:-

Serial_ATA

Which states that the theoretical maximum throughput (of which none of the single drives sold at any price can achieve today!) is therefore 600 MBytes/Sec. (6000 MBits/sec). In comparison to USB3.0 which is only 500MBytes/Sec.........

So with EITHER interface, the drive should work at IT'S maximum possible speed all the time.....

3) If full(er) usage of say a USB3.0 or a SATA interface is needed, a RAID system is a requirement at this time. There are RAIDs with only two drives, but data safety is minimal. You need at least 4 drives to even start to get proper data safety with RAID.

Using the correct drive types as recommended by possibly the best hard disk company (WD), that is probably close to US$1000 if bought new.....not including the box and interface!!!

There are plenty of 4 x Drive RAID systems about for less than US$500 , but none of them use drives specifically built for RAID usage......"you pays your money and you makes your choice".

Some do not have cooling or temperature sensing/warning either....

Many companies claim to have RAID 5 working on 4 drives, but it goes against what many TOP experts say (look on line with a google argument of "4 drive raid 5").

Many people believe they are safe with such a system (I believe you mentioned that too!), but that is not a given!! They MIGHT be, or they MIGHT NOT!! Nobody really knows till it breaks!!!

To help with RAID throughput calculations, there is a RAID performance calculator that I used recently here:-

RAID Performance Calculator

I calculated 4 FAST drives at 160MB/Sec with RAID 5 and parity (just for fun, Its not a good idea really!), the maximum performance possible comes out at about 400MB/Sec, so even that would not get to the theoretical top speed of either SATA or USB2.0!!! And it would be VERY expensive if done properly!!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If anyone is wanting to learn more about hard disk performances, a good start can be made on Wiki.

For those wanting to backup data, he or she must evaluate their needs and the amount of money their have available and trim to fit!!! A good full 100% system is not cheap....

Best of luck to all concerned and be "Data Safe".....as well as making sure you fully understand cost, performance and as well as safety at all times.....

If I can help anyone further, please simply ask.......all suggestions here are good, they just need to be read carefully and understood.....many don't do either....

__________________
"What others say about you reveals more about them, than it does you." Anon.
Register to Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Nuclear Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Louisville, OH
Posts: 1549
Good Answers: 29
#26
In reply to #25

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/15/2014 10:48 AM

Andy, 2 questions:

Which is one of the reasons I prefer those open interfaces I'm not familiar with the term "open interfaces." Please explain for dumb me. The external hard drives I'm familiar with (cheapies) come in plastic boxes.

If a drive gets too hot (or cold!) data can be written "off-track". I need some clarification here too. I think you mean the temperature when used. When I start doing off-site storage of the backups, the easiest place is the non-attached garage which will be very cold (this winter especially!) or hot. Does this damage the disk or data? I suspect not if allowed a couple of days to come to room temperature before using.

Thanks.

__________________
Lehman57
Register to Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Safety - ESD - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Near Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 50.390866N, 8.884827E
Posts: 17996
Good Answers: 200
#27
In reply to #26

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/15/2014 2:26 PM

If you looked at a previous post of mine there is a picture, it shows a small plastic box, with a slot on the top, that allows you to place the interface end of a sata disk, 2.5 or 3.5 inch, both will fit.

The box ill have either a USB2.0, or USB3.0 .

The rest of the drive is visible and it is cooled better because of that. As I said before, you can check the temp with a finger, it must never get uncomfortable to touch, so about a max of 40°C with my finger.....use a thermometer if you can handle very hot plates, I cannot!!! Dropped a few over the years too!! Don't use the temperature range that some manufacturers give, or you will need to buy a new drive after 2 years or so.....

Here is the picture again, cheap on ebay. This one is from Sharkoon I believe:-

Modern drives are less sensitive to temperature changes, but writing on an ice cold drive is still not a good idea......fine mechanical tolerances change with temperature.....they can usually handle a low temperature when switched off, but let them warm up before switching on.

I would never ever leave drives in a car on a cold day myself.....

Look and see what temperature range the manufacturer gives for operation, they will know best, not me.....not the storage range.....but never approach the upper figure in use....you have been warned.

__________________
"What others say about you reveals more about them, than it does you." Anon.
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Where the sun sets on OZ
Posts: 1367
Good Answers: 27
#23

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/14/2014 9:07 PM

I just checked and found out that SSD's are now available in 1TB size.

https://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=210_902_909

__________________
Where's the KaBoom? There should be a KaBoom!
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1296
Good Answers: 102
#28
In reply to #23

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/15/2014 7:58 PM

My understanding is that SSD's use flash memory. They are fast, but permanence may be questionable. If you want a second back-up medium, go ahead, but I would still have a copy on a hard drive myself.

And for back-up, ultimate speed is usually not that important.

Register to Reply
Guru
United States - Member - New Member Engineering Fields - Mechanical Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Petroleum Engineering - New Member Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Spring, Texas
Posts: 3403
Good Answers: 149
#30
In reply to #23

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/17/2014 7:24 AM

flash memory can only be rewitten so many times before it fails, so such drives are time limited, but are still more reliable than mechanical hard drives.

__________________
Who is John Galt?
Register to Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Safety - ESD - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Near Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 50.390866N, 8.884827E
Posts: 17996
Good Answers: 200
#31
In reply to #30

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/17/2014 8:16 AM

SSDs do not use such memory.....related, but not the same. So let me put this "problem" in its true perspective:-

If you look here:-

Storage-talk-understanding-your-solid-state-drive/

You will find this paragraph explains it rather well:-

So how long is long? To help users estimate how long an SSD will last, SSD vendors such as OCZ have come up with formula: a drive's life span equals its capacity multiplied by its write endurance rating, divided by the average daily writes. For example, the 120GB Vertex 3 SSD has a write endurance rating of 3,000 cycles. If you write 50GB on the drive daily, the total number of days the drive will last before becoming unreliable is: (120 x 3,000)/50 = 7,200 days, which is about 20 years. If you write an average of 100GB a day, the drive would last about 10 years.

So stop worrying about memory problems Guys with your SSD!!! It may in fact last longer than most hard disks......and remember, the SSD will still work at that point, just maybe not quite as well!!

__________________
"What others say about you reveals more about them, than it does you." Anon.
Register to Reply
Guru
United States - Member - New Member Engineering Fields - Mechanical Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Petroleum Engineering - New Member Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Spring, Texas
Posts: 3403
Good Answers: 149
#32
In reply to #31

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/17/2014 11:09 AM

er, your own link says they are NAND Flash based memories...

__________________
Who is John Galt?
Register to Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Safety - ESD - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Near Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 50.390866N, 8.884827E
Posts: 17996
Good Answers: 200
#33
In reply to #32

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/17/2014 11:18 AM

NAND Flash architecture is one of two flash technologies (the other being NOR) used in memory cards such as the CompactFlash cards. It is also used in USB Flash drives, MP3 players, and provides the image storage for digital cameras. NAND is best suited to flash devices requiring high capacity data storage. NAND flash devices offer storage space up to 512-MB and offers faster erase, write, and read capabilities over NOR architecture.

__________________
"What others say about you reveals more about them, than it does you." Anon.
Register to Reply
Guru
United States - Member - New Member Engineering Fields - Mechanical Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Petroleum Engineering - New Member Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Spring, Texas
Posts: 3403
Good Answers: 149
#34
In reply to #33

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/17/2014 11:27 AM

Yeah, I know that, but NOR architecture is not terribly common like you say, so when you speak of Flash memory, almost invariably you are talking about NAND devices. So what specifically did I write that was incorrect?

__________________
Who is John Galt?
Register to Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Safety - ESD - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Near Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 50.390866N, 8.884827E
Posts: 17996
Good Answers: 200
#35
In reply to #34

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/17/2014 11:39 AM

That it was short lived.

Its not.

Its one of those urban myths.....

As shown, they will last far longer than many believe.....in the 2 examples of 50 and 100 GB per day (wow!), 20 and 10 year projected lifespan.....'nuff said?

Few Hard disks are used longer than 10 years, mostly because they get too small.....I think SSDs will die the same way.....they will eventually be too small for the OSs in less than 10 years....

__________________
"What others say about you reveals more about them, than it does you." Anon.
Register to Reply
Guru
United States - Member - New Member Engineering Fields - Mechanical Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Petroleum Engineering - New Member Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Spring, Texas
Posts: 3403
Good Answers: 149
#36
In reply to #35

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/17/2014 11:47 AM

I said it was time limited because you could only write to it so many times, but then I further said it was still more reliable than mechanical hard drives. "Short" is a relative term, one in which I did not actually use BTW.

__________________
Who is John Galt?
Register to Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Safety - ESD - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Near Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 50.390866N, 8.884827E
Posts: 17996
Good Answers: 200
#37
In reply to #36

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/17/2014 1:39 PM

True, but by implication......you implied a life shorter than other storage......was not accurate enough for me personally. But you are right, you did not nail it down!!

I like to get such things "nailed to the wall!". It saves argument later.

Also, thats how Urban Myths get further propagated.....not good...been caught out myself a few times.....

Have a great day.....

__________________
"What others say about you reveals more about them, than it does you." Anon.
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1296
Good Answers: 102
#38
In reply to #37

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/17/2014 2:15 PM

Well, if that's resolved , I have another question/comment: since we're talking backup as opposed to routine storage, i.e. small amount of read/write with long periods of no activity, how do CD/DVD, hard drive, and flash memory compare, heck let's throw tape in there too? I think a lot of us were mis-led to believe that DVD+R's and DVD-R's were going to be usable for 40-50 years, but, short of using archive-quality disks, that doesn't seem to be the case. For many of us, the documents we are most concerned about would be family photos. What's the best long-term storage medium?

Since the technology changes so rapidly, much of the reliability quoted is based on accelerated-aging testing. Same way with LED and CFL lighting, which many are finding is not as long-lived as quoted.

BTW, is it just my imagination or has CR4 fixed/improved the time-out while composing messages issue?

Register to Reply
Guru
United States - Member - New Member Engineering Fields - Mechanical Engineering - New Member Engineering Fields - Petroleum Engineering - New Member Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Spring, Texas
Posts: 3403
Good Answers: 149
#39
In reply to #38

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/17/2014 2:31 PM

there is a further concern... hardware. Will you be able to find a drive or a machine that you can interface the drive to in 5 years? 10? 20? How many 5 1/4" floppy disk drives do you see these days? VCR's? DC-10 tape drives? punch card readers? Seen an MFM or RLL drive controller lately?

__________________
Who is John Galt?
Register to Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Safety - ESD - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Near Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 50.390866N, 8.884827E
Posts: 17996
Good Answers: 200
#40
In reply to #38

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/17/2014 2:42 PM

To answer your last question first, no, they have still not fixed it.....

Your other question(s) are VERY valid today.

Tape (only half inch tape, nothing smaller) is the best, but for many far too expensive.....what amount of money do you want to give out? How much data today?

Assuming price is a problem:-

Two Hard Disk drives and a USB3.0 interface are a cheap alternative. 500 GB to 1TB drives are cheap at this time, go for Western Digital or good Seagates....read the web Tom's Hardware for example.

5,400RPM are fast enough, quieter and cheaper.

Keep them upto date and store them in two safe but DIFFERENT locations (that makes 3 locations as your PC uses up one....).

Pick a good backup software. Use it regularly. Interim backups can be made onto quality DVDs, even on re-writable if you have the need.

Tip. Always do a full erase on RW DVDs as otherwise you can get data areas that age faster, which confuses some DVD drives - result is an unreadable DVD...

A full erase each time ages the whole surface together......not many know that!!!

Keep DVDs (and CDs) only in the drive or in the box, never sit them down anywhere else. Never store where sunlight or strong light may percolate thru either.....handle only by the edges and the hole, then you never need to clean them.

Clean wet from inside to out not radially. A mild soap can also be used - carefully.

The upper surface is the most sensitive to scratches and damage. The lower surface can be carefully re-polished - sometimes....

__________________
"What others say about you reveals more about them, than it does you." Anon.
Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 293
Good Answers: 3
#42
In reply to #40

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/18/2014 9:24 AM

WD and Seagate come with Acronis the backup leader. You have to download it from their site and it will not run if the software can't detect at least one of their disks.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1296
Good Answers: 102
#29

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/15/2014 8:08 PM

Since I've been out a couple of days, I'll take this chance to relate an old back-up experience.

A long time ago (30 years +/-), the company I worked for was just getting into the PC and networking thing. I was tasked with updating our engineering standards, and was using WordPerfect, Harvard Graphics, etc. Our IT folks assured us that our server files were safe because they were backed-up (to tape) nightly. So I didn't keep a copy on my PC. After about 2 months, guess whose server was the first to go? You got it. It was only then that they found out that the back-ups they had been making religiously and by the book could not be restored. And they refused to even consider sending the hard disk to a data restorer, even when I went to my management. That pretty much told me how much they valued my effort, and I left shortly thereafter.

Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 293
Good Answers: 3
#41
In reply to #29

Re: Backing Up My Computer Online - Advice Please!

03/18/2014 9:19 AM

50% of freshly made backups fail when needed. Right before the HD fails the backups are usually not readable. Serious backups maintain 1 copy that is 30 days out. I worked at one company where a monthly full backup was made on a new tape then archived off site and never used again. often these were the only usable backups.

Register to Reply
Register to Reply 42 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

aDIYguy (4); Andy Germany (8); bigg (4); energyconversion (4); JIMRAT (2); Kilowatt0 (1); kramarat (1); Lehman57 (2); lyn (3); ozzb (1); phph001 (1); Rorschach (6); SolarEagle (1); Tom_Consulting (1); Wal (3)

Previous in Forum: Want to Transfer My Contacts from BlackBerry to Nokia   Next in Forum: Windows 8.1 and the Sky/One Drive

Advertisement