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Teach a noob how to backup data.

Folken FanelFolken Fanel anime afWhen's KoFRegistered User regular
edited October 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm a 3rd year phd student and I've been putting off the purchase of a backup hard-drive for some time now. I've got a little extra cash to burn and I can think of no better way to burn it than to backup all my important files for school that I should have been doing for each of the last few years I've been in school. I currently use a 3 year old macbook and I bootcamp it to run vista business (I prefer snow leopard, but 2 programs very important to my studies are windows only).

Here's are my questions and concerns:

On the mac side Time Capsule seems pretty sweet, except a larger than insignificant number of reviews state that they die after 18 months. While I love the idea of backing up all my data with minimal effort, I really don't want to drop $300 on something that will break so easily, and does nothing for me on the windows side.

Does anyone here use a Time Capsule? Are my fears justified? Is there anything comparable to Time Capsule for Windows? Would it be possible to buy 1 backup hard drive and partition it for osx/windows use like I have with my macbook?

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    markpmorganmarkpmorgan Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Sweet Jesus. Buy a cheap external USB drive and use Time Machine. A PhD? Get it backed up in any way you can, and worry about Time Capsule at your leisure.

    markpmorgan on
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    finnithfinnith ... TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Before you go ahead and buy something you should examine how much data you're trying to back up. If it's important files for schools it's unlikely its over a few gigabytes. You might consider uploading it in protected RAR format onto something like Dropbox or Google Docs. If you don't feel that cloud storage is secure enough for what you're storing you can go with what markpmorgan said and just buy a cheap USB stick.

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    FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I use Time Machine and an external USB drive. Its a great no hassle option.
    However, it won't back up your Windows partition.

    While I see your concern and desire to set something up that's a one-stop option, I think your best answer here will be "Good Backup Practice". Have a couple of options, and manually backup every day. Off the top of my head, I'd suggest:

    - External HD
    - USB Stick
    - Online storage (depending on what you're backing up, this could be as simple as emailing something to yourself over gmail etc).

    The moral of the story is have multiple backups. This will always be better than one expensive solution. Make it a habit.

    Fallingman on
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    ashridahashridah Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Also consider offsite storage. Carbonite supports mac, although i've had issues recovering files from them when they've been deleted for aw hile, they're better suited to disaster-recovery than "I accidentally deleted a file two weeks ago"

    ashridah on
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    M0NSTERM0NSTER Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    just get a external hdd, Western Digital sell's their Passport's which are very good for backing up data and having a little bit of extra storage, there are also very cheap:

    that's 1.5 TB of space for only 120 bucks, can't beat it

    M0NSTER on
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