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[USB Storage] Recommend me a sort-of-heavy-duty backup solution

SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today!Registered User regular
So, my recent combination of "catastrophic SSD failure leading to total lose of boot manager" coinciding with "extremely bad time with Windows 10 reinstallation" got me thinking: yes, I can keep using AOMEI to make a half-dozen different image backups of my boot drive, and it's worked to varying degrees, but maybe this isn't an ideal solution.

I have four drives--besides my boot SSD, another game SSD, and two hybrid media drives (for old gaming/image/scan/document repository and video repository with a lot of high-quality lasersdisk rips, etc.). I have roughly 4.8 TB of data that I really like having to varying degrees, which could easily climb to 5 or 6 in time (my two media drives are 4 TB each). Since I'm not really limited by the expensive real estate costs of SSD, and I have some desk space and a APU outlet to spare, what I'm thinking would give me a lot of peace of mind is a fairly large (I'm thinking 8 TB or more) USB backup drive that I can set to automatically overnight every week or month.

Can anyone give a recommendation? I'm a fan of Western Digital (unlike the two manufacturers I've bought SSDs from, I personally haven't had a failure from them, and have used their drives many years longer), but I'm not married to the company, and I could really use a drive that came with easy-to-use, unobtrusive and (when not in use) light footprint backup software, preferably something with both a programmable timer and maybe a "HIT THIS IF SHIT GETS REAL" button. I do have 1.14 TB from OneDrive in perpetuity but I'd like to avoid cloud backup options for a variety of reasons.

Orca wrote: »
Synthesis wrote:
Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.

Posts

  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    your absolute simplest option will be something like this:

    https://www.amazon.com/16TB-Desktop-External-Drive-WDBLWE0160JCH-NESN/dp/B01B6BN1CU/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1470755513&sr=8-11&keywords=wd+my+book

    it's expensive, but has 2x 8TB drives so you can mirror, that way if one drive dies you still have a copy. You can get a model with 2x 4TB drives and use it as 1 8TB volume if you don't want/need the redundancy and save some money.

    I have zero experience with the WD backup software so I can't comment on it, what I have personally used in the past is a product called f-backup. There's a free version that has done the job for me. http://www.fbackup.com/. It lets you run scheduled backups, and you configure what you back up. I'm not going to tell you I think it is the best designed piece of software in the world, but again it does do the job for me.

    If you think you might want to back up multiple computers or have broader access to the data on the drives, you can look at a network attached storage (NAS) device. They are slightly more complicated because they live on the network instead of plugging right into a computer, but are generally a bit more flexible in what you can do with them. Again, depends on what you want to do.


    And if you don't already, I'd also recommend some kind of offsite backup of at least your most critical stuff/stuff you really don't want to lose. having 2 copies of the data that sit beside each other on a desk does you no good if your house burns down. Any good backup solution has at least one part where it is in a different physical location. My father for example, is a semi-pro photographer and has over 2TB of pictures. Those get backed up to a cloud service.

    XBL: thewunderbar PSN: thewunderbar NNID: thewunderbar Steam: wunderbar87 Twitter: wunderbar
    Synthesisthatassemblyguy
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    I'd actually looked at that drive very briefly last night, but thanks for elaborating in general.

    Presently I'm going to skip the "in case of fire" situation because 1) I live in an apartment complex, and if there was a fire of that sort I would probably not care about those files anymore and there's a decent chance I'd be dead and 2) a handful of super irreplaceable files I already have in cloud storage via OneDrive. Ironically, the "most irreplaceable data" in my life is not digital, but--like ROC passport and national identity card, my birth certificate, and the like--are sitting in a safety deposit box in another country.

    I completely understand where you're coming from, but I have that particular base covered for the time being. I probably should have elaborated: this backup is for the sort of mechanical failures that are more inconvenient than damaging--the sort of failures that you can, with some effort, at their worse recover by ripping the drives out and accessing them via another system. Which is not to say apartments don't catch on fire, and drives and backups don't simultaneously fail--both these things do happen--but I'm trying to directly address the other literal 99% of glitches that not as severe, but extremely time-consuming to fix (as I had earlier this week).

    Thank you for the suggestion, wunderbar--I wasn't completely familiar with the redundancy feature in the WD you described either.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    That's fair. Not too many people consider the "in case of fire" part of backup, so it's just something that when people ask about backups is something we'll generally bring up.

    XBL: thewunderbar PSN: thewunderbar NNID: thewunderbar Steam: wunderbar87 Twitter: wunderbar
    Synthesis
  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    If your purpose is a way to easily deal with mechanical failure, get 2 large WD red drives for your data and put them into raid 1, using the built in MS Windows raid driver.

    Use a versioning source control system, like AutoVer, to backup important directories off your boot SSD (and other drives) to your WD red raid, and setup all your drives to use Windows versioning, in case you need to recover deleted files that AutoVer isn't automatically backing up (like your music folder).

    This takes care of everything sans physical machine destruction, which requires either a fireproof safe or network NAS in a different room or off site cloud backup.

    iTNdmYl.png
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    hsu wrote: »
    If your purpose is a way to easily deal with mechanical failure, get 2 large WD red drives for your data and put them into raid 1, using the built in MS Windows raid driver.

    Use a versioning source control system, like AutoVer, to backup important directories off your boot SSD (and other drives) to your WD red raid, and setup all your drives to use Windows versioning, in case you need to recover deleted files that AutoVer isn't automatically backing up (like your music folder).

    This takes care of everything sans physical machine destruction, which requires either a fireproof safe or network NAS in a different room or off site cloud backup.

    I'm not certain I have two more free SATA ports on my motherboard (I am using five of them already), or two more additional lines from my PSU (probably do though?) That would be a lot faster than USB 3.0 though. I might be able to implement that as a USB solution.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    SATA won't be appreciably faster than USB 3.0 for spinning hard drives. A mechanical drive doesn't even come close to saturating either the 4.5Gb/s max speed of USB3 or the 6Gb/s max speed of SATA.

    The only way SATA would be that much faster is if you are saturating the USB bus on a regular basis doing other things.

    XBL: thewunderbar PSN: thewunderbar NNID: thewunderbar Steam: wunderbar87 Twitter: wunderbar
    thatassemblyguy
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    wunderbar wrote: »
    SATA won't be appreciably faster than USB 3.0 for spinning hard drives. A mechanical drive doesn't even come close to saturating either the 4.5Gb/s max speed of USB3 or the 6Gb/s max speed of SATA.

    The only way SATA would be that much faster is if you are saturating the USB bus on a regular basis doing other things.

    Ah, then I can skip that (though to be honest, I'm not sure which ones of my ports are 3.0 and which are 2.0). I'm not a SSD/minimal storage purist (especially after my most recent experience), but I've already got a decent amount of stuff inside there--two SSDs, two HDD, an optical drive. I actually have to read up on how RAID works (not to mention get a proper enclosure), though after that hsu's idea kind of falls in line with the idea of getting a really big WD enclosure.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    generally USB 3.0 ports are coloured Blue. If they aren't, they'll either be labelled beside the port, or be labelled "superspeed" or "SS" beside the port.

    But on a desktop computer the back ports will almost always be colour coded. Black is USB 2, Blue is USB 3, and if you have a newer motherboard with USB 3.1 Type A those are generally a shade of teal.

    As for buying an enclosure and putting drives in, Generally the enclosure will have software that will do that all for you in setup. Raid is pretty simple in a 2 drive type of enclosure:

    Option 1 is RAID 0, which means that data is basically alternated between 2 disks, which increases speed a bit, but if you lose one drive you lose all of the data. If you have 2 6TB drives in this setup you get 12TB of storage.

    RAID 1 is mirroring, where all the data is written to both drives. This means if one drive dies you still have a copy of all of the data. In this setup with 2 6TB drives you get 6TB of usuable data.

    The other option is called "Just a bunch of disks" or JBOD. in JBOD there isn't any of the raid stuff, it just basically combines the drives into one large volume, 2 6TB drives will get you 12TB of storage). How this is different from RAID 0 is that it is a bit slower, and if one drive dies, you only lose the data on that drive. Whatever data lives on the other drive will be fine, however you don't really control what data lives on what disk, and it depends on the controller how it does it. It may fill up one drive fully before putting data on the second drive, or it may distribute the data evenly.

    For what you're wanting I'd probably recommend RAID 1 no matter what you option you go with, that way if you have one drive that dies you still have a copy of all of the data.

    XBL: thewunderbar PSN: thewunderbar NNID: thewunderbar Steam: wunderbar87 Twitter: wunderbar
  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    Years ago, when I upgraded, my old computer had 3 internal HDs and 1 external USB HD. In the new computer, I had an SSD for the OS, and a 2 large WD red HDs in mirrored raid 1 (using Windows built in drivers). I plugged in each of the old HD drives and transferred all the folders I cared about back onto the raid 1, and retired the old drives. When I run out of space again, I'll repeat that process with even larger WD reds in a raid 1.

    Basically, instead of buying a big backup drive in an external enclosure, I bought a big internal raid 1, and put all the data from all my older drives onto it.

    iTNdmYl.png
  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    RAID 1 by itself is not a backup. You are only protected from drive failure, not accidental deletion, or malware, or corruption or any number of other things. If you lose a file fromm a RAID 1 setup and want the file back you can't get it. If you have a proper backup solution you don't lose that file.

    XBL: thewunderbar PSN: thewunderbar NNID: thewunderbar Steam: wunderbar87 Twitter: wunderbar
    thatassemblyguy
  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    I'm running AutoVer, a versioning backup, on a daily schedule, for all my important folders, onto a backup folder on my raid, with the built in MS Windows Versioning for my non-important folders (like videos and music). That pretty much takes care of my accidental deletion, changes, and corruption needs.

    This takes care of all except extreme malware and natural disasters, for which I'll need a freeNAS server in a fireproof safe in the basement, which is still on my list of "to do" projects.

    iTNdmYl.png
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    wunderbar wrote: »
    RAID 1 by itself is not a backup. You are only protected from drive failure, not accidental deletion, or malware, or corruption or any number of other things. If you lose a file fromm a RAID 1 setup and want the file back you can't get it. If you have a proper backup solution you don't lose that file.

    Yeah, everything is about compromises. As paranoid as I can be, I think I'd rather have more space for multiple backup images, than a constant backup of said backup. But that's just because of my own circumstances and the kind of failures I'm trying to insulate myself from.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
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