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  # 959605 31-Dec-2013 15:50
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timmmay:
jpoc: It just occurred to me that nobody thought to mention virtual machines.

Could you install linux on your desktop machine with all your disks formatted with btrfs and then run windows 7 as a virtual machine under linux. Then you could continue to do all of your work as now, under win 7 but all of your disks would be protected by whatever btrfs replication schemes you selected.


Too much hassle, thanks for the idea though.

freitasm:
timmmay: Somewhere between 2TB and 4TB, but I don't back up everything to every location.


What about my suggestion of having a NAS with mirrored 4TB drives for your backup instead of playing with Windows OS?

I have a box here that would fit, just need the drives.


Thanks for the thought, and the offer. A NAS would work for onsite disks, but I'm primarily concerned with my offsite backups.

My current plan is to get one of these dual disk drive enclosures and run them RAID1 with 2x4TB WD Red. They're compact enough to move around. When I get around to doing Windows 8.1 I can used it as JBOD and use ReFS and Storage Spaces.

freitasm: By the way, just formated all my data disk (except system disk) as ReFS on my Windows Server and recreated the mirrors.

Mirrors + Resilient File System...



My reading suggests you need to use Storage Spaces if you want error correction. ReFS will give you error detection with checksums, but not error correction.

I've started using a little program called Corz for validation, creating SH1 hashes of directories. The problem I'm running into is immediately after creating hashes on 1TB of data some files/directories are failing validation. I'm switching from SHA1 to MD5 to see if it's just a bug with the program.


I have used a tool called fastsum for several years. It's a windows program and it does MD5. The gui is shareware. I use the command line which is free.



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  # 959657 31-Dec-2013 17:30
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jpoc: I have used a tool called fastsum for several years. It's a windows program and it does MD5. The gui is shareware. I use the command line which is free.


That's MUCH better than the one I tried, thanks :)

 
 
 
 




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  # 960356 2-Jan-2014 16:52
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I'm still unsure which way I'm going hardware wise. A NAS would be a good option, but they're more expensive than simple dual drive enclosures. I totaled up my plan of NAS + 2x4TB drive and it was around $800 which made me stop and think.

I do need backup software, which is independent of the hardware. I don't just want to mirror drives, as that will mirror corruption. So what I think I want is:
- Windows based backup software, bullet proof reliability and trustworthyness
- Full and incremental backups
- Ideally some kind of error checking and correction inside the backup file, even though that makes the backup larger
- The ability to back up specified folders/files. I would rather have different backup sets, eg commercial images, personal images, personal data, etc.
- Option to back up to different destinations, eg ftp site dropbox, an online service, etc would be useful but not necessary.

Acronis reviews well, but the reviews say it's very complex.

Once I get UFB (weeks or months I think) online backup of large files may become economic by using the unmetered nights option. Still I don't know if 2-3TB online is a great solution, probably just a subset of that.

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  # 960379 2-Jan-2014 17:57
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Acronis is good for disk image backups. A bit too complex for file backups. The problem with it image backups is that you have to plan for recovery. A lot of PCs use non-Intel ethernet adapters so recovering an image over the network doesn't work too well - the Acronis environment is Linux-based so you might have even less luck getting it ready for an emergency unless you use local USB/eSATA drives instead of NAS.

I used Acronis for years and it did save me once when my HTPC drive died but at the end a fresh install wins all the time (I have all the installers for software I use).

If using a NAS for storage (or even local drives) and you want file backup, use Crashplan. It's free for local backups and it does the job well.







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  # 960382 2-Jan-2014 18:16
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I wouldn't use Acronis True Image, that's a disk imaging program. I want a proper file/folder/disk level backup program that can run on demand.

I use Crashplan already, it backs up online (paid subscription) and to a local disk. My feeling is it's not ideal for drives that are only connected occasionally and that you want to run on demand, it's better for permanently connected drives.

I'm most interested in good, professional, supported backup software made for backing up to occasionally connected media on demand.

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  # 960550 3-Jan-2014 09:53
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timmmay: I'm still unsure which way I'm going hardware wise. A NAS would be a good option, but they're more expensive than simple dual drive enclosures. I totaled up my plan of NAS + 2x4TB drive and it was around $800 which made me stop and think.


That would be about $300 for a 2 drawer NAS and $250 for each drive. You could save the $300 if you have a spare PC to uses as a NAS. There is a lot of free software to create a NAS, e.g. NAS appliances like FreeNAS which runs on a USB stick. There are many videos and tutorials to help you with setup which is relatively simple. Using a spare PC usually allows more drives too which is important because it gives you more options for data security.

Provided the PC has capacity for sufficient drives then the only cost is for the drives and cables. If your PC has enough SATA connections but not enough space for 3.5" drives then for under $70 you can get ani nternal 5.25" enclosure (with cables) that takes four 2.5" drives. The smaller drives are more expensive but use less power so this also reduces the load on the PSU.

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  # 960555 3-Jan-2014 09:59
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Have you used Windows File History? Windows can automatically save versions of your data files. It's a useful feature if you have a NAS or an external drive attached to your PC. I know that it doesn't deal with corruption but it is easily implemented and requires little or no administration once setup.



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  # 960622 3-Jan-2014 11:58
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The drives are for offsite backups, so it has to be a compact enclosure. No spare PC anyway.

I don't need a NAS at all, I just want protected storage (RAID1) and a good quality, reliable backup program. I'd prefer to buy the backup software I think, or if free it would have to be very widely used and accepted. I don't want orphaned backups.

I've never used Windows file history. I'm not sure how well it would work given it would have to be mirrored to another drive. I'm not keen on the built in windows backup, I have backups from Windows XP I can't access because Microsoft doesn't support restoring those backups in Windows 7.

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