Forum Thread

Backup of backup HDD?

hanime 653 144 November 30, 2015 at 12:20 AM
So I have two 5TB WD external drives, currently using Drive A via USB 3.0. How do I achieve a setup where I can have Drive B hooked in and be a backup of Drive A (automatically)? In other words, a redundant or copy--both drives will have exact data. I can also take these drives out of the enclosures and hook them to the SATA ports if needed for the setup on my PC (Windows 7/10). What are my options? Thank you in advance.

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#2
For photos, I use a free program called FreeFileSync. It scans the primary drive or folder against the backup and adds accordingly. The downside is the program does not operate in real-time. That being said, I don't need something that necessarily runs in real time.

I'm mod-alerting this to move to Tech Support. They would know better.
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#3
Quote from hanime View Post :
So I have two 5TB WD external drives, currently using Drive A via USB 3.0. How do I achieve a setup where I can have Drive B hooked in and be a backup of Drive A (automatically)? In other words, a redundant or copy--both drives will have exact data. I can also take these drives out of the enclosures and hook them to the SATA ports if needed for the setup on my PC (Windows 7/10). What are my options? Thank you in advance.
Hi hanime - I have moved your thread to our Tech Support sub-forum, you will likely get some good help in this location. If you would like the thread moved back to The Lounge, please let me know.

Like Hawk2007 mentioned - do you need this to happen in real-time? You don't really need to backup A to B, just the PC to A and B. You could likely run a backup saving everything from PC to A, create a batch file to check drive A every 10 minutes and copy all files to drive B, then start another backup to drive A. There is likely a program that can do something similar automatically, but I don't know of such a program first-hand. Someone will chime in though.
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You definitely want an rsync clone to do this. No point in copying the same static files over and over if they don't change
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Quote from vivahate View Post :
You definitely want an rsync clone to do this. No point in copying the same static files over and over if they don't change
Isn't Rsync a linux thing? Robocopy would be the windows equivalent right? Ya you could schedule this.

OP: Do you have an offsite copy? What your trying to do isn't a bad idea but it doesn't protect against a local problems out of your control like Fire, Theft, Weather (Flood, tornado, etc) For this second local copy I would want it to be offline. Possibly you turn it on every week to sync and unplug it other times. This helps if say your system were to get cryptolocker. All the online drives would be encrypted, yet if your drive is offline during this then you still have an unencrypted "backup" since it was offline. Problem with this strategy is people tend to forget to "plug it in" and next time you know 3 months later you have not run it. This is one of the reasons why online is nice as it's automatic and has versioning.

One other program to consider would be Veeam Endpoint. Don't know if you could use it as an exact hot spare but with its versioning and full system it's pretty nice for free.
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Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
Isn't Rsync a linux thing? Robocopy would be the windows equivalent right?
Yes and don't know.
I do remember there was a port of rsync that included some required Cygwin libraries to make it work but I'm sure there must be a windows version of it by now.
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#7
Thank you all for your suggestions. That is true--I won't need it to run real-time, although, the more automated, the better. Also, I'm not too worried about local problems such as fire, theft, weather, etc. Will give FreeFileSync, Veeam Endpoint, and Robocopy a try.
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#8
Quote from hanime View Post :
Thank you all for your suggestions. That is true--I won't need it to run real-time, although, the more automated, the better. Also, I'm not too worried about local problems such as fire, theft, weather, etc. Will give FreeFileSync, Veeam Endpoint, and Robocopy a try.
Each to his own but I would reconsider the local threats if your storing valuable or personally valuable data.
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#9
Many people don't worry about reduntant, offsite backup until after they have lost all of their data. Frown One close lightning strike and all the electronics in your house are toast. There isn't a surge protector on earth that will protect you from that.

Be aware of one VERY important gotcha with any sync program. If you accidentally delete some (or all!) of the data on drive A, the sync program will quite happily do the same deletes for you on drive B. EEK! Poof! All data gone in an instant. Nothing beats having a real backup file. Macrium and others even offer free versions of their backup tools.

Then, to prevent complete data loss, look to online backup tools, such as CrashPlan, Carbonite, etc. Yes, they cost money. Data centers, petabytes of storage and massive bandwidth isn't free to them either. Wink For $60 per year, CrashPlan will let you backup as much data as required from one PC. It happens in near real time without user intervention.

If you're dead set on free, then CrashPlan also has a free Backup To A Friend option. Your computer can backup to a drive at someone elses house. Sibling, parents, kids, whatever. Your files are encrypted, so only you can access them and yet they are safely stored offsite.

In this age of digital everything, storing all of your info in a single place can lead to a very unpleasant day.
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#10
It does not make sense imo to overthink this. You need two copies, so run two separate backups, each a few days apart to an external drive connected via usb 3. You can use a good backup program like Shadow Protect to schedule them automatically assuming you leave your machine up and running.

If you are worried about off-site safety\fire protection and the like, then the easiest thing to do is to get a two usb 3 portable drives and backup to them and store one in a good fire safe (small ones go for around $100) . Schedule a backup periodically to one drive which is hooked up to the PC (at least once a week\every few days) and switch with the drive in the fire safe at least every other week. If you really want to protect yourself, then get a third drive and store it in a safe deposit box switching that out every few months with the one in your fire safe. If on a rare occasion you get a lot of important data you want to back up immediately, then you can always run the backup job twice the same day manually and store one in your fire safe.

Online syncing is imo not reliable for long term as one does not know who is storing your data, where or how reliable they are ultimately. And it tends to be very expensive and unnecessary. Portable drives are fairly cheap (2 TB for $100 or so, 3 TB for about $140 now as well) and a good backup program can be had for under $100.
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#11
Quote from YanksIn2009 View Post :
Online syncing is imo not reliable for long term as one does not know who is storing your data, where or how reliable they are ultimately. And it tends to be very expensive and unnecessary. Portable drives are fairly cheap (2 TB for $100 or so, 3 TB for about $140 now as well) and a good backup program can be had for under $100.
Ignoring the cost of the fire safe (since that's a good thing to have anyway) and the software since that's a fixed cost, let's assume we've got 2 2TB backup drives. The average lifespan of a consumer, external HD is maybe 5 years, so for a local setup you're paying $200/5 yrs = $40/yr for backup. That's not really that much less than Crashplan, and with Crashplan you can just set it up and forget about it rather than juggling external hard drives through your fire safe twice a week. The 2 drive setup works, I'm just not sure I'd recommend it to anyone that I didn't know would actually follow through with it.

There are other services backed by major companies like EMC (mozy) or Amazon (any of the Amazon S3 backed packages) if you're worried about a product's longevity, and there are cheaper services if you're worried about price. They all support encrypting with local keys, so you're not giving up any privacy.
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Quote from quotidian View Post :

There are other services backed by major companies like EMC (mozy) or Amazon (any of the Amazon S3 backed packages) if you're worried about a product's longevity, and there are cheaper services if you're worried about price. They all support encrypting with local keys, so you're not giving up any privacy.

He who backs up trusting someone else to maintain their privacy is just kidding themselves imo and trusting in not only the viability of the corp doing the work, but the competence and disposition of those working their as well.

Beyond the fact that a company may or may not survive long term, you also have their reliability in successfully backing up your stuff, their reliability on being able to retrieve it in a timely fashion and the fact that the data may be stored offsite and offshore and really be in the hands of third parties whose competence and intent are unknown and\or suspect. With IT being largely outsourced these days, do you really want to have your data in the hands of some IT guys in Mumbai making $10 a day or possible sitting in a facility in the middle of some industrial park in some third world, poverty stricken nation? Encryption and password protection helps but that can be compromised if they manage to get a hold of account info.

I rather have the drives and do it myself. It is not that hard or time consuming. Yes if you have someone who is technically challenged and\or super lazy then letting someone else do it for them may be a cleaner choice. One does get the level of backup and protection one pays for at a certain level though and that cost is not only measured in the cost of the service or hard ware, but the cost of the time and effort put into making sure it is done right imo.
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Last edited by YanksIn2009 December 1, 2015 at 06:34 PM
#13
Quote from YanksIn2009 View Post :
He who backs up trusting someone else to maintain their privacy is just kidding themselves imo and trusting in not only the viability of the corp doing the work, but the competence and disposition of those working their as well.

Beyond the fact that a company may or may not survive long term, you also have their reliability in successfully backing up your stuff, their reliability on being able to retrieve it in a timely fashion and the fact that the data may be stored offsite and offshore and really be in the hands of third parties whose competence and intent are unknown and\or suspect. With IT being largely outsourced these days, do you really want to have your data in the hands of some IT guys in Mumbai making $10 a day or possible sitting in a facility in the middle of some industrial park in some third world, poverty stricken nation? Encryption and password protection helps but that can be compromised if they manage to get a hold of account info.
You should back up using a key that is neither tied to your account nor ever leaves your computer [edit: aside from obviously backing up somewhere offsite. USB key in a safe deposit box, etc...]. Any of the reputable backup companies support this.

FWIW, I also keep local image backups that would be my primary recovery mechanism in the case of a drive failure. I use cloud backup for stuff that's actually important enough to save twice.
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Last edited by quotidian December 1, 2015 at 09:08 PM
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