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what's the best way of having backup?

I'm about to get a new laptop and I'm currently staring at my 7 gigs of songs. I'm a constant victim of crashing/memory glomping so I want to start doing something about it. What do you think? CDs? External hard drive?
DVD's, external HD, or even partition your HD.
I beleive your best bet would be to keep backups of your songs and all other data on DVD's they can hold around 4GIG's of data where a CD can only hold 700MB, now of course in a few months there will be Blue-Ray DVD burners out that are quite expensive, but they can hold an estimated 50 GIG's worth data.

If you have a large hdd in your laptop I would recommend having it partitioned to keep your data seperate from your Operating System and Applications.

This way if you need to re-install Windows you will only have to format the partition with the Operating System and Application. Your data will be left intact.

If you would prefer an external drive instead of doing the partition on your hdd that will work just as good, maybe even a little better seeing how it will be a completly different drive physically. Although the data transfer rate will be a bit slower, unless if it is a firewire drive rather than USB.

Hope this helps!

Good luck!
Partitions are bad for backups, most of the time failure is hardware failure. I say externals! Media is good too, but it decays. I usually have redundant backups of all my really important files on all of my computers, that way I will only lose data if four (or more in some cases) computers die simultaneously, along with two externals and a flash drive Laughing
I keep all my important files on my external hard drive.
I've had hardware failure before and it really was a pain in the butt. So now my computer only contains files that are essential for making it work. Other than that it's all on my external drive.
If you've got > 1 computer and a wireless lan - set them up to talk to each other (be careful about zones - you probably want a software firewall on each box on top of your router's) and then ensure each computer has enought spare space to back up the other.

failing that external hard drive is probably the way I'd do it - I don't have a lot of faith in even good quality DVD's deteriorating over time - if you go for this approach make several copies (ideally once of a month on re-writables keeping at least 3 sets) and don't use a single re-writable more than about a dozen times
If it's just songs, then burning them into DVD would be better. U can also op for external storage like pen drive (for your case, you would need an 8GB upwards pendrive) or an external HDD. I've got a new 4GB Corsair Voyager GT and it's working great except on later versions of Window (below XP)... need to install drivers 1st.
id say the external usb drive about 200gb each costing about $200-$400 each the only thing is you should only use this for your songs, pix, ect do not install any games or apps on this drive as it could cause you to lose all of your data. Laughing
I would also recommend using an external HDD. I have a massive amount of personal data on my laptop, almost 30GB! And what I've planned to do when I get my laptop back from the repair depot is use my Western Digital 250GB drive as an external drive, and automate the backup process every few days. The reason why I didn't backup my data before is because it couldn't even boot to the BIOS.

So, it's vital you have some kind of data protection in place.
You can get externals for relatively cheap nowadays. I recommend the 500Gb WD MyBook, it is about $150 on Newegg and is one of the best you can get right now...
An external HDD that then be stored in an other building or site.

If you have a optical fiber, also you can backup from one site to another site your computer, so you don't have to carry on any physical media to restore the data.

Just a startup CD or a bootable floppy with a LAN riser, with the software that you made the backup, and you're on te go! Very Happy
Why don't you try something like Mozy, an online backup storage system. Unlimited harddisk space is very cheap for an annual price, which definitely beats the price of a hard drive, which also only has limited space. I have Mozy Unlimited and their servers are fast and the software is very easy to use.
Their site is here:
You should have an external hard drive. it would be easier to access for your files and you can keep it right there next to your computer. I have a External Hard Drive that I use and its way easier then keeping things on a cd.
psycosquirrel wrote:
You can get externals for relatively cheap nowadays. I recommend the 500Gb WD MyBook, it is about $150 on Newegg and is one of the best you can get right now...

Thats the only way to go. External HDs.

Backup: A completely separite media that is different location preferably, and doesn't need your system to access.

The three rules of computers -

That simple.

File on system drive: Cons easy to corrpute, delete, and/or crash.
Different partition: Not much better
2nd Data only interenal drive: not the best solution, but much safer than the system drive
External HD- Long life, safe from any harm from the system or desktop.

DVD = Suckyness - hard to chop data into 4.5Gb pieces, so a lot of wasted space, prone to scaches and damage, usally life span even in a perfect storage situation is 2-3 Years (Because most DVDs are cheaply made.

Other media - Thumbs okay, but prone to damage/ Tapes or other crazy media, no one supports them, and usally the brand fades out.

Right now I have all my data on a 4 Disk Raid 0 not the best solution but I need the space, and I burn to DVD, so I know that it is not the best way to go.
For backing up my laptop I use a little program called DriveImage XML. It is a free backup utility much like Norton Ghost in that it makes an image of your whole hard drive. That way when you get a new hard drive or you do what I do and test Linux on it on the weekends and load Windows on it during the week. You can easily restore your computer to exactly the way it was. All you need is another hard drive (External, Network, Another computer, it doesn't matter) Make sure that your laptop can see that hard drive however it is hooked up. Then run DriveImage XML and tell it where to backup to. Let it go for however long it takes (took 2 hours to backup my 50GB of data on my laptop onto a network drive) then download a program called bartPE and get the DriveImage XML plugin for it and make the BartPE boot CD (detailed instructions can be found on the BartPE website) and burn it to a cd like you would an ISO. You now have a live version of windows XP with bartpe to restore your old image. You can now either wipe your current hard drive and restore it or transfer the image to your new computer. If you choose to transfer it to another computer however, it is wise that you do a soft re-install of windows xp to make sure all of the correct windows files are installed on that laptop for it's particular hard, then just install your laptops drivers and your good to go.

If you want to backup just files though, your doing the right thing. If you have less than 20GB of data to backup, DVDs are probably your cheapest option. However, it will start to get time consuming if it's much more data then that. If you have more than about 20GB or so, I recommend investing in a USB or firewire external hard drive. Make sure there is enough to room on it to hold all the files you want to backup and just drag and drop them onto the new hard drive. When your done, you can return them to the computer the exact same way.
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