Fail Safe Configuration for External Backup Drives

Posted on 2011-04-30
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I learned a hard lesson last week.  My Maxtor external hard drive went belly up while I was in the process of reinstalling my OS on my laptop, and I lost some data.

Anyway, the process made me think about making my backup data on my external hard drives more disaster-proof.

Here's the setup I'm envisioning.  
1. I'm currently using Acronis and CrashPlan on all home office laptops and workstations.  All Acronis and CrashPlan files are saved to a big-ass 2 TB external HD.
2. The 2 TB drive contains additional data that is static that I've already backed up on DVDs.
3. I have a second 500 GB HD that I'll use to backup the critical data on the 2 TB drive.  I figure I'll use something like Allway Sync.  

Here's my concern, my setup is somewhat complex, and with a backup plan, simple is always better.  Any suggestions on how to simplify this?
Question by:jdana
    LVL 38

    Accepted Solution

    When devising a backup plan think of it from 3 perspectives and solve each one:
    1. Accidental file deletion / virus
    2. Hardware failure
    3. Building burns down / theft

    When using an external as a file based backup a standard 1 drive is fine. If the PC fails, the files are on the external. If the external fails the files are still on the PC. However you can have a double failure as you recently experienced. That's why I recommend using a raid1 (two drives mirrored) type of external. The WD studio II 4tb has two 2tb drives that can be set as a mirror. Rotating two of these so one is Offsite will protect against all three types of data loss.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for the thoughtful response.

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