World Backup day, Did you miss it?

Published: 2013-04-01
Last Updated: 2013-04-01 12:59:28 UTC
by Mark Hofman (Version: 1)
7 comment(s)

March 31st was designated as world backup day ( with a quite catchy slogan of "Don't be ab April fool". 

In corporate world backups tend to be taken care of quite nicely by corporate IT, however most of us are now storing significant amounts of data at home. Quite a lot of it has never been backed up, or at least not recently. I had a look earelir today what data I do have backed up and what I do not have backed up.  To say that I was a little bit disappointed with myself is an understatement.  Most of the critcal work related stuff is all backed up, Kudos to me.  However when it comes to music, or photos I stink. It doesn't look like I have backed up as much as I thought I had (fixed now).  

So in light of the world backup day have a look at your systems at home and make sure that you have a backup available of the things that are important (or other people will tell you are important) and back them up. 

Probably the easiest is to use a removable harddrive, but there are many online options available as well which can be quite attractive.  Just remember  sucking 30GB from the internet back down to your machine may take some time.  Also consider who will have access to your stuff whilst backed up in the cloud.  You may want to encrypt the data whilst you are at it.  

If you are backing up your stuff, well done. Make sure though that you can get it back again.  On occasion I get asked to recover data from drives that have not been used in years and years.  Sometimes that is a happy story, many times it is not.  Don't forget DVDs also degrade over time, so data stored on those may also ned to be rewritten every few years or so.  

For those of you that are the IT help for friends and family, I have your gifts for the year sorted out.  Buy them a harddrive so they can back up their stuff.  Many now have some backup software included.  Or set up an online backup service for friends and family. 

Happy backing up. 

Mark H

7 comment(s)


We have a USB hard disk and an Ethernet hard disk both. And I created a batch file that uses Robocopy to backup our data to both places. With a nice shortcut on the desktop my wife runs the backup whenever she goes out.
Home stragegy: using a pair of 2TB USB3 drives. These are connected only during backup. rsnapshot is used and backup data is kept back to 2 years, monthly, weekly, and up to daily. I try to perform this at least two times per month, or at least any time something major occurs (refinance a loan and tons of new docs, file taxes, monthly bill paying schedule, etc.).

One drive is always kept off-site (locked personal desk cabinet at work). So for instance last night I ran a backup, and this morning I (should have) brought the drive into work and then brought the other back home (I forgot, I'll do it tomorrow). This prevents a house fire from claiming everything - or even a burglary (I usually kick off the backup before going to bed, then lock the drive up in the safe in the morning, so the drive is vulnerable to loss-theft when used).

This has saved my bacon a number of times. I believe the last time was about a year ago when my hard drive suddenly went belly up. Fortunately I had a backup from the week before, so all I had to do was the base OS install and then a restore of the last backup.

Encrypting the backup is a must as well.
I blew this one off. I'm more concerned about World Restore Day. ;)
I'm syncing media stuff with my Lacie NAS RAID box (using Synchronicity) every odd week, that's gotta be good enough for content that could be recovered via alternate means anyways. Personal digital documents, keyrings etc are synced to an USB stick daily, with day-of-week folder versioning.
I also managed to salvage an LTO drive from my previous employer, where I shove a full backup onto, whenever I get around to it.. (roughly quarterly).
Currently have files stored on a unraid server (RAID 4 that powers down drives). Which then sync's up to livedrive. (cloud backup storage).
Would do test restores/browse data to confirm files are backing up.
Incremental backup of more than 1 To of home data on DVD-Rs, with udf filesystem as format. I began in 1999 on CD-R with iso9660.

The DVD-Rs are stored in spindle cases. The DVD with photographs are written in triplicate, with one set of spindle at my work, another at my spouse's work, another at home. Our set of photographs does not fit on our computers, so it happens often that we browse old photos on the DVDs or CDs (thus using recover function). We did not yet encouter a DVD or CD of even a file on it that was unreadable (for DVD-R in DVD cases ("private copy", legal in France), it already happend twice).

I needed a way to remember what data was already written. I Did not found any free program to automate it.

Before 2009, I moved to a directory named Backuped the data (including photographs) which were already written on DVD. This directory was emptied from time to time to make room.

In 2009 we started using iPhoto, in which it was no more possible to move files; iPhoto back then had the bad habit of moving files. So I used rdup_sha1 (wrapper on rdup) to make index of our DVD and CD backups (including sha1 checksum), and to only backup files with new sha1, and replace other files in the backup with symbolic links. These links are broken unless the DVD is in the DVD reader. rdup_sha1 is slow (one day) so I use it only every year :-(

I am starting a backup of recent data, following Jason's idea.
I recently came across a chest on the garret.
Besides other old time computer stuff from the 90's there was a floppy disk safekeeping box.
Two dozen disk's with backups labeled as
"MS-DOS 5.xx"
"Windows 3.11"
"NC" (most likely Norton Commander)

Glory days...

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