Saturday, July 02, 2005

Data Loss Paranoia

I have been using computers since the Commodore 64 days and I have never experienced hard drive failure (knock on wood). At this point, however, it seems prudent to begin exploring automated backup approaches for my data. I have over 60 gigs of music files, thousands of pictures, not to mention the countless number of school papers, projects, and other documents. Most of this data is sentimental and invaluable; it deserves backup.

Ideally my backup solution would be at some offsite location so that in the case of a fire or robbery, I would still have my data. Since I'm not a business or even a working professional, I don't have the cash to purchase a backup service over the internet. However, I'm thinking I might be able to do this on my own. Right now I'm looking at the following external USB hard drives on

1. $189.88 Maxtor OneTouch II Hard Drive 250 GB Hi-Speed USB (1.31 GB/dollar)
2. $189.99 SimpleTech SimpleDrive 250 GB External USB 2.0 Hard Drive (1.31 GB/dollar)
3. $220.99 LaCie 250 GB d2 External Hard Drive Extreme w/USB 2.0 (1.13 GB/dollar)
4. $244.99 Maxtor OneTouch II 300 GB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive (1.22 GB/dollar)

My plan right now is to purchase one of the above hard drives, attach it to my home computer and make an initial backup (which would be quite large), unattach the drive and then hook it up to my office computer at school. A twice a week backup would hopefully then only be incremental and therefore require little bandwidth to synchronize over the internet (e.g. from my home machine to school). I'm not sure, however, that the backup software that ships with any of these computers is capable of such an effort. I could probably use some 3rd party application like rsync...

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