Best way to do a backup?

Vince_M

n00b
Joined
Nov 6, 2021
Messages
11
I have WD Red 2TB as my storage drive and I have 3TB backup drive which I only connect when doing backup. Every time I am doing backup I SHIFT+DELETE files on backup drive then copy files from storage to backup drive in multiple waves (max 100GB per wave).

Questions:

1. Is it best to SHIFT+DELETE files or to quick format entire backup drive?

2. Should I copy files all at once or like I do now in many smaller waves?

3. I was thinking to use some sync program but since I have a lot of MS word files which I edit from time to time don't know will sync cover all that correctly? Never used sync program before so I don't know what to expect...
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
30,099
I would use a sync program. Depending on how it is set up, it would only transfer files that have changed since the last backup. Seems like you're doing a lot of unnecessary copying since you make a full backup every time vs. leaving files you haven't changed alone and only updating the ones that have changed.
 

grim4593

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 30, 2014
Messages
372
I've used FreeFileSync for years to backup exactly like you describe. You can also apply filters and exclusions which can be useful to backup your entire drive but skip items such as the Windows and Program File directories.
 

daglesj

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
5,640
Cobian backup. Used it for years. Set to manual or automatic incremental backups. However you want it.
 

MrGuvernment

Fully [H]
Joined
Aug 3, 2004
Messages
20,861
I would not delete the file before copying..

What if your OS crashes and burns and stops the copy and hoses your local files? now you have no backup....

As others noted use an application and do incremental as needed, if your 2TB is not full and you got room on your 3TB you could do incremental with a weekly full or something..
 

Vince_M

n00b
Joined
Nov 6, 2021
Messages
11
I would not delete the file before copying..

What if your OS crashes and burns and stops the copy and hoses your local files? now you have no backup....

As others noted use an application and do incremental as needed, if your 2TB is not full and you got room on your 3TB you could do incremental with a weekly full or something..

Yes, I am aware of that potential problem, I was big optimist during my old backup process:) From now on I will use sync program and I am thinking to invest in future in one more HDD, something cheap (maybe WD recertified). Just want to have backup of a backup.

Thank you all for answers. I still have one question: If I delete something from my storage drive, will sync program recognise that and delete that file also on backup drive during next synchronization?
 

daglesj

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
5,640
Thank you all for answers. I still have one question: If I delete something from my storage drive, will sync program recognise that and delete that file also on backup drive during next synchronization?
If it's a incremental it will compare both folders and delete/add any file changes since it last ran. So yes.
 

Shoganai

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
1,467
Thank you for recommendation but I will use free options, most likely FreeFileSync 🙂 I consider my backup important, but not too important to use pay service.
This is what I use on both Mac and PC. It's pretty great.
 

SamirD

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 22, 2015
Messages
5,739
This or just plain xcopy is the best. Programs can have bugs and mess things up or miss copies, and even robocopy does this when xcopy doesn't.

On the cheap, the easiest way is to have 3x externals and just do a 'xcopy SOURCE DESTIONATIONUSB /f/r/e/s/h/k/y/d/c. The switches will show you the full path as the file is being copied, overwrite read-only files, create empty directories, traverse and copy from subdirectories, copy hidden files, keep all the file attributes, not prompt you to overwrite files (this can be dangerous if the wrong files are being copied), copy only newer files, and continue copying even if there are errors.

I would run this every few days or even every day using a different drives in the set of 3x externals. Depending on how many files, it shouldn't take too much time copying and will spend more time just checking what is new which will take much longer than the copying itself. By using 3 different drives, you not only have 4 copies of your data, but you actually have some versioning going on since 2x drives will be older than the current file. This is handy in case you modify the wrong file, delete the wrong file, etc.

The other benefit of xcopy is that it doesn't erase any files on your destination so if you simply moved a file on the source, you'll now have 2x copies of that file on your backup--one where it was and one where it is. Adds a little bit of redundancy on top of redundancy.

Then all you do is keep adding external drives every few years as they are on sale and you have even more backups and redundancy. Once drives are out of warranty, I typically don't use them for backups like this and move them to some other duty.
 
Top