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  #1  
03-05-2011, 06:01 PM
Sossity Sossity is offline
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I have been burning my raw data; photos & movie files from my digicam onto Taiyo Yuden DVD-R discs, but as my data increases, the amount of discs increases, I keep the discs at an office in my town as offsite storage, this has worked the best for now.

I could go to double layer discs, but they cost more per disc, & not as economical as DVD-R's. I have looked at blue ray, but I do not have a blue ray burner, & there does not seem to be any confirmation for me that blue ray discs are as archival or as good as a proven disc like Taiyo Yuden discs.

I have something called stuffit for mac compression software, & have seen zip files, that is alot of what downloads come in.

Is there a universal compression software to compress my data without losing quality, is cross plat form, & could be opened in the future? I am asking about this as a way to get more of my data on each DVD-R disc.

I have heard of having a drive offsite, but this is not practical, as I work from home, & have a family member keep my backup discs at their office, & having them tote a hard drive back & firth for incremental backups is not practical.
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  #2  
03-05-2011, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
I could go to double layer discs
There are archival concerns about the second layer's longevity. Single-layer media is best, when burned, for truly archival needs.

Quote:
I have looked at blue ray, but I do not have a blue ray burner, & there does not seem to be any confirmation for me that blue ray discs are as archival or as good as a proven disc
Correct. The physical structure of a Blu-ray disc, which is essentially an upside-down CD (but with a micro-thin polycarbonate on the base), makes for a poor archival media, based on our media testing criteria.

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Is there a universal compression software to compress my data without losing quality, is cross plat form, & could be opened in the future?
Don't do it.
While the vanilla "zip" compression is probably safe -- and arguably so is a "rar" or a "tarball" (tar/tag.gz) -- you run a risk of further data loss. Compress archives add another layer of loss potential. If an archived file is corrupted, everything inside can be lost. Individual files, on the other hand, would not necessarily be destroyed if a neighbor file went bad (due to a bad spot on the media, be it disc or drive).

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I have heard of having a drive offsite, but this is not practical, as I work from home, & have a family member keep my backup discs at their office, & having them tote a hard drive back & firth for incremental backups is not practical
Then do incremental backups. In this scenario, you would copy your files (from your hard drive) to another drive once every 6-12 months or so, then discard the incremental DVDs. Between the drive clones, you use these discs. Do you understand?

The safest way is to also use two hard drives, and rotate them. One stays local until it's time to clone. Give it to the family member, and they bring the other one back, which you'll wipe and use for the next incremental in a few months. Again, between hard drive rotations, you'll send incremental discs, which are destroyed (put through a shredder) when the archive drive also has those files.

Again, does that make sense? (It's pretty straight forward.)

I use this method for my secondary disaster drive, which is only cloned once per year, and stored many 100's of miles away. It's a duplicate off-site backup, because I want to be double safe about backups.

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  #3  
03-05-2011, 10:36 PM
Sossity Sossity is offline
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between drive clones, could I use DVD-RW's? since they are not going to be permanent, buying top notch DVD-R's to burn to only to shred them later is a bit too expensive for me now.

Also, for a drive to be cloned & sent with family, could it be a portable External hard drive? such as one of these? http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/on-the-go & if so, which model? do I need firewire? or would usb work? do I need 72rpm? or would 5400 work? what would be the minimum capacity to get be?

the drive being sent with family would need to be not too heavy, & tough, as it will be carried in their tote bag that they take along with their lunch & books to work every day. Having them tote a full sized drive might be a little risky & heavy for them.
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  #4  
03-06-2011, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
between drive clones, could I use DVD-RW's?
Yes. It will be slower, however, at 4x max.
Do NOT use DVD+RW -- only DVD-RW, as the DVD+RW have higher fail rates.
These are not archival media, but should last 6 months just fine.
Use good ones.

Quote:
I like OWC, and have at least one of their enclosures for special needs (photography RAID-1), but for your purpose, those drives are overkill and massively overpriced.

We've been using a lot of portable drives lately for studio deliverables, transit back and forth of digital source and final encodes to distribution formats. I've been quite fond of the Seagate GoFlex drives (the silver ones are my favorite).

Those are $70 with free shipping, for 500MB drives: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B003ELOSFK

The black 500MB are the same price.

Here's the full list of the GoFlex drives on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.ht...reative=390957
The black ones come in several sizes, up to 1.5TB for the small size version, and 3TB for the larger one.

That's at least 30-40% cheaper than the OWC drives -- and it's the same thing.

I did research not 7 days ago, and bought some more of the silvers from Amazon, because they were the best price.
The order arrived in 2 days (and I didn't pay for express shipping). One of them was filled and delivered Thursday already.

Quote:
would 5400 work?
Yes. Backup drives don't need speed.

Quote:
the drive being sent with family would need to be not too heavy, & tough, as it will be carried in their tote bag that they take along with their lunch & books to work every day. Having them tote a full sized drive might be a little risky & heavy for them.
You may want to invest in one of these: Case Logic Compact Portable Hard Drive Case (Black)
$12 from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B000HDJT4S
I need to get myself one of these, too.

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  #5  
03-06-2011, 04:54 PM
Sossity Sossity is offline
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apologies if I am a little slow, so the new backup scheme would consist of something like a portable external hard drive such as the seagate pro, some DVD-RW's & my main full sized desktop external hard drive at home on my desk. My main desktop external would be in a OWC enclosure, at 1TB. So is it good to have my main full sized desktop external at home in a full sized enclosure? & the other drive to send with family member be a small portable?

So as I make data, I would back it up to the seagate, & send it with family member to keep at their office, it would stay there for about 6 months, & in the meantime, as I will probably create more data, I would make the incremental backups to the DVD-RW's & send them to the office as well with the seagate.

Then in about 6 months, have family member would bring back the seagate & DVD-RW discs back home for me to add the new content to the portable, wipe clean the DVD-RW's & start over again?

What would be the best size for the portable seagate drive? what would be the minimum size for me to go for? will just usb work? does it need to be 1TB 72rpm like my main desktop drive? if it will be a clone of my desktop hard drive at home, should it be the same size? in my case 1TB? & what if I move to a 2TB drive for my main external at home? I may eventually do this as the cost of storage goes down.

would the portable hard drive at the office last? it is moving parts.

Last edited by Sossity; 03-06-2011 at 05:06 PM.
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  #6  
03-06-2011, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sossity View Post
so the new backup scheme would consist of something like a portable external hard drive such as the seagate pro, some DVD-RW's & my main full sized desktop external hard drive at home on my desk.
Yes.

Quote:
So as I make data, I would back it up to the seagate, & send it with family member to keep at their office, it would stay there for about 6 months, & in the meantime, as I will probably create more data, I would make the incremental backups to the DVD-RW's & send them to the office as well with the seagate.
Yes.

Quote:
Then in about 6 months, have family member would bring back the seagate & DVD-RW discs back home to me to wipe clean & start over again?
The ONLY flaw in this plan is you make an off-site an "on-site" again temporarily. This is fine, if funds are limited. Just don't procrastinate and let all drives be at one place for longer than a few hours (overnight).

Ideally, you'd have TWO 1TB drives, one sits in a drawer at the off-site, one sits in a drawer on-site. At some point, you swap them. Send the new backup to the off-site. Then the old off-site comes back home. You destroy the purpose of two drives if you bring the old one back before the new one is in place. (Three drives on-site temporarily.) This may or may not be overkill, but it's the IDEAL solution, for proper backup policy.

Quote:
What would be the best size for the portable seagate drive? what would be the minimum size for me to go for?
You answered your own question already:
Quote:
My main desktop external would be in a OWC enclosure, at 1TB.
... meaning the next question...
Quote:
does it need to be 1TB 72rpm like my main desktop drive?
... is also a 'yes'.
You could split to more drives, but given the price of drives, two 500MB is most costly than one 1TB drive.

Quote:
will just usb work?
Yes.
Copy files overnight, and consider a file copy tool that will ignore stupid errors. On Windows, that's the free copy software 'Ycopy'. On Mac, not sure -- never needed one. Nothing is more aggravating that starting a copy, going to sleep, and having an question on screen (OK, Cancel) with only 2% completed. Copy tools can be set to ignore those trouble files, and copy everything else.

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  #7  
03-06-2011, 06:25 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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Don't forget the option of online backup services as well. They work good for "off site" backup in a pinch. This is only viable if you have a reasonably fast internet connection though.
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  #8  
03-06-2011, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJRoadfan View Post
Don't forget the option of online backup services as well. They work good for "off site" backup in a pinch. This is only viable if you have a reasonably fast internet connection though.
... and a small amount of data.

It takes the better part of a day just to upload 1GB, with about a 2mbit upload speed (which is MUCH better than average). Also, note that I said UPLOAD speed (2mbit), not the DOWNLOAD speed (20mbit). I cannot even begin to imagine trying to push up dozens or 100's of GB's. By the time it finishes, it will already be past due for the second backup!

There's also the concern for privacy. How safe are your files from hackers or prying eyes? At least in a desk drawer, I know who has access.

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  #9  
03-06-2011, 10:00 PM
Sossity Sossity is offline
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can anybody suggest some good 2TB hard drives that I could use as a main & the other as offsite backup? I would put these in a;uminum mercury elite enclosures.

& if I use DVD-RW's what brand or type should I use? I was just told to use good ones.
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  #10  
03-06-2011, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
can anybody suggest some good 2TB hard drives that I could use as a main & the other as offsite backup? I would put these in a;uminum mercury elite enclosures.
For external USB2 2TB drives, the Fantom Green Drives are excellent for $100:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B002VLYK0M
I know that wasn't your exact question, but they're worth mentioning. I'll be buying 2-4 more very soon.
I bought two back in November of December, and they've turned out to be exceptional quality drives.

For SATA drives, to be used in an enclosure, get the Western Digitals "WD20EARS" drives for $80:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B002ZCXK0I

For SATA drives, used internally on a Windows XP system, get the "WD20EADS" drives for $100:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B001UE8LRE

EADS vs EARS.
EARS is new tech, only works on Vista and above, or Mac.
EADS is older tech, works on XP and earlier.

Quote:
& if I use DVD-RW's what brand or type should I use? I was just told to use good ones
Buy these: http://www.meritline.com/verbatim-6x-dvd-rw-blank-media-silver-branded

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  #11  
03-07-2011, 01:24 AM
Sossity Sossity is offline
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Thanks for the links, is there a big performance difference between 32mb cache/buffer & 64 mb cache/buffer? I would be using this drive with firewire 800 on my enclosure with my macbook pro. The drive will have photo & video files from other digicams & .doc files & eventually .NEF RAW files & .mov files from my nikon D7000. Will the cache/buffers make a critical difference for me?

It seems alot of the drives have the 32mb cache/buffer, will this be enough to work with firewire or usb 2.0?

also, does windows xp "see" or recognize a drive connected via firewire? or only usb 2.0? I ask because I run virtulization software paralells desktop 5.0 on my macbook pro that enables me to run windows, I have windows xp & windows 7 on my macbook pro as well. But I have & use the hard drive via a firewire port on my macbook pro.
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  #12  
03-07-2011, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Thanks for the links, is there a big performance difference between 32mb cache/buffer & 64 mb cache/buffer?
For certain tasks, yes.
For most tasks, no.

Quote:
The drive will have photo & video files from other digicams & .doc files & eventually .NEF RAW files & .mov files from my nikon D7000. Will the cache/buffers make a critical difference for me?
Difference? Yes.
Noticeable differences? Probably not. Debatable.
Critical difference? No.

Quote:
It seems alot of the drives have the 32mb cache/buffer, will this be enough to work with firewire or usb 2.0?
At the risk of being wrong, I actually believe Firewire 400 and USB2 are too slow to really use the full buffer at full speed anyway. Those larger buffers are best used on new drives in new computers, where everything is fast (SATA II, eSATA, Firewire 800, USB3). For older drives, it makes little to no difference that I'm readily aware of.

Quote:
also, does windows xp "see" or recognize a drive connected via firewire? or only usb 2.0?
Windows computers? Yes, if it's formatted to FAT32 or NTFS. Or if MacDrive is installed, and it's a Mac formatted drive.

Quote:
I ask because I run virtulization software paralells desktop 5.0 on my macbook pro that enables me to run windows, I have windows xp & windows 7 on my macbook pro as well. But I have & use the hard drive via a firewire port on my macbook pro.
Windows inside a Mac is different. Mac OS X controls the hardware, and Windows gets access via hardware virtualization (abstraction layers). Even if the drive is formatted to Mac HFS+, the drive is still usable by the VM Windows, because it's a Mac VM. In basic language, the virtual Windows can use anything the Mac sees.

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  #13  
03-07-2011, 04:06 PM
Sossity Sossity is offline
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So for my purposes that I listed earlier, a 2 TB hard drive with a 32mb buffer will be adequate? I would be using it with a firewire 800 port on my mac, since I am using firewire 800 & sometimes usb 2.0, is it worth the extra cost for me to get a hard drive with a 64mb cache?
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  #14  
03-07-2011, 04:12 PM
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What's your cost difference? If it's $5, sure -- if it's more, pass. That's what I would do. I took a quick gander online, and many others say the same thing -- there is NO DIFFERENCE between them. At most, people will choose 64 MB vs 32 MB cache buffers if the cost is $0-10, but never more. It just doesn't make much of a realistic difference.

Given that you're a student, save your money. Get the 32MB if it's lower price.

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  #15  
03-07-2011, 04:41 PM
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for a pair of rotating 1 or 2TB external hard drives in the backup scheme I have been advised on, what would be the best formatting system for them? I have preferred to use fat32 as this is cross platform right away, I dont need to have software installed on any mac or pc.

Is it safe? I have used fat32 on my 1TB drives without any problems that I have noticed.
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  #16  
03-07-2011, 04:43 PM
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FAT32 has a limitation on max file size.
A file cannot be larger than 3.99GB, so that is an issue for large videos, ISO images of discs, etc.

I'd use HFS+ if Mac is your main OS, and then install the $37 MacDrive on the Windows system.

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  #17  
03-07-2011, 05:31 PM
Sossity Sossity is offline
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If I have a hard drive with a fat32 & say, a NTFS partition with content on it, & want to clone it, how would I do it? could I just format the blank drive to fat 32 & clone the other with the partitions & content? will they clone over?
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03-07-2011, 06:39 PM
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You don't really need to "clone" the drive for what you're planning to do. Just copy files are drive A to drive B. That's all you really need to do. I don't actually "clone" drives very often, as it's unnecessary. Just copying files is fine.

"Cloning" a drive means you make a perfect image of it, all the way down to the file system (i.e., FAT32, HFS+, NTFS, etc).

If you want to copy files off NTFS to FAT32, that's fine, as long as the files are not larger than 3.99GB, as FAT32 cannot have files of 4GB or larger. Personally, I'd only use NTFS or HFS+ in 2011. There are also issues with the max size drive that can be formatted as FAT32.

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  #19  
03-08-2011, 02:53 AM
Sossity Sossity is offline
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What are enterprise drives? & would one of these be good for my backup scheme? are they practical? or would I be better off with a consumer drive?
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  #20  
03-08-2011, 09:43 AM
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That most likely refers to drives that are intended for high end servers, such as SAS (serial attached SCSI) in a RAID configuration. No, that's not something you'd need, want or be able to properly use. Get a "general use" type of drive for a home/office desktop setup.

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