TechSpot

Backing up files on 2 different hard drives (windows 7 backup)

By Sean Suttie
Jun 12, 2013
Post New Reply
  1. Hi thanks or looking a my post,

    As it is I have 1 hard drive backing up all staff file that are located on a share PC, I have now been asked to setup a system where I have two hard drive backing up the same information and that they are switched weekly.

    When one hard drive is in the building backing up the other hard drive is off site in a safe place, but I am unsure how to set this up using windows 7 backup.

    I do not need to backup the system image as they has all ready been done just the staff files.

    Thanks for any help

    Sean
     
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,474   +329

    Good planning for disaster planning reasons (btw: that's called media rotation).

    To automate backups alternating between two target drives -- don't think that's possible and you will need a manual procedure to identify the 'other drive'.

    Hopefully the "files that are located on a share PC" are limited to a Shared Folder making the source location easy. Using the backup technique of an Incremental Backup will reduce the size and time of the data being copied.

    CAUTION: do not encrypt the backup volume(s), nor even compress them.
    If you need them after a disaster, they will need to be usable on ANY available PC and encryption/compression can be subject to software incompatibilities - - right when you don't need that kind of help!
     
  3. Sean Suttie

    Sean Suttie TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi jobeard,

    Thanks for getting back to me, do you know of any good free back up programs out there that would do the job I need? or a alternative way that I can backup the files on windows 7.

    Thanks

    Sean
     
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,474   +329

    There are those that will argue the following, but it was effective for me both professionally and personally - - Replication instead of Backup.

    The tool I use is Allway Sync, and it copies changed files from the source to the target. First pass will be all source folder contents and thereafter, only changed files.
    As you rotate the target media, the apparent list of changes will also include what was copied 'last time'.

    You must have the target media available before you start Allway Sync.
     
  5. Sean Suttie

    Sean Suttie TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi,

    I am not sure if that setup would work as it is the safe files are encrypted using truecrypt but the backup folder it's self is not.

    Would Allway Sync detect any chances made to the truecrypt file? I have to keep the staff files encrypted for security reason.

    Thanks

    Sean
     
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,474   +329

    It will see changes in size and date modified. Previous files without changes will not be copied. If the majority of the source data is dynamic (ie frequently changed as in daily) then you'll have large amounts of data movement. It will still be less than a backup.

    You need to plan on having a system available after a disaster that has TrueCrypt installed. Consider location issues like:
    1. Local building fire guts your offices
    2. Community disaster, aka Moore, OK
    3. Hurricane Katrina wiping out large area of Southern USA.
    This level of recovery is called Business Continuation Planning and #2-3 not only get complicated but need to consider remote staffing will be needed to get the files restored.
     
  7. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,484   +233

    Just curious, jobeard, how does it handle new files?
     
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,474   +329

    Does the obvious (add and delete) per configuration options:
    • new file on source and missing on target --> copy
    • missing on source and present on target --> delete the target version
    This makes the target a "mirror" of the active source(s). Of course, ignoring the latter will allow the target to accumulate files over time and view by date will make that self-evident. Being a "mirror" also says those files can be used where they reside without relocating elsewhere.

    The last permutation for consideration is alterations to the target files.
    For the scenario:
    • copy master to target
    • update/edit master instance
    • sync causes master change to be copied to target
    • edit target version
    When sync runs, you can configure to get the master updated with the target version; again - - keep the mirror in-sync.

    With sync configured to be both ways, the newest file date will be copied to the other location. The only way to say \\systemName\folderName is the MASTER copy under all conditions is to not sync in both directions. This is my personal preference.

    The option to keep versions of file changes is NOT available, so versioning is another topic altogether :)
     


Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...


Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.