I don’t think I’ve ever lost a hard drive. As in had one crash, be zapped, stolen, corrupted…and the data not recoverable.
I have lost a days work, back in the 80′s, when the file transfer between PCs and Servers (actually Mainframes) was in its infancy. I did the transfer the wrong way – it was a big long command you typed in. So instead of copying today’s work up to the Server, I copied yesterdays down. And clobbered all of today’s work.
Anyway with hundreds of gigabytes of disk on my main Windows PC, I now stand to lose a lot more than a days work, should the hard drives go boom. Photos, music, videos, documents. I’d hate to think.
So I back up the photos and documents (etc) to an external USB2 hard drive. I just plug it in and back up the key data.
The music files are another 80 GB. The above external drive it getting a bit full to store the music files, so just yesterday I bought a 320 GB disk and put it into a very old PC. After a lot of mucking around with Ubuntu Linux, I abandonded that…and went back to Debian Linux 4.0. To cut to the chase, it’s now on my network and Windows thinks it has a new (remote) 300+ GB drive. For the tech heads: yes, it’s SAMBA, of course.
For the remote (network) drive and the external USB2 drive, I use the free, open source program Areca Backup to, umm, back up the nominated PC folders. Works a treat and recommended.
One hiccup is an apparent Windows limitation. If your c:\complete\filename\including\path\is.very.long (more than 256 characters) for either the “from” or “to” file, Areca stops, due to this Windows problem. In fact my remote servers ‘path’ was initially a UNC one \\servername\share\backupFolder\ Hence adding lots of characters. I simply created a SAMBA share direct to this backupFolder and mapped a new drive to it. The above UNC name now simply becomes K:\ All okay now.