Backing Up

My NEW Backing Up Workflow

In General by Glyn10 Comments

Backing up is something I’ve always done my best to keep on top of after suffering a disastrous hard drive failure a few years back when I lost pretty much everything and was only able to salvage jpeg versions of my images at the time.

During more recent times I’ve had a number of different set ups to help avoid disaster striking again; one set up in particular consisting of quite a few hard drives across a number of units made by CRU.

Moving on from that I streamlined things somewhat and moved to a Synology NAS Drive Back Up system but the problem here, because my main computer and the drives connected through a network, was that there always a delay when working on my computer as the files moved over, the drives kicked in and so on. A great system that meant I could access files from anywhere but when I think of how often that was it very quickly went from being useful to not so; the delay with the drives though was irritating. Maybe I had it set up wrong but I found that software I used would always pause whilst the drives started up at random times.

So, what’s my solution now?

It’s actually a REALLY simple one.

I now have two G-Technology G-RAID Removable Thunderbolt 2 USB 3.0 8000 GB External Hard Drives; one where all my files are stored (photos, videos) and the other is used to create a mirror image so that there is always a copy of everything. In addition to this I am also now using BackBlaze to store a copy of all my files online and this is continuously working, monitoring the attached main G-Technology Hard Drive and any new files that appear are instantly back up online too. 

Backing Up

Is it perfect?

No I guess not. There would always be other suggestions folks would have and I’m all ears to hear them but what I have now is certainly giving me peace of mind and is working really well; especially the G-Tech Drives that I’m seeing no delay whatsoever with. Having an online backup is something I’ve missed for a while. I used to have it a few years ago but then (for some reason) cancelled it and haven’t had it since. Actually I couldn’t use it with the Synology Drives because none of the utilities I looked at backed up network drives and if they did, the workaround was a pain in the a$$. Now though…it works like a dream and for $50 / year for unlimited storage I think it’s incredible!

Question for you…

Before when I was using Mac I used a utility called Carbon Copy that would, on a daily basis, copy the content of one hard drive onto another. However, now I’m with Windows I can’t use that and am currently doing it manually. So…do you know of a utility I can get that will do what Carbon Copy used to do for me?

If you could let me know in the comments, I’d really appreciate it.

Also on that note, what do you do for backing up? A Raid set up? SSD? I’m definitely interested to know just in case I can make any slight changes.

One more thing…

Before I finish I just wanted to mention one piece of kit that’s not realyl for backing up but certainly gives peace of mind … BIG TIME!

APC

APC Back-UPS BX – Uninterruptible Power Supply

This thing is superb! I was pretty late getting one of these because when I said I now had one I was bombarded with messages from folks shocked I didn’t already use on. Basically this is a very clever battery that ALL my computer equipment plugs into and the unit then plugs into the mains. With that, if there are ever any power surges it deals with it so protecting my kit, but more so, if we have a power cut it kicks in immediately and keeps my system running uninterrupted. Now it won’t keep it running indefinitely because it’s a battery however it will (going by the literature) keep it running for roughly 15-20 minutes, so plenty of time if need be to save any work and close down.

I actually keep my machines running 24 hours a day (unless I’m away for more than a day) so the great thing as well with this is that if there’s a power cut, it has software built in that will automatically shut down the computer correctly too. A couple of weeks ago whilst sat here we had a series of v.short power cuts at our house and each time this thing kicked in immediately with no interruption whatsoever to what I was doing. Genius!

Cheers
Glyn

Comments

  1. There’s an open source, cross platform app called synkron that I’d used for a bit before I got backblaze, need to reintegrate it when I add my next local backup solution, see if it’ll meet your needs

  2. Hi Glyn, great blog!
    I use a Mac and will try out carbon copy, however to answer your question I have a system at work that requires back ups from different parts and a total on multiple pcs to NAS and a file server. I use a program called sync back by a company called 2brightsparks, and tbh we use the free version as it does everything.
    Any way thanks for all the work you put in for us guys and gals out here it’s very much appreciated and I hope my recommendation goes some to repayment!
    https://www.2brightsparks.com/syncback/syncback-hub.html

    1. Author

      Hey Paul, thanks for dropping in and commenting. Cheers for the link too…I’ll take a look and hey if it’s not suitable then I’m sure it will be for someone else who takes a read.

      Appreciated 😉
      Glyn

  3. Hi Glyn,
    I too used to use CarbonCopy on Mac, but when I moved back to Windows, I picked up a copy of Macrium Reflect.

    My back up is fairly similar to yours – I have an online backup via IDrive – which is very flexible and I can backup multiple PC’s (and Mac’s) along with my mobile phone. I then have an external USB drive which Macrium Reflect does a daily backup to.

    Again not perfect, but loads better than not having anything .. and for the amount of work I do on my PC, it’s more than secure enough – I don’t delete my SD cards after import, even if I do another shoot, unless I’m really short of space on them .. so I always have the original within a good time period should all my other methods fail.

    And like yourself, I have an APC UPS 🙂

    1. Author

      Hey Mate

      Thanks for the suggestion of Macrium Relfect…will go check that out right now.
      I’ve had so many complicated and long winded up solutions in the past, I’m happy now with the simplicity of this one. It just does what it’s supposed to…although I hope I never need it 🙂

      Cheers,
      Glyn

    2. One more vote for Macrium Reflect, and as far as UPSs go, I have two: one for my main computer and one for my Synology.

  4. Hi Glyn,

    When you say a mirror image. Do you mean that as soon as you make a change it is copied to the other drive?

    Because that isn’t a back up it’s redundancy. If you were to delete a file it would automatically be deleted from

    the other drive. Hopefully you still have your Synology DAS. I would use that as true back up where your

    primary drive gets backed up every night to the Synology.

    Of course if that is not what you mean by a mirror image. The please feel free to ignore what I just wrote. : )

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