Backing up HDs?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Doublehelix, Oct 3, 2003.

  1. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    After reading through this thread:

    (Dead Link Removed)

    It has sparked some questions in my mind.

    I just installed Cubase SX 2.0, and before doing so, I made sure I did a Ghost of my HD...

    Took 12 CDs, and several hours.

    I decided while I was at to back up the data drive since I am in the middle of an important project...22 more CDs.

    Talk about a pain in the ass!!! That makes 34 CDs to back up my system!!!

    Here are my questions (finally!!!):

    1) Does Ghost do incremental backups?

    2) As I start designing my new system, I am trying to decide the best way to go for backup. It seems to me that I remember Gary (Opus) talking about hot-swappable HDs. What is that all about? Can I still have a OS/Apps drive and a data drive in *addition* to a hot-swappable backup drive?

    3) Are these swappable drives "standard" IDE HDs, or are the something special?

    4) Can I Ghost to a swappable drive if I have 2 other physical HDs in the system?

    5) Maybe a DVD-R would be a better solution, and offer more versatility?

    Opinions? Comments?

  2. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

    New Milford, CT USA
    Home Page:

    > Took 12 CDs, and several hours. <

    That's because you have your hard drive organized poorly. The right way to do this is with a single C: partition for Windows and programs only. No word processing or audio data. No temporary Internet files. And no Outlook Express newsgroup and email data. Your data can be backed up using better methods that can copy only new files. Ghost is meant for making image backups, and so must back up an entire partition or drive.

    > Can I still have a OS/Apps drive and a data drive in *addition* to a hot-swappable backup drive? <

    I have a pair of Firewire drives that I alternate backing up to. Alternating backups is critical to prevent data loss! And having two copies is safer too. I keep one of the Firewire drives at a friend's house for even greater security.

    See my three-part series from Keyboard magazine, listed on my Articles page:

    This is an extremely detailed series of articles that explain all of these issues and much more. Once you read and comprehend all three articles, you will know much more about Windows and hard drive organization than any of your friends. :D

  3. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    Use GHOST to maintain a restorable image of your system partition. It is a poor mechanism for backup.

    Create a small system partition < 8gb.
    Create the data partition as the large space.
    Be sure to set TMP and TEMP somewhere on DATA.
    Configure the system as you want it.
    GHOST the partition, not disk, image and save it.

    Use a 2nd or 3rd hard drive for backup. You can automate this so operate nightly at 01:00 so it operates in Plug 'N Forget mode. The chances of your data and backup drives both failing concurrently is about NIL. If worried about this, burn CDs periodically and take them off site.

    I use this approach with my business client's server machines. One client backs up 9 gb nightly, which is impossible with CD, and pricey/ridiculous if burning to DVD. It is the nature of their business as a CAD shop. Backing up to a 200gb drive is the only option. Or a zillion dollar DAT drive with library auto-loader.
  4. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Actually, my C: drive is just that...OS and apps only, although I just added about 4 CDs worth of samples. Other then that, there is nothing on my C drive. I do have a lot of software and plug-ins however. This is an audio only computer, I have a total of 4 computers in the house, so I don't use the audio system for email, games, internet, word processing, etc.

    I am not *competely* ignorant when it comes to computers, and it is unfair to say that I have my hard drives organized poorly. You don't know how I have my HDs organized! I recently started using Ghost after a disasterous HD crash, and I find it to be less then friendly. My question was more centered around how to use Ghost, and some other options rather than CDs!

    I agree, Ghost is not a backup software! I only image the OS/app drive when I make a major change to the computer, as in this case with the addition of Cubase Sx 2.0. In the last year, this is only the third time I have used it. I now realize how stupid it was to back up the *data* drive using Ghost! :d:

    As far as data goes, I normally just back up through my network to a file server in my office upstairs, but was looking for other solutions. I need to get some good backup software to back up the data drive, but last I looked, the good stuff was US$500 or more! I guess I will continue to Ghost the Os/App drive once every 6 months or so when I make a major change, and probably continue to back up the data drive via the network.

    A swappable hard drive seemed like an attractive option however...which was where my original question was leading...swappable drives or DVD? And does Ghost work on a third drive (swappable).

    Thanks for the responses guys.
  5. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    GHOST only needs have a few command line switches set, then it is completely friendly.

    Enable HIGH compression
    Enable SPANNING

    I use GHOST 7 Professional, and named the exe as GHOST7.EXE. I run it from a batch file called GHOST.BAT that calls GHOST7.EXE with the correct command line switches set.

    You create either Partition or Disk image types. They must be restored to the same type. If you have a hard disk with a system and data partition, you must use the Partition recording method.

    Be sure to do a FILE CHECK function after making the image. Older GHOST versions, and images made across a network often were corrupt. The CHECK will verify the correctness of the image file.
  6. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

    New Milford, CT USA
    Home Page:

    > I just added about 4 CDs worth of samples. <

    Ah, that's the problem.

    > it is unfair to say that I have my hard drives organized poorly. <

    Sorry, I didn't mean to offend! When I saw "12 CDs to make a backup" I assumed that was the case. I backup using Ghost image files and my current C: drive - which includes everything, not just audio apps - creates a file less than 1.3 GB which would fit on two CDs. But I don't use CDs for that. I keep that file on a second hard drive for safety, plus three other copies on my network and two external firewire drives.

    > My question was more centered around how to use Ghost, and some other options rather than CDs! <

    Gotcha. Save image files set for High Compression on a second drive. Or on a second partition which you can then copy somewhere else for safety.

    > I need to get some good backup software <

    Besides Ghost for images of C: I use DirPrudence, a $15 shareware program that is really great. This program is mentioned in my Keyboard articles.

    > swappable drives or DVD? <

    I don't trust recordable DVDs yet. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but it seems to me they pack an awful of data into extremely tiny areas. The very first time someone sent me a recordable DVD I got a fatal read error halfway through while copying off a file. That did little to allay my concerns!

  7. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Member

    Windows XP comes with a backup program "MSBackup" that is somewhat hidden (i.e. not installed per default but available on the installation disk). It allows both full and incremental backups. I run it daily at the end of my session to backup my days work on a second (actually third) hard disk.

    Also, you can consider getting a DVD+RW drive. I just recently bought a 4x Mitsumi for $139. The disks are about $3 a pop for 4.7GB of space. It's great for archiving! These drives and disks will also get faster and cheaper in the next year.
    Compatibility of DVD+RW with e.g. regular DVD players is great and it works well for video and audio as much as data. Feels so much better to have stuff also archived "off the hard disk" :D


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