Backing up 500+GB

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by U2Boy, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. U2Boy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    #1
    I have an Imac with so much video and music that I am almost filled up. I want to get an external hard drive to add space, but also want to back up all of my files. I have looked at Backblaze and many others. I am trying to figure out the best way to back up so much data without spending a fortune. Is online backup the way to go? Imovie files take up so much space that my 1TB internal fills up almost immediately. Trying to figure out the best option. Backblaze said 2GB per day will be backed up. That means that it will never all be backed up. Help!
     
  2. glutenenvy macrumors regular

    glutenenvy

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Location:
    WA
    #2
    500 GB is quite a bottleneck for any internet connection.

    Your requirements suggest that online backup isn't the best solution. Your comments suggest that you do video work and have a lot of large files that frequently change. For most people with this much data, rotating backup disks to an off site location would be one good choice. You also will have the added security benefit of not having your data online.
     
  3. U2Boy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    #3
    Thanks. I realize that online may be a poor choice for me. The problem is, I am looking for a way to increase my hard drive space, but also have a backup drive as well. Is there software that makes it easy to pick and choose what you want backed up and makes it easy to reload that info onto a new computer if need be. I don't like that Time machine keeps making new files until your whole drive is filled up.
     
  4. palpatine macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #4
    This is a difficult question, because I think it depends on how you use your files, your budget, and the value you place on them.

    The easiest solution would be some kind of Carbonite of Backblaze service that backs up your entire drive online. However, that will take years (leaving you vulnerable in the meantime) and it might take several months to restore if that becomes necessary. Frankly, I don't see why anyone uses their services.

    Assuming you are silling to spend some money and value your data, you might want to try a version of the system I use. I have several 1TB external hard drives. One serves as my time machine backup. The others are handled manually. I move files (smart data management will make this easy) into one of the drives every few days. After about a week, I take that drive to my office, and transfer all of the data to another drive. I keep doing this until the office drive gets full. Then, I retire both external drives. One stays in the office in a box, and the other goes home into its box. I then buy two new drives and repeat. My data is valuable and irreplaceable, so it makes sense to have it in two physical locations. Fire, theft, etc. shouldn't impact me at all.

    But, what about that week or so between transfers? Well, I also have online backup. I only ever use a few dozen gigabytes of data at any point (the files I am working with and changing--the rest is archived on those external drives), so I backup to Sugarsync. Dropbox is another nice service. You might consider Carbonite or another similar service for these files (prioritize them for upload). I have a 60GB account, but I will probably reduce that next spring.

    There is a lot of redundancy, and each external drive costs about 100 dollars, but it is a worthwhile investment, in my opinion, since I have gone paperless and all of my research, books, receipts, etc. are there. Even if a hard drive should fail, I still have another backup of it as well. It is difficult to see how I could permanently lose any data (not impossible, but at least unlikely).

    For external drives, I recommend WD, but I don't think it matters a whole lot, because the insides are all pretty much the same.

    One benefit of my system is that you only need a few dozen gigabytes of hard drive on your computer. This greatly reduces the cost of drives, puts you in the range of SSDs (I haven't gotten one yet, though), and with the online backup makes it entirely possible to work with the iPad for extended periods of time.
     
  5. adamvk macrumors 65816

    adamvk

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #5
    Carbonite Backup

    $60 a year, unlimited storage. It's the best answer I've found for backups.
     
  6. Fireproof! macrumors 6502a

    Fireproof!

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Location:
    Frisco, TX
    #6
    Check out Crashplan.com before you land anywhere else.

    Great service. Can do initial seeding with external drive if needed. Unlimited space online.
     
  7. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #7
    Unless you have finer optic broadband backing that much stuff up online just isn't realistic. Palpatine has a much more realistic solution right here, i use a very similar system and it works very well. Using multiple external drives gives you a good level of redundancy and is very flexible if you distribute your data across them in a scalable sort of way. It can be as simple as simply copying files manually to other externals if that suits you too, or you can mix things up with various backup solution to cater for different data types. for example, here is my setup

    >500GB Internal drive (OS, apps)
    >2 x 500GB USB Hard drives - Bootable clones (scheduled full clone once per week and once per month with full checksum using carbon copy cloner)
    >2TB USB RAID array - Media Storage (movies, iTunes library etc)
    > 2TB USB RAID array - TV Show storage
    >320GB USB Hard Drive - Documents, Dropbox sync folder
    >Firewire 800 Drobo 5.5TB - (4TB partition(scheduled Carbon Copy Cloner backup of both 2TB USB RAIDs)) + (1.5 TB Time Machine partition for internal drive, 320GB HD and any media locations which change regularly e.g. iTunes library)

    This might be overkill for yourself at present, but as your backup size increases over time having your data spread across multiple drives (and redundant RAID arrays) is never a bad thing.
     
  8. TimTheEnchanter macrumors 6502a

    TimTheEnchanter

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #8
    Online backups are great if you have a fast enough connection, like cable.

    I went with this configuration for my MBP w/500GB drive...
    1. External USB2 1TB drive for Time Machine (MBP only)
    2. FW800 Drobo with about 2.5TB storage (all file storage, iTunes library, photo library mirror)
    3. CRASHPLAN+ (MBP+Drobo=1.5TB upload took me about 2.5 weeks with staged build-ups until fully backed-up, now runs daily) I view this as a fail-safe measure for catastrophic loss, but not my primary backup.

    I also backup my photo libraries and freelance projects folder to a travel drive after each session since that is my bread and butter, it goes with me pretty much everywhere so if something big were to happen, I have that for immediate use as online recovery can take a long time, plus for occasional use when I'm away from my office.
     
  9. sandimacd macrumors regular

    sandimacd

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    FL
    #9
    software backup/sync program

    I have used GoodSync since 2005. First on PC and since 2008 on the Mac. It is quite speedy over my home network. I like that I can build a multitude of specific file and folder syncing and/or backup paths and it works in the background.
    I have some folders set to sync auto between Mac and PC, some manual between Mac and FTP server, and an overall 3 way sync between my iMac, MacMini and 1TB external storage. I use my iMac randomly, my MacMini to keep a backup copy of all my files and the ext HD to keep that extra copy "just in case".
     
  10. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #10
    External 3 TB USB hard drive. They are a bit expensive at the moment, due to the flooding in Thailand, but even today I can get one for under £170; will probably be cheaper in two months time. Then use Time Machine. Backups over USB run at about 120GB per hour with little noticable effect on the use of your machine.
     
  11. peeaanuut macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #11
    2-3TB drives in a FW800 external case has become my backup and external storage method of choice.
     
  12. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #12
    I back up 5TB on a regular basis. The only way to go is with external drives. And then to do it right you need two sets of backup drives and alternate between them (sometimes you find something is corrupted during the backup operation and you end up with nothing -- happened to me just yesterday!) And you also need an "off site" place to keep the drives.
     
  13. calviin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    #13
    I agree. You can get one of these http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/NewerTech/Voyager/Hard_Drive_Dock
    and swap out internal hard drives every time you swap things out. Keep one copy in a safety deposit box and switch it out every two weeks to a month. A 1TB drive costs around $100 or so but it'll get a lot cheaper as the factories in Thailand get restored. Firewire would help you get 500 GB in a couple of hours as opposed to a few months/years on an internet connection.
     
  14. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #14
    I have been using Crashplan for half a dozen macs with about 15 gig of documents per mac. I have heard crashplan throttles you after 200 gig so I'm looking for something else for my media files. If you pay per gig to store stuff, it gets expensive in a hurry. It's around $250 per year per terabyte, however there are some photo sharing sites that will allow you to "back up" photos for a modest annual fee. Take flickr for instance. For $25 a year, you get unlimited image storage but videos are limited to 90 seconds or so. On Picasaweb, you get unlimited storage at 2048 max (longest dimension) pixels. This is good if you don't mind your images getting auto-downsampled. Smugmug offers unlimited storage at $40 a year and up. Snapfish is free, but if you want to share photos, people have to sign up for a snapfish account just to see your pics.

    I suggest a "blended approach" much like what I'm doing.

    I use a blend of on site and internet backup. My Mac gets backed up to a Time Capsule. My documents get backed up over the internet to crashplan. My photos are backed up on site. I use a 1TB removable drive for primary storage and 2 redundant NAS drives (one LaCie and one Synology). Lastly I'm working on finding an online photo backup site. I'm most focused on flickr and Smugmug.

    The absolute lowest cost off site backup for 500 GB of stuff is to pick up a 1TB external USB drive, drag and drop everything onto it. Unplug it and drop it over at a friend's house or in a safe deposit box. Now you have off site backup. Pick up a second identical drive. Once a month or so, drive over to the off site location and swap them.
     
  15. sandimacd macrumors regular

    sandimacd

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    FL
    #15
    Blended approach

    I admit that this works best for me as well. I keep a mirrored file on a second Mac- it just updates over the network. And a back up on ext drive. I use Smug Mug for photo and video tied to my home domain name. They offer a discount with Amazon online storage. I don't have a lot of edited video however, just random 3-20 second clips. Sounds like your movie backup will be the most challenging.
     
  16. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #16
    Yes it is the most challenging. All of Smugmug's uploaders fail miserably when the come across a codec they don't understand. The HTML5, Flash and Java uploaders go into an infinite loop where they keep trying to upload the same file over and over again and the rest of the files are ignored. I have to abort the download and supervise everything by hand. Then there's macdaddy. I could write a book about macdaddy but in the end it's slightly better than the html5 and other smugmug uploaders until it hits an unknown codec. Like the others it fails miserably and has to be aborted.

    My videos were recorded with a string of point and shoot cameras starting with Olympus, then Kodak, then Canon. Most recently my videos are recorded with a Canon DSLR and my iPhone 4. The problem hits in December 2009. Whatever camera I got for Christmas that year blows smugmug's mind. It looks like I'm faced with weeks of transcoding exercises to find a format smugmug can understand. For now, I'm manually deselecting all avi files during my uploads and I'm approaching 50% of my photos (only 10% of my videos) backed up. I'm not expecting smugmug or any other site to back up my ripped dvd's. I'm content to simply rip them again if necessary.
     
  17. sandimacd macrumors regular

    sandimacd

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    FL
    #17
    Me too. I am a recent SmugMug converter, since mid Dec. Been doing a few hours a day. Yesterday I reached my 2007 avi files taken with an older camera and it stumbled. So will have to also convert my 2001-2007 files. I recall doing it a few times for some selective files when I moved to Mac in 2008 before getting my new camera. I just need to figure out what software I used to convert. May have been a QT Pro on my old Win XP. I'll check out my Flip4Mac and see what that does.
     
  18. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #18
    OP - sounds like you're one glitch away from loosing all your data - if you don't currently have a backup plan.

    If you need an external drive to expand onto then that's great... but it won't be a backup, as long as you have your data in just one place.

    I'd get 2 additional 2 or even 3TB external drives in addition and backup to each in rotation, keeping one at a different location (to protect against flood, fire, theft etc).

    This
     
  19. sandimacd macrumors regular

    sandimacd

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    FL
    #19
    LaCie Power supply

    I recently had a scare when ext HD sporadically failed. Thought it was my iMac. That's one reason I reformatted and did a clean install of OS. Was also looking for online backup about then and both SugarSync & DropBox panicked because they couldn't sync to the sporadically reconnected files. Was a mess figuring all the limitations. We also just moved and had new network configurations that affect ability to mirror effectively. But a good lesson in diversification.
    Glad all was mirrored between iMac and MacMini prior to the fiasco so was able to recover. Researched and relieved that LaCie 1TB disk function was fully restored by replacing the power supply.
    So will continue the mirroring of files and ext HD back up in addition to selective online storage sites rather than online sync sites. I also have files archived since 2003 in a secondary backup on a series of 500 GB disks. Not sure if they are subject to failure when not used but they are compatible with PC and Mac while my 1TB is just readable by Mac.
    It may be time to go through and clean house. It's getting to be quite a pain to hold onto everything "just in case".
     
  20. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #20
    For me, I started uploading older photos and when I reached December 2008, I started getting errors. I wound up manually uploading all of 2009 with avi files omitted. I will later go back and see how many of them upload without intervention but I'm not optimistic. The problem is that the avi files I'm having a problem with were taken with a camera I still (occasionally) use to this day. It's a Canon SX110is.

    In the meantime, I've renewed my flickr pro subscription but this really might be the last year for that option. If I get things working properly on smugmug, I'll delete all but 200 of my flickr photos so I can continue with a free account for photos I want to share publicly and stick to smugmug for photos I want to share with friends/family with a password.

    I really do like the support I get from smugmug and it is that support that convinced me not to walk away after all the problems I was having.

    As for transcoding, I'm not sure what format to tell you to use. I emailed one of the pics I was having problems with to smugmug support and they couldn't find a way to make it work with their site. I would say smugmug really needs to update their site if they can't consistently support the video format used by a camera as common as a Canon super zoom point and shoot.

    I've got a LaCie 1TB external firewire disk. I also have a LaCie Network Space 2 NAS drive. A few weeks back, a firmware update seemed to "cook" the NAS drive and I saw visions of the LaCie 1TB drive failing before I could get everything backed up. For this reason, I immediately bought a Synology DS212J and that's why I now have 2 NAS drives. Once I get all my photos backed up on smugmug (or wherever), I'll be less paranoid about data loss but your post is a reminder of something simple that can fail and (might) take data with it. If I ever have a problem with my FW 1TB drive, based on your post I now know to check the power supply first.
     
  21. ideapower macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    #21
    The answer is Crashplan, upgrading to their seeded backup option. They ship you a drive, you ship it back full, and all your online backups begin incrementally from this initial set of data. I've done it, and it's brilliant. None of the other online backup companies offer this option, and it was my #1 reason for choosing them.
     
  22. thatoneguy82 macrumors 68000

    thatoneguy82

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Beach Cities, CA
    #22
    I bought a Crashplan subscription because of this thread. I tried both the "pro" version and the "+" version. I liked the pro version a lot more. The interface is a lot better and you can login from the web to access your account. Anyway, I was really glad that they had monthly plans, I hate yearly contracts. I don't care if it saves me money at the end of it all. I don't want to be tied down. Anyway, the difference between the "pro" and the "plus" was $2.49 I believe, $5.00 "+", $7.49 "pro". Not much of a difference, for me at least.

    I have around ~350GB of music, videos and pictures that I backup. However, not on a regular basis. Probably every several months, I always think I can depend on "iTunes Match" for my music and Time Machine for the rest. Anyway, I'm lazy, that's why my 1TB TM is perfect; it just does things without any input from, after the initial backup. Crashplan upload however, I feel is going to take forever. I have no idea how to make it faster. It's pretty erratic, it goes from 500Kbps all the way to 4.5MBps. I have Verizon FiOS 15MB/15MB. Speed tests prove that, but it won't work like that during the update. Anyway, it seems to be one of the better ones out there after the brief research that I did do. However, be prepared for a long upload.
     
  23. sandimacd macrumors regular

    sandimacd

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    FL
    #23
    E-data spring cleaning

    We downsized last fall from 4k SF to 2600SF, just the 2 of us now. We thrilled our kids and their friends by giving away tons if stuff. Also trashed a lot. Point is we are still feeling great about it, no regrets about living lighter. I am thinking I need to begin doing that with my digital files. Has been so much easier to back up and drag it along. Going through pics this month meant I sorted only the keepers, trashed others or sent them to now adult-family members to cherish. Same with music redundancy- do I really need to hold onto and back up the Hawaiian themed albums my daughter wanted for her grad party 4 yrs ago? Or give just give them to her?
    Many of you may be younger than me and are still building- that's different. But I think, for me, I need to take a hard look at cleaning out my TBs and figure what really requires backup and management. Most should fit on a 500GB disk that I can mail to my daughter and rotate out every 6 mo. She would need it anyway, if something should happen to us.
     
  24. wisty macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    #24
  25. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #25
    iMacs take 3.5" drives, but the idea is the same. The toasters save money with backups because you don't have to buy all those housings but can instead buy bare OEM drives. The downside is the drives aren't protected by a case so you need to be more careful moving and storing them. Also the connectors will probably wear out quicker but I haven't had that problem, yet.

    Here's my Mac mini server with external data and Time Machine drives and a "toaster" for backups.
    [​IMG]
     

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