how can i back up my external drive?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bob2131, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. bob2131 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    hi, i have an external 1TB back up drive. Purely for backing up my desktop and freeing my desktop drive up.

    But say if one day my external dies.
    Ive lost the data.
    As some is not on my desktop.

    So ..... ?

    I should be backing up my external too right?

    but how?

  2. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    Paris, France
    Yep. You should buy an other external dedicated to make a weekly clone with SuperDuper.
  3. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    but how is one external connected to another external?

    im talking about my pc desktop.
    i back stuff up to my 1TB external then delete stuff from PC as its maxed out.
    so some stuff only resides on 1tb external.
    I want the external backed up in case it fails one day.
    good procedure, right?

    i have another external for my macbook as a time machine.
    im gonna buy another for super duper cloning.
    SO then ill have TWO backs up of my macbook.
  4. EndlessMac macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2009
    I don't know if there is a quick and convenient way on PCs but one way to do it is to connect both external hard drives to your PC and then copy one to the other. If your PC has a free drive space then you can install an extra internal hard drive and then have an external as your cloned secondary backup. For selective important files I also back them up to DVDs that way I'm not just relying on hard drives.
  5. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    Paris, France
    Not sure to understand ... you have two computer so ?

    Having 2 backups is maybe not necessary, but you told that you deleted stuff from your computer after having transferred them to the external drive.

    So you have to backup that external drive.

    Note : with Time Machine you can set up two or more drive to be backed up.
  6. EndlessMac macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2009
    He is talking about his PC computer and not his Mac so no time machine. Also he is deleting stuff from his computer so his external will become the master original which means he will need a second drive to back that up.
  7. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    Paris, France
  8. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Feb 1, 2008
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
  9. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    Ok, several things, and I think almost everyone has experienced this (well I guess it is safe to say you haven't yet, you are lucky:) ), but it is NOT a question of IF your hard drive fails, but rather WHEN.

    So, how important is your data? If it is full of stuff that is not that important, then no worries. If it is important, then you need to get another drive.

    Rule of thumb is that you should have 3 copies of all the important info. That is for photography, anyway. I am sure it is the same for graphic/web design, piece of mind, etc:) .

    The most important things on my drive is my iTunes library (70GB, just music), pictures, graphic/web design projects. Everything else is just freeware applications, applications I paid for, movies, etc. Stuff I can easily get back.
    I have burned a lot of my images to a DVD-DL as well as backed up my iTunes library on 13 DVD+Rs. I am going to be buying a new internal HD, and going to use the one i replace as an external. With Hard drives getting so cheap now, there really is no reason NOT to have extra storage.
  10. Dimwhit macrumors 68000


    Apr 10, 2007
    Don't forget off-site storage. You can have all the external HDs you want, but if your house burns down, it won't help you.

    One option is to go with online backup. You'll be paying for it, but I think it's worth it. I use Backblaze ($5/month), which backs up my entire computer, including my external hard drive. I also have a second external drive that serves as my on-site backup, which is much easier for restoring. But if my house burns, it's all up on Backblaze.

    Something to consider.
  11. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    thanks guys.

    sigh. this is complex.

    raid1 mirrored? i dont understand this.

    HBOC you understand.

    online storage? wasnt aware of that. nice.

    I have 3 drives in my pc.
    system drive 80gb
    audio data 120gb (and itunes)
    storage drive 500gb

    I have a 1TB external which has backed up all above 3 drives.
    So now i continually put stuff on external and delete from PC.
    So i need to back up the external to another external i think.

    Can i buy two new internal PC drives (big sizes) and swap them into pc?
    with no problems? no re-installing anything?
    or problematic?
    or would 1TB or more drives consume lots of power and maybe my pc wont be able to handle 2 x 1TB+....?

    eg get an enclousure.... copy and paste or clone old one onto new one....then take out old one and put new one in.
    Should work? i have alot of music production files pin pointing to files on the audio drive and system drive, so the new drive cannot disprupt this connection/communication, you know? basically i want to put bigger drives into pc, without the pc realising.

    so can then use the 2 old drives in enclosures as and when for whatever.... for mac even (after reformatting for mac using OSX disc utility....i think)

    4 hard drives is too much power consumption you think?
    i have 3 drives in my pc currently......

    I need to buy a bigger internal drive.
    When i buy it, do i simply clone my macbook to new drive via an enclosure.....and THEN open up mac and swap them over?

    I have a time machine external.
    But i wanna buy another external for cloning mac for backup.
    Or maybe i can use the old PC internal 500gb drive via an enclosure to back up mac? would a pc drive simply need to be reformatted via disc utility on osx for it to work with mac?

    thanks for the help.
  12. palmerc2 macrumors 68000


    Feb 29, 2008
    Los Angeles
    well, I'm not a mac genius....or backing up genius for that matter, but i'll give it to you like this.

    I have a 1.5TB Seagate external HDD

    I have it partitioned (900GB for time machine, and 600GB for regular use)

    Time machine disk name : Walla Walla
    Regular use disk name: My B****h

    When in time machine prefs while both disks are mounted, under "options" I have the option to opt out of backing up folders. By default (I think) the other hard drive (in this case, the other partition) My B****h, is listed. You can opt that out though, simply by selecting the device, and clicking the minus sign. and then opt out your entire computer...thus making a clone of your other external hard drive.

    That is what I would do first....cuz I figure hey, may as well you use the best software to do it - the one designed by the same company making the operating system your running

    That may work for you, again...I'm no genius, nor have I tried it, but it may work for you
  13. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    OMG. People, a mirrored array doesn't protect against human error. And neither will adding parity!
  14. EndlessMac macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2009
    If you are swapping out your main hard drive then you should clone it to your new hard drive before swapping your original drive out. If you have an enclosure or a free drive slot you should be able to do this. Make sure to check if your new internal drive is set to master before installing it as the main hard drive because most are set to slave at least the ones I've bought have been that way.

    If your PC has an extra drive slot then you can install a second internal hard drive which will be faster for cloning and data transfer compared to an external hard drive. If you have never installed an internal hard drive or are not comfortable doing so you can always pay someone to do it for you. Your main hard drive is tiny at only 80 gb so it's probably a good idea to get it swapped out. This way you don't have to delete files from your main.

    That shouldn't be an issue. Your computer should be able to handle it, but yes if you are adding an additional hard drive then you are consuming more power. Don't worry about it. Also people upgrade to larger hard drives all the time.

    If you clone the hard drive it shouldn't disrupt any file links.

    Yes, many people reuse their old hard drive with enclosures. You would have to reformat them though. Just make sure your new internal hard drive works and all your data is there before you format your original hard drive. You should wait about a week to make sure your new hard drive works and has all your data.

    Again, don't worry about power consumption. Your electric bill might go up but your computer won't die. ;) Most external hard drives/enclosures have their own power supply anyway so your computer isn't taxed for power.

  15. muskett32 macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2009
    Here is my setup. This may help you.
    I have:

    1TB External for iMac backup via SuperDuper
    1TB External to store all movies and media
    1TB External to backup movies and media, via Chronosync.

  16. mgridgaway macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2006
    I have one of these puppies and its great. And since I'm the only one using it, I don't really have to worry about human error. It doesn't hurt that I have my more important stuff (docs, music, photos... movies are important but not that important) in 2 different places, though.
  17. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    "Cloud" storage is an alternative as well. I haven't had any experience with it myself, but I have started looking into it. Isn't MobileMe the same deal? I still have my 60 day trial, a year after buying my MBP.
  18. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Feb 1, 2008
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    Nothing protects against human error. But there's a lot more potential for human error in needing to manually make a backup of a backup, than there is in having an automatically mirrored copy.
  19. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007

    If this user sets up a mirrored raid and puts all his files on it, and then his file system becomes corrupt, its all gone.

    If he accidentially deletes a file , its gone.

    If he overwrites a file, its gone.

    The only thing a mirrored copy will do is make it hurt twice as much, and the amount of pain will go up only by the number of drives used in the array.

    See what i'm saying? A RAID is built for speed and reliability, and for this reason (zero lag time between updates on the drive) it doesn't serve the purpose of a backup. The schema can be as robust as the user wants it, whether that be a rotating backup every 12 hours, single backup every 24 hours, one backup ever week etc etc, but the buffer time needed between the master copy and the last copy is what we have to guard against accidental deletions/overwrites/corruptions/etc.

    Op isn't backing up a backup. He has files on his external drive that aren't on the desktop making it a master. A live mirror of a master does no good if something related to the OS goes haywire. It might be more difficult, but dealing with a false sense of security when the time comes will really hurt.
  20. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    endlessmac = thankyou so much.
    i didnt plan to swap my system drive(pc) but i think i should as its only got like 2gb left.
    SO IN THEORY, i can buy 3 new big pc internal hard drives and clone all 3 of my current internal pc drives, and swap them into pc....with no disruption or re-installing/re-activating software etc ?

    I think i should do one drive first (data audio drive) to learn the process. Im nervous about all this.

    Im sure ive got another spare slot or two in my pc for another if i put another one in...that will be FOUR hard drives within the PC (ive never heard of anyone using four internally)

    muskett = so your imac is only backed up in one location.

    Ordered new macbook drive and enclosure today. So will be cloning macbook very soon.
  21. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Feb 1, 2008
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    Go back to the original post. He said "But say if one day my external dies. I've lost the data." I'm talking about guarding against what he's concerned about - a drive going bad. That's where a mirrored drive is useful. Human error can always happen in any scenario. If he writes a file to his external drive then accidentally deletes it before he gets his 12 or 24 hour or weekly backup done, then it's just as gone as it would be on a mirrored drive.
  22. EndlessMac macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2009
    Windows will probably make you reactive itself since you are changing your computer configuration. I believe this was Microsoft's new way to prevent piracy which started with XP. Other than that it should be pretty straightforward.

    If you are nervous about this then you can bring it to a computer center to have them do it for you. If you have all the parts then the labor shouldn't cost that much.

    If you want to go the easier route then stay with external hard drives. Just buy the larger ones so they will last you awhile. If you connect both external hard drives to your computer through USB, etc you can clone the master external to the backup. It's the easier way to go. The benefit of the internal hard drives are they are faster to transfer data and if you swap out your main drive with a bigger one then you don't have to keep deleting the files so often. It also means that your main hard is now your master copy so you only need one external backup drive.

    Also you shouldn't do all internal hard drives because you want at least one external cloned hard drive so that you can take it out of your house or keep it in a fireproof safe. If something happens to your computer then all is lost which defeats the purpose of a backup.

    Your computer may not have the wiring for another drive but read the part I wrote above about having too many internal drives.

    If his main hard drive is large enough then it's the master and one back up is all he needs unless he's paranoid. You on the other hand are deleting files from your main hard drive so it's no longer the master copy.
  23. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008

    hooking up two externals may be a problem.
    i can only usually plug in one usb device at a time.
    while i have 7 usb ports, my pc has trouble recognising two at the same time, might be a weak power supply issue.

    Yeah ill do it all step by step slowly. One drive at a time.

    the thought of having 3 big spacious drives in my pc is very desirable for me. At the moment im juggling things and its getting messier by the day.

    great info, thanks.

Share This Page