At 08:55 PM 29/04/02 -0700, you wrote:
><..snip..>
>I triple backup because my livelyhood depends on it! I have two drives in my
>machine that get mirrored. This covers me from a drive crash or even an
>accidental file overwrite. On a weekly basis, I copy my data to another
>machine, so if my drive controller on this machine screws up and trashes
>both drives, I've only lost a week max. I don't screw around with tape
>anymore because it's slow and I didn't do it often enough.
>
>Tony

Tony - I am with you the need for backups but I would have been softer on 
the personal stuff.  I recently had a disk crash that exposed a fault in my 
rigorous (I thought backup system) - I know how easy it is to think 
everything is backed up OK but then find that this is not the case - after 
the fact.  I modified my system as below:

1) Each night all the machines on my network automagically runs a batch 
file that zips up anything that has changed in the last two days into a 
suitably named zip file (file name has date in it).  (Basically incremental 
backup with overlap.)
2) This file is copied to both hard disks of that machine (every machine 
has two hard disks) and also across the network onto one hard disk of 
another machine.
3) Each week the same batch file is run but zipping anything that has 
changed in the last 999 days. (Basically a complete backup.)

So each backup file is mirrored in three locations with one location on 
another machine and every one of them on a separate hard disk.

The batch file is set to walk the directories that I want backed up.  This 
is a bit of a fiddle (making sure all data directories are in the backup 
list). But each machine has a User Data folder below which all data to be 
backed up should be stored if possible - some programs do not make it easy 
to change the location of data files but these get added to the batch file 
manually.

The zip process includes an exclude file to remove *.bak etc files from the 
backup.

I then burn a CD-ROM every so often, and delete the older backups to stop 
the hard disks filling too quickly.

I found that the Scheduled Task service under Win2k stops working (due to 
password failure when it tries to run a task as an Admin) after daylight 
saving - so my backup was not running for a couple of days until I noticed 
and found mention of the issue on the www.

One office where I do a lot of work has recently had 5 out of 5 Fujitsu 20 
GB hard disks fail all within a few months of each other, the most any of 
them lasted was about a 12 months.  Operating systems were 2xWin98, 
2xWinNT, and 1xWin2k. Air conditioned office.  Some machines were being 
turned off each night and some were on always.  All hard disks bought at 
the same time.  I have also recently had a 20 GB hard disk fail (not Fujitsu).

I spoke to a data recovery expert and he was saying that it is his strong 
impression that the failure rate of new hard disks is rising due mainly to 
the very short time-to-market constraints on the HD developers.

***It will happen to you.***

Ian

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