August 11, 2008

Don't forget to backup!

If you don't yet backup your files, you should. I know you probably don't want to spend the money, but if you lost your files tomorrow, just think how much you'd be willing to spend in order to get them back.

That being said you have 2 options when it comes to backing up your hard work (both song/project files and other).
  1. Copy all your files to another location

    This is something you should always do, even if you use RAID. It's pretty simple to do though. Either (a) manually backup the files you think are important over to an external drive (or secondary external drive if the original files are already on an external drive). Or you can set up a program to automatically do it for you. I use rsync, but
    time machine is a good user friendly backup tool for mac, and according to lifehacker, syncBack is a good one for windows.

  2. Use RAID1 to automatically keep a duplicate copy at all times.

    You're probably wondering why anyone would do a backup using this method since they'd have to do one of the other backup methods anyway. Well here it is: When a drive fails, the computer doesn't act funny. It doesn't crash. It doesn't fail to boot. It works perfectly well, and continues to operate normally as long as you need it to.

    It just tells you that one of your disk drives has crashed and needs to be replaced. When you replace it, it just copies all the files over to the new drive so you have 2 copies of everything again.

    So why does this need to be combined with method 1? Well it doesn't really, but if something happens to your computer, like a fire or being dropped, and both drives are destroyed together, you're still screwed. And believe me dropping your computer will kill both of the drives. I speak from experience.

  3. Keep a remote copy

    This is really just a variation of number 1, but I separated it because the procedure of doing the backup is different. This one requires a remote server on the internet to store your files.

    You can do this automatically with rsync, or you can just do it manually by copying your files to an ftp server.

    WARNING: You should always use SSH when backing up files over the internet (also known as sftp, ftp over ssh, or scp) If you don't use ssh or some other encryption when you backup over the internet, anyone can see the data in your files. That is bad.

Losing your files sucks. Backup today.

© 2008 Jim Robert