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Anyone like puzzles?

Discussion in 'Computer Related Help & Discussion' started by Barney, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member


    Ok, so I don't have an explosive device primed with a proximity switch to deal with but the mess that is my back-up system is a computing disaster waiting to happen and demands a similar way of think to Bruce and Samuel in Die Hard 3.

    Over the last couple of years I've let my Mac based digital asset management lapse somewhat and now I'm in the position of having to do something about it before it's too late.

    I have:
    1TB hard-drive
    2TB external drive - main drive for archived photos and also has a back-up of my hard drive on it. Only 5GB free! :eek:
    1TB external drive - back up photos on my 2TB archived drive. 630GB free.
    1TB external drive - some back up for the 1TB hard drive and other files - only 22GB free!
    1TB external drive - some back up for the 1TB hard drive and other files which are different to the other files on the 1TB drive above - only 6GB free!

    Ideally, I'd like to have:
    Hard-drive backed up on 2 separate external drives
    2TB external drive for photos only (should be less than 1TB) backed up on two separate drives. I want to use this drive as the archive as it has Firewire connectivity.
    For safety's sake, I'm presuming that each drive may have some files on that are not on any other drive.

    What's the minimum number and size of drives will I need to buy in order to create a back up of everything and how do I go about it?
  2. nickyr

    nickyr Well-Known Member

    as you have a Mac why not keep your 2TB external drive connected full time and set it up as your time capsule? that will take incremental back ups every hour. Once the drive is full it'll start writing over the oldest stuff.

    Use one of your 1TB drives and an app such as Superduper or Carbon Copy Cloner to make a bootable clone of your hard drive once every week or so. Then keep this away from your main computer. If your internal drive fails then you can at least still boot up from your clone

    That would leave your 2 further 1TB external drives and use one to store archived photos and the other as an identical copy.

    That way you have:

    - up to the minute back ups of your hard drive going back some considerable time
    - a relatively up to the minute (well week) bootable clone of your hard drive
    - 2 copies of any archived photos
  3. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    That's the kind of set-up I'm aiming to get to, the trouble is that before I get there I have to some how make sure that I don't lose data on the various drives I've got hence the reference to the water jugs puzzle!
  4. nickyr

    nickyr Well-Known Member

    how much free space is on your mac's hard drive?
  5. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Oooh, the grand total of 23GB :eek:
  6. nickyr

    nickyr Well-Known Member

    ouch - that is full. Is performance suffering with such little free space? I'd certainly make it a priority to archive some more stuff from my internal drive if it was that full.

    the best back up systems are the simplest - forgive my honesty but yours doesn't seem that simple!

    with the price of external drives being so low (I recently got a 2TB one from the Apple Store for £90) then I'd start by archiving some older / less used files to the spare 630GB you have on one drive, rationalising what is on your internal drive and immediately setting up the new 2TB drive as your time machine and go from there.

    I'd then use one of your freed up 1TB drives as a clone. Or given the price they are, get a new one.

    Not a very scientific answer I know but probably the simplest solution and one that would be the least risk to losing data by swapping it over from drive to drive.
  7. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Yes performance is suffering, hugely.

    The problem is, I have duplicate copies on different external drives but each drive also has different files on simply because I had to move things around to make more room. If it sounds complicated it's because there was no thought behind it at the time!

    I now need an application that can reliably scan each drive and detect duplicates and to make back ups, consolidate and simplify things.

    Money's very tight at the moment, hence the original question, how little can I get away with having to spend in order to retain all the data and simply my back-up?
  8. nickyr

    nickyr Well-Known Member

  9. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that, I'll take a look. I'm still struggling to work out how many jugs I need and at what capacity!

    I think I need to bite the bullet and buy a couple of drives a 2TB and a 1TB and go from there.
  10. nickyr

    nickyr Well-Known Member

    I think that's probably your best bet. Losing images or files while swapping stuff around would be much worse than a relatively small outlay. Once you've got your drives rationalised then you can have:

    - internal hard drive
    - external time machine copy
    - external bootable clone
    - external drive with archived items
    - external copy of archived drive

    And you'll be safe in the knowledge that you can take your time making sure you don't lose anything. And you'll have a couple of spare hard drives left over - you could even investigate a NAS storage system then which is what I hope to move towards in a couple of years.

    As far as a clone backup is concerned, I use the free version of this and find it excellent:


    Good luck
  11. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Thanks, I'll need it! My brain baulks at dealing with stuff like this but I'll just have to have an extra strong coffee and try to get my head around it. :/

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