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I transitioned to a computer based source 6 years ago. 4 years ago I was closing in on my laptop hard drives capacity limit and got one of these to use as my primary storage. I only burned CDs that I owned so a back up seemed non-critical. 3 years ago I got a DAC that does HiRez and started downloading some music.
Yesterday my wife's external hard drive for high resolution photo storage started acting wonky. She saves the SD cards and uses USB sticks for critical photo back up. I managed to get everything off the failing hard drive.
I got a round tuit and got a second drive and backed up my music files. I plan to store it away from my set up. Any one else need a round tuit?
Edits: 03/06/17Follow Ups:
I have six backup drives, five of which are 2.5" and one 3.5" that used to be in my desktop. I purchased an external cabinet with USB interface. And I have a copy on a 256 GB USB flash drive just because. I rotate backing up to each drive on a weekly basis. Since each one is powered up less than an hour a month, I feel pretty safe cheating Murphy and his MTBF clock.
Then there's that other 2.5" drive I gave to my mother in law which also has a master copy of my music. :)
I was the IT director for a company back in the 80s and 90s. Since preserving lots of work from lots of folks was my responsibility, I maintained ten rolling sets of backup tapes. Along with keeping monthly and yearly copies.
I started out buying a 500 MB USB drive cheaply on a Black Friday years ago. Then I kept buying them. When 1 TB drives were the sweet spot, I ended up with two of those to copy all my music, video and stuff.
I also make daily backups via cheap USB flash drives of my Quicken personal finances along with copies of tax and other statements and a master spreadsheet I maintain that contains all manner of important data to me. For those, I keep seven sets.
I guess I suffer a bit of OCD when it comes to important data retention. Better than hoarding gear!
And don't forget off-site storage...... I have a NAS with RAID Backup... But also backup weekly to offsite storage.
realized there was no real value to be found. Unlike business servers where transactions change data on a minute-by-minute basis, music servers are relatively static. It really doesn't make much sense to spin (and wear) multiple spindles for data that doesn't change that often.
I decided to use the extra drive as offline storage that runs just frequently enough to include new content.
Result? Quieter and more efficient environment with far greater overall MTBF.
For business applications, however, my company recommends the use of RAID 10 for optimum performance and redundancy.
Well you are correct, but disk is so cheap nowadays..... I figured why not.... For the last 30 years, any catastrophe that I have had personally would have been solved by my current Raid system.
As far as quietness goes, I have my NAS system tucked into a far corner of the basement where it cannot be heard.
I don't maintain multiple computer systems or storage devices.
I use my desktop server for responding to this post as well as serving both music and video content. While my main music system is on another floor of the house, I do plan to replace the 3.5" 2 TB data drive with a quieter 2.5" drive. The OS runs on an SSD.
The NAS that I put in last year, was one of the best things I've done Computer Wise......No spinning drives within earshot of anywhere.
I am currently in the Bahamas and spend the winter there (3 months) and have access to all my files back in Minneapolis.... I can even play my music stored back in Minneapolis here in the Bahamas.
My wife and I each have a couple Laptops, Phones and we have a Main Desktop System (Although now it is a mini with a SSD Drive).... All of our Computers, Phones have access to our files.
You can get a NAS for around $250 or so..... Cheap. If one fails, swap it out.... 6TB of data...
RAID is unnecessary for static data.
Some folks have a false sense of security with mirrored disks in the computer and an external RAID/NAS. There's no substitute for multiple backup strategies... and RAID is not a "backup".
A RAID may save one from a disk failure but if the RAID system itself goes belly up having a row of good disks in the RAID chassis is of no use. In a typical consumer RAID there are several single points of failure, the most obvious being the RAID controller and power supply. If I had a small RAID system in my home, I would still need to back it up. It's much easier IMHO to just maintain a few different backups w/o the RAID.
Mirrored boot disks in the computer are fine but if you use those mirrored disks for anything else other than the OS, and human error or other corruption occurs, all you've done is made another copy of the problem on the 2nd disk. ;-)
I maintain a few different backups to external USB disks using different methods including Carbon Copy Cloner for fully bootable backups. If my internal Mac disk dies, I just boot up from the external disk and carry on until I fix/replace the internal disk. I do this on my music server as well as my work laptop.
Time Machine makes incremental backups with the ability to recover data from different points in time like an hour ago, a few hours ago, yesterday, a few days ago, a week ago, etc. etc. If I mistakenly make a change to a document, spreadsheet, or presentation, I can count on Time Machine to take be back to a version before my changes were made.
I also sync all the folders on my desktop to an external USB disk that is formatted with the MS-DOS FAT filesystem. If my work Mac dies completely, I can attach this USB disk to another Mac or even a (gasp!) Windows PC and have instant access to my latest and most important work related activities.
And if that's not enough, my work laptop has a backup agent running on it which backs it up over the internet to two separate servers at "corporate" whenever I'm on the company network via VPN.
Additionally, we have iCloud backups for all of our iPhones, iPads, and certain Apps and data that cross over to our Macs including Calendar entries, Contacts, Reminders, spread sheets, presentations, etc. If I break or lose my iPhone, the provisioning of a new one would include fully restoring all of that data to the new iPhone.... seamlessly over wifi or the cellular data network. A lot of this data is also accessible to me via a web browser on any computer. None of my music is in iCloud... I have too much so I just use my USB disks.
The point is to have multiple backup and recovery methods. I have several that 'overlap'. And as you know, a RAID/NAS is not a backup. Much of the above is automated to "minimize complexity".
Good post, Abe.
For someone who isn't making real backups at all now, a simple first step would be to buy two USB hard drives. Each drive should have enough capacity to store all the data.
Make a full backup to each drive. Store one drive offsite (at a friend's house or the office.) Keep the other drive onsite and run incremental backups at intervals frequent enough that the loss of data since the last backup is acceptable in case of a problem. At an appropriate interval, swap the onsite and offsite backup drives.
There are lots of usable backup programs. I just use batch files that start robocopy. The batch files are scheduled to run daily automatically.
Like you, Abe, I had always avoided using a NAS at home. Last year I finally got one to facilitate sharing photo and music files with my wife. I incorporated the NAS into the backup process. At 8pm, the files on my PC are backed up to the NAS. At 9pm, the files on my wife's PC are backed up to the NAS. At ~11pm, the NAS backs up everything on the NAS to a 6 TB USB drive.
I also have Windows 10 recovery drives on USB thumb drives for each of our PCs and image backups. This makes recovery faster and less fiddly in case a boot drive fails.
my blog: http://carsmusicandnature.blogspot.com/
Been using the same one for over two years to play all my music files from JRiver. Never a problem. Have another one as back up. Would purchase again...
Computer audio is my main music source as well. I have 500 gb stored on my PC's hard drive, nearly the limit, and I also have that essential music backed up on 2 1tb hard drives. One is getting up in age and running slowly, the other is fine. Everything I plan to keep lives on those 2 duplicate external drives, and everything I shuffle daily lives on my PC.
If I awake to a fire and the door's not blocked, I grab the newer drive and all my pics and music files are miraculously saved. If the door is blocked I start over, once the insurance check comes clear, that is if I continue to live!
Well done, in computer audio backups are essential.
I would not rely on having the original CDs as a form of backup due to the considerable labour involved in ripping the things in the first place (unless you have a very small collection). I don't spend every day ripping and after two years only have around a third of my collection done. I wouldn't want to have to go through all that again.
I would now advise you to buy a third drive and back up to that. Why? Because with two drives only if your first drive dies then you are left with one drive. And you then have no backup!
Futhermore that third drive can be stored away from your place so that you then have some security should you suffer theft or fire. Although you could do the offsite storage with a second drive, that won't help if you have a listening session one evening and drive one fails. With your second drive at home you can simply swap it in and carry on with your listening. Not so good if your only backup is stored at work, with a friend or even, as some do, in a bank vault.
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