What's Your Backup Plan?

Last Thursday I asked if you use checklists, and if someone could cover for you if you were away. It looks like we could use some improvement in that area.

In the same vein, what about backups? What happens if you show up for work, but your key files don't?

When I'm writing, or working on a client project, I upload the files to my X-Drive account at the end of the day. That way, the current project files are available off-site, in case of fire, flood, tornado, can't remember where I live, whatever.

For on-site storage, the files from my desktop computer are backed up overnight to an external hard drive, and the laptop files are backed up to its external hard drive.

The backup program doesn't copy the files from the Program Files folder though, so I have to remember to do that myself, once a week(ish).

What's Your Backup Plan?

It feels like there are holes in my backup bucket, so maybe I need to add some steps.

  • Do you have a backup routine in place?
  • Does yours copy everything, including the program files?

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7 Responses

  1. Tim Mayes says:

    My plan is paranoia. I use Foldershare to automatically sync files across all of my computers in real-time (more or less). I also use MozyHome remote backup to do offsite backup of changed files several times a day. For anything truly critical, I also send it to my GMail account.

    A hard drive crash and a virus attack, both years ago, taught me to be paranoid.

  2. I write my data files (and email) to an external HDD and copy the backup files to an 8 gig USB stick, of which I have two. One of them is at my home, the other at my inlaws. I exchange them weekly.

  3. All of my documents are on a 16GB USB stick (Sandisk Cruzer Contour).

    Once a week I backup all my work folders (including the USB stick). A copy of the work backup is on my work computer and an external hard drive at work (Maxtor Basics 500GB). I use my USB to transport the work backup home where it is backed up to an external hard drive (Maxtor OneTouch 4 500GB).

    Other personal data such as music, pictures etc. is on a different external hard drive at home (Seagate Freeagent Pro 320GB). Once a week it is synchronized to 2 different destinations (Maxtor external drive and a portable drive (FreeAgent Go). My website is copied to my USB stick and then the USB stick is stored on my website.

    Once every 3 months I make sure all my home backups and my work backups are synchronized. Phew. I’m currently trying to automate some of this. I use the open source DirSync for my synchronization and also Winzip for the backups.

  4. Tim, I had an external hard drive fail a couple of months ago, so I’m paranoid too. I’m sure there were a few things on it that weren’t stored anywhere else. Now I’m trying to make sure that absolutely everything is backed up somewhere.

    Jan Karel, that’s a great idea, and also ensures that you get to visit your relatives on a regular basis!

    Debra, thanks for the detailed description of your backup system. My external hard drives are the Maxtors that you have at home. I’ve got to get a website backup procedure too — it’s pretty haphazard at the moment.

  5. My weekly backup includes my site (but I run my site from FP, so everything except the download counting database is stored locally anyway).

  6. JP says:

    I finally created a backup plan for my home computers, too late for my wife’s computer though. It had a meltdown, so I went and bought a Seagate Freeagent 500 GB portable drive. Now I backup all four home computers (two PCs, two laptops) every week.

  7. JP, my condolences for your wife’s computer. Now you just have to remember to do the weekly backups. ;-)

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