Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28

Thread: What format do you use for backup and archival

  1. #1

    Default What format do you use for backup and archival

    I wanted to know what other people use for short term and long term data preservation. Currently I'm using CD-R's Made of gold for my photo albums that should last ~300 but are too small to back up everything important.

    I was looking into getting a LTO-2 or 3 tape drive to back up all my data, drives are cheap and reliable and I can get 400GB tapes for $2 each. They have plans for LTO 5,6,7... with tape data sizes doubling each generation so it would be easy to migrate from one gen to the other. They can last up to 40 years.

    Currently I'm using a 4 2TB HDDs for monthly back up but I don't trust then for long term.

    So what do you use?

  2. #2


    For important backups, I generally rsync to my webserver, and use external harddrives for short-term data archival...

    If I use a compression format it's usually a TBZ Tarchive though that may soon be replaced by 7-Zip archives.

  3. #3


    I don't have a regimented backup plan in place, I just rely on random redundancy from my own haphazard duplication across my many drives, partitions and systems floating about. I have archived a lot in the past, being a tremendous whore of data in general... I'm not sure how long mass market CDR's and DVDR's are rated for, but most of my copious collection is still functional.

    I just looked into the Tape drive option - I had no idea they were still in use, and the capacities and low prices are amazing to me - but the price of ownership of some of the drives seem pretty steep for me. I had no idea they lasted that long though - I've destroyed more than my share of magnetic media in my lifetime, through audio cassette indulgence, VHS mastery, floppy disk abuse and hard drive hoarding - and tend not to trust magnetic media for too long.

    For my own purposes, when I decide to stop being so random with my backups, I'll likely go with Blu Ray, or whatever replaces that in short order. I'm not even sure what sort of longevity that format will have, but the capacities are reasonably impressive and the cost of entry is lowering by the day.

  4. #4


    I use a multi-layered approach.

    For stuff I can replace (mostly media / rips of my audio and DVD collection) I have a raid6 array (I know, not a backup.. but as said.. replacable content).

    For irreplacable stuff.. I have 2 external hard drives. I keep one locally and do a daily rsync.. and one in my desk at work. I swap them out periodically (once every few months).

    For a small subset of really important things.. I store in an encrpyted container and copy up to my VPS. Because it's encrypted the whole thing gets re-copied even if nothing has changed.. but it's so small it doesn't really matter. It's actually kinda amazing.. I have literally over a dozen TBs of storage.. but all the really important stuff boils down to far less than 1GB.

    Never been a fan of tape backup for personal stuff. Slow, hard to get at your stuff, and you have to regularily verify them. Not to mention the drives are expensive.

    CD/DVD media I trust even less. Writable stuff doesn't last.. and the new stuff that's supposed to last hasn't been around long enough to have proven itself. Also slow and low capacity.

  5. #5


    I've had good luck with DVD-R's and BD-R's once they're burned, but you can't leave the un-burned media lying around for long or it will become unusable. I had almost an entire 50-disc spindle of DVD-Rs go bad just sitting there. The shelf life is awful.

    That said, I produce too damned much data to use even BD-R's for backup. I shoot HD video like crazy, and am always behind when it comes to cutting and rendering it out to DVD, BD, etc. I presently have one of these, which I love. Just get a 1TB or 2TB SATA drive (I have literally stacks of them!), drop it in, fill it up, pull it out, shelve it. For stuff I deem irreplaceable (and especially valuable), I'll just make two copies of the files or duplicate the entire drive--manual RAID.

  6. #6


    I use Acronis TrueImage (an old version that only runs under XP!) to create backup images of my data partitions. They get imaged to a couple of internal drives and one external. I have copies of the TrueImage installer and serial on each backup drive (so I can install the recovery software should the hard drives fail completely).

    Notes and files that I am "currently working on" get put in a Dropbox folder, so they get automatically synchronised across all my devices and backed-up automatically (although this is more for easy-access and so I don't need to fiddle around with USB drives or end up accidentally editing old versions of the files).

    I read that dye-based CDs and DVDs (i.e. self-recorded ones) aren't as reliable for long-term storage as hard drives (but I don't really know)...

  7. #7

    Default What format do you use for backup and archival

    I use an external HDD, I only store important and irreplaceable files in there. I update it monthly, unless I do something really important.

  8. #8


    I clone all the "desktop" PCs (which are actually mostly laptops these days) using Acronis on a weekly cycle to two servers (the computers alternate which computer they backup to each week). Those images are backed up after the weekly runs to a rotating set of external drives. Monthly backups (clones, and full backups of the data only) are written to DL DVD-Rs on the 3rd.

    Photos are and documents on my personal computers (but not my family's) are backedup to SugarSync automatically, and nightly updates are sent to my web server that then uses a Webdav connection to send them to

    Despite 4 hard disk failures in the last year (bad batch of drives as best I can tell) I've lost exactly one file, and seeing as how it was an app I was no longer using on my iPad or iPhone, it wasn't a great loss and I could have always redownloaded it if I needed it

  9. #9


    i use old hard drives (with an IDE-to-USB adapter - currently serving my DVD drive until/if i get a new one), scavenged from old PVRs and PCs. the cost is just the adapter.
    also got loads of my old pics on DVDs, though i never bother with them. in the end, it's all disposable; and anything i want can all be re-done.

  10. #10


    I guess i should feel bad.. i don't create full backups.

    The only backup i have are my source codes from 4 months ago...

Similar Threads

  1. Making NTSC backup copies of PAL DVDs?
    By KaworuVsDrWily in forum Computers & Gaming
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 20-Jul-2011, 05:46
  2. Backup Howto/FAQ/Overview (Windows-orientated)
    By mm3 in forum Computers & Gaming
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 08-Mar-2008, 07:43

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • - the Adult Baby / Diaper Lover / Incontinence Support Community. is designed to be viewed in Firefox, with a resolution of at least 1280 x 1024.