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  1. #1
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    Backup Strategy Question

    I'm using a Surface Book (i7) as my primary work machine. I need a reliable backup strategy to ensure I can recover with as minimal downtime as possible.

    Here's what I'm currently doing:

    1. I'm imaging my drive to my Drobo NAS box using Macrium Reflect (Workstation). I've created one "Full" backup, followed by daily "Incremental" backups. Once a week, the "Incremental" backups go through a purge process and I attempt to have a "Synthetic Full" created. I have a recovery boot flash drive I created using Macrium plus an option on the Windows 10 boot menu to boot into Macrium Recovery.

    2. I am also backing my critical files over the Internet to CrashPlan. My primary work files are stored in OneDrive for Business, but I have some critical documents not stored in synced storage that get backed up to CrashPlan.

    Is my strategy "enough" or do I need to look at doing more?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    A couple of thoughts:
    * Leave your backup medium disconnected except when it is in use. This will minimize the chance of malware getting on it.
    * Have two backup drives, and alternate between the two. In this way, if one gets infected (or crashes), you'll still have the other.

    The only other thing I would want is to be able to copy individual files (as opposed to the entire backup) from the backups to the computer.

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    4 Star Lounger SpywareDr's Avatar
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    3-2-1 Backup Strategy
    A 3-2-1 strategy means having at least 3 total copies of your data, 2 of which are local but on different mediums (read: devices), and at least 1 copy offsite. We’ll use “kitten.jpg” as an example for this scenario. Kitten.jpg lives on your computer at home, it was a picture that you took of your cat in 2012. That’s one copy of the data. You also have an external hard drive that you use for backing up your computer, if you’re on a Mac, you might be using it as a Time Machine drive. As part of its backup process, that external hard drive will back up kitten.jpg. That’s a second copy, on a different device or medium. In addition that external hard drive, you also have an online backup solution. The online backup continuously scans your computer and uploads your data offsite to a datacenter. Kitten.jpg is included in this upload, and that becomes the third copy of your data.

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    I also like having individual files available to be restored, in addition to my other backup strategies. I use a batch file basically using variations on this XCOPY command:

    XCOPY C:\...\*.* D:\...\*.* /e /d /c /h /y

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    4 Star Lounger SpywareDr's Avatar
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    Be careful with XCOPY. It can cause short file|folder name alias distortions that can lead to system problems later ... sometimes much later. More info here: http://www.pcguide.com/art/xcopyWrong-c.html

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    Thanks everyone for the info! My backups happen nightly to the Drobo NAS automatically. Is there a way to have the Drobo NAS auto-disconnect after the backups are completed and auto-reconnect when the backups are scheduled to run?

    For the two drives, would it be best to use two Drobo shares or a separate physical drive such as an external USB?
    Nathan Parker
    President/CEO
    Mallard Computer, Inc.

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Parker View Post
    Thanks everyone for the info! My backups happen nightly to the Drobo NAS automatically. Is there a way to have the Drobo NAS auto-disconnect after the backups are completed and auto-reconnect when the backups are scheduled to run?
    The only way I can think of is to get a timer switch on the drive's power cable. It would power the drive off and on as needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Parker View Post
    For the two drives, would it be best to use two Drobo shares or a separate physical drive such as an external USB?
    Two separate physical devices are preferred, because if one crashes, you still have the other. As I understand Drobo, both shares would be on the one physical device, so I wouldn't go that way.

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    Thanks for the info. I have a SmartThings setup, so I could pop a smart switch on the Drobo and set it to switch on/off on a timer, plus be able to override it in the SmartThings app or with my Amazon Echo if I needed to.

    The Drobo shares are virtual, and while my Drobo has five physical drives in them (with dual disk redundancy enabled), I cannot specify which shares go to which drives, so it's true two shares can be on a single drive (and it is still on a single physical device), so two drives may be better. I could even have one drive set to clone so I have a clone in addition to a nightly image.

    Thanks!
    Nathan Parker
    President/CEO
    Mallard Computer, Inc.

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    I also noticed that Windows 10 comes with "File History". Should I use this as another means of backing up my files in addition to Macrium Reflect for system images or is it not really beneficial?

    Thanks!
    Nathan Parker
    President/CEO
    Mallard Computer, Inc.

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    I use File History as another way to quickly restore files. You need to be careful with File History as there are reports of if doing complete backups of the configured folders as opposed just the changes. I've not seen this but I periodically do remove all but the latest backup using Control Panel.
    Joe

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    Sounds good. Thanks for the info. I may go ahead and switch it on soon as an extra layer of backup.
    Nathan Parker
    President/CEO
    Mallard Computer, Inc.

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    I do logical drive/partition images, and dispense with the incrementals. I use multiple logical drives, and there are only three that need to be backed up frequently; OS, Program Files and Users. I have a Robocopy task setup on Task Scheduler to copy my Documents folder to my local OneDrive folder (which is on a separate HDD) and OneDrive syncs automatically with my online OneDrive. From there it syncs downstream to local OneDrive folder on my NAS.

    I copy the image files on my backup drive to my NAS, and also do drive images of my NAS to an external drive plugged into the dock on my NAS. I remove it for safe storage when the image is finished. I use Image For Windows, and the image files can be mounted as a drive for easy file retrieval if necessary.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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    Interesting setup! Thanks for sharing!
    Nathan Parker
    President/CEO
    Mallard Computer, Inc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    The only other thing I would want is to be able to copy individual files (as opposed to the entire backup) from the backups to the computer.
    You can do that with Macrium Reflect. In the "Restore" tab, and with your backup disk attached, select "Open an image or backup file in Windows Explorer". Select the image file that you want, give it a drive letter, and then it will show up in Windows Explorer (or similar) as a drive, from which you can copy individual files. Then do "Detach a backup image ...." when finished.

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