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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Backup Solution

In a previous post, I talked about online backup. Since that time, I have been trying a new method of backing up -- this one local. After researching tape based backup and realizing that it is very expensive and still not that trustworthy, I came upon external devices that allow you to plug in a standard SATA hard drive. These devices can be connected via USB, SATA and/or eSATA (maybe Firewire, too). I went with a Thermaltake BlacX eSATA USB Docking Station, a SATA to eSATA bracket with cable to extend one of the motherboard SATA connections to the rear of the computer, and a couple of 2TB drives. The docking station came with a short eSATA cable that connects it to the bracket at the rear of the computer.

Now I have an external SATA drive bay and can can alternate backing up critical data to two different external drives. Thankfully, I haven't needed the backups, but it's good to know they're there.

The docking station was around $35. The bracket was around $5. The two drives were a bit over $200. All of this was a lot less expensive than any other solution I could find.

Software for this solution is another story. I've tried a several programs and none of them feel trustworthy to me. Storing data with a non-standard software protocol leaves me at the mercy of a software vendor that may not be there tomorrow. I'll post what I decide upon here. Until then, it's once a week zip files of each directory.


  1. Hi, I had the same issue in the last week! Try duplicati. It's a fantastic backup program, secure, lots of options and it's free!


    Regards from Germany

    1. I appreciate all the comments and excellent suggestions on this topic.

      Presently I'm using duplicati. It is slow with the TB's of data I have, but it seems to be working well. I have yet to test it in recovering a file. I'll report on that when I do.

  2. Hello Mr. Prince! Old fan from the Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure days.

    When I take backups, I used to use the built-in backup utility in Windows - but I can see your concern since it started to give me errors. Now I use Dropbox/Google Drive to store my stuff that I'd want back if my hard drives went down.

  3. Hi Mister Prince, big fan of Keen and cosmo games, played them for years from 286 to pentium and recently when I revived my old pentium! Wish the happy games with happy songs, collecting icecreams and sodas for rewards would come back. Don't you think the old, simple methods are best often? My trust in online storage has lowered past year. A good drive is a good solution, as far as software: why not burn zips and raw files? Legacy zip is still vice-versa compatible after decades; can't say that for years of backups from different versions of proprietary backupsoftware, they have all become useless.....

    1. I agree with you on those games. Maybe one day they'll be brought back with that same feel.

      Before I was ever involved with id Software, I had downloaded the original Commander Keen and thought it was inspired. As simple as it was, I bought into it emotionally by trying my best not to step on the little puffballs that would explode if you stepped on them. I haven't had a similar experience in any of the games I've played recently.

      I don't trust cloud/online storage at all. Recently a writer for Gizmodo had his me.com account "hacked" and they wiped all of his iDevices. He had no other backup. Apple was only requiring the last four digits of the iTunes credit card as verification of the me.com account. UNforgivable! And Amazon played into it, too, with an unforgivable method of verification for adding a credit card to an account.

      And I don't trust the proprietary software either.

      So, even though it's more work to do the zip thing, I'm headed in that direction.