I try to keep in mind that computers disasters are a matter of ‘when‘ and not a matter of ‘if.’ That dreaded computer disaster will happen (usually at the worse possible time), so I really try to be disciplined about doing backups. For me, the easiest and most cost efficient way to do backups is with an external hard drive enclosure.
This is an external housing unit into which you can place the hard drive that you need. I do two sets of backups – on two different hard drives. It is relatively simple to exchange the hard drives in the enclosure. The reason that I do two backups is that one of the backup drives goes off premise. That’s in case of a huge catastrophe at home. There will be a backup elsewhere. The other backup is at home. Yes, this may be excessive for some people but these data bases are so important.
The routine is that I back up one drive in the middle of the week – and then I back up the other one on the weekend. With that system, the worse that could happen is that I lose three / four days of work. If something is really important, I can do a backup immediately to the external hard drive.
All this is a matter of personal preference. Using hard drives as backup, I don’t have to be concerned about storage space for large files – and I don’t have too numerous compact discs to label and sort. The other distinct advantage of the external enclosure is that I can take just that housing with me to use on another computer and all that I need has been placed on that hard drive, since it is a copy of what I have on my desktop.
I have used this method for so long that, added with a bit of superstition, I have not changed – nor have I explored any other methods recently. I would be interested to see how others handle backup procedures and perhaps (superstitions aside) I can improve on the method I use now.
[tags]backup, hard drive, enclosure, external, portable[/tags]