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backing up music

thehunt

Member
Messages
785
I need some advice on how to safeguard my files of music, photos etc on my computer. It has been mentioned that i should buy an external hard drive. I am not a computer whizz kid so any advice given in REALLY SIMPLE terms would be greatly appreciated.
I know we have some real computer Geeks, sorry i meant to say experts on this forum.;}
How is it done, what should i buy? I really dont want to lose all my jazz music.
Thanks guys.
I will defer to your superior knowledge:welldone Phil
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,728
Maplins sell external hard drives pretty cheap- the one I got was 250gig for about £35. Plug it into one of your PCs USB ports and wait for windows to make freinds with it ("new hardware found"... "Intsalling drivers".... "ready to use".. or some such sequence of messages). then simply copy and paste your music onto the new drive, this can take a good few minutes copying time if there's a lot of music on your PC.... use the "safely remove hardware" control on the bottom left hand side of your screen (the little green arrow) to make it safe to unplug the hard drive.... finished....
 

Sunray

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,708
Hey Hey Phil ...

Lots of options, "one of which I can recommend" is the external hard drive ...

Its simple to purchase a drive which uses USB a connection to your computer ...

So in my case I use a 750 Gb External Drive, It plugs into a mains socket and a separate lead from the drive to a USB socket on my computer ...

If you have drive C: only, then the external drive is automaticly recognised by your system which allocates a new Letter for the drive [for example] Drive D:

Once installed all you need to do is copy your stuff from your internal drive - to your new external [Drag it and drop it].

Some external drives don't need to install any software, others do but its all very simple - just follow the instructions ... It only takes a minute ...

Just a note: If you go this route try to get a drive big enough to hold stuff you need to save now and leave some slack for future needs - because you will find more and more stuff you want to keep copies of for safety.

Hope that helps mate .. Ask if you need more ...

PS You may also consider backing up to CD or DVD ... Which can take you a lot more time to achieve ...
 

les3716

Member
Messages
181
Hey Hey Phil ...

Lots of options, "one of which I can recommend" is the external hard drive ...

Its simple to purchase a drive which uses USB a connection to your computer ...

So in my case I use a 750 Gb External Drive, It plugs into a mains socket and a separate lead from the drive to a USB socket on my computer ...

If you have drive C: only, then the external drive is automaticly recognised by your system which allocates a new Letter for the drive [for example] Drive D:

Once installed all you need to do is copy your stuff from your internal drive - to your new external [Drag it and drop it].

Some external drives don't need to install any software, others do but its all very simple - just follow the instructions ... It only takes a minute ...

Just a note: If you go this route try to get a drive big enough to hold stuff you need to save now and leave some slack for future needs - because you will find more and more stuff you want to keep copies of for safety.

Hope that helps mate .. Ask if you need more ...

PS You may also consider backing up to CD or DVD ... Which can take you a lot more time to achieve ...

I agree with Sunray!

Simples!!!
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,667
Nowadays, I wouldn't waste my time with anything less than a terabyte. Thats 1000 gigabytes. You can buy them for around £80-£100 so it wont break the bank.
With regards to saving your stuff, as Sunray and Jules have said, its as easy as "click and drag"
 

c9off

Senior Member
Messages
604
I agree - external hard drive.

I have two, one mains powered, the other USB; would suggest USB as it is just so easy/handy. Estimate your files volume & max double it, don't buy bigger than you need as memory is always getting cheaper.

I do have unlimited online Virgin storage, but still use HD, my favourite is the Western Digital my passport.. Loads of good buys so shop around, Amazon is a good place to start!
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Slight problems with hard disks is that they will break down eventually, yes even those in wonderful Macs.

Might be worth waiting for flash based storage to become more affordable.
 

JasonC

Member
Messages
217
Another couple of things to consider:

1. Backup your files online - There are a few free and pay for services to backup your files online, such as Google docs, I use Google docs but have purchased additional space as I have quite a few GBs of files. You can then access your files from anywhere and they are safe away from your home incase of burglary, fire etc. The only downside is speed, but this will be dependant on your internet speed. The drives that your files are stored on when online are far more robust and safe than would be feasible to buy for your home.

2. External drive - As mentioned above but if your files are REALLY important make sure you go for a drive that supports a RAID configuration. What this means is that if that drive fails, there is far less chance you will lose any files. Believe me when I say a single drive without RAID can fail, and if it does you will lose the lot! its happened to me in the past. The most common form of RAID is mirroring, which means you basically have a double backup but without the need to backup twice manually.

Hope this hasn't confused you!
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,949
Hmmm.... Where to start?

1 - External USB drives recommended above are a good starting point, but they suffer from speed problems as the interface is slow, and can also be problematic if run through a hub. Better bet, if your pc can do it is an eSATA interface, failing that, Firewire 800 or USB3.

2 - Get a decent backup package such as Acronis. This takes over the management of the backups/restores for you. It's possible to use the drag/drop approach advocated above, but this is tedious, time consuming and means you have to think, especially if you're going for multiple copies of the key files. And you should - nothing worse than overwriting your last good copy of a file when you conscientiously run your backups...

3 - Online backup service is a good idea - if you have the bandwitdh to make it practical.

4 - Raid - no need for the cost of raid for backups - you make the assumption that you don't lose your backup and original at the same time. In addition, external backup drives get very little use and should easily outlive the machine you're backing up. Just make sure you turn them off, except when running a backup.

5 - Keep your backups and pc separate - big isk in backing up to a drive that lives next to the pc - if there's a break-in or fire, then both go at the same time. Having a couple of external drives that live at someone else's house (or work) makes a much more secure setup. but can be inconvenient if you need the backup ugently to recover something you deleted by mistake. Using 2 or more allows you to have a copy offsite and a copy at home.

6 - Assuming you get backup software, run a full backup, then regular incremental backups, these only backup the changed files, so runs much faster and can/should be configured to keep multiple versions of files that warrant it. It'll also automatically delete the oldest copy of the file each time you backup a new vesion. Saves a lot of manual work. This approach can also be extended (with some software) to be able to restore a machine back to a specific time point - really useful if you install somethign a week or two ago and want to uninstall it. You can always then restore data files to the current version...

7 - try and find a way of testing the recovery process - bit of a mess to try a restore to your machine and find the backups are corrupt and your previously functional machine needs to be re-installed fom scratch. In reality this needs a clean machine to test on.

8 - consider if you need to be able to do a bare bones recovery - this takes a new disk/machine and copies the complete backup to it, hopeuflly giving you a working machine.

9 - One approach is to move data to a separate drive/directory structure and only back this up, making the assumption that if the C drive goes, you'll do a clean install of the OS & software. But the complete re-install from disk is very painful....
 

thehunt

Member
Messages
785
I knew i could count on everyone, thanks a million for the advice. You mention Acronis Kev, is this a downloadable pacakge or external software to be installed?
What is an eSATA interface, Firewire 800. I know for you it is most probably as obvious as daylight but i have never heard of such things??
Thanks
Phil
 

JasonC

Member
Messages
217
Don't assume that a RAID controller can't fail though...

Anything can fail so all you can do is reduce the chances, and RAID does this well. As well as backing up online (in 2 different places in my case!) I also have 2 RAID NAS servers which have 4 disks each, if one or 2 of those disks fail then I just pop a new one in and it rebuilds the lost data from the other 2 drives onto the 2 new ones I put in. If you only have a simple USB drive and it goes bang then you have no chance! I know because this has happened to me and I spent £600 to get the data recovered by a professional company and that also did not work :(

This is obviously a bit over the top if the files are not important, it just depends how much you treasure those files! Hard disks do have a fairly low failure rate but in past experience I have had 4 go bang on me without notice, luckily I had backups, and backups of the backups, and backups... I've also had mates say you don't need to go over the top and then I hear from them in a few months saying "my drive went bang the other day and I lost the lot" it does happen!
 

c9off

Senior Member
Messages
604
You quite clearly have needs much greater than mine....

I save pictures/music/correspondence onto an external drive as backup for the main internal drive - should the main drive fail, it's all on the back up disc; should this fail at the same time?...... then I would have to have hacked someone very big & special off!


Anything can fail so all you can do is reduce the chances, and RAID does this well. As well as backing up online (in 2 different places in my case!) I also have 2 RAID NAS servers which have 4 disks each, if one or 2 of those disks fail then I just pop a new one in and it rebuilds the lost data from the other 2 drives onto the 2 new ones I put in. If you only have a simple USB drive and it goes bang then you have no chance! I know because this has happened to me and I spent £600 to get the data recovered by a professional company and that also did not work :(

This is obviously a bit over the top if the files are not important, it just depends how much you treasure those files! Hard disks do have a fairly low failure rate but in past experience I have had 4 go bang on me without notice, luckily I had backups, and backups of the backups, and backups... I've also had mates say you don't need to go over the top and then I hear from them in a few months saying "my drive went bang the other day and I lost the lot" it does happen!
 

JasonC

Member
Messages
217
You quite clearly have needs much greater than mine....

I save pictures/music/correspondence onto an external drive as backup for the main internal drive - should the main drive fail, it's all on the back up disc; should this fail at the same time?...... then I would have to have hacked someone very big & special off!

Yes admittedly my files are very important and my backup is over the top for most cases but, I cannot risk any sort of loss! and it has happened before in the distant past which is why I'm not complacent any more.
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
Subscriber
Messages
9,051
I just use cds for my photos, cheaper than an external hard drive which might in itself fail or get dropped.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,949
I just typed a big reply and the network connection went down as I posted.

Acronis - www.acronis.com

eSATA. On newer machines the drives are connected using SATA connections. eSATA is the same connection, but with more robust plugs/sockets to allow regular connect/disconnect without breakage. Net result is that an external disk connects at the same speed as the internal ones.

Firewire. aka IEEE 1394. Effectively an alternative to USB (although design goals were different), championed/designed by Apple, but not by Intel/MS who were behind/committed to USB. Many people consider firewire superior to USB. Currently 2 flavours, 400, which is about the same speed as USB2, usually a bit faster, and 800 which is twice as fast as 400. Faster versions (1600 and 3200) are due out soon.
 

Sunray

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,708
Over the top ...

Guys - Phil said that he is not a computer whizz kid and asked us all to keep it simple ...
 
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