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Backup Media

#1 User is offline   kenb 

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 09:48 AM

What is the best media for backups? CD R, CD RW, DVD-R, DVD+R, or flash memory?

This post has been edited by kenb: 10 January 2011 - 09:49 AM

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#2 User is offline   compnovo 

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 09:55 AM

View Postkenb, on 10 January 2011 - 09:48 AM, said:

What is the best media for backups? CD R, CD RW, DVD-R, DVD+R, or flash memory?

Hi Ken,
I've been using single-sided DVD-R media (4.5GB) for a few years for critical documents with good success, and I currently back up my folders to a second internal hard drive using Win7's backup utility. CDs are too small, capacity-wise, and I've had trouble with RW disks getting weird after a few uses.
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#3 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 05:46 PM

View Postkenb, on 10 January 2011 - 09:48 AM, said:

What is the best media for backups? CD R, CD RW, DVD-R, DVD+R, or flash memory?


It depends. If it's something like pictures, DVDs (CDs if you can fit it, but the capacity is probably too small) are the best. For documents, flash drives. I don't recommend RW discs. A flash drive's capacity is rather small anyway for the price. I think external hard drives are the best - just plug it in when you need it and copy files. They're very cheap per GB anyway. I have one and I run backups on a weekly basis.
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#4 User is offline   techie4fun 

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 07:09 PM

I use DVD-R's if I'm backing files that exceed the size of a standard 700MB rewritable CD. I use -R because a friend told me it's been out longer and has better success rates than +R, and he generally knows more about this stuff than I do. Flash Memory fits best with my camera, so I use that of course.

I use DVD-R's if I'm backing files that exceed the size of a standard 700MB rewritable CD. I use -R because a friend told me it's been out longer and has better success rates than +R, and he generally knows more about this stuff than I do. Flash Memory fits best with my camera, so I use that of course.
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#5 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 08:36 PM

I think DVD-R is cheaper and tends to be more compatible than DVD+R, but it's not a big issue. CDs are fine, they're just low capacity.
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#6 User is offline   SnyperTodd 

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 07:22 AM

I agree with the consensus in that I don't use rewritable DVDs. However, I personally have found that DVD+R discs tend to be more reliable and more compatible. I've seen quite a few DVD players that won't play DVD-Rs but none that will play DVD-Rs and won't play DVD+Rs. Generally, if a DVD player won't play a + it won't play any burnt media. While my coaster rate is very low (probably in the single digits after 300+ discs burnt), most of them have been DVD-Rs. For those reasons I use DVD+Rs exclusively, for certain backups (scanned tax documents and things like that) and for backing up any DVDs that I buy.

I use hard drives for my main backups; everything backs up to a server in my attic incrementally every night, and also to my parents' server at their house via FTP every night. In exchange, my parents' machines back up to my server via FTP every night also. This way, there are three copies of everything important in two separate locations.
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#7 User is offline   compnovo 

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 07:38 AM

View PostLiveBrianD, on 10 January 2011 - 05:46 PM, said:

I think external hard drives are the best - just plug it in when you need it and copy files. They're very cheap per GB anyway. I have one and I run backups on a weekly basis.

That's how I set up my wife's computer, using a Rosewell external USB enclosure and a 2.5" drive. For redunancy I added one other step: I partitioned her primary drive, and all of her working folder reside on the partition (which is then backed up weekly to the external drive). Naturally, if the primary drive fails everything goes but I like being able to reinstall the OS without worrying about losing critical files (something I always seem to do when I'm working with HER computer :rolleyes:).
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#8 User is offline   LincolnSpector 

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 07:26 AM

View Postkenb, on 10 January 2011 - 09:48 AM, said:

What is the best media for backups? CD R, CD RW, DVD-R, DVD+R, or flash memory?


For day-to-day regular backup, an external hard drive. It's simple, quick, and can contain everything on your internal hard drive. Or the cloud, which is slower and in the long run more expensive (I'm thinking of services like Mozy and Carbonite), but has the advantage that a fire, flood, or burglary won't deprive you of both your computer and your backup.

The problem with optical storage (CD, DVD) for this job is that it's not erasable, and in the long run you end up going through a lot of discs. The problem with flash is that it's too expensive for a large-size backup.

I also recommend an external hard drive for image backups (good for disaster recovery), simply because of convenience.

Either DVD+R or DVD-R work best for long-term archiving of files that aren't likely to change--photos, videos, and so forth. Use good discs (you can buy special archival discs that probably up the chance of their lasting a long time). Make multiple copies and keep them in different locations.

Lincoln
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