Author Topic: reliable hard drive back-up for IMac?  (Read 769 times)

Jack of all trades

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reliable hard drive back-up for IMac?
« on: March 29, 2020, 22:30:01 »
I have an IoSafe  for normal backup that appears to be failing. I also periodically back up on a G-Force that I keep off-premises. The IoSafe has been backing up every hour for several years. Any recommendations for a reliable replacement? Thank you.

Mike G

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Re: reliable hard drive back-up for IMac?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2020, 09:38:22 »
For the last two years I have been using a 4GB La Cie hard drive split into two 2GB drives one as a time machine drive and one as a general HD very successfully with no problems!
I also use a small G drive to back up my photos in addition!
Nikon Z7, 24-70mm f4, 14-30, 35, 50,  85.

Fons Baerken

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Re: reliable hard drive back-up for IMac?
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2020, 10:21:32 »
For the last two years I have been using a 4GB La Cie hard drive split into two 2GB drives one as a time machine drive and one as a general HD very successfully with no problems!
I also use a small G drive to back up my photos in addition!

Gigabyte? Maybe Terrabyte, Mike!

Luc

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Re: reliable hard drive back-up for IMac?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2020, 10:46:46 »
Iuse (have used) several LaCie drive without problems. The one G-force I used failed so I'll stick with LaCie.

Mike; it's wise to make a separate backup of your photo's. However splitting a drive between Time Machine and general backup is a risk, if that one disk fails you lose both your Time Machine and general backup. Better use separate (multiple) disks for dedicated tasks.

Birna Rørslett

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Re: reliable hard drive back-up for IMac?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2020, 11:28:53 »
It cannot be stressed enough that the only "reliable" hard drive is one not in use. Meaning every time the drive is spinning and reading or writing data, it can - and eventually will - crash. Bearings might dry out and lock up on non-used drives so there is always a finite life span associated with them. SSDs have no spinning parts but wear out nonetheless due to the finite number their memory cells can be rewritten.

The remedy is acting like you never trust a particular drive. Thus having several separate drives, RAID layouts, or whatnot. I have had loads of disks crashing over the years yet lost very little data and then mainly by human errors during the restore of data. The latter is hard to defend against unless you could clone yourself?

Mike G

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Re: reliable hard drive back-up for IMac?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2020, 11:58:54 »
Iuse (have used) several LaCie drive without problems. The one G-force I used failed so I'll stick with LaCie.

Mike; it's wise to make a separate backup of your photo's. However splitting a drive between Time Machine and general backup is a risk, if that one disk fails you lose both your Time Machine and general backup. Better use separate (multiple) disks for dedicated tasks.
Luc, that is what the G drive is for! I don’t power it up until I need to use it!
The La Cie drive is not meant to be a moveable drive, but was bought as a replacement for a failed Apple Time Capsule!. The trouble is that electronic device can fail, so where do you draw the line?
Nikon Z7, 24-70mm f4, 14-30, 35, 50,  85.

Mike G

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Re: reliable hard drive back-up for IMac?
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2020, 12:00:01 »
Gigabyte? Maybe Terrabyte, Mike!
Fons, yes of course Terabytes not Gigabytes, silly me!
Nikon Z7, 24-70mm f4, 14-30, 35, 50,  85.

Birna Rørslett

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Re: reliable hard drive back-up for IMac?
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2020, 12:13:14 »
Always do backups to more than a single media (whether that is a another hard drive, RAID system, tape etc.). A distributed risk is always the better approach.

Many protest and state this is simply too much overhead and work. Perhaps, perhaps not. Just pull the plug on the hard drive in your machine and learn what you have left of all your work. Probably very little if at all, unless the drive can be restored. For the latter purpose, backups (which are current) are indispensable.

You might do the exercise mentally so as not to physically destroy the drive. Just pretend your disk drive no longer exists. Lessons like this are invaluable if you follow up before your drive(s) actually crash. Not afterwards.

Anthony

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Re: reliable hard drive back-up for IMac?
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2020, 12:31:25 »
I had a horror story this January.

My main data drive failed.

But I had two backups, one on a separate Time Machine drive and the other a separate hard drive with an up to date clone of my main data drive.

Then I discovered that my Time Machine drive had not made any backup since May last year.  I think this was user error, as I had turned off backups for a good reason and forgot to turn them back on.

Then I discovered that my clone drive would not work.  From having three versions of everything I suddenly had one version of some things and no version of other things.

Fortunately a local repair shop was able to extract the data from the clone drive and copy it to a new hard drive.

So all is well and I have replaced all my external hard drives.
Anthony Macaulay

Anthony

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Re: reliable hard drive back-up for IMac?
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2020, 12:37:08 »
I keep all my old hard drives when I retire them.  This proved to be useful recently when I discovered some photos from 2013 had corrupted.

My current backups of those photos were also corrupted, as were those photos on some earlier drives.  So the corruption must have happened some years ago, and every time I was backing up I was backing up corruption.

Fortunately I had the original hard drive and was able to recover the uncorrupted photos from that.  So the original drive found new life as a backup!

So many things can go wrong in the world of computers.
Anthony Macaulay

PeterN

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Re: reliable hard drive back-up for IMac?
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2020, 15:54:18 »
After using local backup solutions for a long time, I am now keeping my photos in the cloud (iCloud), so no more hassle with timely backups.
Peter

Luc

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Re: reliable hard drive back-up for IMac?
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2020, 16:04:02 »
Always do backups to more than a single media (whether that is a another hard drive, RAID system, tape etc.). A distributed risk is always the better approach.

Many protest and state this is simply too much overhead and work. Perhaps, perhaps not. Just pull the plug on the hard drive in your machine and learn what you have left of all your work. Probably very little if at all, unless the drive can be restored. For the latter purpose, backups (which are current) are indispensable.

You might do the exercise mentally so as not to physically destroy the drive. Just pretend your disk drive no longer exists. Lessons like this are invaluable if you follow up before your drive(s) actually crash. Not afterwards.
I agree with Birna, and the mental exercise is a good idea. I started working in IT in the late 70's when the maximum capacity we worked with were 20mb (no typo) disks and disk capacity was so expensive we used hexadecimal compressed storage. Backup was done on large tape drives. Of course the disks and tapes were prone to fail, as we learned the hard way. Yet we never lost vital data thanks to an extensive backup schedule. I guess that's why I'm kind of OCD about backups. Multiple backups of the same data is a must if you value your data. Also consider what the consequences are if your house gets burglarised and your computer plus backup drives are stolen. My advice, also keep a recent backup outside your house e.g. at work or with family.

Bent Hjarbo

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Re: reliable hard drive back-up for IMac?
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2020, 17:01:25 »
After using local backup solutions for a long time, I am now keeping my photos in the cloud (iCloud), so no more hassle with timely backups.
I use Jottacloud in addition to NAS with RAID and local HD backup.

HCS

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Re: reliable hard drive back-up for IMac?
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2020, 19:11:23 »
I use Jottacloud in addition to NAS with RAID and local HD backup.

I do more or less the same:
1. copy card to "inbox"
2. ingest into catalog, copies to main HDD RAID
3. backup nightly to NAS
4. backup constantly to Crashplan and Jottacloud (that's right, two cloud backups).

I'm Hans and I'm an IT nerd  ;D
Hans Cremers

Birna Rørslett

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Re: reliable hard drive back-up for IMac?
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2020, 19:26:33 »
I like the concept of "Crashplan" :) Planned contingencies ....

With today's SSD drives, the death of a drive is like a silent blow from a Cyberspace Deity without any warning. A failing HDD might make funny noises before it takes upon itself to die.

I surmise I'm a nerd as well. All those RAID-1/5/6/10 systems tell me something. A transnerd??