There is a little buzz over at Geneabloggers, and Geneabloggers on Facebook about data backup day, which is a great idea which Thomas put out there. Since my data situation may be a little more complicated than most peoples, I though I would outline my backup plan here. This is a plan for the data on our computers here at home, and does not include our blogs and websites. That’s a separate plan, which most Geneabloggers wouldn’t need to duplicate.
I actually have two 500 gb fixed drives for backup, one in my desktop, and one in Papa’s old desktop. (These are not the hard drive that the computers came with, I added second hard drives to both desktops.) Papa uses his laptop exclusively, but I keep the desktop on, and have it backup our data every day, It doesn’t slow me down, Papa isn’t here on weekdays so it doesn’t bother him. I don’t backup my laptop, since it is just a mirror of my desktop genealogy data, I re-write the gene data to my laptop before each library or research trip. Here is the backup scheme, in case you need advice.
OK, for our four computers, 2 desktops and 2 laptops here’s the system:
Our data consists of:
- Papa’s personal files, e-mail files and recent photo files on his laptop
- A copy of the above on the main drive of his desktop
- A photo archive (before 2007) and a copy of (1) above on a backup drive on desktop (we never delete anything on this drive, just add new)
- Granny’s personal files, e-mail files, genealogy data and scanned family photos on my desktop
- A sometimes up-to date copy of a portion of the above on my laptop.
So, our backup data is pretty obvious, to a point:
- Papa’s personal, e-mail and recent photos exist on his laptop, the main drive of his desktop and on his backup drive. The backup plan for this is:
- Backup laptop data to desktop C:\ daily
- Backup desktop data to backup drive daily, this drive contains the old photo archive, in addition to the news ones
- Backup the backup drive to the backup drive on Granny’s computer weekly
- Granny’s personal, e-mail, genealogy and family history exist on my desktop.
- Copy gene data to laptop before a research trip
- Backup Desktop to backup drive daily
- Backup the backup drive to the backup drive on Papa’s computer weekly.
I hope all this duplication will keep our data safe, but just in case, I we are going to purchase external backup drives to archive our times on monthly. There will be two, and one will be kept somewhere besides our home. When a months ends or begins, I will backup both archive files onto the other drive, and trade it out. So, we will always have a backup within a month of data off site.
Overkill? Perhaps. But I never worry about our computer files.
Have a good day, and do back up!