I download a lot of music from Amazon onto my laptop. What’s a good way for me to back up all this data?
My hard drive says it has 109 GB free of 184 GB There really isn’t anything else stored on here that isn’t replaceable except for the Amazon music. It would be a pain for me to rip all the CDs that I’ve stored online, but I still have the CDs.
He’s got upwards of 75GB of data to backup, so that would require a ridiculous number of CDs or DVDs. I’d recommend putting the external hard drive in a safe place. (Or buy two and swap them out regularly, with one always kept in the safe place.)
And USB may not be an option if he’s got a Mac; Macs allow characters in filenames that Mac/PC formatted USB drives don’t allow. He’d have to reformat the entire drive Mac-only, which would keep him from ever getting it read in a PC. (That may or may not be important, but still.)
Can you name a scenario where it would be important? I certainly can’t think of one.
Good point about the cost, though. It annoys me when people say hard drives are cheap. They aren’t. I’m still on DVDs for all my backups. (And, incidentally, the DVDs apparently can’t be read under Windows due to the really long filenames I use. The odds of me switching from Linux at this point are so slim I don’t care.)
Personally, I’d prefer a single external drive to eight DVDs. And while two Blu-Ray discs sounds reasonable, that assumes that he has a Blu-Ray burner on his PC. And I’ve been checking prices on these things. It looks like a 50GB disc costs about $20. So we’re talking about $40 in write-once blank discs just to store 100GB. For about $70, you can get a USB-powered 320GB external hard drive.
I agree, but there’s no winning these comparisons. Modern external drives are insanely cheap relative to historical costs and storage capacity, but anytime you start touting “great deals” someone will chime in and point out how insensitive you are to people in tight circumstances and that asking them to spend more than $50 - $100 for a solution to back up from 100 gigs to one terabyte of data is an unbearable burden.
Because if you corrupt your original and don’t notice it, it will propagate to your second hard drive and now you have no good data. Backups are a snapshot in time that don’t change. They can’t get corrupted if you corrupt the originals.
Now, DVDs and the like can corrupt over time, so you need to test your backups periodically as well.