Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Maybe I Should Be Backing Up More Often.

Too many people are guilty of not backing up their data on a regular basis and it's kind of scary. But wait, the easy solution is just a mouse click away. We were having a discussion in class yesterday about just that topic.

I have to say, I am not a big fan of backup software that backs up in some proprietary file format. For a photog, I think this is a brain dead solution to back up. Here's why. I run a business and if I have a hard drive fail, I need to get to the backup data as soon as possible. I sure as heck don't want to be restoring 500 gigs to yet another drive to eventually get to my files.
For me, it is imperative that I back up my files in "Native" mode. What does that mean? That means what is on my disc gets backed up to another disk exactly as it appears on the original. So if I ever do have a hard drive disaster - like we did 8 months ago when we lost a terabyte drive here at the studio, I simply grabbed the backup drive, put it on the net work and we were ready to go in no time. No restore process at all since everything was sitting on the back up drive ready to go exactly as it appeared before the "crash". We never missed a beat.

So what software do I use? It's by Argentum Backup which costs a whopping $25 per computer - here is the link. It's been an "Editor's Choice" over at PC Magazine.

Chris, our class computer whiz, suggested another solution as well. It's called SyncBackSE by 2BrightSparks - here is the link. Man, I checked it out and it has won a whole slew of awards. I think it's worth checking out. It's only $30 and you can use it on 5 computers. Both solutions back up in "native" mode and both are priced right which makes it a "no-brainer" for photographers who need to get to their backed up data quickly.

P.S. Chris is blogging the class all week, so if you want some more in-depth info with a different perspective on what's going on, check out his blog right here.


  1. Have a look at it is the best backup I ever had.

  2. I use memeo auto sync and it works great.


  3. David, just read your piece on BAD behavior of backup software. Argentum should distinguish that they are CLONING software, not BACKUP software. I use both varieties.

    Acronis True Image comes highly recommended by enterprise-level network administrators and independent technicians and educators. It is very easy and very reliable and does TRUE full, differential and incremental backups with multiple history versions and fully controllable schedule. You can also create a disaster recovery disk to restore your system om case of a serious drive failure (often called bare-metal recovery).

    I also use FolderClone to keep a file-by-file duplicate of my data drive - which means things I delete are deleted there as well, on a scheduled basis. In case of a main drive failure, I immediately turn off my cloning app and start working from the destination drive, then clone THAT to the replacement main drive when I install one.

    Two different classes of applications to do two very different jobs, and you want to be very careful which you're actually using. Better yet, use both pointed at two different external drives in two different locations. Redundant redundancy!

    PS. my main data drive is RAID, so it's redundant even before the software kicks in!

    Chris Rakoczy
    Rakoczy Photography