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Back up issues


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#1 the_moose

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 07:19 AM

Hi, 

 

I couldn't work out where to post this - if this is the wrong place could someone tell me where to put it please? 

 

I'm having trouble working out the best way to ensure I have backups of my files - especially our family photos - whilst also making use of the network drive I've recently bought. Our home system is: one desktop (W7), two laptops (one W7 and one W8), an LG smart TV, iPods, smart phones and a WD MyBookLive.  We want to be able to access the pictures, and more importantly movies, over the network - and we're hoping to be able to make use of the cloud access to the WD external drive to access photos when we're away from home (eg with grandparents who don't have computers/internet access). 

 

In the past I've used Crashplan+ to keep a backup of pretty much everything we have on the desktop, and I'm happy with that service, but I seem to need to have 2 copies of each file if I want to run the system how we want it... one file on the desktop that is backed up via Crashplan offsite, and one file on the WD external drive that is available for remote access (because Crashplan doesn't seem to allow backups from an external drive).  Obviously one problem with it is that if I edit the image on the desktop I have to remember to replace the image on the external drive with the new version, so I have to edit/sort through all images as soon as I put them on the desktop so I can copy them immediately to the external drive - either that or put them all across in their original state and them copy across and delete on the WD drive as/when I get time to edit the photos.  

 

Hopefully that isn't as confusing as it looks, but basically what I'm after is this... is there any software I can get which will "mirror" any changes I make to certain files on my desktop computer and keep them updated on an external (networked) drive.  I do use SkyDrive for some of our pictures, but I'm not sure if that keeps the pictures on my computer as well as "in the cloud", and although I might be being a bit of an old donkey about this I feel safer having a copy on my computer in case there's ever a problem with the cloud-stored files. 

 

Sorry if that rambled on a bit, I wanted to put as much info as possible in the post - but if you do need more info on my system or anything, please ask.  

 

Thanks in advance for your help. 

 

Cheers, Moose. 



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#2 Wildabeast

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 06:40 AM

Have you checked into http://www.dropbox.com ? It's free and can be accessed by other computers. That way you can get to your photos from any computer, anywhere. As far as I know.. I'm no expert on it, by brother uses it more than I do. I have a dropbox account and put some stuff in it, but don't use it much.. :blink:


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#3 aQuilla

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 09:45 AM

Well is another cloud storage website and yes you can access your files from different computers as long as you have internet connection. You can also let other people see your files as long as they also have their dropbox account. There's no really special about dropbox compared to other cloud storage websites though like mediafire or rapidshare. 



#4 smax013

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 01:35 AM

There are a number of ways to accomplish what you want.
  • The most basic way is to use a third party sync program. There are a number of them out there. The free option would be to try using Microsoft's SyncToy.

    This page give some instructions on how to set it up (note there are two pages to the instructions...the second pages tells you how to schedule the task...second note...these instructions are actually doing more of a "duplicate" rather than sync which is what you will want if you ONLY edit files on the computer but not the NAS...if you edit files on both, then you will want to select "synchronize" rather than "echo" under step 10):

    http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/project-management/configure-automated-backups-using-synctoy-and-windows-7s-scheduled-task/4292

    The instructions are for Windows 7, but I assume you could do something similar for Windows 8. There are certainly other sync programs out there that would work in a similar manner...some "backup programs" will so a sync/duplicate type function (I have my dad's computer setup using Retrospect [it is rather expensive, but very powerful] to use a "duplicate" backup to an external drive...this produces a "native" duplicate backup of his data files that is fully accessible from within Windows...i.e. no proprietary backup file format...I believe TrueImage 2013 also has sync function in addition to cloning and imaging - I use it for cloning).

    Here is another possible option for sync software (don't know how well it works):

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/2031021/how-to-sync-files-and-folders-across-two-pcs.html
  • The next overall option is to continue to use CrashPlan to backup your computers. You then just use the online access of CrashPlan to access pictures remotely when you want. Then you use the included backup software that came with the WD MyBookLive drive to backup each computer to the MyBookLive. This will give you dual backups of your data files on each computer (one by CrashPlan and one by the WD software). The potential downside of this option is that I don't know if the WD backup software uses a "proprietary" backup file format or if it just copies the files "natively" (i.e. they will show as picture files by just normal Windows Explorer access of the WD drive). If it is the former, then you will not have network access to those files from the NAS on other computers.
  • The next, next overall option is just to store all files on the NAS...and DO NOT store ANY files on the computers themselves. You would then need a way to backup that NAS. It does look like the WD MyBookLive offers the ability to basically duplicate/backup the MyBookLive to another MyBookLive or NAS:

    http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=280

    (scroll all the way to the bottom of the page)

    So, your backup would be on the second NAS...and only on the second NAS (unless you used some traditional backup program on the desktop to backup the files on the first NAS to an external USB hard drive connected to the desktop...you could then keep this backup at an offsite location such as a safe deposit box in a bank or a relative's house).

    Obviously the main downside of this path would be that you need another NAS. The other problem is that it will be tough to get people to NOT store files on the computers...and thus, then forget to backup those files on the computer. The other minor downside is that you have to have network access to get your files on the MyBookLive...either at home or when "out and about". You would also need to dump CrashPlan as it looks like it does not backup network drives (it does look like there is an "unsupported" way to do it: http://support.crashplan.com/doku.php/recipe/back_up_windows_mapped_drives ), but could likely replace it (at least partially) with some other cloud service like DropBox, SkyDrive, Google Drive, etc (most such services allow you to pick where you set up the cloud sync folder...so you could set the desktop to sync the cloud files to a folder on the NAS...the laptops could then have the sync folder on their respective hard drive...since the cloud service would be syncing those files, it would not matter that those particular files are on the laptops).

    The advantage of this option is that all your files are in one place (assuming people "follow the rules" and don't keep files on the individual computers) and makes fully use of the MyBookLive remote access.

    The variation on this option would be to use a traditional backup program on the desktop to backup the NAS files to a USB external drive hooked to the desktop.
There are certainly other ways to get the nominal same result, but these kind of hit the main options.

Edited by smax013, 01 June 2013 - 01:37 AM.


#5 the_moose

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 10:54 AM

Thanks for the replies - especially for all the detail and effort you've put in there Smax013, that's really helpful and I appreciate your time. 

 

Cheers, Moose. 



#6 smax013

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 05:59 PM

Thanks for the replies - especially for all the detail and effort you've put in there Smax013, that's really helpful and I appreciate your time. 
 
Cheers, Moose.


Glad to help.




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