Data Protection 101

Discussion in 'Backup and Security' started by mgookin, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. It seems there are more discussions of late regarding protecting, restoring and recovering data from a failed drive. The drive could fail due to mechanical failure or it could fail due to infection.

    Failures & infections occur on the operating system drive because they are continually in use or they are the target of a malicious event.

    If your data is stored on a drive other than the operating system drive, your odds of experiencing loss are reduced significantly.

    Drives are cheap and nearly all desktops are already built to accommodate additional drives. For the price of that software that never works, you could have bought some drives to make a bullet proof backup.

    Suggestion for critical data:
    Store it on a drive that is not the operating system drive and not a partition on the same disc as the operating system. Buy two identical drives. Install them in a RAID 1 array and name them D:/. If you really want to be secure, buy a third one and rotate one of the drives so you always have one disconnected. You can even store the third one offsite. Many people keep one in a safe deposit box in a bank - they're cheap. Because your backup is not on a drive with an OS, you'll never have that problem accessing that data. You can access these drives from any computer anytime. Almost all software gives you the option to map the data storage to any drive you want; if you can't find it in the help files, call the vendor or manufacturer and they should be able to help you out.
  2. In all my years of.... well, thinking, (at least I guess you could call it that), I never thought of that... I hate when this happens!

    Has anyone thought about computer security to the point where it affected your psychological well-being? I'm doing the workbook things in The Undervalued Self nowadays. It deals with psychological defenses... Just because you're getting into paranoiaVille regarding computer security doesn't mean you won't really be paranoiac eventually!
  3. SSD's with encryption are now common place... so it is easy to save data to it...

    I concur with the OP.... my D:(Data) drive has always been on a separate drive... even on my laptop... I use an mPCI 128GB for OS and apps and a 160GB for the Data...and an external USB3 256GB encrypted for backup... my desktops all have mirror drives for the slow data.. and my OS image backups are both encrypted and password protected.

    If you are going to be placing a drive, with mechanical moving parts, on a bank safe deposit... I will recommend you instead look at BD disks and create encrypted images with something like acronis or whatever you want...
  4. If you are going to be placing a drive, with mechanical moving parts, on a bank safe deposit... I will recommend you instead look at BD disks and create encrypted images with something like acronis or whatever you want...

  6. Trader13


    One of my concerns about encrypted drives is that in some schemes the drive encryption key is tied to the CPU or some other hardware identifier on your system. This is great security in the scenario where someone removes your hard drive and attempts to access the data using a different system.

    But it poses a risk if your motherboard fails as a result of some routine hardware failure (happened to me twice). In this case, I'm not sure how you would get your encrypted drive back in service.
  7. Banjo


  8. oraclewizard77

    oraclewizard77 Moderator

    My suggestion is to backup your data onto a thumb drive. Do this whenever you have something important including photos that you don't want to lose. This is more secure than backing up the data to the cloud which as we saw with celebrities can be hacked. Also, thumb drives are pretty cheap now and you are not restricted to how much data that you can backup without paying like with the cloud.

    Just today the windows automatic updates caused my computer to crash, but I was lucky and was able to use a system restore. I have turned off auto updates on my windows 7 computer and am going to wait till the free windows 10. I think this is the 1st time a windows update has caused my computer to not start. I don't think Microsoft is doing enough testing before pushing these updates out to its consumers.

    For business users, the best thing to get is a file server with tape backup. The file server should have Raid V. All important data should be stored on the file server. The applications should be set to be restored from the file server. This is usually done with a special admin install of something like Microsoft Office. This way applications can be installed on each computer in the network from the file server itself over the network and no cd's are needed. Tape backup should be done nightly. Tapes should be stored in a fire proof box. This way even if a fire burns down your office, you still can restore everything. For even more security, you can have a company called Iron Mountain come weekly to pick up your tape backups. This will protect your data from a nuclear attack.
  9. Roscoe


    My solution is this: my desktop has 3 physical drives, each with 2 partitions. Drive 0 contains partitions C: and D: where C: is the system drive and D: is the data drive. I use Casper ( to do a daily backup of Drive 0 (SSD) to Drive 1 (SSD) and a weekly backup of Drive 0 (SSD) to Drive 2 (HDD). I use to give me a continuous encrypted backup to their cloud. (I used to do the old "rotate drives" thing many years ago, these days the cloud replaces that offsite component requirement.)

    My laptop drive has the same layout and is synched to the desktop but the drive is fully encrypted using so that should the machine get stolen it is only a paperweight, the drive can't be opened in any way. When I am not on the road the laptop lives in my car so it is physically remote from my desktop.
  10. xandman


    Acronis is the leader in the consumer backup market. Are there any glaring deficiencies/cons in that solution?

    I found that the backup image was easily corrupted but that was almost a decade ago.
    #10     May 9, 2015