How to perform an external data backup?

Discussion in 'Data Sets and Feeds' started by Genevieve, May 23, 2009.

  1. Genevieve


    I am planning on restoring my computer to factory settings due to virus and spyware infections. I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for a simple backup system like this one I found. I need to backup all of my data: do####ents, pictures, music, videos, etc. and to then restore the data back to the newly reformatted system. Any suggestions?

    “Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant.” -Mitchell Kapor
  2. If you backup your files you will probably backup the viruses and spyware. Some of the new stuff is so intelligent they can hide anywhere and most antivirus have no clue about them.

    If you absolutely must backup some data I suggest the following:

    Use a flash drive and then go to a pubic internet provider, turn the computer off and then plug in the drive. Most public internet providers use a software that prohibits keeping data on their disk. Like a soft reformat. This is the reason I suggest you turn it off first.

    Test the flash drive contents with several scanners you can download from the internet, Kaspersky, Panda, Spybot, Malwarebytes, etc.

    If you are lucky, you can keep some data. I do not suggest backing up any program files, registry entries, drivers, etc.
  3. I just did a tremendous amount of research regarding offsite backup for business continuity and compliance purposes. I was shocked at the range in prices charged by the various vendors in the industry.

    EMC was the most shocking. I spent a week trying to get through to their sales and they just plain suck.

    The first obstacle I encountered was upload bandwidth from onsite. Whether you have cable (at 1 or 2 MBPS upload) or DSL (600 KBPS upload) it's a challenge to upload half a terrabyte to iniate an offsite backup. My solution here is to tell the backup application to backup these files today, then those files tomorrow, some more next week, etc. so you don't have one huge file taking a week to get to its destination before you know if it worked or not.

    My top priority in selecting a vendor was "Will the backup load to a completely new system in a new location should the unfortunate occur (fire, flood, other event completely wipe out the onsite facility)?

    What I ended up doing (and I'm still very early in setting this up/ not finished yet/ etc.) was installing a x64 server running MS Windows Server 2008 with mirror drives (not necessary to activate the RAID controller on the board in MSWS2008 to do this) on both the OS HDD and Data Storage/ Database HDD. This way I can experience HDD failure on any one disc without interruption to business.

    I also discovered there are vendors who allow you to look at (and restore) your last 30 backups and there are those who only give you access to the last one backup; BIG difference here especially if a catastrophic system event gets backed up one night. You surely don't want to "restore" the catastrophy.

    I also made DVD disc backups of the raw OS installation with the requisite applications and I keep a copy here as well as have a copy stored in another state, plus a copy in the offsite backup file.

    It's a matter of how critical your backup needs are. The main thing is don't get hosed by some company that wants big money for them to buy a disc and lease you space on it.

    There are some great little free ones out there for personal users wihtout much data, there are some great little cheap ones out there with annual prices for intermediate users, and there are actually some out there who will give you up to about 1 terrabyte of disc space at a very reasonable annual rate. Right now I'm on a 250GB plan to try this vendor but that will change in due time. When I have my backup complete I'm going to plug in a new empty system and test as if I lost everything and see how well it does or does not work. Then I'll make a decision as to whether I trust this vendor with my life.

    I would not purchase any hardware for offsite backups and as far as onsite backups, you can do that yourself without paying anyone for anything you can't get at Best Buy or Newegg.

    The more times your backup file size you have in available backup storage, the more copies you can store so you can go back in time if something bad gets backed up. For example, if your backup file size is 100GB and you have 500GB of storage in a backup system, in theory you can have your last five backups available at any time.

    Good luck in whatever you choose.
  4. I haven't looked at the offerings , but I find it hard to believe that they would not let your initial full backup come in the form of a set of DVD's or better yet a hard drive that you ship to them.
  5. While intradaybill is correct, you might want to just take it to a professional and explain the problem to them.

    Then they will be able to clean all of the files (data) that you need backedup, clean your computer, and restore it as need be.

    Once that is done, you should do weekly backups of all of your data, as well as set system restore points so you can easily rollback your systems if it becomes infected again.

    You should also minimize your exposure to the internet (especially ET :p ) on your trading machine.

    Good Luck
  6. jaysons


    Thanks for the descriptions of online data backups. So what are some reliable external drives that people recommend?