ttstam at u.washington.edu
Mon Feb 7 00:37:42 PST 2000
> The main problem with that as a backup solution that would make a sysadmin
> wince is that it doesn't really offer as much protection as a good
> rotating backup. The reason is that you only have one backup on a signle
> drive, and if your machine crashes mid-backup, for example, then you don't
> have _any_ backup.
Before I started on Linux, I had a winblow box and a simple little batch
file that would copy the C:\MY DOCUMENTS to D:\MY DOCUMENTS. I set up
Netscape to store it's profiles under C:\My documents, got System Agent to
run my batch file every night, and marvelled at the little automated
backup system I built.
Until one day a freak power supply accident happened. BOTH my Western
Digital drives got TOASTED. I didn't recover squat. And learned a
painful lesson about backups.
Currently I have a crontab that tarballs my home directory and document
directory and such onto an MO disk. And at $5.00 for a 640 Mb cartridge,
I can afford to have a set to rotate around. And every quarter or so I
burn a copy of everything onto a CD-R, just to be sure.
But making good backups is only half of the solution. Make sure those
backups work!!! I can't stress this enough. One too many times I've
helepd someone reinstall Windoze, and they'll point to a stack of floppy
disks that had their documents on it, only to find that the disks are not
readable. A bad backup gives you a false sense of security, and in some
cases it's worse than not backing stuff up.
> That said, any backup is better than no backup at all. If you want to be
> _really_ safe, pick your important, non-recoverable files (for most
> people, that's all in their home directory) and back that up off site
> somewhere or something. It's small so it won't be a problem keeping 5 or
> 6 different copies lying around, "just in case"...
That's a good point. I believe we have 100Mbs on Dante right now. I
think there's a PERL script called filesync on Freshmeat that will sync
files between remote machines; that's worth a try, I suppose.
> > Just to annoy you even more, I have one more question. I usually take the
> > re-install operating system approach whenever I don't know how to do
> > something (such as adding a drive to my current system). I don't have
> > the backup drive installed yet. How do I go about doing this?
I used to take that approach (and sometimes, it's faster than trying to
figure out what the heck's wrong with a machine). What I do, is that I
install the /home/ parittion on a separate drive and mount it in
/etc/fstab. That way, I can nuke the root partition, reinstall, and still
have all my docs and config and email and bookmarks intact.
(OF course, one day when I figure out how tape drives work, remotely, I'll
back up my root partition onto DAT at work)...
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