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Author Topic: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?  (Read 7638 times)

reko100

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backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« on: January 30, 2007, 09:55:33 PM »
This is just a general observation on my part... :)

I am researching for backup options and free software alternatives from True Image and Norton Ghost.
I find out from comments from different forums and articles that people normally save a copy of their software at friends house or in a fireproof safe.

Is fire a common problem at your country?

Where I live, fire concerns is not brought too much to my attention, so i am not worried about it.

Ha, maybe i am too naive... ;)
« Last Edit: January 31, 2007, 02:10:16 AM by brotherS »

brotherS

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Re: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2007, 02:14:18 AM »
The important question is not "how likely is it that my house will burn down?" but "how would I feel if it would?" 8)

Shortly before xmas, a friend's house almost caught fire when his neighbor's house burned down to the ground. The neighbor family wasn't able to rescue more than an arm full of stuff...

After that, you only have two options:
- feel depressed for the rest of your life
- be thankful for the 'fresh start' (you can't simplify your life more than THAT!)
;)

mouser

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Re: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2007, 05:42:11 AM »
brotherS has it right.. You are talking about an Expected Utilityw problem here -
the chance of fire is very low, but the damage that would occur to your pc and any backup dvds/usbdrives would be catastrophic.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2007, 05:46:54 AM by mouser »

f0dder

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Re: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2007, 06:06:04 AM »
First: ghost and trueimage aren fine for disk imaging, but not really suitable for backups. Yes, trueimage does have a backup option, but it's not very good imho (I admin ~15 computers one place and purchased TI, and there's regularly problems... like backing up files that haven't changed since last incremental update, task scheduling problems, "weird things" if you cancel a backup etc.)

Anyway, stuff there is first backed up to a linux fileserver, and more-or-less daily, \\server\backup is copied to an external usb2 disk and put away in a burnproof safe (I still think it would be better taking it offsite, but oh well).

For private use, it's bothersome to be "fireproof". Either you need to take an usb disk (or dvd, if you don't have much data) and deposit it at a friend/bank/whatever - obviously it needs to be further away than just "next door". OR you can use one of the online services, but they cost $$$, and considering that most people have very poor upstream, this is only suitable for smaller amounts of data.

Personally, I don't even haven a backup scheme anymore >_<. Moved out on my own ~feb2006, before that I had backups to the server I have running at my mum's place. Haven't had time+money to set up a new server here; and I can't just use any old junk, it'll have to be quiet and power efficient as well as not be too large and ugly (*cough* girlfriend *cough*).
- carpe noctem

nudone

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Re: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2007, 06:11:07 AM »
i'm starting to panic!

app103

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Re: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2007, 06:25:13 AM »
Fire isn't the only reason for keeping a copy of your data far from your home....theft & flood are 2 more reasons.

What if your entire digital photo collection were stolen or damaged by flood...with all the baby pics of your children? You can't replace that kind of stuff. You can't go back in time and retake those photos.

Anything that would be a bother to replace...or impossible...should be backed up and put in a location far from home. The farther the better, as hurricane Katrina showed that across town at a friend's house wasn't far enough away.

tomos

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Re: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2007, 10:43:28 AM »
I've been wondering what people do in terms of off-site backup -
seems like a good time to ask - been considering one of these online services for just stuff I'm currently working on, which would be manageable.

But if you're backing up a lot of stuff & you say want to get it off the premises daily, what can/do you do?
what are the options??
Tom

Crush

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Re: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2007, 12:56:10 PM »
In my own house I would build a brig.

But I have a much cheaper Idea  :D:

Buy a big rain-collector-bin, dig a hole in your garden, pack the copies in plastic bags and heat-seal them, throw them in, cover it with a cap, seal the edges and the outer cap with high velocity grease, turn over a big garbage bag and close it with a slab. To get it more secure you can insert a smaller rain-collector in a bigger one and fill the place between with a mixture of cement and styrofoam particles. Take some bushes to disguise the "safe".

A really good but quite small fireproof safe costs at least 5000$. Someting with the size of the bin about 12000$.

The money you didn´t waste could be used for surveillance-systems and insurances.


nudone

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Re: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2007, 04:44:02 PM »
Crush, i kind of like your idea. i'm just wondering if freezing temperatures would have any detrimental effect on the things inside the bin. i'm sure one or two frosty cold mornings wouldn't be too bad but would it be okay to leave things down there for a winter?

i have no idea what ground temperatures are like below the surface and whether cd/dvds and hard drives would care if they were out in the cold.

reko100

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Re: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2007, 12:05:31 AM »
Thanks, brotherS for editing my title...its much better :Thmbsup:

Hmm, like app103 said i would feel really really depress if all my children pics are gone...

that said, i still feel its a overkill to buy a fireproof safe.

If your stuff is not too confidential, an online solution would be the best...

superboyac

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Re: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2007, 12:36:40 AM »
I've thought about this for a while, and here's my solution:

The cheapest, and easiest solution for a normal person like me is to buy two large hard drives.  Back up the same data on each one.  On the first one, back it up pretty frequently (daily or weekly), and the second one a little less frequently (monthly or so).  Keep the second one at your parents' house or someone else you see a lot.  What are the chances of all 3 sources going down simultaneously?  Almost 0%.  (by the way, in case you're wondering why I said 3 sources it's because of the original source, the first backup, and the second backup).

nudone

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Re: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2007, 02:10:08 AM »
hehe, that's what i do already - except for taking the 3rd hard drive elsewhere. maybe i should just keep it in the shed but i'm still concerned about the freezing temperatures outside.

f0dder

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Re: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2007, 03:22:17 AM »
reko100: confidentiality isn't much of an issue if you encrypt the stuff - bandwidth is a much higher concern.

Doing 2x backups and placing 2nd copy elsewhere is a good idea, but... it's sooooo troublesome if it's to be worth anything (ie., 2nd copy shouldn't be too close geographically).
- carpe noctem

nudone

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Re: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2007, 03:39:52 AM »
how about keeping the 3rd copy in the car (or other vehicle if you own one). then if there is a disaster you can speed off into the sunset.

probably a good idea to encrypt the data first like f0dder says - just in case someone takes your car.

brotherS

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Re: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2007, 03:58:24 AM »
But I have a much cheaper Idea  :D:

Buy a big rain-collector-bin, dig a hole in your garden, ...
;D

Crush, i kind of like your idea. i'm just wondering if freezing temperatures would have any detrimental effect on the things inside the bin. i'm sure one or two frosty cold mornings wouldn't be too bad but would it be okay to leave things down there for a winter?

i have no idea what ground temperatures are like below the surface and whether cd/dvds and hard drives would care if they were out in the cold.
You could just dig a few meters deep and put some isolation on top, the earth won't freeze down there.  :D

brotherS

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Re: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2007, 04:00:03 AM »
how about keeping the 3rd copy in the car (or other vehicle if you own one). then if there is a disaster you can speed off into the sunset.

probably a good idea to encrypt the data first like f0dder says - just in case someone takes your car.
I wouldn't do that, the risk of someone breaking in is too big IMHO. Also, the constant vibrations might be good for your HD long-term, even if the head is parked. Not 100% sure, just a wild guess...

Crush

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Re: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2007, 04:05:24 AM »
@nudone
Deep and high temperatures are no problem for CDs & DVDs. The refridgerator can even be used to make defect CDs readable again: Make them clean in a dishwasher and insert them in the freezer. After several hours the water crystals have become ice. Don´t heastitate to nsert the unreadable CD in the drive and perhaps the defect tracks can be read again.

tomos

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Re: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2007, 04:44:26 AM »
Quote from: nudone
shed but i'm still concerned about the freezing temperatures outside.

there was some thread here (I think) lately about getting stuff off failing HDDs & a few people were talking about putting drive in the freezer or even between 2 blocks of ice ...

dont know was that just for a last blast or would it be harmful over time.

But I have a much cheaper Idea  :D:

Buy a big rain-collector-bin, dig a hole in your garden, pack the copies in ....

 ;D
 unfortunately the only yard here is covered in concrete  :D
Tom

nudone

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Re: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2007, 05:16:51 AM »
ah yes, i remember the freezing a broken hard drive thread.

i don't think i'd try freezing a cd to get it working again - well, i guess, not until i really need to.


i think i'll go with the shed idea.

Crush

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Re: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2007, 05:50:39 AM »
As I said: It´s definately working - I tried both (dishwasher with high temperature & freezer with very low) at home without any problems (several years ago). A lot of magazines showed up with articles about the freezer-trick here in the last couple of months.

f0dder

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Re: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2007, 06:38:57 AM »
Freezer trick for harddrives is "the last blast" - at least you should consider it that way. Condensation water etc...
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app103

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Re: backup question - how much of a risk is fire?
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2007, 06:49:54 AM »
For things that don't change often (or ever) like photos, burning a few copies of them and storing them far away from home should be sufficient.

For small files that change frequently, like projects, I zip them and email them to myself from my gmail account to my aol account.

Gmail stores a copy of everything you send, with the attachment, so you can access and download it from there if you should need to.

AOL allows me unlimited storage for email and attachments, so if gmail screws up my account or something, I can always go get it from my aol account if I need it.

This is in addition to having the projects backed up on 2 hard drives on this pc, and 2 on another.

Yeah, maybe it's overkill, but I have had problems in the past with not being able to access a copy of a website of mine to make changes to it for a few years. (pc died and I couldn't get the hd to work with other pc and free hosts don't usually let you download a full copy by FTP) I ended up having to re-write the entire site from scratch. I will never go through that again.

I have also demanded a certain friend of mine to email me a copy of a project when she does some work on it...she has a reputation for losing data and I really care about this project of hers. (she is writing a book) I have archived on my hard drive and in gmail a copy of every revision she has made to it...just in case.

And it is a good thing I made her do this because she had a hard drive die on her and she would have lost 3 years of work since the only backups she had were the copies she was sending me.