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Windows 7: Best way to secure large amounts of data?


10 Jul 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Best way to secure large amounts of data?

I have a 2TB hard drive which I bought to back up my DVD collection. At the time I thought I would never fill it, but at this point it is almost full and I can easily see myself filling another one some time in the future.
I plan on adding another 2TB drive and putting them in RAID to appear as one volume, but I did this in the past (in RAID 0) and when one drive failed I lost everything. What would be the best way to keep 3-4TB of data safe?
Is there an easy backup method or am I gonna have to bite the bullet and buy 3 more 2TB drives so I can do a RAID 1+0 configuration? I know this is a good way to do this, but I am cringing at having 4TB of space that is basically there just for backup. It seems like a ton of space to waste.
Help me out here.

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10 Jul 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64 Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Tri-Boot
 
 

Hi,

I would definately not consider a RAID0 for a backup since there is no redundancy as you discovered : at a minimum you might consider a RAID1, but that means you require 4 x 1TB disks to create a backup of 2TB. How many free SATA ports do you have?

You might consider buying a few large inexpensive external USB drives (2TB are common now) and backing up to that. Alternatively, a few 2TB internal disks is the other option, and relatively inexpensive. A much more expensive solution is an external NAS.

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Could you explain NAS to me a little bit? If it was more expensive to start up, but cheaper in the long run (say if my collection grew to an enormous size), I might consider it. Also, I serve my entire DVD collection stored on my main PC to 3 other computers around the house as a sort of media network. Would NAS have any advantages for that type of use?

Thanks for the quick reply...
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10 Jul 2011   #4

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dkplayaclub View Post
...I know this is a good way to do this, but I am cringing at having 4TB of space that is basically there just for backup. It seems like a ton of space to waste...
If one of your drives crashed and you didn't lose any of your data you wouldn't consider it wasted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by profdlp View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dkplayaclub View Post
...I know this is a good way to do this, but I am cringing at having 4TB of space that is basically there just for backup. It seems like a ton of space to waste...
If one of your drives crashed and you didn't lose any of your data you wouldn't consider it wasted.
Quite true Prof.. I had 2 400TB drives in RAID0 and when one crashed, I lost a collection that took me about 3 years to amass. I just don't like the idea of having to look at that mass of unused space. Also, I am going to have to deal with the limitation of space for internal drives as my collection grows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2011   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64 Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Tri-Boot
 
 

Hi,

A NAS is basically network storage : Network-attached storage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

They are pretty expensive depending on how large you want to go : the cost involves the NAS unit/controller itself as well as the disks. A cheaper alternative might be a cheap computer with lots of disks, on your network.

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

OK. I did a quick read through of the NAS article on Wikipedia, and also looked at a Pros/Cons article on NAS units. One thing I read that was very cool is that NAS units allow my collection to be shared on the web to be accessed from other places. Is this true?

If so, this is a HUGE plus, but I am concerned as to the speed of access. I don't want to deal with astounding buffering problems. Assuming good connection, would I be able to watch DVD video from a friend's house via the web?

Also, would I be able to achieve the same thing from a server PC with multiple hard drives? If so, this would be a cheaper solution based on what I've read. Also, the server PC would be able to run other applications I may need.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2011   #8

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Golden View Post
...A cheaper alternative might be a cheap computer with lots of disks, on your network...
After looking things over pretty well that was the conclusion I came to. The only big advantage to a NAS device that I see is (potential) ease of setup and smaller size. It might be nice to have all your movies on a dinky box in the living room and still be able to watch stuff in your den, but I could live with a somewhat larger box in my computer room and still do the same thing. My backup storage computer also functions as a print server and scanner station, meaning I don't have to install all that stuff on my main machine.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dkplayaclub View Post
...I had 2 400TB drives in RAID0 and when one crashed, I lost a collection that took me about 3 years to amass. I just don't like the idea of having to look at that mass of unused space. Also, I am going to have to deal with the limitation of space for internal drives as my collection grows.
It wasn't so long ago that we all had 160GB drives and thought they were huge. If you had only 160GB free on your 2TB drive you'd consider it to be pretty much full. I don't know if I'll ever get used to it enough to really keep up, but with the explosion in data I guess it pays to be philosophical about it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2011   #9

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

I type too slow...

For remote access, the NAS "should" make it easier. It's still quite doable on a regular computer but the NAS should have that semi-configured for you. A word of caution would be to look closely at the reviews - it's my understanding that there is a lot of difference between different models when it comes to being simple to set up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2011   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Have to hit the proverbial hay for the night, but any extra food for thought is always welcome. I have some fun money saved up, but all the help I can get is helpful. Can't wait to get my uber-server up and running.

Thanks again to the best user community I have found on the net. You guys rule....
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 Best way to secure large amounts of data?




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