Computers & Electronics

Cloning to two backup drives or is one good enough?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 8th, 2018 1:01 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 4, 2016
529 posts
137 upvotes

Cloning to two backup drives or is one good enough?

I picked up another ext 8TB Elements today (so now I have three brand new 8TB element drives) and another ext 4TB WD as well (making it now three 4TB WD drives.

My goal was to have the 3rd 8TB drive back up off the main 8TB drive and the 3rd 4TB drive to back up off the main 4TB drive. So basically both the main 4TB and 8TB drives would clone themselves to two drives each. Is this over kill and a waste of money on extra drives not needed? My 8TB's are used for my business and my 4TB's are used for my personal stuff.

Because what are the chances two hard drives (main and backup) fail at the same time? I mean if the main drive of either my 8TB or 4TB fails, then I can just go buy another, and clone the new drive from the backup. But I am wondering if I should keep the third set of drives or return them? It's still $300cdn for both, a good chunk of money.

Keep them or return them?
12 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 17, 2006
5670 posts
4015 upvotes
North York
tough decision...
my life is so rough, I can't even make a decision for myself, can't make a decision for you
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 4, 2016
529 posts
137 upvotes
Gee wrote:
Dec 6th, 2018 11:28 am
You should build a NAS
I would but it's a lot more expensive and I don't see a whole lot of purpose for cloud storage.
Newbie
Oct 23, 2013
23 posts
12 upvotes
Surrey, BC
Keep the 3rd set as an offsite backup in case of fire, flood, theft, etc. that you can access fairly easily. Label your first backup set 'Backup - A' and the second set 'Backup - B'. Backup - A gets updated eg. daily or once a week/month with your favourite syncing program. I use SyncToy. Then take Backup - A to your offsite backup location and exchange it with Backup - B. Take B back home and update/sync it. This way you always have a copy offsite and an updated copy at home.

Everyone has their way that works for them. I also use Google Drive for my most important scans, documents, photos, etc. The cost of the drives is worth it for peace of mind and limited downtime. Backing things up can be a huge discussion. It's not just drive failure that can occur it is also user error. Cloning the wrong drive, HDD falls/gets knocked off a desk and dies, etc. Try and keep your backup solution simple and easy. Later on as your add more drives you can look into Parity which is cost effective. My two cents :)
Last edited by LaunchWhenReady on Dec 6th, 2018 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
1358 posts
631 upvotes
Toronto
NAS isn't just for cloud storage (define 'cloud').

I have a Synology NAS wired into my network with 2 x 3TB drives in mirror in it. If either one fails, it's a hot swap.

I also have Google Drive and Amazon Drive. Free photo storage on Amazon and apps running on the Synology sync with both Google and Amazon. So, all my files are on my laptop, Synology, Google Drive and Amazon Drive simultaneously and kept in perfect sync and accessible from anywhere, from any device.

Cheaper than a bunch of individual external drives.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 4, 2016
529 posts
137 upvotes
LaunchWhenReady wrote:
Dec 6th, 2018 4:08 pm
Keep the 3rd set as an offsite backup in case of fire, flood, theft, etc. that you can access fairly easily. Label your first backup set 'Backup - A' and the second set 'Backup - B'. Backup - A gets updated eg. daily or once a week/month with your favourite syncing program. I use SyncToy. Then take Backup - A to your offsite backup location and exchange it with Backup - B. Take B back home and update/sync it. This way you always have a copy offsite and an updated copy at home.

Everyone has their way that works for them. I also use Google Drive for my most important scans, documents, photos, etc. The cost of the drives is worth it for peace of mind and limited downtime. Backing things up can be a huge discussion. It's not just drive failure that can occur it is also user error. Cloning the wrong drive, HDD falls/gets knocked off a desk and dies, etc. Try and keep your backup solution simple and easy. Later on as your add more drives you can look into Parity which is cost effective. My two cents :)
Thanks. I use Synctoy too but lately I've been getting errors. When I try to do a run on it, it finishes and completes but it says "with errors". I don't know how to fix this, tried re-installing the app and nothing.

Also my Synctoy use to always auto run as a task in the task schedule but not anymore. Not sure why.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 4, 2016
529 posts
137 upvotes
torontotim wrote:
Dec 6th, 2018 4:09 pm
NAS isn't just for cloud storage (define 'cloud').

I have a Synology NAS wired into my network with 2 x 3TB drives in mirror in it. If either one fails, it's a hot swap.

I also have Google Drive and Amazon Drive. Free photo storage on Amazon and apps running on the Synology sync with both Google and Amazon. So, all my files are on my laptop, Synology, Google Drive and Amazon Drive simultaneously and kept in perfect sync and accessible from anywhere, from any device.

Cheaper than a bunch of individual external drives.
I want to run two 8TB's in the 2 bay NAS and the one's I've seen are like $1000cdn for the entire thing. Not sure if this is true but I was told that if one drive gets a virus or a bug, then the other will too, whereas on cloning with external USB drives, it won't do this.
Member
Feb 13, 2017
405 posts
70 upvotes
1. anything stored in the cloud should not be considered private/secure. You know how much a nas costs, why would a company offer you that service for free unless they can sell your data to 3rd party for profit.
2. a virus will impact you no matter how you set something up (even cloud service). depending on the nature of the virus, recovery from a read only source (DVD/blu-ray backup) prior to infection may be your only recovery means. I know a photographer that keeps their PC permanently disconnected from the Internet and has a 2 bay nas for local backup with a second set synced monthly and stored offsite. Everyone has their level of paranoia/risk.

For small business data storage only, a 2 bay nas should be $300 (synology/other) . then add drives, plus offsite drive synced at a set interval. Depending on the data size i'd go quarterly or annual DVD/Blu-ray M-Disc burns (potentially around tax time) with 2 copes, one onsite and 2nd offsite (safety deposit box?)
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
1358 posts
631 upvotes
Toronto
I'm not concerned about the privacy of my files. Anybody who thinks their computer files are private and secure is kidding themselves regardless of how they protect them.
Newbie
Oct 23, 2013
23 posts
12 upvotes
Surrey, BC
DiamondDallasPage wrote:
Dec 6th, 2018 5:25 pm
Thanks. I use Synctoy too but lately I've been getting errors. When I try to do a run on it, it finishes and completes but it says "with errors". I don't know how to fix this, tried re-installing the app and nothing.

Also my Synctoy use to always auto run as a task in the task schedule but not anymore. Not sure why.
Hmm. Strange. I did a quick search and found this: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4251519
Maybe I'll have to check that Synctoy is doing its job lol.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
29239 posts
4316 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
DiamondDallasPage wrote:
Dec 6th, 2018 5:26 pm
I want to run two 8TB's in the 2 bay NAS and the one's I've seen are like $1000cdn for the entire thing. Not sure if this is true but I was told that if one drive gets a virus or a bug, then the other will too, whereas on cloning with external USB drives, it won't do this.
You have it all wrong. A NAS can store a virus. Sure, but you don’t execute it within the NAS

Not sure what you’re buying. But a 2 Bay NAS is useless and should cost less than $300

External drives are more prone to failure than a NAS, worse, since they connect to your computer, the chance of a virus being transferred from your computer to your external is a lot higher.

I have a colleague and he asked me to set up a NAS for his business. He uses an external drive to backup the NAS and takes it home for offsite backup. Last year he got hit with ransomware and it encrypted his computer and the external drive. The NAS was also hit, but nothing happened. His computer and external drive was useless because everything was encrypted. The NAS survived because the code from the ransomware attacked the file system (NTFS), but the NAS didn’t use NTFS. I actually saw all the files (malware) on the NAS and it copied itself into every folder.

You really should be running a NAS and using a external drive to backup the NAS

A decent NAS is not expensive and will serve you a lot better than any external drive.
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2010
12906 posts
3223 upvotes
Here 'n There
I am planning now to get a Synology DS218+ NAS and 2 HGST 4TB NAS drives (one mirrored to the other) for my new pc build instead of the combo of internal drive + external USB drive, the latter being slow often to wake up. Then I'll use my 4TB My Book for offsite storage. I also have Dropbox backup too. I don't store much media at all, don't use Plex (which the DS218+ is not compatible with apparently). I'm also going to use the Synology surveillance app for 6-8 IP cameras. I thought of going to 6TB x 2 but they are double the cost of the 4TB drives and I am not even at 1.5GB right now. With 1 main drive, 1 mirrored, 1 dropboxed and 1 external stored offsite I really don't think I need to go to a 4-bay NAS.

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