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L0n3gr3yw0lf

Looking for external backup and storage

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hello. Last month I have bought an Asus ZenBook Pro Duo as my main work and play device. I sold my old PC because of space constraints and financial needs. The laptop has only one M.2 drive (one of the few but huge flaws in the laptop design) so I am limited to 1.9 TB Corsair Force MP510 drive. The other issue is the laptop has only 2 USB 3.1 Type A and one Type C Thunderbolt port. I have one 1TB Western Digital Blue SATA drive on external enclosure with the Steam and a few other games installed and other personal files (Music, Movies, Documents, Memes GIFs, etc) that I keep only at home.

 

I am looking for a backup solution to my 400GB Picture library (I used to have a lot more of them but I lost almost 7 years of my Photography because of 2 hard drive failures, painful lesson to learn) with at least 2 redundancies and I am not sure if a NAS would be a good solution since I do not have an Ethernet port. My left side USB port is taken up my the USB Cooler Master Ergostand III (I use it as a USB hub for my wireless keyboard, mouse, headphones) and the right side USB port for the SATA SSD. I was thinking of using cloud storage for my Picture library as well but, at the moment, I'm using spotty 4G tethered data so it's difficult to get reliable upload speed (but I hope I can back everything up at least as a backup backup solution).

 

I also wish to make it configurable to work with a desktop PC in the future as I am waiting, and planning, to build another PC in the next 2 years as a workstation and gaming desktop (I will wait for the AM5 platform as well as DDR5 for desktop, for 128GB RAM configuration, and better Ray Tracing performance on the GPU side).

 

Oh, and before I forget, I am thinking of getting a very fast micro SD or USB storage to attach to the laptop and use it as RAM drive on the go because the laptop has only 16GB of DDR4 (of which I can use it all up by just having Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop opened at the same time) if I can't clear up the M.2 drive of my image library. The pain of being on the bleeding edge of a new type of product 1st generation on the market (dual screen laptops).

 

Hopefully it won't cost more then 250-300£ as I can't afford at the moment those very expensive NAS and I don't have a reliable or extensive network where I live.

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Sounds like you just need a HDD large enough to hold all your data and a compatible USB 3 enclosure.  For redundancy, either get two of those, or one plus the cloud solution.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
7 minutes ago, Ryan_Vickers said:

Sounds like you just need a HDD large enough to hold all your data and a compatible USB 3 enclosure.  For redundancy, either get two of those, or one plus the cloud solution.

Is there any solution to be able to write on 2 drives at the same time in an automatic process ? Ideally would be to have 1 drive as external storage and that drive to be backed up on 2 separate drives (as long term storage) and use the cloud solution to backup from the external drive for on the go access. I was never good with networking even though I am very passionate about PC hardware and PC building.

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7 minutes ago, L0n3gr3yw0lf said:

Is there any solution to be able to write on 2 drives at the same time in an automatic process ? Ideally would be to have 1 drive as external storage and that drive to be backed up on 2 separate drives (as long term storage) and use the cloud solution to backup from the external drive for on the go access. I was never good with networking even though I am very passionate about PC hardware and PC building.

Depends how automatic it needs to be.  The most automatic would be to have an enclosure that lets you run two drives in RAID 1, but that's going to cost more and probably isn't necessary.  If you have two enclosures that are identical in contents and hardware, the backup script or whatever you run for one, you'll simply then do again on the other.  It would barely be any extra work imo.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Could I run a home type Raspberry Pie server with the external drive, have it be able to connect to the laptop through USB type A or C for fast direct access, and run the scrip from inside the server to the 2 external backup drives for self backup, and add the cloud sync with something like Google Drive (Or whichever is most affordable in price)?

 

Or would this make over-complicate the matter? (I don't know how I can be such a noobie in this department).

 

Maybe a Linux server might be automated through command lines?

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12 minutes ago, L0n3gr3yw0lf said:

Could I run a home type Raspberry Pie server with the external drive, have it be able to connect to the laptop through USB type A or C for fast direct access, and run the scrip from inside the server to the 2 external backup drives for self backup, and add the cloud sync with something like Google Drive (Or whichever is most affordable in price)?

 

Or would this make over-complicate the matter? (I don't know how I can be such a noobie in this department).

 

Maybe a Linux server might be automated through command lines?

RPi4 has USB 3 and gigabit ethernet iirc, which would allow you to connect at a respectable (though not completely unbottlenecked) speed.  A Rpi3 has only 100 Mbit ethernet and USB 2.0 so I wouldn't rely on it for anything like this.

 

Linux or Windows should allow you to automate the process with the command line, but I like doing backups manually so I can run a dry run and review what it's planning to do.  This lets you spot problems, like files that changed which shouldn't have, etc. and is part of the benefit of having an offline backup (something that isn't just synced at all times like Google Drive or RAID).

 

I believe OneDrive has the best value, at least it did last I checked.  Particularly if you're mainly a Windows user its integration is fantastic.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Thank you so much for the information. I will look up on RPi4 systems or something I can build on my own. After Windows 10 tried to force 1903 update on me last month and ending up with BSOD in the middle of the process I got pretty much scared Sh"$^*£^^ that it might have corrupted the only storage I have with my hole library. Luckly Windows managed to roll back the update safely but every time I see the Windows Update screen the 1903 is ready to install message haunts me.

 

I am also looking into setting up a hard drive with ISOs of old games (before they disappear into the nether of the Internet and we end up all paying subscription on all the games and access in the near future, I learned this (again) the hard way when I was playing the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and I got kicked out of the single player campaign saying I lost internet connection but the internet was working fine and I could play for hours).

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4 hours ago, L0n3gr3yw0lf said:

Thank you so much for the information. I will look up on RPi4 systems or something I can build on my own. After Windows 10 tried to force 1903 update on me last month and ending up with BSOD in the middle of the process I got pretty much scared Sh"$^*£^^ that it might have corrupted the only storage I have with my hole library. Luckly Windows managed to roll back the update safely but every time I see the Windows Update screen the 1903 is ready to install message haunts me.

Strictly speaking updates shouldn't ever cause data loss, even if it cripples the OS itself, but in practice I know that they can and on at least one occasion have done so, so it's reasonable to fear that if you don't yet have good backups, and wise to get some asap.

4 hours ago, L0n3gr3yw0lf said:

I am also looking into setting up a hard drive with ISOs of old games (before they disappear into the nether of the Internet and we end up all paying subscription on all the games and access in the near future, I learned this (again) the hard way when I was playing the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and I got kicked out of the single player campaign saying I lost internet connection but the internet was working fine and I could play for hours).

Heh, also probably not a bad idea either.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, Ryan_Vickers said:

Strictly speaking updates shouldn't ever cause data loss, even if it cripples the OS itself, but in practice I know that they can and on at least one occasion have done so, so it's reasonable to fear that if you don't yet have good backups, and wise to get some asap.

Heh, also probably not a bad idea either.

The worry at that time was that I kept the Lightroom catalogue and the files themselves on the Desktop, which is hidden behind Window's own encryption to the account that's logged in. Trying to rescue those files with a corrupt Windows can be one hell of a nightmare (happened before with other files), anything that's within the root access of Window's structure is a bi%$h to extract if you are not logged into that specific account to where the files were made at that time. (I don't like partitioning drives anymore and I would rather keep the drive's hole structure intact and in one piece).

 

Now that I can't get that scenario out of my head I will use my spare M.2 (that originally came with the laptop, which is only 512 GB) and backup all those files there ... for the time being.

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