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Everybody has the need for backup – Me too. But in a world of constantly growing HDD sizes it’s hard to find the right, growing solution that backups the current mass of data: Digicam, internet, games, system images … Everything grows and spits out more and more data. How do i backup my data – my live – the low-budget-but-easy-and-save-way?

Since i investigated this topic for myself, i wanted to share the gathered knowledge about private backup and my solution – The sharkoon quickport pro in special – so others may benefit.

What i first thought of

Take a CD-ROM. That’s what i thought three- or four years ago – My 160 GB HDD filled with about 1 to 2 GB of user data. After frickling around with more and more CDs as my personal data grew and grew i changed to DVD-RAM. Yeah. 2 years after switching to DVD RAM my personal data exceeded the available space and i upgraded to a 500 GB internal hard drive – How do i backup that vast amount of personal data?

Requirements

First of all i worked out some requirements:

I don’t want to loose a single bit

What did i cry in the past: You loose a HDD, you loose half of your life and work. Even if you backup from time to time you loose data. Noone will be able to give it back – If you don’t pay vast ammounts of money to recover the data. Did that once and got back some odd binary files: All they could recover. I need a backup medium capable of saving every bit of data i own – redundantly.

Only the easy way

One principle i’ve learned so far: If it isn’t easy, i won’t do it regulary. A backup via DVD-RAM, tape or whatever is time consuming. If the medium is to small, i have to exchange it during backup. Although there are many solutions on how to solve that (backup one half of the data wednesdays and the other half sundays for example) they all have complicated workflows. And as i don’t like complicated workflows, i’m not disciplined enough to perform them regulary… so i tend to do them later on… if i have time… maybe.

No. This must be some sort of a plug and play solution. As easy as possible.

Future-proof

What medium/technique is growing fast enough so you may use it even if you upgrade your internal storage? Hard disks. For me, the only solution was the usage of hard disks to backup my data – They grow with my internal storage, have a good cent/mb ratio, deliver good read/write speed and are easy to handle – If you have the right infrastructure at hand.

The sharkoon quickport pro

All three requirements were met with the introduction of the sharkoon quickport pro – An USB/e-sata device capable of holding one SATA hard drive. You could just click in the drive, turn on the power and voila: One addtional drive in your system:

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The idea: I get an additional 1 TB harddrive (around 100 euros here in austria) twice the size of my internal hardrive and backup all my data on it. Better than that i bought 2 hard drives and cycle them to gain additional redundancy – If i accidentally clumsily drop one drive i’ve my data on a second one.

After combining that easy-to-use hardware solution with my custom backup script i had the backup solution that fulfilled all requirements.

Conclusion

So there i am: A complete hardware backup solution for around 230 euros – capable of backuping up to one terrabyte data with good speed (which will increase as soon that i get my additional e-sata card so i can switch from USB). And if i have the need for more backup space in future, i’ll simply buy a bigger HDD available at that time – That’s my definition of future-proof.

Four Replies

  1. 26. January 2009, 14:22
    Comment by Paul
    Thanks for the article. I have a sea of external drives and whiched to the sata docking station way back in October.. There is a new version out that will hold 2 sata drives at once that I just brought. Should be easy to dupe the first drive to the second for the ultimate of backups..
  2. 15. July 2009, 20:11
    Comment by Chris
    I recently bought the Sharkoon Quickport Pro. I had more or less the same idea as you, plus I wanted an easy way to mount a sata HDD my friends might bring to me for data transfer. Along with the Quickport I bought a Seagate 1 TB. But when I mounted the drive in Quickport, all I could hear were the heads of the drive "clicking". So, either the drive was DOA or Quickport killed it. Cen you verify that Quickport supports 1 TB drives? I know it's in working order, since I was able to mount a Maxtor 300GB without problems.
    • 15. July 2009, 20:16
      Comment by Johannes
      My backup currently runs with two samsung 1tb hardrives. special care has to be taken if you transport hardrives because they don't accept much vibration or movements without taking damage. That's why i use two harddrives for backup: if one drops, the other still lives ;-)
  3. 19. July 2009, 20:43
    Comment by Paul
    Hi, I have been using a seagate barracuda7200rpm and it flys. You do need to be super careful when handling any harddrives and in this case more so as the drives are normally housed inside the computer which offers more protection than letting be exposed on your desktop :-)

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