Bradley Handziuk's blog

How we do computer backups

Computer backups

I thought I should write a little about how our data are backed up because I always forget. 

My desktop is backed up internally. There are 4 drives.

A 128 GB SSD which is where Windows lives (C: drive) is backed up to another internal mechanical 500 GB drive (A: drive)

A 1 TB internal data drive (J: drive) where all our "stuff" (not programs) is stored. This is backed up to another internal 1 TB drive (B: drive).

Drives A: and B: are hidden from being seen in Windows Explorer by setting the NoDrives key in the registry (HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer) to 3. (A = 1) + (B = 2) = 3.

My drive setup in Disk Management

1 - The OS Backup

The OS is backed up to the A: drive through the built in Windows back up utility (File History)

Control Panel\System and Security\File History

2 - The Data Backup

Data are backed up using the Microsoft tool SyncToy. You point it to a folder (Left Folder, J:) and tell it where to sync (Right Folder, B:). It's set up to Echo which means it will

New and updated files are copied left to right. Renames and deletes on the left are repeated on the Right.

This is set up to run as a scheduled task. I named it "SyncToy Data Drives" and set it to run every Monday at 3:18 AM.  It runs the following command

"C:\Program Files\SyncToy 2.1\SyncToyCmd.exe" -R "Back up new TB to old TB"

I allow it to  "Run whether user is logged on or not"

This all works pretty well. Except sometimes 1. hits a glitch not recognizing the drive.

I'm not sure what the heck is going on.

Emma's laptop is also set up to back up to the 500 GB drive. There is a virtual drive created in a folder there which is mounted on her computer as a 'local drive'. This was the only way I could get Windows 7 Home (the version she has) to do network backups; trick it. I can write about that more later. It is very finicky and doesn't always reconnect.

The only off site backups we have going on are a lot of pictures backed up to Google+ and out YNAB accounts are synced to Dropbox. We should be better about that but we really don't have all that much going on with out PCs at home.