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Need Network Backup System

Ok, here is my question:

There are ~4 computers in our house. We have been having problems recently of them crashing, and comming close to loosing everything on the hard drive. I want to create some sort of backup. All the computers in our house are connected via a wireless network. is there a way that I could setup another computer/ethernet hard drive to the wireless network that would automatically schedule a backup of certain folders on certain computers? Or do you have any other ideas? Thanks!


Secret Goat Fetish
Political User
i know that powerquest drive image will let you backup to network drives :D it can be scheduled as a task as well to backup to a removable 40Gb drive or sumin.


OSNN Advanced
There's a HD by Acer I think or some other company that offers a wireless HD. Not sure if it's in the shops yet, but could be a suggestion for a network HD.
Otherwise, if money is not a problem you could build a file server for your network to share files and stuff between the four machines.
ming said:
Otherwise, if money is not a problem you could build a file server for your network to share files and stuff between the four machines.
I wish money wasn't a problem :rolleyes: I was thinking of building a Linux box. I am not quite sure how that would work---backing up 4 windows computers, but it could also act as a better firewall...What do you think? Is it possible?


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
go for a Maxtor 300 GB external USB with firewire or USB - I did and no regrets - plus try to look into Acroinis TrueImage although I myself do use DriveImage which can do networked - heard only good things about Acronis so investigate if it does network...
Theres some company that markets a OneTouch backup external hard drive, I just cant for the life of me remember what it was called and its far to late at night to go googling now


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
Henyman said:
maxtor make the one touch drives :p , but i dunno it they can be used over a network?
Ah 0 but I know the hardware can be used over a network with no problem - however the software Maxtor supply is highly dubious, I used it to try to recover my notebook HD after failure within its 1st month and it was useless - so I am going with DriveImage for now (which I know also covers networked backup). The only thing I do NOT know is whether Acronis can handle network backups....
If you're looking at only backing up certain folders from your four computers then Drive Image is probably not what you are after. Drive Image will make a complete image of your hard drive including your windows installation and everything else on the drive. This is good if you want to do a complete restore but it does take up a lot of space and makes keeping an up-to-date copy of your critical data very difficult.

Admiral Michael mentioned a program called Second Copy earlier, and I think this would probably be the best option you could use to keep an up-to-date copy of all your critical data. You can download and install the program onto one of your existing computers (ie costing nothing). You'll then be able set the folders that you want backed up from each of the other computers and you'll also be able to set a schedule for it to backup automatically. Using this method you could have the program backup your data once a day (or even more) so that in the case that one of the other computers has a complete hard-drive failure you'll still have all of your data intact and the most you'd loose was something you made since the last scheduled backup the night before.
You can even set the program to move any deleted files into an archieve folder so that anything that you have had backed up that you delete is not gone forever but conveniently waiting for you to recover on the computer with Second Copy. (if you use this method you'll need to clear out the archieve folder every so often so that you don't run out of space)

If you want a more efficient solution you could build an inexpensive server (which is nothing more than a standard computer) and install Second Copy onto that. This way you could leave your "server" on all the time and any computer which is on at night you could schedule the backup to run then, and the other computers to backup during the day. Depending on the hardware you select for you server would also depend on whether it could host games, as a lot of today's games have some really demanding requirements. Farcry for instance recommends a 2GHz processor for a multiplayer server.

You could use the server as a firewall if you wanted, you'd need to have two network cards installed on it (one to connect to your other computers and one to connect to the internet) and then it would just be a matter of installing a software firewall. You wouldn't really get that much advantage, except you wouldn't have to install the software on each of your four other computers, only once onto the server. The setup could be convenient however if you wanted to monitor how much you have downloaded each month for instance, as you could set up monitoring software on your server and it could tell you the combined downloads of all four computers.

It depends on what you want your server to do. If you just want your server to do standard tasks like file backup and/or providing a firewall for your network then it might be easiest just to stick with windows for your server.

If you are familiar with Unix or Linux or any other OS that others here may recommend then go for it, but if not then you'll probably find it's convenient just to stick with Windows, that way all the software you already have and know how to use will be compatible with your server. Don't forget you'd be able to use your server as a normal computer if you wanted also.

One other thing, if you choose an OS other than windows, you would need to seperately download dedicated servers (for each of your games) compiled especially for the operating system you choose.
(Btw Secondy Copy is designed only for Windows. If you want to go for a different OS then you'll need to select a similar backup program made for the operating system you choose. For more info on Second Copy click here)


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