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Backup recommendation for small non-profit

By Cheesel ·
I am doing some volunteering for a small non-profit and they need a backup solution. I am inclined to go with a 200 gig USB hard drive as the media for the backup but what software?

5 units on LAN;
1 server running XP Pro
1 client running XP Pro
3 clients running 98.

Server has a 1.8 Ghz proc, 40 gig drive with 1 partition (I'm thinking this might change), 256 meg RAM. Connection is 100 Mbps. They also use ZoneAlarm.

The backup software should be as simple and as cost-effective as possible. They have very little money. Any ideas would be appreciated.

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USB Drive

by jdmercha In reply to Backup recommendation for ...

I would go with the USB drive too. But I would only try to backup the server. The users should store all their files on the server.

Get a name brand USB drive. I've seen the off-brand cheaper ones fail. The Maxtor drives come with backup software that you can initiate by pushing a button. I haven't used it though, nor have I heard good things about it.

Just be sure you realize that this type of backup has a limited usefulness. It will only be usefull in case of a server hard drive failure. As your backup will be constantly overwritten, you won't have much luck being able to restore files that are accidently deleted. You also won't have a backup available if the room is destroyed, as the backup will be destroyed as well. unless somebody takes the drive home every night.

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Absolutely agree 100%

by stress junkie In reply to USB Drive

All data should be on the server.

Only back up the server. I would go further and say just back up the data on the server.

External USB drives are excellent for this. You can purchase more USB drives over time and start to rotate them so you have more than one day's files backed up.

If you decide to just back up the data files on the server then you could just use something like xcopy in the command line window or just use Explorer to drag-and-drop copy the files from the server to the USB disk drive.

I only purchase two brands of disk drive. The first is Maxtor and the other is Seagate. Unfortunately Seagate is going to buy Maxtor so that will just leave one good disk drive manufacturer.

I would never ever purchase a Western Digital disk drive. I have had several Western Digital disk drives over the years and I always regretted choosing their products.

You may want to recommend that they purchase a fire resistent lock box to store the backup disk drive(s) plus their installation media and their license certificates.

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Agreed, although removable IDE drives might be cheaper

by jmgarvin In reply to USB Drive

You might also look into a removable tray that plugs into a free IDE connection (I like Kingwin This might be a slightly cheaper solution (I don't know how cheap you want to go). Usually the tray runs around $20-50 and the enclosure runs around $5-15. You can pick up a 250gb HDD for $69.99 (

Long term this might not fit your needs and the USB solution might be better. However, this is a cheaper solution short run than a USB drive (which will run about $35/enclosure, since you'll probably need 2).

Also a fireproof safe is a must as well as some off site storage area. Also, remember to encrypt sensitive data on the backup.

Good luck!

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recommendation for small non-profit

by sdurfee In reply to Backup recommendation for ...

I would also go with a USB external hard drive. You can use the native backup software built into windows XP. It is simple and works well. You can also use this to restore files. Go to start > all programs > accessories > system tools and select backup. Use the wizard and follow on screen directions.

You will still have the issue of the data being onsite but you will have a backup.


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by ozi Eagle In reply to Backup recommendation for ...


Previous recommendations are all good.

Another option, though is a DVD burner, using DVD RWs. Media is cheaper ~$2 per DVD RW disk, burner around $100.
I recommend one disk per day and rotate. Preferably take the day's DVD home and bring in the next day's that day.

DVD burners generally come with Nero software, which includes a backup program.

Oh I forgot to mention that this solution, by default, also gives the system a CD DVD burner for other uses.

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Thank you

by Cheesel In reply to Backup recommendation for ...

Thank you for all of your suggestions. I set them up with a DVD Writer last night. Tomorrow I will go back and set them up with Pegasus Mail and Firefox, as they are concerned over the security holes in IE and Outlook (so am I).

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Update, update

by name holdout In reply to Thank you

As long as Windows and Antivirus software are updated there should be no issues. Microsoft releasees updates usually on Tuesday evenings/Wednesday morning. Antivirus needs to be updated daily. Ran this setup for five years with out any breaches.

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HD backups - external drives

by ross_diamond In reply to Update, update

I'm facing a somewhat similar issue. Our tape backup now takes 2 tapes, so I'm thinking of adding 2 external HDs for backups (1 to be taken offsite every night, and switched every day so there is always a current backup offsite). Is there any significant difference in durability between standard external HDs (with 3.5" disks inside), and 'portable' external HDs with 2.5" disks inside? The ones with 2.5" disks tend to emphasize that you can carry them around with you all the time; I'm not sure if that would be a good idea with the larger ones.

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