Laptop Backup

By wesley.chin ·
What can be done for backup of remote computers?

There are some telecommuters as well as at least one person who uses laptop as primary computers. The majority of computers are desktops. The telecommuters are located so remotely that it is a rarity if they enter the office. The other laptop person enters the office everyday. Currently, there is not a server and as such backup is done via software. Computers in the office have simple file sharing enabled between them, and software installed on each computer triggers backup to an external hard drive attached to an office computer. Right now, the laptop person backs up data from the laptop to a vacant desktop occasionally. That computer has the software to backup to the external hard drive.

For the telecommuters, data is not backed up at all. Even with the laptop person, it is kind of like a hit-and-miss with data backup.

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Couple of suggestions

by nepenthe0 In reply to Laptop Backup

You know vastly more about this stuff than I do, so my response will probably seem pretty dumb.

1) Partition the laptop HD, and dedicate a partition to backups. Install Norton Ghost (Symantec), and admonish the road warriors to do a daily complete backup to the backup partition. Ghost allows you to configure backups: complete, incremental, differential, etc. I prefer 'complete', and I delete the oldest backup once I'm sure it's no longer needed.

2) Portable USB external drives are now ultra compact, and relatively inexpensive (~$100 last time I checked). Install Norton Ghost, and perform daily backups to the external HD.

3) As you know, laptop HDs are now available in 1TB flavors (~$250), so intrinsic storage should rarely be an issue.

Rick/Portland, OR

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by wesley.chin In reply to Couple of suggestions

The aim of the external hard drive is so that the information would still be there if the computer crashed or became unusable.

I was aware of the portable drives, but they are not an option due to cost contraints.

The aim is to get the data backed up from the laptops to an external drive, not keep the backup on the laptop. The backup is as a safeguard against disaster rather than to conserve space.

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How about 8GB flash drives?

by nepenthe0 In reply to Laptop Backup

If you only require 'data' backup, not disaster recovery, your road warriors could include a USB flash drive in their computer case. These now come in 8GB flavors. I recently purchased a 1GB flash drive from Office Depot for $15.

I have a folder on the 'C' drive called 'My Stuff', and all my data files reside in this folder. It takes just seconds to copy the folder to a USB flash drive.

Rick/Portland, OR

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by wesley.chin In reply to How about 8GB flash drive ...

The intent of the backup is for recovery of data in the event of a computer not working.

I have thought of the bit about the flash drive, but it would be a short term solution as the amount of data can quickly add up.

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Have you considered Cisco VPN Client?

by nepenthe0 In reply to Laptop Backup

Laptop road warriors will find 'hot' spots for Internet connection. Wi-Max is an emerging technology that promises fast data transfer anywhere a cell phone can get a call. Within a year, I expect Sprint and others to roll out Wi-Max broadband wireless service for well-healed road warriors.

I have used the Cisco VPN Client software to securely connect with my workplace computer. This isn't the fastest technology, but I can 'drive' my workplace computer remotely and securely transfer data from my notebook computer.

My flash drive suggestion assumed your road warriors returned to the office periodically. If they don't, daily data transfers using the secure Cisco VPN Client application might solve the problem until Wi-Max service is available.

Rick/Portland, OR

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