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PICList Thread
'[OT] ZIP backup system'
2000\04\17@093903 by Peter Crowcroft

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I have been feeling pretty safe these last few months. I have a removable
HD for weekly backups and a 250MB ZIP drive for daily backups using a xcopy
and xcopy32 BAT file with a /D switch set for the last week.

That was until last night when I got the Click of Death.

I soon found my ZIP had gone crazy, and needed the power turning off to
stop it. Then I found I could not read data from the ZIP drive.

http://grc.com/clickdeath.htm

soon brought me up to speed on what the problem is.

What is the old saying about hubris before a fall?


So it seems Iomega ZIP drives are unreliable for "100%" backup protection.
No wonder they are getting a Class Action law suit.

Anyone who relies on ZIP disk backup protection should read the above URL.

regards,

Peter Crowcroft
                   DIY Electronics (HK) Ltd
               PO Box 88458, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong
Voice: 852-2720 0255   Fax: 852-2725 0610    Web:  http://kitsrus.com
  Email: spam_OUTpeterTakeThisOuTspamkitsrus.com          Email:.....diykitKILLspamspam@spam@pacific.net.hk

----------------------------------------------------------------------

2000\04\17@144653 by Octavio Nogueira

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The same happened with my ZIP drive, but I'm in contact
with Iomega for a substitution.

Friendly Regards

Octavio Nogueira
===================================================
nogueiraspamKILLspampropic2.com                  ICQ# 19841898
ProPic tools - low cost PIC programmer and emulator
http://www.propic2.com
===================================================

{Original Message removed}

2000\04\17@152257 by Nick Taylor

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Thanks for posting the pointer to the SpinRite site.  I've checked
both of my Jaz drives and am in the process of checking all of the
cartridges using Steve Gibson's program ... it may well turn out to
be a life saver!

- Nick

Peter Crowcroft wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2000\04\23@183330 by ranguelo

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Hi Peter !

First off all, sorry for the delay of my answer ...


Peter Crowcroft wrote:
>
> I have been feeling pretty safe these last few months. I have a removable
> HD for weekly backups and a 250MB ZIP drive for daily backups using a xcopy
> and xcopy32 BAT file with a /D switch set for the last week.

That is basically the same strategy i am using: A big full copy of all
data
to a CD-R from time to time and a weekly copy of all changed files to a
ZIP.

>
> That was until last night when I got the Click of Death.
>
...
>
> http://grc.com/clickdeath.htm
>
> soon brought me up to speed on what the problem is.

Thanks for this URL, seems to be very useful.

>
> What is the old saying about hubris before a fall?
>
> So it seems Iomega ZIP drives are unreliable for "100%" backup protection.

My Hints:

1. It is not very wise to relay on a single component or system. You
  can use 2 or 3 ZIP disks and 'cycle' them. So if the disk with
  today's data gets corrupt, you have a working copy of yesterdays data
  and 2 days old data.

2. Always verify the files after writing them to the ZIP disk. Do a
  binary file compare.

  A friend of my noticed that the files read back from the drive was
  different from the source files. The data got corrupted without a
  error message from the OS.

3. 'Test' your backup strategy. Try out the whole process of disaster
  recovery. You will discover problems you have never thought about ...

4. I have also made a Linux boot disk with a kernel supporting my ZIP
  drive, my CD-ROM and vfat32, so i can restore files with long file
  names without Windows ...


Some questions:

Do somebody now how long the 'live time' of a ZIP disk is ?
How reliable are CD-RW disks for backups ?


Hope this helps ...
St.

2000\04\23@193509 by Wagner Lipnharski

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ZIP is good, but you always would require a ZIP drive installed, not
everybody has one (just in emergency case I mean). The availability of a
CD drive in PC's is much more than ZIP drives.

AT CD's some image files and/or sound files can be (or they actually
are) flagged as "No ECC correction", it means, they *could* be read from
CD-R or CD-RW with errors and considered "ok".   Your question could be
a little different:  "How reliable are the CD-RW recorder units for
backups?"

After I bought the Yamaha CDR8424 (SCSI) I noticed that several CDR
disks I lost in the past were NOT related to CD disk quality, but the
reliability of the Mitsumi 2801 unit I was using.  I was to return a
whole set of 50 units (including the 8 lost in a row) from some very
well known brand, after I found just that specific CDR disks type was
not working well with the Mitsumi 2801. Switched to the Yamaha drive at
the same week, the rest of the pack, 42 disks, worked like a charm with
the Yamaha.

I use CD-R's (not CD-RW's) for backup. The reason is simple: Cost and
availability of all the backups done. I use Adaptec DirectCD, create a
new directory every week at the "current" backup CDR, named as
year_dayoftheyear (2000_113), and copy all the "changed" or "updated"
desired files into (subdirectories and all).  When this CDR gets full,
just use a new one. By this way I got *all* the files available at the
CDR's from many months ago, just in case.  With the actual price per CDR
(around 50 cents), still a great bargain compared with CD-RW's.

But I have a problem. What I going to do with the tape drive and all the
backup tapes I used years ago... 80MB, almost one hour to backup it
up... :)   does anyone still using tapes? if any answer yes, I would
double dare, "who still using 80 columns punched cards?", telex
perfurated tapes, etc... :)

Wagner

Stefan Ranguelov wrote:
>
> Do somebody now how long the 'live time' of a ZIP disk is ?
> How reliable are CD-RW disks for backups ?
>
> Hope this helps ...
> St.

2000\04\24@024630 by Lee Jones

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> I use CD-R's (not CD-RW's) for backup. The reason is simple:
> Cost and availability of all the backups done.

CD-R definitely has it's place.  Great for archival storage
of source code, accounting data, and other things that you
want to have around "just in case" for decades.  I've read
that a reasonably stored CD-R disk will likely last from 50
to 100 years.

> What I going to do with the tape drive and all the backup tapes
> I used years ago... 80MB, almost one hour to backup it up... :)

Retire it.  Replace it with a tape drive comparable in size
and speed to the disks you are now using.

> does anyone still using tapes?

Yes.  How else do you do nightly backups of 50 to 100 GB RAID
disk arrays?  Pay someone to sit around feeding in dozens of
CD-R disks?  I think not.

> if any answer yes, I would double dare, "who still using
> 80 columns punched cards?", telex perfurated tapes, etc... :)

No, both have insufficient capacity and transfer rates.

                                               Lee Jones

2000\04\24@043826 by Russell McMahon

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>But I have a problem. What I going to do with the tape drive and all the
>backup tapes I used years ago... 80MB, almost one hour to backup it
>up... :)   does anyone still using tapes? if any answer yes, I would
>double dare, "who still using 80 columns punched cards?", telex
>perfurated tapes, etc... :)


Tape, of course, has so far )so far!) managed to stay ahead of the
burgeoning capacity of hard disks.
Around 6GB is entry level, 16 to 30 GBish is common, 70 GB is available.
Need a lot of CDs for most of these :-) - about as many as floppys were
needed for a 20 MB BIG hard disk not too long ago


RM

2000\04\24@113048 by Alan B Pearce

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>"who still using 80 columns punched cards?", telex
>perfurated tapes, etc... :)

You do realise that these could be the least volatile method of backup for
archival storage? how long will your CD's last? If you only want 10 years or so,
then you will probably be OK, but will there still be a suitable reader
available then?

At least the paper based medium is readable and translatable by the only reader
not likely to be permanently removed from the scene (i.e. a person).

(removes tongue from cheek)

2000\04\24@125039 by jamesnewton

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How to get rich:

Use a PIC to pervert the controls of a 200 disc CD changer (what? $500 for a
nice one?) to automatically switch disks for a CDRW drive and then extend a
Linux backup program with CDRW support to talk to the PIC. Sell it for $2000
or so.

---
James Newton jamesnewtonspamspam_OUTgeocities.com 1-619-652-0593
http://techref.massmind.org
All the engineering secrets worth knowing

{Original Message removed}

2000\04\24@141958 by William Chops Westfield

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   Tape, of course, has so far )so far!) managed to stay ahead of the
   burgeoning capacity of hard disks.
   Around 6GB is entry level, 16 to 30 GBish is common, 70 GB is available.
   Need a lot of CDs for most of these :-) - about as many as floppys were
   needed for a 20 MB BIG hard disk not too long ago

Well, 20G might be a typical amount of disk on a PC system, but most of
that is occupied by horribly bloated applications that (in theory) don't
really need to be backed up very often.  If you're talking source code,
or email, or the next great novel, then the 1G or so that a CD will hold
(with compression) is quite a lot.  It's too bad that the popular
operating systems make it such a pain to keep the "constant data" and
the "user data" separated, and that it's such a pain to remember
everything you've installed and reinstall it.

BillW

2000\04\24@154534 by Wagner Lipnharski

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William Chops Westfield wrote:
>
>     Tape, of course, has so far )so far!) managed to stay ahead of the
>     burgeoning capacity of hard disks.
>     Around 6GB is entry level, 16 to 30 GBish is common, 70 GB is available.
>     Need a lot of CDs for most of these :-) - about as many as floppys were
>     needed for a 20 MB BIG hard disk not too long ago
>
> Well, 20G might be a typical amount of disk on a PC system, but most of
> that is occupied by horribly bloated applications that (in theory) don't
> really need to be backed up very often.  If you're talking source code,
> or email, or the next great novel, then the 1G or so that a CD will hold
> (with compression) is quite a lot.  It's too bad that the popular
> operating systems make it such a pain to keep the "constant data" and
> the "user data" separated, and that it's such a pain to remember
> everything you've installed and reinstall it.
>
> BillW

I agree with you Bill, most people think of backup as "system backup",
while a "data" backup is enough.  I wouldn't waste backup disk or tape
space to save program files since I have the original disks and I can
reinstall them if necessary.  And by the way, all my "data" files will
not fill a CD, so a 70GB tape backup is somehow a non-sense to me.
Wagner

2000\04\24@165907 by hgraf

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> > Well, 20G might be a typical amount of disk on a PC system, but most of
> > that is occupied by horribly bloated applications that (in theory) don't
> > really need to be backed up very often.  If you're talking source code,
> > or email, or the next great novel, then the 1G or so that a CD will hold
> > (with compression) is quite a lot.  It's too bad that the popular
> > operating systems make it such a pain to keep the "constant data" and
> > the "user data" separated, and that it's such a pain to remember
> > everything you've installed and reinstall it.
> >
> > BillW
>
> I agree with you Bill, most people think of backup as "system backup",
> while a "data" backup is enough.  I wouldn't waste backup disk or tape
> space to save program files since I have the original disks and I can
> reinstall them if necessary.  And by the way, all my "data" files will
> not fill a CD, so a 70GB tape backup is somehow a non-sense to me.

    While I totally agree with you for most circumstances, when it comes to
recovery speed a system backup is the only way to go. If a system goes down
then getting it running again with just a data backup could take many hours,
even days. For business's this is just not acceptable, they want everything
now. 70GB tape backups still have their places, but for most home users a
data backup is more than enough. I for one store all my data on one hard
drive on a computer on my network, the only applications on that hard drive
is the OS needed to get the computer to run and that's relatively small.
TTYL

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