I want to begin a backup system that will enable me to rebuild an entire harddisk after a failure. I have a CD-RW and would like to hear your opinions on the best possible approach. Should I be looking at a complete or partial backup? Can I use my CD-RW? What applications should I be using? How will a complete restore or partial restore work?
First of all, congratulations on your decision to implement a backup strategy for your data. Disaster recovery can quickly fall to the bottom of a busy IT person's list of priorities until it's too late - you are to be commended for your foresight.
While there can be, (and have been,) volumes of material written on developing a viable backup plan, (run a search on any of the TechTarget offerings if you don't believe me,) let me offer a few tips to get you started:
If archive bits are cleared after each backup, this is called an "incremental" backup. If the archive bits are cleared only after a full backup, then this is a "differential" backup.
An incremental backup clears the archive bits each time data is backed up. This means that each backup will be small. To perform a restore, a copy of the last full backup and each incremental will have to be restored to get all files to their last known state. In most cases, a full backup will be performed weekly while an incremental backup is performed daily.
A differential backup clears archive bits only after a full backup. This means that daily backups get gradually larger, but a restore is easier. A full restore only requires the last full backup and the last differential.
Incremental backup allows for a more granular restore, but differential backups are typically easier to restore."
This should give you a place to start your research in this matter. Searchstorage.techtarget.com can provide much more reference material and information, as well as a generic search engine query.
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