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help with partitions/dual hard drive questions for backup

Hello! I have a computer that a friend wants me to locate for him. He is pretty wealthy and money is not an issue, however he is very interested in security... he does not want to lose his personal data to a virus or hardware failure.

I am wondering what would be the best solution for him? I am thinking Raid1 (or something similar) for two of the hard drives would solve hardware problem, but would not solve the virus issue. What would be the best way to do both? A third hard drive perhaps for backup purposes?

Whatever I do for him (or find someone with better knowledge than I have to do it), it needs to be seamless to him as he does not want to be hindered or bothered by the measures put into place.... he is not very computer savvy.

I am going to get him a pretty state of the art computer as he really does not like anything but the best, so system issues would be a problem (best processor, tons of ram etc....)

Any advise out there on how I should handle this?

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Right On

You sound like you know what you're doing. Raid1 is definitely a good way to go. A firewall and some antivirus software would also do the trick if he is worried about security.

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I agree with memorytogo

and that 3rd hard drive is a good idea for backup as well.

Your friend has a steep learning curve in front of him, whatever he wishes, and your help will be invaluable.


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Raid 1 is a dead end. Here's why.

Raid 1 will faithfully duplicate deletions and file system errors within milliseconds and is not going to save anyone's files from the common events.

Once you list out what causes files to go missing, you find Raid 1 is not the answer.

You also learn that placing the backup drive inside the same machine is also a dead end.

What does work are backups across a net to different places. Since one of those copies will be out of the current location the files survive flood and other disasters.

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Don't count on fully automatic transparent backups. The best you can do is to make it an as-few-clicks-as-possible solution, depending on what you want to backup and to what destination.


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If money is no object

If money is no object, then I'd go RAID 5, and have a couple of off-site backups, such as some kind of "cloud" service. I might even consider a dedicated backup server. You could probably even set up a system with a tape drive so you can dump a backup locally to have stored in a bank safe deposit box say every week or so.

Some of this is old tech, but it's very proven and reliable.

Just as kind of an idea... You could have a Windows server system that uses roaming profiles, so that if he has more than one computer in the house, his desktop can move from computer to computer, and changes migrate with it. Everything is stored on that server, which has a nice backup system.

You could also probably do something similar with Apple's XServe systems and then have a Mac Pro or two, and some 30" cinema displays.

Just take a look at what businesses do to protect their vital data, and just implement that on a smaller scale.

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