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2 years, 10 months ago
All users can be separated into two groups: on those who regularly do backups and on those who did not begin to do them yet. If you belong to the second category, then it means only that you insufficiently well or not fully imagine quantity and scales of the troubles capable to damage your data – theft, the fire, a hurricane, viruses, bugs of the software, breakdown of iron, an error of users and all in such spirit. Well, or did not face passing of "quest" on data recovery after their loss yet (which, unfortunately, can not always be passed successfully). Anyway, it is better to know beforehand what errors should be avoided at backup therefore we present to yours eleven errors during creation of a backup. It even not so much errors, how many councils and the list of strategy which should not use (first of all, for users of Mac). Welcome under kat.

11 errors of your backups

1. It is necessary to do backups

Data of annual poll which showed are provided in a recent post of Backblaze that only 8% of respondents make backup copies every day (few years ago this digit was more), 16% do a backup of times a year, and 25% do not do in general. At the beginning of summer we also conducted survey which results not less frightening – 90.6% of respondents are not ready to lose data, at the same time only 74% of respondents make backup copies of important data (from which 57.9% use for this purpose only the external drive).

To do is nothing one of the worst approaches. You hope that irrespective of yours (or strangers) actions everything will ideally work, but any computer will not be able to guarantee you it – sooner or later you will lose data and on it will be sorry.

2. It is impossible to rely on means and services of data recovery

If you accidentally deleted the file from your makbuk, there is a probability that it can be recovered, having used special programs for data recovery. If it was not succeeded to make it (for example if the drive was damaged), then there is a hope only for the specialized companies on data recovery. However to believe that you will be able to use one of these methods, simply silly. Sometimes theft or an unplanned meteoric rain therefore you simply will have no disk over which it would be possible to perform all above-mentioned operations becomes the reason of loss of data.

3. Do not hope for autosave

Really, some applications execute automatic saving of documents, giving you the chance to begin with that place where you stopped even if the file was not saved with a name (an example of such application – BBEdit). However not all applications work in this way. But even if work, there are always situations when users accidentally or by mistake delete files of autosave. It is no secret that the majority of backup systems assume that the user at least will save and will call the file – often autosave joins only after this step.

4. You should not do backups manually

There are many people, which execute a backup of all system (or, at least, parts of files) when it is necessary for their soul, creating clones or copying files on other disk manually. Of course, it is better, than nothing, but it is very unreliable and non-constant approach – there will be one thousand and one reason not to make once a backup. And under the law of meanness quite can happen so that you will lose data that day when you forget or you will not manage to execute a backup. Therefore automatic backups are more reliable option. Even, perhaps, the best.

5. It is impossible to rely only on Time Machine

Time Machine is the remarkable (free) tool which is built in OS X – by Apple made a sure bet on simplification of procedure of a backup. Time Machine – it is good. But this priolozheniye should not trust entirely. For example, in the article "Why I Don't Rely on Time Machine" ("Why I do not trust Time Machine") the author tells how he faced the unrecoverable error Time Machine as a result of which he had to clear all reserve disks and to begin to copy all over again. Disks were as it should be, and here data did not. Even praised instruments of recovery did not help. Time Machine can ideally work for years, but it should stumble at least once … Though Time Machine and the reliable utility (and well copes with the work as an auxiliary backup tool), but are better not to stake only on it.

Still something about Time Machine: if at you the disk entirely "departed", then its formatting or replacement with the subsequent recovery of a backup will become the only output – this process can take long hours. At the runtime procedure you will not be able to use the Mac therefore we strongly recommend to make boot copies of system or "clones". But it leads to one more problem …

6. It is impossible to use only clones

Clones are an excellent thing. If something went not so, they allow you to return to work almost instantly (reboot system, holding Option, and select a clone). Also clones give the chance to roll away system to the previous OS X versions if updating took place with errors.

The problem is that clones do not give you the chance to recover accidentally remote files or to get access to their earlier versions if the clone was updated (some applications give opportunities to archiving of files, but here it is necessary to understand what you do). One more problem – a clone is stored on your makbuk therefore if something happens to the computer (a tornado, a robbery), then together with it also the only backup will be gone. This problem conducts us to the following conclusion …

11 errors of your backups

7. It is impossible to store backups by one machine

The hypothetical meteorite can destroy the house in California, but will hardly be able to destroy along with it also a data-center of CrashPlan in Minnesota and in other places where you can store the data. It concerns also the data lost as a result of theft, break of pipes, the fire – misfortunes much more probable, than falling of a meteorite. If your backups are stored by the local machine, then they are protected only from a certain circle of dangers. It is easy to solve this problem, having just given backups to the friend or, for example, having placed them in a cell of bank. You can also use cloud services like CrashPlan, Backblaze or DollyDrive. Well, make so that you had a backup on the party.

But, strangely enough, the converse is right too. Is not necessary …

8. … to have only online backups

They are ideally suited for a huge number of situations, here only recovery of a multigigabyte piece of data from cloudy storage (we will forget about the whole disk so far) can occupy a progressive tense. In such situation you are limited to the flow capacity of a communication channel of Internet service provider. And some providers still have a limit of the downloaded data so procedure of recovery can solidly drag on. For this reason in addition to "cloudy", it is always worth storing local backups (certainly if you want to be loaded from a clone, it has to be on a local hard drive).   

The following two errors also belong to online backups.

9. It is not necessary to use only Dropbox (or similar services)

Dropbox is excellent and very convenient tool though many other cloudy storages (iCloud Drive, Box, Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive, Yandex. The disk, Microsoft OneDrive, etc.) possess approximately the same feature set. The majority of them even offer primitive a backup function, recovering old or remote files (if to them no more than a month).

All this is good, however, similar services are suitable for storage of a small amount of files more, than for full backup of system or all disk. Besides in the majority of services the free place quite modest by the sizes while the occasional seat for storage of large volume of data will be the regular and notable item of expenditure.

10. You should not think that web applications do not need backups

You use Google Docs, Office 365, iWork for iCloud or other web applications (which uncountable quantity) for creation and sharing of documents? Many of us uses these services, at least, occasionally. It is good, but whether you make local copies of these documents? If the answer – "No", then it is bad.

It is possible to list a set of cases when people opened Google Docs (or something else) and found out that the important document disappeared for the unclear reason. And what to do in such situation – it is unclear. Similar situations arise infrequently, but believe, they arise. You should not expect that the cloud service will adequately recover the lost data or that you will manage to make it independently (even in the presence of data in a cloud you will not always be able to get access to them because of problems with the server or with your Internet connection, and there will be it at the most inappropriate moment). Therefore it is better to do own backups of cloudy documents. It is possible to use special utilities, for example, of CloudPull (look at the article "Back Up Your Google Data with CloudPull" ("We do a backup of documents of Google by means of CloudPull"), though it and old already).

11. Do not think that RAID and a backup are synonyms

RAID integrates several hard drives in one logical volume. One of options of the RAID setup is mirror RAID (RAID 1) which is most often confused to backups. The essence of RAID 1 is that each block registers in two different physical disks, 100% redundancy thereby are provided (RAID 5 and 6 also provide redundancy, but by other methods). It not absolutely cloning because data are always actual and updated. Same it is remarkable?

Actually, not always. Permanent updates are part of a problem. If you accidentally deleted the file, then it will be removed from both disks of mirror RAID. If the directory or the file was damaged, to you the virus got or there was still some problem, then it will equally be reflected in both disks. Certainly, if the array was stolen or damaged, then files will be lost. RAID 1 protects your data only in case of failure of one of hard drives (it happens) and no more than that. So remember that the disk array – not a synonym to the word "backup".

Normally do – it will be normal!

It is healthy if during reading this list of ridiculous errors you were convinced that your backup strategy of data is perfect and deprived of the described shortcomings. If this is so – we hope, it was interesting to you to look at how there live other 92% of the population.

However if you recognized yourself at least in one of points, do not hurry to be upset – we just and did eot a post to help you to correct it. All of us passed through it. It is necessary to understand errors and to correct them, especially so far as concerns safety of important data. Just make a backup copy right now, after reading of article, considering the errors mentioned above – after that you can be sure that no meteorites will destroy your data, and will be able to direct efforts to more important tasks, for example, to protection against the zombie :)


This article is transfer of the foreign article "11 stupid strategies of backup" which author has no relation to our company. However we decided to publish it when caught themselves on thought that our new products (on behalf of Acronis True Image 2016 and Acronis True Image Cloud) allow to do data backup taking into account all above-mentioned councils and recommendations. In the near visible future we will prepare reviews of our innovations for now you can study them independently – according to the detailed overview in the Hacker log or having downloaded applications from the website.

Well and yes, make a backup of important data right now. Progress!

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