Robocopy with Flash memory devices (SD card, Flash drive, etc)

Discussion in 'Computer Components' started by Foebane72, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. Foebane72

    Foebane72
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    On my PC, which has only the one HDD, I have four partitions, one for the Windows OS and general stuff, one for all my important documents, and two more which are mirrors of those documents. Security is not really an issue if someone else got hold of the documents, BTW.

    The thing is, I recently had a bad experience with trying to use CD-Rs and DVD+Rs to backup this data, which is about ~12Gb in size, and in any case I hated trying to split the data across multiple discs in such a way that I didn't need to replace the discs so often as the contents became newer. So I've chosen not to use optical media at all now.

    I backup the data on the HDD with Robocopy's mirror function with an option to exclude older files, and I have used two USB flash drives and two SDHC cards (all Sandisk) as well as a MicroSD card for the MP3 player together with Robocopy to mirror all the contents off the main documents drive on the HDD, and if it ever came to it, each other.

    The thing is, if Robocopy only copies those files which are new, are redundant or have changed, does this mean it is friendly to Flash memory as it is not performing unnecessary write cycles? I would imagine so. I would hate to think that the memory had degraded without my knowledge. How reliable is Flash memory? I keep hearing people say that Flash memory devices should only be used for transport, but there's no viable alternative.

    Ideally, I would like several memory devices stored around my bedsit and not all in one place (like a SSD or HDD would limit it to) - what conditions should I store such devices in? I have ordered plastic cases for the SD cards and intend to stick them inside the former CD wallets (which are mostly empty now).

    Any advice would be appreciated, except for getting an HDD for storage, which I do not want, as the data is small enough and I want it in several locations. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. phillyd1981

    phillyd1981
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    No digital storage option is full proof long term!

    Have you considered cloud storage like google drive it give 15gb free storage.
     
  3. snaithg

    snaithg
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    And who's to say that will still be available in years to come! ;)


    Graham.
     
  4. Foebane72

    Foebane72
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    Most of the data is MP3s, and I hear they don't allow such files to be stored - copyright, and all that.
     
  5. phillyd1981

    phillyd1981
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    I beg to differ I just uploaded a few songs to my account!
     
  6. phillyd1981

    phillyd1981
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    Erm I did say no DIGITAL storage option is full proof long term. Don't cloud storage fall under the same category ;).
     
  7. phillyd1981

    phillyd1981
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    Foebane personally I keep important files in 3 separate locations.

    external hard drive at home
    external hard drive kept of my property (just in case of fire etc)
    and lastly cloud storage.
     
  8. Foebane72

    Foebane72
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    Well, when you're in shared accommodation, it's hard to figure out where to put a copy outside of the room.

    Although, I used to keep DVD+Rs at my Dad's house which is only about a mile away...
     
  9. Foebane72

    Foebane72
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    Maybe so, but I don't like the idea of all my personal files being on the cloud. I don't trust the so-called security, or the possibility of theft and/or loss outside of my control.

    I did say security was not an issue, but then no-one else comes into my room but me! ;)
     
  10. phillyd1981

    phillyd1981
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    Got a ebay/ amazon account? your personal info and bank details are allready stored by a 3rd party
     
  11. Foebane72

    Foebane72
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    Yes, but they're most likely encrypted. It'd be harder to encrypt many gigabytes of data.

    Speaking of Amazon, I've got loads of MP3 downloads from them. I wonder if I can just leave that data there and use the Amazon Cloud Player when I want to listen to them, like Steam for games that I play? It would reduce the amount of data a fair bit.
     
  12. phillyd1981

    phillyd1981
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    Why encrypt songs :eek:
     
  13. Foebane72

    Foebane72
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    That was the point of my previous post. I ASSUME that personal info and bank details are encrypted and so protected. I figured that encrypting songs would make them unplayable, but that's my point: lack of security on the cloud.
     
  14. Apsilon

    Apsilon
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    If this is the case, why on earth are you mirroring the partitions? You're achieving nothing other than wasting space because if your HDD goes bang, you'll lose the virtual mirrors as well.

    Get a USB portable HDD and back up to that. Job done
     
  15. Pisto_Grih

    Pisto_Grih
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    If you're concerned about data integrity (physical degradation of flash devices or optical storage) then just set up a schedule to check that data at regular intervals.

    ie
    Year 1 - Backup takes place - any and all files
    Year 2 - Backup check on existing data, add new or modified files
    Year 3 - Backup check on existing data, add new or modified files

    This obviously means your backup size will grow (if your data is growing) or you can replace files.

    Your backup checks should probably take into account the lifespan of your storage, and the likelihood of something breaking unexpectedly. Personally, if it is important stuff, I would have two physical backups in different locations, and possibly a cloud backup.

    If you are worried about privacy in the cloud, use encryption before upload.
     
  16. Foebane72

    Foebane72
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    I'm mirroring the partitions because if I'm working on the main documents partition and something goes wrong, I can recover it with Robocopy by copying from one of the mirrors back to the original.

    I've got plenty of space to waste, and besides, as I keep saying, the data totals only ~12Gb, and it's unlikely to get much larger in size. And in any case, the HDD is FAST.

    And in the worst case scenario that if I lose ALL data, even on the Flash memory devices, I believe in HDD data recovery, even if it costs. I really don't mind.

    OK, a portable USB HDD: with 500Gb minimum. I wouldn't have any use for 90%+ of the space available, plus USB is slow (I am stuck with 2.0 at best). I may as well stick with USB flash drives as I am doing, they have just the right capacity, plus the multiple copies spread all over the place as I already said.
     
  17. Foebane72

    Foebane72
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    Forget the ~12Gb size, I've just managed to reduce it by a quarter to ~9Gb by either using Amazon Cloud Player rather than assimilating those purchases into my own collection, or making it easy to do so should I lose the data.

    My concern now is, how safe are my Amazon MP3 downloads, and are they always accessible?
     
  18. phillyd1981

    phillyd1981
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    how much does data recovery cost?
     
  19. Foebane72

    Foebane72
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    I investigated that a long time ago, I think it came to around £100 at least - it depends on the business doing the recovery, and the quotes vary a lot. And USB HDDs are just as prone, so it must be a booming business.
     
  20. phillyd1981

    phillyd1981
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    £30 for my USB hd and 6 years later it is still going strong.
     
  21. Foebane72

    Foebane72
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    Fair enough.

    On a side note, how safe do you think Amazon MP3 purchases are? Will they always be downloadable as long as the buyer account exists, or are there limits?

    If this music is kept at Amazon and I can use it at any time, then that's less data to store at my end.
     
  22. Apsilon

    Apsilon
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    Apologies if I sound like I'm banging the same drum, but your approach to this seems completely askew. You have data that is of no use to anyone but you. It doesn't need securing and there isn't much of it. Yet you are currently mirroring it virtually via Robocopy and want to encrypt it and if it goes belly up, you believe in HDD recovery...!!? Your requirements and potential resolutions make no sense on the face of it. For the sake of £50, just back it up to a USB drive and encrypt that (if needs be). It's very easy to do and a lot less faffing around than the method you're currently employing with Robocopy/HDD recovery and whatever else you've got up your sleeve to waste time. I almost get the impression that you're taking advice from someone who has no clue about IT or computer management...?

    Backing up to a USB stick is folly as these can be spiked and wiped incredibly easily.

    If you don't need a USB HDD (which is very easy to encrypt), I would recommend using the cloud because for anything under 20GB, it's generally free and secure. If you like Amazon, use their service. Up to 5Gb is free and 20Gb is £6 per year. We have a hosted environment on the Amazon cloud and it's superb.

    I use Amazon MP3 and never had an issue. You have to download their client first and once you have purchased the song, you download it to a designated folder. You can then do what you like with the MP3 (I.E-move it to your MP3 player etc), it's not restricted like an iTunes song. AFAIK, you can re-download songs you've already bought.
     
  23. Foebane72

    Foebane72
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    Yes, I suppose I was rather hyperbolic: I suppose I was pretty obsessed to believe in HDD recovery for such a small amount of data. :rolleyes: But I use Robocopy because I replace certain files at certain times all over the partition, and Robocopy knows which ones to mirror to the USB drives - simple.

    Aside from being wiped easily, they are still the best physical storage for me, for the capacity that is small but not as confining as a DVD+R, together with the Read/Write ability.

    As for Amazon for cloud storage, is it separate from their music service? Does it support non-MP3 files? Does it kick up a fuss about copyrighted material in MP3s? And can I access it and add, modify and delete files like an ordinary HDD? Most importantly, how secure is it?
     
  24. Apsilon

    Apsilon
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    The cloud service is as secure as you make it from the client access side. Obviously, from the Amazon side, it's nailed down to prevent hackers gaining access to confidential information same as any other cloud provider. They are liable for the protection of data so it so it needs to be secure.

    With the cloud storage facility, you can do anything you want with it. Create folders or drop any files in it you like. It's your storage and as such is private and viewable only by you. For a normal user like yourself, it wouldn't be too similar to Dropbox or Googledrive. Once you have signed up to whatever provider you choose, you can download the client and access it from your desktop much like clicking on a shortcut or folder and drag and drop. It's that simple.
     
  25. Foebane72

    Foebane72
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    I had a good look this afternoon and I've concluded I can't put my custom-made MP3s on cloud storage, as they are mainly audio clips and themes from film and TV shows and games, so there's a lot of copyright violation there. I also have many commercial songs recorded from Spotify, too, but I'm in the process of buying them on Amazon MP3.

    There's also a bunch of Demoscene files as well (the biggest of the MP3 folders) but the copyright on those (if any) is less stringent.

    I do have a bunch of zip files which contain solely my own work, but since they take so little space I can fit several copies onto a DVD+R.

    But it's the MP3s that take up the bulk of the data.
     
  26. snaithg

    snaithg
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    Just "Zip Up" (with a password) anything contentious before uploading it to the Cloud.


    Graham.
     
  27. Foebane72

    Foebane72
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    If they have suspicions, won't they DEMAND you give them the password to the Zip file?
     
  28. snaithg

    snaithg
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    Can't see why. They might if you call the file something like "Piratedmusic.zip" though :laugh:


    Graham.
     
  29. Foebane72

    Foebane72
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    I've just zipped up the file with AES-256 and password protection, and I've called it "AFAC" - my initials and "Audio Collection". Not suspicious at all! :cool:
     
  30. snaithg

    snaithg
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    Should be fine, I would expect that loads of people zip up their files for security purposes etc. I know that I would if I used any Cloud services. Never trust the internet, you never know who might gain access to your stuff.


    Graham.
     

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