SOT: backup methods



I have a little problem that bugs me since starting 3D. I have a lot project files and I always
fear a HD crash and to loose my files. So I make regulary backups. I write my scene folder
to CDR but slowly its getting bigger and bigger and some day one C DR will not be enough.
The problem is if I save only the latest scenes I get a bit confused. I like to know what backup
methods and media you use.



Hey Bobtoronic,

I use firewire hd to both store and backup my 3d projects. I usually work off a version directly on my main harddrive, and copy to the firewire drive as well.


I have an automated backup set to run every evening to an ext. FW drive, this updates all the latest documents I have been working on. I generally then archive whole jobs and associated files/renders to CDR or DVDR at the end of the project.


Once upon a time, I didn’t back up at all. I’ve left those foolish days behind and now have an ext-cd writer and with a dvd-cd writed in built. Lesson learned, but I still don’t back up enough.


Its definitely worth doing the auto backup method - even if you do it to another internal HD as oposed to an external, because, you don’t have to think about it - just check to make sure it is still doing it from time to time!! :slight_smile:


Proper storage of CD and DVD media is important to minimise the risk of data loss. For example:

Internal hard drives are susceptible to virus attack. Ideally they should be used with drive cradles, allowing physical separation from the computer following backup. Firewire drives are a good solution.

I think that, regardless of the medium being used, multiple backup copies of important data should be made.


I use a lacie firewire drive for back-up, but I really should start burning discs off as well
and store them somewhere…one day I’ll be sorry!


Yeah burning dvds and stuff is definitely a good idea… I definitely had a firewire drive catch… well, catch fire. It happened earlier this year, and it still hurts a little to think about. Anywayz… personal problem…


OUCH! EtherealWhisper- I can feel your pain from here!


After 3 consecutive IBM harddisk crashes within 1.5 years I learned it the hard way. My method:

  • Diskimage of the current installation on a different internal drive
  • Mirror of data on different internal harddrive (currrent work files)
  • Mirror of data on an external harddrive (current and history)
  • Writing all history data two times on DVDs/CDs from different vendors
  • Not using IBM/Hitachi disks any longer… :twisted:

I hope this will take care of any problems…


thanks alot! so writing to an external hd drive and burning CDR/DVDR from time to time seems
the way.

@kromekat: can you please give me some more infos about your automated backup system?



Probably is this:

Personally I don’t use it, but I know a lot of people that use it and they are really happy about retrospect.

I use 4x HD FW (LaCie) 250 GB / 1x CD-R FW x36 LaCie / 1 DVD-R/RW FW x8 (but I record only @ x4) LaCie. Using DVD is really cheap and I can save in 13 min a 4.5 Giga project…



I haven’t tried Dantz retrospect, but I did use Intego Personal Backup, and that was ok, but then I discovered I had a utility installed with Toast 6 called Deja Vu, and have found this to be pretty good so far. It just has shedules for daily, weekly and monthly, and you can set any number of backups scheduled when you want. Thus far I havent had to reinstall from one, but they do appear to be perfect clones of the originals.
CD and DVD backup is a must though, and I don’t do it nearly enough really.


I backup important things to an USB2 External HDD that is only connected when needed (sometimes once a month, or after downloading a plugin,…). I also save on a second internal raid HDD, do daily backup to a CDRW and everything I did or downloaded weekly goes on a memorex CDR (CD rot is a kown problem). Codes and copies of important docs are kept on a 8MB compactflash I got for free from a photographer who saw no use for it anymore on his 8MP camera.
I use a cheap second hand celeron 500/20BBHDD/256Ram PC for the Internet, surf with Opera7 or Mozilla (both set to no popups when I don’t choose them) and run Spybot S&D and Panda Platinum (with firewall). In four years of time I had Panda intercept two viruses.
Spam is in my eyes a worse problem than viruses. Win’s bad reputation comes from people who just don’t care or are too lazy to do something even when they know there is an acute problem. When in town, you don’t leave you car unlocked, or leave your wallet or laptop on the seat, do you?


first off its no use relying on backups if you’ve never test the media once written…once in awhile you should check the restore process from you media…just to make sure the process is working from beginning to end…i’d hate to think some of you guys are relying on backups which may have problems…just a thought for the day.
i’d also go with what someone mentioned make it routine.

what you could do is make a full backup which would be massive…once a week…then run a setup of incremental backups once everyday then it would be quicker to backup…as it would only backup new and changed flags on files…when you come to restore on then you just restore the full backup…and then restore however many incrementals from that week you have…eg full backup monday…then incrementals on /tues/wed/thurs/fri etc…so if it went down you restore mondays full backup…then all the incrementals one after the other…but as you might imagine it can be a pain if you leave it to long…hence my recommendation of one week only.


Just doing a backup as I write this. I cannot over emphasize the importance of backing up to NON-MAGNETIC media. If you backup to another hard drive, you have a copy, NOT a backup. I use Retrospect, and have used Dantz’s back up products since 1986, when they were a Mac only product. I use Retrospect on both platforms now. it is still the best.

Back up to dvd-r with Retrospect. it checks the quality of the backup after the writing is complete and verifies the disk-writes. It is the easiest to use and yet the most powerfull backup software you can by. Even the low cost “lite” versions are very reliable.

I use Pioneer Firewire DVD burners and Ritek DVD-R media. I store the disks in archival sleeves in a closed box in a cool, dark area. And I rotate between two backup sets for every type of back up that I make.

Remember, if it’s magnetic it’s living on borrowed time.


thanks! have to check it out.



I use Toast 6 as well. It’s great for a quick Archive. But for a reliable backup Retrospect uses an incremental scheme. That way you don’t waste time and disks backing up something that was allready backed up and did not change since the previous back up.

Retrospect, or something just as powerfull is necessary for a quick Restore in case of a catastrophic loss, such as a boot drive crapping out. Retrospect faithfully clones all the invisible boot data, necessary for a complete Restore. Think of it as insurance.


I will download a demo of Dantz Retrospect if they have one.

Deja Vu, only updates the files that have changed though too, and provides a log of all deleted, changed and copied files.


I’m generally really lazy about backups.
I just slap whatever it is I want to not die when one of my drives does on my ipod,basically.

I know it will come back to bite me,but at least I have nothing jobrelated on there :slight_smile: