Information Technology Reference
In-Depth Information
In most cases, you can use a single external hard drive for both
versioned backups and a bootable duplicate, by dividing it into two
partitions (see Prepare Your Hard Drive ) . But I'll also discuss using
online storage for versioned backups, which counts as an offsite copy
and could reduce the amount of hardware you must buy.
Furthermore, my goal is to automate nearly all of this so backups
happen in the background without your having to remember anything,
press buttons, run programs, or intervene in any other way. Not only
that, I also want to make even the setup process as painless as possible.
Because I want you to understand why I make the recommendations
I do and how the whole process works, I spend just a few pages
describing my suggested backup strategy in more detail and outlining
what choices you'll make along the way. As you read, I suggest that
you jot down notes about hardware that you may want to buy, software
features that seem important to you, or special questions relating to
your circumstances to keep in mind as you continue reading the topic.
Later, I provide instructions for every part of the process, so don't
worry if the details still feel fuzzy as you read this introductory topic.
I also talk about situations in which this basic strategy requires
modifications—for example, backing up multiple computers on a
network, or backing up a notebook Mac while traveling.
No? Really?
Every so often I receive email from readers who assure me that
even after reading about my three-pronged backup strategy, they're
certain they have no need whatsoever for either bootable duplicates
or versioned backups—and then they go on to detail some other
convoluted backup strategy and ask for help making it work.
In response, I can only say: Really?
The strategy in this topic comes from years of experience—not only
my own, but also that of numerous other industry experts. In my
professional judgment, bootable duplicates and versioned backups
are the only activities worthy of the name “backup.” So feel free to
do other sorts of copying or syncing, but if you do that instead of
following my guidance, I won't be able to help you!
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