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Old 4th May 2017
e1-531g e1-531g is offline
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Default Methods, rules for backup personal data

Hello,
I would like to know whether you follow any formal rules backing up yours data? I am interested on more abstract rules than details. Lets say "three-two-one rule". Do anybody use this rule? Maybe this rule is a overkill?
I mean valuable digital data. For example I have settled the PIT tax via Internet and I am obligated, by law, to keep proof of that for five years.
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Old 4th May 2017
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I am a Tarsnap customer, so my data is stored in 3 external datacenters.

Based on your referenced 3-2-1 model, I'm using 3-nope-3.
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Old 5th May 2017
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Like jggimi I also use Tarsnap. Have for many years.

Last year I lost a lot of files I care about.

Here's what happened: tarsnap is strongly encrypted with a key file which is (optionally) protected with a passphrase. I set a randomly generated passphrase for my key file and stored this in my password manager. So far so good.

I store almost everything I care about in /data/stuff/; this contains a lot of, well, "stuff", including the password manager database. Due to an extremely stupid fat-fingered mistake on my part I issued a rm -r /data/stuff, blowing away most of that directory before I could ^C it.

"No worries, 'sall good!", I thought, since I had a recent backup! I tried to restore it, and realized I had a problem when it asked for passphrase. My password database was removed. I could restore it from the backup, but I needed access to ... the password database. Due to the strong encryption, there is no way this data can ever be recovered.

A backup is only as good as the weakest link, and in my case the weakest link was that the passphrase was stored in only one location. Oops :-(
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Old 5th May 2017
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I have a simple system. Two sets of backup files on two portable hard-drives. I also have copies of really important files on discs, just in case.
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Old 5th May 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpetsmoker View Post
Last year I lost a lot of files I care about.
I considered key management very carefully. MWL's Tarsnap Mastery (ISBN 9780692400203) was very helpful.

Each of my systems has two keys - one with a passphrase and one without. The key without passphrase is used for automated backups (I use ACTS).

All "master" keys -- those with passphrases -- are replicated to all systems.

A paper copy of each master key is stored in a desk drawer at $DAYJOB. If needed, the paper copy can be scanned and OCR used to recover a key. Paper was chosen as being longer term storage than USB stick or optical media. As the paper key is a master and requires a passphrase ... I don't even bother to lock the drawer.
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Old 9th May 2017
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For General Data Backup Use
How long would you use before replacing "USB" stilcks ?
How long would you use before replacing "CD-DVD" data disc's ?
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Old 10th May 2017
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While I don't ever use USB sticks as long term storage -- the devices do not have sufficient lifespans and their failures are almost always catastrophic -- I do have some old optical media that I used to use for backup. I don't trust any of them for archival purposes now. Some discs that were burned 20 years ago are still readable; some that were burned 10 years ago are completely unreadable.
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Old 30th June 2017
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Throwing my two cents in here because no one has said it:
If you care about long-term storage, there is really no other option than tape (though, if you're only going to care for 5-10 years, then spinning HDD is OK too). In my research group, we constant talk about forever-storage, and it saddens me that tape isn't thought of more often as this is exactly its use case.
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Old 23rd July 2017
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I use bcrypt to encrypt my password files and have learned to keep copies on more than one flash drive.

The only problem being, if I encrypt them on FreeBSD that's the only version of bcrypt I've been able to decrypt them with. I have a couple versions on my OpenBSD box but so far haven't been able to get it to decrypt my files.

Other less important files I keep in plain text on at least one USB stick, but it if it went down it wouldn't be the end of the world. Things like system files I can copy off when rebuilding my system instead of typing them out, images, docs I accumulate, ebooks, etc.
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Old 1 Week Ago
e1-531g e1-531g is offline
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I know this thread is old, but somehow I read post that I agree and is excellent how I view hardware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Holland
The point is, you can't design ONE box for ten years of life. With
modern SSD tech, I suspect you won't see a SATA port on a computer in
ten years.

What you need to do is have simple, reliable, and movable solutions,
where the REPLACEMENT of the solution is part of it.

Your desire to be able to move the disks from one computer to another is
good -- when your base hw dies, you need to be able to transport your
disks to something else. I can't think of another OS that does that
better than OpenBSD. But you take that opportunity as a clue that maybe
you need to update your tech, too.


Build a simple solution with simple hw of today. When that hw starts
getting old and looking rather "different" than newer hw, migrate. Your
data is just data, that's what's important. The hw, the platform, the
OS, can all be swapped out...AND SHOULD BE swapped out when appropriate.
You ain't marrying your solution, quit trying to make it last longer
than modern marriages last.
Recommended link to entire post
Not recommended link. This is just a backup of post talking about backup.
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Last edited by e1-531g; 1 Week Ago at 10:50 PM.
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Old 1 Week Ago
frcc frcc is offline
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I agree 100%. Store and Use data as described above by e1-531g

Also as jiggimi pointed out in an earlier post, he spoke about the "relative reliability of optical discs,
hard disks, usb/sd sticks, and of course tape drives.

The two points above hit the nail on the head as far as i am concerned.
If you follow data backup prudently, and know your hardware's relative life cycle, you should not
loose data because of the two biggest reasons as to why you do!

Last edited by frcc; 1 Week Ago at 08:25 PM. Reason: clarify response
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