2 Replies Latest reply: Nov 25, 2013 8:54 AM by dwb
Matthew McAlister Level 4 (1,030 points)

My current network consists of a 1Tb Time Capsule backing up a 500Gb HDD in an iMac and a 500Gb HDD backing up a MacBook Pro via the wireless network.

I have a 3Tb HDD attached externally to the iMac that I use for large file storage and remote access with my MacBook Pro. It's been a few years since I made the purchase and began using the drive in this way, and I feel like it's time to prepare for the failure of the drive. I've been present for many drive failures of friends and family. I don't take risks of losing my data.


I was curious of the backup solutions you all must have, drive brands that you trust (I'm a WD fan), and if you use RAID 1 or RAID 1 Mirroring.


Thank you.

  • MartinR Level 6 (14,870 points)

    I use a number of Lacie D2 Quadra drives + OWC Mercury Elite enclosures with WD Caviar Black SATA drives.   They have been 100% reliable for many years.   (I formerly used Seagate Barracuda drives, but gradually migrated to the Caviar Blacks).  In practice, I have 3x backups on separate drives.  The drives are only connected during backup operation, otherwise they are disconnected from my Macs, each other and power.  I keep one set offsite.


    For my more frequent, interim backups, I also use a Lacie D2 Network2 online in my network;  I back up email & documents more frequently than other files since they change daily.  I use a combination of manual copies via the Finder and automated backups via CarbonCopyCloner depending on what I want to backup at any particular time.  I do not use Time Machine or a Time Capsule.


    RAID is interesting and useful, but it is not backup.  Mirroring only protects you against a single hard drive failure in the Mirror set itself.  It does not protect you from software, user or system errors, which are much more frequent than hard drive failures.  And in the event the RAID Mirror enclosure itself fails, both drives are likely to be unusable.

  • dwb Level 7 (22,625 points)

    My desktop backup system is similar to MartinR's.


    For my MBA - I like the idea of wireless backups but don't trust them so I use a lower tech solution. The computer travels daily between home and work so at work I connect it to an external drive which I use for TimeMachine backups. At home I have a drive hidden under the end table next to my comfy chair and the first thing I do when I get home is connect the computer to it. I use DropBox to sync my important data between it and my desktop so the really VIP stuff gets backed up again with my desktop backup routine.