Try using Second Copy. It's a bit slow, but has a host of good features such as 2-way synchronisation and verification.
I make backups of everything (or try to).
Photos, music etc are obviously important. For the same reasons as music ripped from CD is important (yes I CAN recreate it, but I really really really dont want to have to) system config is also important. I realised a while ago when a disk failed, that the amount of time it would take to reconfigure everything just so would be as horrible as re-ripping the mp3s.
On the other hand, I'm not anal about it. If I've missed something, or its not a perfect backup strategy in some way I've not thought of, or theres a fire, etc, I wont actually die or be affected by it other than the annoyance.
Photos and music are not so important that you must spend much of your life protecting them - if they did go, life wouldnt change irreversibly.
Seagate 1TB FreeAgent Desk USB 2.0 External Hard Drive: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo
I have done a complete back up of both laptop & desktop & have planned/programmed in future back ups too.I looked up some online guides to assist me & am very impressed.
I started a thread here...
which gathered plenty of advice from the good people here before choosing.
Also thanks to everyone for replying most helpful & very much appreciated.
well yes, fair point there. I'd expect anyone to back up their WORK religiously, as if their life depended on it (because it does!).It might well do if you were a photographer.
I use a business type setup at home.
I never let any pc have its own data. The data is always on network storage, and user folders redirected so it's seamless. Then that network storage gets a separate backup.
I have a 2Gb ReadyNAS raid server which is the NAS, media streamer, and it has a USB port for the separate backup. If I lose a hdd in the Readynas, it just keeps going and emails me that it needs another HDD fitted. Meanwhile the data is safe.
This means any PC in the house can have a total meltdown and nothing is ever lost. It also means that any computer can see any of the files, stream any video, see photos etc. It also holds all the home folders, so doesn't matter which PC you use, you have all your settings when you log in.
The backup jobs run every night, and backup the raid server on a 4 week cycle. Full backup once a month and incremental daily.
I also have a few scripts running to take individual backup of critical files, like password databases, this renames the copied file each time to protect against file corruption. No use having a perfectly preserved backup copy of a corrupted file
Everything is raid protected, but I only take a secondary backup of documents, photos, music and home videos. Downloaded video and software collections can be rebuilt and they're on RAID anyway.
Reminder to self - must do off-site backups in case of fire!
I back up all my photos and music, in fact I dont store them on my PC at all, I just have two external hard drives with an identical collection of both, probably overkill but hey ho.
So if my pc went down what would I miss? Well my games I guess but being a numpty I'm not quite sure hw I would save them all. Yes I can see the files for them all, but surely it is not just a case of copying them over, I presume it is more complicated than that?