I’m Chanpory, and this is my site on how to live and work better as a designer.

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Yay! After about a week, Apple’s resurrected my dead MacBook and it’s now back in my hands. The 60GB hard drive was out of stock, so I lucked out and got a free upgrade to an 80GB drive. Of course, this means nothing if (and when) the drive fails again. Now that my computer’s working, it’s time to consider some real backup solutions. I’d like to thank you everyone who posted recommendations. Here’s a round-up of your suggestions.



Software for backing up

Software for recovering data


For me, the most intriguing are the two network drives: the Seagate Mirra and the Buffalo TeraStation. The advantages of these over web-based systems like Box.net and .Mac is speed and capacity (for large design and multimedia files). Both also offer support for multiple users, and the ability to serve files via the web. The disadvantage is having to deal with yet another hardware box in the home and the inital cost. A 320GB Mirra retails at $499 and 1TB TeraStation comes to around $700.

What might be the dealmaker is the Seagate Mirra’s data guarantee. Seagate will cover up to $1000 of data recovery charges should their drives fail. This combined with software to automate the process of backing up would make an almost failsafe solution. Time for me to save up for that shiny new Mirra!


  • Joe

    gravatarSep 19, 2006
    8:57 am

    I wouldn’t consider using .Mac as there web services are seriously out of date. Maybe if Apple revamped the hole .Mac service, but it isn’t up to the mark any more.

  • Mike

    gravatarSep 19, 2006
    8:59 am

    Another thing to consider with backup, is off-site backup in case of a greater diseaster, such as fire, flood, earthquake. Usually, a combination of on-site and off-site is best. Off-site can be limited to a monthly back-up of completed projects.

  • Stephen

    gravatarSep 19, 2006
    9:33 am

    Hi During the course of our business we have gained a lot of experience with backup strategies for individuals and companies. In brief, I would recommend: 1. Get a good quality external HD, preferably with FW connectivity. Partition it using Disk Utility. One partition around 75-100% of your HD size, the other aboout the combined size of your crucial folders, such as Docs, Mail etc. 1. SuperDuper: this will make a clone (complete copy) of your HD at regular intervals and place it on an external drive. Once a week is fine. You can boot from this copy into another Mac if yours fails or is stolen etc. A really easy to use app. Make sure to set Spotlight so that it does NOT search the clone, otherwise your searches will have multiple results etc. 2. Chronosync: this app is also very easy to set up and runs in the background. This would make daily backups of your most crucial files and folders, the ones where you make changes daily. 3. An online option: I use .Mac, but any of the available services should work for you. Some will consider this overkill, but it makes sense to have a copy of crucial stuff off-site. I use .Mac to backup the same stuff covered by Chronosync.

    Hope this helps!

  • Mirko

    gravatarSep 19, 2006
    3:52 pm

    First off, good luck with the new HDD, I bet you won’t be without multiple backup copies again :)

    I am still wondering about good offsite backup solutions. I’m testing the Amazon S3 but it doesn’t seem to offer what I need despite the low price, I need a simpler upload and browse interface. On the other hand, Strongspace seems really expensive since I need at least 20 GB of space.

    Can anyone recommend services not already listed? Thanks in advance!

  • Torley

    gravatarSep 19, 2006
    5:48 pm

    Great tips, Chanpory (why does your name sound so Thai to me? :) ). On a related note, I know Guy Kawasaki has also suffered unfortunate data loss and blogged about it: http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2006/09/prevent_dumbnes.html

  • AJ

    gravatarSep 20, 2006
    1:48 pm

    Just a little FYI, Apple’s .mac backup software does NOT require you to back up to the net. You may absolutely backup to CD/DVD or external Hard Drive if you so choose. The software is also super easy to use :)

  • Chanpory

    gravatarSep 26, 2006
    3:48 pm

    Thanks everyone for the additional recommendations!