Storage & Backup of my Data

Background to the issue

I’ve been having a few issues with losing files recently.

  1. My new (bought 2nd hand) QNAP 2 bay storage device crashed, so I had to reformat the 2 drives in that and start over. I’d been using that as main backup of current files for about 6 months so I was a bit unhappy with the loss.
    1. The loss included:
      1. Backup of all my YouTube & Udemy videos that I stored on my main recording laptop
      2. Side images for OBS and all the scene setups
      3. Updated code and other programs I’d downloaded
      4. Any later photos that I was storing on my Backup or Public (where I keep general media files)
  2. I update the OBS on my main PC Pro 7 and it blew away all my YouTube and Udemy course files so have completely lost all of them on my system. They are on YouTube and on Udemy but nowhere else.
  3. One of my External drives has recently died too and doesn’t want to reformat , so its now to be consigned to the bin.

My current Storage Types

The following is how I’m storing files at the moment:

  • On 3 Different current PCS,
  • 2 Different NAS Drives , different companies so don’t talk directly, both about 4 TB
  • External Hard-drive & USB drives (lots)
  • External Enclosure with currently a 1TB SATA HDD
  • Cloud accounts for One Drive (2GB) & Google Drive(15GB)
  • VPS with 300 GB running Windows server, about 80GB free

File Types

  • Lots of Media files , eBooks, Audio-books, Videos & Photos
  • CAD & BIM files for projects
  • Old Project Folders
  • Current Project folders
  • General business data files
  • Note Taking files (Obsidian & Logsec )
  • Lots of Excel & Word docs all over the place depending on whats happening
  • Scripting programs, generally AutoHotKey
  • Web sites and supporting databases
  • Specific Asset Related projects both in Data, mass graphic files & PDF’s

Keeping Current Files backed up & Synced & older files stored in multiple places in case of fails

The main challenge at this time is prioritizing what I actively need, and long term multiple storage for older data that I want to keep.

The issue arises about long term storage and later files. At some point there will be a mismatch with stored backed up data with the latest on PC or NAS so I need to create a new folder for new items so they can just be added to the backup on SATA drives rather than trying to overwrite all of the folder.

New SATA Storage for Backup

A lot of my stuff is historical, handy to have and rarely used. As I have a lot of storage on the NAS drives I use that to store them, after losing a lot of data on old External Storage drives.

As its not used that much I should look to back it up onto long term storage so that I’ve a couple of backup copies of the data. I’ll keep a copy on the NAS drives but as long as I’ve a backup that I can access later that is not connected to anything, then THAT should help. Maybe 2 copies (SATA drives, backup) would be better.

SATA drives are common and there are some pretty impressive sizes for the new drives. I’m quite happy to buy at the cheap end and get smaller size drives, better to have more Hard Drives as you can put more copies on them and split up the backups, so if one fails you don’t loose all your data, eg on a 4TB hard drive , it could be totally wiped and you’d loose everything.

I’ve been able to buy 500giggle 3.5 HDDs for $17 each, so will be using these to backup my Media and project files. As I’ve the 3.5 External Enclosure I can just store the HDDs somewhere and label them with the data on them, then if the NAS fails I can retrieve the backups.

I also have a 1TB SATA HDD that I’m currently trying to back my Media to at present. Then I’ll use the 500 giggles to back up older projects to

I’ve also purchased 5 x 2.5 SATA 320 giggle HDDS that I think I can backup with my 3.5 External Enclosure. The appeal of the 2.5 SATA is that for the 2.5 External Hard Drives they only use USB connection and not a power connection too, like the 3.5 enclosure, so I will look to purchase one of those later (about $20) so they are useful for traveling, not that I do much of that at the moment.

Value of the Data?

Trying to do a video on my storage solution and reflected on relatives passing, the data, in this age, is part of your life. So what is the data worth? does it have a market value or an intrinsic value?

In ethics, intrinsic value is a property of anything that is valuable on its own. Intrinsic value is in contrast to instrumental value (also known as extrinsic value), which is a property of anything that derives its value from a relation to another intrinsically valuable thing.[1] Intrinsic value is always something that an object has “in itself” or “for its own sake”, and is an intrinsic property. An object with intrinsic value may be regarded as an end, or in Kantian terminology, as an end-in-itself.[2]

The term “intrinsic value” is used in axiology, a branch of philosophy that studies value (including both ethics and aesthetics). All major normative ethical theories identify something as being intrinsically valuable. For instance, for a virtue ethicist, eudaimonia (human flourishing, sometimes translated as “happiness”) has intrinsic value, whereas things that bring you happiness (such as having a family) may be merely instrumentally valuable. Similarly, consequentialists may identify pleasure, the lack of pain, and/or the fulfillment of one’s preferences as having intrinsic value, making actions that produce them merely instrumentally valuable. On the other hand, proponents of deontological ethics argue that morally right actions (those that respect moral duty to others) are always intrinsically valuable, regardless of their consequences.

Other names for intrinsic value are terminal value, essential value, principle value, or ultimate importance.

A repository of personal knowledge and hoarding. A collection.

2.5 SATA & storage versatility

I’d ordered 5 x 2.5 SATA 320 Gigglibyte drives and they arrived yesterday, they are tiny, about 1/4 of the size of the 3.5 SATA drives and a lot simpler. They do not need an external power supply, the USB connection to PC does Power & Data.

I was looking at purchasing 2.5 SATA enclosure, those don’t need separate power source, and they are about $24 but there are several connector variations form USB-C or the HDD connector for external hard drives, I was thinking about USB-C but if I get that then long delivery on trade me.

Then I saw there were Cable adapters, one end you plug into the SATA an the other into USB on PC. As the SATA drive is enclosed I thought the adapter meets my needs , even with SSD option as these are enclosed as well. So I purchased one of these, $10.65 so half the price and direct connection to SATA so no worries about connection type to an enclosure. Maybe a little unsightly, but its all about ease of use.

End Comment

I’m feeling my way as to what needs to be done.

  • Clean PC
  • Audit of File Types
  • Audit of current storage methods
  • Decide on the value of your data, to you personally and possible commercial oppprtunities
  • 3,2,1 strategy, 3 copies, 2 different storage mediums , one off site copy
  • Implement

I’d recommend :

  • getting NAS
  • and External Enclosure, so easy to swap HDDs & SSDs (if you have any)
  • Budget for Backup- If you have money, spend on SSD’s , less moving parts, more reliable, if not, old HDD’s

Its good to have a plan for backup and storing my data, I was a bit casual about it before.