Windows7 small home office backup solution. Is this setup ok or is there anything better? - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 08-12-2012, 07:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Windows7 small home office backup solution. Is this setup ok or is there anything better?

Hi, I know this is my first post but it's not one of those random hit and runs. I was planning to signup for a networking forum as I'm just getting into networking, but something urgent has come up and I don't yet have the expertise to solve it properly.

My mother has a small home office and there are two computers with critical data.

Both use Windows 7

Both user the Homegroup setting on Windows 7

And are connected to a small home netgear router.

I also happen to have my computer on the home group.

Also, there is no money to spend right now on proprietary software or more hardware.

Requirements:

  • OS and programs must be separate from data in event of software failure or re-install.
  • Data must have a backup on another computer in event of hardware/hard drive failure.
  • Data must have previous versions, regardless of where.


My solution so far:

  • Create two partitions:
    • C:\ - for OS and programs
    • D:\ - for data: desktop, My Everything, Outlook.pst, etc.
  • Use SyncToy from the Microsoft website to automatically backup data in the D:\ drive to a location on my computer.
  • Setup previous versions on each computer.

That's the simplest and easiest solution I could think of so far so satisfy those requirements and haven't found much on the net that doesn't require more proprietary software or a backup server which is unnecessary.

Option 2:

The other option I had in mind was to store their data on my computer and then share it to them over the network. Then use the "make available offline" setting. But I'm not sure if it's possible to configure the offline settings so that is always defaults to the local copy instead of first trying to get it from my PC which would slow down things as I'm connected wirelessly at the moment and don't like the idea of having to leave my computer on the whole day while I'm not there. The other problem with it is that I'm not sure how to separate the data from programs and OS if I were to use that method and it's all just a little foggy right now so the first solution is the one I want to go with.

Are there any problems you can see with that or are there any better solutions with what I have?
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Windows7 small home office backup solution. Is this setup ok or is there anything better?

I was going to suggest the SyncToy option but then saw you already said you were using it.

For a small home office with only 2 computers.. I think that's fine. You could also use something like Dropbox or CX to backup the files online (if the data you're backing up doesn't have sensitive information that is) so you would have an "off-site" backup. Dropbox also supports previous versions, and I think CX does as well. CX just gives you more space for a free account.
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Windows7 small home office backup solution. Is this setup ok or is there anything better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carnageX View Post
I was going to suggest the SyncToy option but then saw you already said you were using it.

For a small home office with only 2 computers.. I think that's fine. You could also use something like Dropbox or CX to backup the files online (if the data you're backing up doesn't have sensitive information that is) so you would have an "off-site" backup. Dropbox also supports previous versions, and I think CX does as well. CX just gives you more space for a free account.
I think we think alike cos my first option was actually dropbox. The previous versions on there work well and it would also work perfectly on a separate partition so that's actually what I use for myself.

Unfortunately my mother and her secretary are not as organized and sparing when it comes to where and what they save on their machines so we're talking gigabytes. Maybe I'll try and convince her to signup for a paid dropbox account and faster line and just exclude things like banking details.

Ironically the main machines OS just failed completely a few hours ago(was giving troubles the whole week which is what prompted me to start all this) but got everything setup now.

Only trouble I'm having now is finding a way to automatically export the Outlook address book every day for backup as it doesn't seem to store that data in the .pst file for some reason. But that's for another thread.

That and sharing a drive(or folders if drive not possible) with only one other user. Problem is I always just use the homegroup feature in windows7 and when setting up permissions it only looks on the local machine for users. For now everyone can see the data drives which she for some reason doesn't want.
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