Hi Doug,

Thanks so much for the great articles on backup. I think it’s an area which has not been sufficiently discussed in audio circles.

My question is: What backup software and settings do you use? Short of copying over my entire folder of music, I’m usually afraid that, due to some mistaken understanding of a setting on my part, I’ll end up losing a huge chunk of music.

I’ll appreciate any suggestions you have to offer.

Joel

This might sound surprising, but I purposely avoided the details on software in that article because a complete answer with recommendations would be so long it would fill at least two articles. Plus, I have yet to find backup software that I am really satisfied with, because I like to have total control over which files are being copied and to where. As a result, these days I’ll often backup my data using the Windows Copy command and then verify myself that the backed-up data has no errors. But that’s a cumbersome way to go about it and not the most reliable for most people to back up their data.

The reason I haven’t found backup software that I really like is probably because I haven’t put the time in recently to assess the products that are currently available. In fact, finding out what software works best is a project I plan to undertake this fall, because I do want to find something good for my own systems and I’d like to be able to recommend it to others. So stayed tuned.

But with regards to your fear of losing data by an improper setting, you need to be more fearful of your drive failing or your data getting corrupted and not having a proper backup of it. Plus, the fear of actually losing data isn’t justified. Whether you simply copy the data or you rely on some backup software to do the chore, the data is getting replicated and the original content stays intact. Therefore, I recommend making a duplicate of your music collection as soon as possible using whatever means are available. Copying is the quickest, easiest and least expensive way because it’s built right into the operating system. All of the external drives I’ve purchased have come with free versions of backup software that, on the surface, look decent. Once you do your first backup, your current data will be replicated and you can start shopping for better backup software and build a comprehensive backup plan. . . . Doug Schneider