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What principles should I keep in mind as I design a backup strategy for my machines?

I currently make backups of my data on an external terabyte drive, but I want to be in a position where I could bring my machine(s) back to life in a very short time after a worst-case scenario. I was thinking of using central file storage but I'm not sure how that would work.

I have a Mac with VMWare installed; Windows 7 and PCs

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2 Answers

with OSX I would do two types of backup

1) Time Machine - this will allow restore of any part big or small and in worst case OSX installer will create a new setup from this.

2) A full bootable backup e/g/ Superduper, Carbon Copy Cloner or plain ditto - thus will give you another disk you could boot off or a restore using Disk Utilities.

Bothe these can us a disk connected to you machine or can go on a separate machine or NAS

Also you should consider off site backup if you data is important. Unless you need to get a machine quickly setup after a disaster this would probably only cover the important data files.

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If you have a full terabyte drive available, and you really want quick restores to get back up on your feet, consider a full disk image. The Disk Utility application under Utilities makes it fairly easy to do this. It will output a .DMG file, which can simply be copied to your external drive as long as the external drive is not FAT32.

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