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I'm not exactly backing up but its a similar idea.

I have a few archives on my computer. They have exact copies of certain files (mostly 300k to 1.5MB). It's enough to take up a gigabyte. I am using Duplicate Cleaner. It has an option to use hardlinks. I plan on never modifying the file and they are all on the same disk (external 1 partition).

Should I use hardlinks or is there a problem I don‘t foresee?

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Have you looked into using version control software such as SVN? Even if it's not source code, it sounds like a good use of version control depending on the type of data – Earlz Aug 15 '11 at 22:11
@Earlz: They are all bin images.and i need the files to be in a specific folder. Its not exactly backup. The files are not related to eachother and there are thousands of folders – acidzombie24 Aug 15 '11 at 23:22
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You shouldn't use hard links for backups. Hardlinks are just a reference to the 'real' file so you can't use them to create multiple copies. However, I think that, in your case, we are not talking about backups.

If you want to maintain just one copy of each file (in order to save disk space), but you need to access that file from different folders, then you should use hardlinks. Just keep in mind that if something happens to the original file, you will not have another copy.

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No because hardlinks only give you an alternative NAME for the file, not a different copy. If you modify the file from any of the file name, the old content will be lost.

What you need is a copy-on-write behaviour. If you want an file system-level solution., you may use "previous versions", a.k.a. "system protection/restore" for this purpose; however, you don't have much control over it. You maybe better off using a backup/version control solution that can do delta backup.

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I mentioned i plan on never writing/changing the file. Its a bunch of media/bins – acidzombie24 Aug 15 '11 at 23:23
Still, in this case, you only have one copy of the file, so there's no backup at all. You only get a different name, which is only useful if the threat pattern is accidental deletion or renaming. – Aug 15 '11 at 23:26
If they're all on the same partition, there's no backup anyway, so hardlinks can be useful anyway. – afrazier Aug 16 '11 at 0:02

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