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Chapter 43. Adding Removable Media > Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Back...

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Backup Drive

Whether you use a tape drive or a removable media drive as your backup unit, here are a few tips for getting the most out of your backup system:

  • (Extremely Important) After you install your backup system, be sure to test it. Make sure that you fully understand how to back up the files on your hard disk drives. Be sure to test the restore procedure as well as the backup procedure. Try restoring a few files to a temporary directory.

  • If you use a backup tape drive, make sure that you purchase top-quality tapes. Remember, the tapes you buy are your only insurance against disaster. Just as you wouldn't want to trust a cheap, cut-rate parachute, don't trust cheap, cut-rate backup tapes.

  • Don't overuse your tapes. Tapes are a much more fragile medium than are hard disk drives. Tapes do wear out with extensive use. Extra tapes are a lot cheaper than the time it takes to replace unrecoverable data. Ten times is probably the maximum number of times you should use a tape.

  • Create a backup schedule and stick to it. This way, you know which backup tape contains the data you are looking for.

  • Tape backup drives require regular maintenance. Be sure to read the documentation and perform whatever routine maintenance the manufacturer prescribes, including regularly cleaning the read/write heads of your tape drive.


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