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Re: Verbatim 1TB external HDD

On Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 04:05:38PM +0100, Lisi wrote:
> I have been asked to set this HDD up as a backup device on a Lenny
> system.  It will primarily be used for photographs and personal files. 
> What would people recommend in this situation?  Reformat or use FAT32?
> And if reformat, to what?  I think that his slightly aged computer would
> probably blow a gasket if asked to use ext4, so am wondering about ext3.

Use ext3. And see below.

> As of now, I am intending to clone (dd?  Clonezilla?) the internal HDD
> onto it and then show the user how to copy and paste new files onto it as
> he goes along, with me syncing the whole thing periodically.  Since I
> will not be there most of the time, this strikes me as simple and
> workable.  But anacron may also be a possibility.

I recommend making it an LVM physical volume and creating a volume group on
top of it. Create a logical volume the exact size of the volume you are
backing up, then use dd to copy it for the first time (boot from a CD, if
necessary, so the source volume isn't mounted). Then create an LVM snapshot.

For each backup cycle (in a script called from cron), mount it and use
rsync to only change what needs changing, then unmount it and create an LVM
snapshot. Create the snapshots with names that include the date. To avoid
running out of space, you'll probably want to cull older snapshots from
time to time. For example, you might back up nightly, but you only want to
keep the last three days, the first of the month for a year, and the first
of the year from the previous year. You can automate this in the backup
script as well.

You should also create a script that will mount the available backups
(i.e. LVM snapshots) readonly in well-named directories (i.e. including the
backup date), and another to unmount them all.

> Thanks in advance for any comments.
> Lisi

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