Not ready for production … ReFS

So Resilient File System (ReFS) has been for 6 years so it should be stable for use with a backup drive, right?


In the words of Wikipedia:

“Because ReFS was designed not to fail, if failure does occur, there are no tools provided to repair it”

When it does fail, you might just end up with a 2TB backup drive that you cannot read.


I found one third-party tool which does work, ReclaiMe.
Seems to work well.  If I need to pull data off this backup drive, I’ll purchase a license.

How I setup my external backup drive.

VeraCrypt128x128I use VeraCrypt to create a encrypted hard drive.  That way, if I lose the drive, the lucky finder won’t be able to read the data.

The steps are as follows:

  1. Using DiskPart and Clean the drive
  2. Start VeraCrypt and select the VeraCrypt Volume Creation Wizard
  3. Encrypt a non-system partition/drive
  4. Standard VeraCrypt volume
  5. Select the external hard drive
  6. Create encrypted volume and format it
  7. Select the default encryption options
  8. Volume size is the entire drive
  9. Select the NTFS Filesystem AND the “Quick Format” option
  10. Click format

Backup date/time and SyncBackPro

imageMy backup tool of choice is SyncBackPro.  It’s a quality product at a reasonable price.

One of the things I backup is my Apple iPhone and iTunes folders.  I take a snapshot of these by using the Compression feature, with a custom filename.

You can generate a custom filename this by creating your own variable in the Profile Setup/Variables area.

In the screenshot (about) you can see that I’ve created the Variable Name DATETIMENOW with the Value %YEAR%%MONTH%%DAY%_%HOUR%%MINUTE%%SECOND%

In the screenshot, this translates to 20180717_213656

I then use this in the Profile Setup for the actual backup:

As simple as that.

What my 3-2-1 backup looks like.

There are people who do backups, and there are those who have not lost data yet.

I use the 3-2-1 Backup strategy, which is:

  • 3 copies of anything I want to keep
  • 2 different backup media types
  • 1 (at least) offsite storage location

In practice, it looks like this:

Wisefaq 3-2-1 Backup

Yes, it’s a bit complicated.  If could be less complicated:

  • if I used “the cloud” for my backup.
    Cost / limited bandwidth rules that out.
    (I backup 100’s of GB, so the cloud would get expensive fast).
  • if I used Windows Home Server.
    The backup software in WHS is image based.
    Image based backups would use Terabytes of space.
    To save space/cost, I’d need a file based backup.

My ideal solution?  Something like a DROBO-like device, which has built in disk encryption.

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Backups with the 3-2-1 rule

A simple rule I’ve learnt over time, with backups.

3 Backup copies of anything you want to keep.
2 different storage media.
1 offsite storage site.

There have been times when I’ve gone to grab a file from backup, and “Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”, it’s missing/corrupted.
With 3 copies, you greatly improve your chances of recovery.  You’re going to make 2 copies anyway, because …

Different storage media types means CD/DVD and/or Disk and/or Tape Online Backup and/or Online Backup.
Because one of those media types will fail on you.

  • CD/DVD – I’ve seen “archival” quality CD/DVD media “bubble”., rendering the disc unreadable.
  • Disk to Disk – my favourite method, but hard drives have been known to fail regularly, aka the IBM “Deathstar” saga.
  • Tape – Does anyone use tape for home backup anymore?  I’ve detailed my experiences with tape backups here.
  • Online Backup – I can’t see any of these failing.  Unless you have not backed ALL your files up to the online service.

So pick two different media types to backup to.  I use Disk to Disk and CD/DVD.

If you have a fire, and you’ve stored your backups next to your (now melted) computer, then your backups are of no use to you.
Keep a copy of your backups at a relatives house.
Or a bank deposit box.
Or even better, use an online backup service.  You can find a list of them here.

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