Originally Posted by komaroveli
here you spoke language i hardly understand. even being 32 years old i would like to work hard to get to level where i would understand all this.
Originally Posted by Apatewna
My main comp is running on a RAID-1 mirror and I take daily full ftp backups to a local lan dedicated server.
on this note i would like to ask you to explane me how can i use my external hard disk to, as you say, make full backups of my computer hard drive, just in case...
RAID=Redundant Array of Independent Disks or simply an array of disks.
There are speciallized disk controllers that create/handle such disk arrays called RAID controllers.
There are few RAID configurations one of which is RAID-1 or disk mirror. This means that the process requires two (usually) identical disks. The RAID controller configuration "joins" two disks of size A into one virtual disk of size A and keeps the data on both disks synchronized in realtime.
If a disk fails, the system keeps running! You can simply change the failing disk with another and the controller will rebuild the disk array for you. Almost zero downtime and safeguarding of data.
Hardware RAID controllers are distinguished in two different brands:
a) Onboard cheap RAID controllers called fake-raids (that's the one I have)
b) PCI/PCIExpress card real RAID controllers (found also in high end servers)
There are also software implementations of RAID, you might have heard the terms "gmirror" and "gvinum" in FreeBSD. The PCBSD installer has support for "gmirror" if I remember correctly.
In this case we don't have a specialized controller, the kernel takes care of the mirroring process. If a disk fails here, it may require a little more knowledge to reinstate the system, but still you don't lose data.
The simplest case of backups is the full backup. Just copy every critical file to some other location and you're safe if the original system fails. Actual programs can't be copied, here is an example:
Microsoft Office copies an unknown amount of files in:
c:\Program Files\Common Files
and so on
Also adds/modifies several thousand registry keys.
Now, if you were to know all these files and registry keys you could move the old installation but it is not humanly possible to recreate at least the several thousand registry entries by hand. So just reinstall the damn thing!
However, some programs are self-contained in a single folder and can be easily copied over several systems preserving original functionality (search in google for Portable Firefox for example).
All I do for backup is grab the files that I work (documents, stuff downloaded from the internet, e-books, pictures, videos), my email folder and browser favorites and send them over to an FTP server (File Transfer Protocol Server, a dedicated form of file storage server with a special communication protocol) which is connected to my main computer via network cable.
So, if you were to gather all your files, create a folder on your external disk and copy them over you would accomplish the same thing. I just have to test this stuff for my work, it should be complicated for the average user or else the customer won't like it