My Insane Backup System Plus Two Helpful Tips

Hey there!

If you’ve ever asked me about backup and restoring data, you’ll have a hard time shutting me up about it once I get started.

In this video, I describe exactly how my backup system works, why it protects you better than what most people do, and I give you two tips that are particularly useful for performers.

Hope this helps!


Raw captions

hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
and today I want to talk to you about
backing up and restoring to these are
these are two subject matters that I am
really passionate about and I know it’s
like really that’s what you’re
passionate about it’s so important you
know our data today is our inventory
it’s our crown jewels it’s the thing
that we create and we need to protect
you know as I create content for my
clients as I create content for myself
it’s all stored as data sound data video
data whatever it is and to that end
backing up and restoring is something
that I have become very involved with
over my life having suffered some really
bad disasters with backup discs not even
being part of my life and also backup
discs being destroyed here’s the thing
most people they don’t back up at all
they don’t have any backup whatsoever
they’re just merrily going through life
and there are two types of people there
are people that have had a really sad
moment when their computer has failed
and they have no backup and there are
people who will have a very sad moment
because they haven’t backed up now I
haven’t had that issue in a long time
but when I did I started thinking about
and researching the best ways to doing
this a lot of people have a single
backup disc sitting next to their
computer and that’s not a great idea
either because if a disaster befalls
your computer a fire a flood you know
some sort of a power sag which can harm
the insides the electronics of your
computer and your hard drive both can go
away at the same time and that’s
actually what happened to me that made
me start researching things so my backup
system is by many people’s standards
insanely over-engineered but by the
world of you know digital companies
people new companies that have big
servers and so on it’s pretty tame they
have much denser backup strategies than
I do so here’s what I do I have five
disks five sorry four disks I have one
external hard
that gets backed up as well but I have
four disks red white blue and black this
one is the blue one and each one of
those disks is in a carrying case these
are like eight bucks from Amazon they
zip up they’re really nice and the
reason I’m showing you the case will be
made clear in a moment what happens is I
always have one of them attached to the
computer when that one is finished
backing up the data that I have on both
my internal hard drive and on my
external hard drive I swap that out for
the next one in the process the one that
was next to my computer goes in the safe
and the one that I’m putting in goes
into into use the one in the safe gets
put in my car the one in my car gets put
in a safe deposit box the one in the
safe deposit box when I go to the bank
gets brought home and is in the next one
then used in the system so there’s this
round robin of disks so the that process
makes sure that at least one of those
disks if not three of them are separated
from the computer in safe places and
should something happen to my entire
place which happened a few months ago
when I had the big flood when the Spurs
I have pipes burst downstairs luckily
was downstairs not in my studio
you know the disaster was not it was
impossible to befall the disks that are
in other places so that’s my insanely
over engineered system I have two tips
for you today in addition to do this do
something where you at least have two
disks one that’s attached to your
computer and is backing up and one
that’s away from your computer in a safe
hopefully outside your your your living
space but here are a couple things that
come up I’m a Mac guy and so I use time
machine and one of the things that I had
a chance to talk to one of my coaches
max about because he used he actually
used to have a product that dealt with
backups and he knows backing up he knows
time machine and I had a chance to talk
to him about this I said look I’m
encrypting this disk when
I when I set it up when I format it I
was setting it up as case-sensitive
journaled encrypted and then when I
would add it to my time machine group of
the four disks I would encrypt the
backups as well and I asked him just
casually because one of my discs was
taking a full week to encrypt and it was
only a few terabytes of data I said
should it take that long and he said
well tell me what you’re doing and he
said Oh what you’re doing is you’re
double encrypting and yeah that can take
a long time so what his recommendation
was choose one or the other and what he
recommended was to choose encrypting the
backups so what he’s had to do was don’t
set up your disk when you format it with
Disk Utility don’t set it up by doing
case sensitive journaled encrypted just
do case sensitive journaled that’s it so
the disk itself is not encrypted but
then when you add that disk to your
backups if you’re not doing anything
else with that disks and I recommend
that you not use your backup disks for
anything other than backups don’t use it
for extra storage just use it for
backups that’s all you need to do when
you add it to the group in time machine
go ahead and click encrypt this backup
that way it backs up with the time
machine doing the backup work as opposed
to the system doing the backup work so
so that’s one tip in addition to do the
rotating group and then another one is
when you have external drives especially
these because they’re not SSD drives
they’re not solid-state drives like is
in my computer and is completely silent
because it’s actually a flash drive
these have platters inside that rotate
and they have heads that read and write
and it makes just a tiny tiny tiny bit
of noise and usually that noise is
amplified because you’ve set it on a
table top right so it’s sitting on your
desk or it’s sitting on a riser or it’s
sitting you know somewhere where it has
this this surface to amplify the sound
well there’s a really simple thing you
can do to make that noise go completely
away the carrying case is hollow
right so what I do is when I put my disc
on the table next to my computer instead
of putting it right on the surface I put
it on top of the dip the the carrying
case the carrying case acts as a shock
absorber and it completely silences that
whole little little tiny buzzing that
happens when the disc is actually active
so get a rotating set of discs make sure
you only encrypt the backup in Time
Machine rather than encrypting the disk
when you set it up in Disk Utility when
you format it and then when you have the
disc near your computer and you’re
recording voiceover you know because
microphones can pick up a lot of stuff
make sure that instead of putting it
right on the table you put it on top of
the carrying case so that the carrying
case can act like a shock absorber so
any other tips you’ve got for backup
anything any disaster stories you want
to share any wonderful recovery
restoring stories you want to share
because you did backup put them in the
comments below I’d love to hear what you
have to say if you want to subscribe to
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things as we do one new video a day for
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year thanks for joining me go ahead and
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because that’s what they do I’m David
Lawrence I thank you so much for
watching and I’ll see you here tomorrow


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  1. Solid advice. I have two rotating backup disks (weekly), plus 2 cloud storage options (hourly).
    Since I’m on a PC, I use RoboCopy to backup to OneDrive, and Carbonite to backup to their cloud storage.
    For noise suppression on the disks, I just use a thick mouse pad.