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I guess the point is that a lot of us overcome this without having to reply on tape drives that are less than common and that haven't been supported by Win7 that is already 5 years mature. There are lots of options and a big drive allows lots of disc images and since drive failure happens but happens rarely for drives sitting on a shelf or in a vault one or two would give more orders of magnitude of redundancy for MTBF and cover your human error factors that it could and does work for the rest of us (seriously high dollar investments and investors and control + redundancy freaks like me too are satisfied by this).

I do not disagree with you. In fact, I could (but do not dare) take the view that disk drives are now so reliable that they may not need backing up at all. My present experience is too small to come to any real conclusions, but I notice I have been running (up to 3 at a time, but more usually 2) computers at home and that one of these had 2 hard drives, one has three drives, one had 6 drives, and the newest one has three drives. This since about 1996. In that time I have had only one disk failure, when an old WD Caviar hard drive (about 1.6 GBytes) died at about 10 years of age. Since then they have all worked, and this includes 8 10,000 rpm SCSI drives. Two of those are starting their 13th year of 24/7 duty. I am junking the other SCSI drives and most of the stuff that was in that computer. A lot of it works, but I do not trust it because of that power problem. A 10/100 NIC and the VXA-2 tape drive work fine, though. Two of the drives do not work right. They spin up, but the system will not boot when they are in there. They do not indicate that they are up to speed, and the boot will not continue until they do.

So except for human error, I might almost say that I would not need backups at all. Except when my 6-drive machine bit the dust, and I could not get two of those drives to work on the new machine. I recovered what I needed from one of those backup tapes, only a day old, so I lost nothing important.

I did get those two WD Passport drives that fortunately run USB3, so they can do a full Linux backup fairly quickly, and backup speed is of little importance because they run automatically around 3AM, so as long as they are done before I choose to use the computer, I do not care. And restoring an individual file now and then (usually less than one a year) goes much faster from a disk drive than from tape.

I think the way to go for Linux, is to do daily backups to a Passport drive for a week, or if I get the nerve, for a month. Do a backup to tape, and switch to the other Passport drive for the next month, etc. On the third month, delete everything from that Passport drive and start over.

Now for Windows 7, that I use rarely, but my income tax information is precious to me, I will use two Passports to do backups about once a month, since I run Windows only about that often. Perhaps I should alternate those drives each month, and delete stuff from one each year. Or maybe not. I notice Windows writes about 25 GBytes first, then only a few GBytes each time I do a backup on it. So maybe I will never have to delete anything from the Windows Passport drives. I am 74, so how long will I live? I may never fill those 750 GByte drives.
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