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[ The PC Guide | System Care Guide | Backups and Disaster Recovery | How To Back Up ]

Media Storage

Your data backups are exactly as safe as the physical media that contains them. If you do a tape backup and then leave the tape lying on top of the PC box, then you are partially defeating the purpose of doing backups. You will give back the protection that tape offers against risks like theft, disaster or sabotage.

Backup media should be stored in a safe place, away from the PC. In fact, the word safe is appropriate, since a locked safe is the best storage container for backup media. The use of a safe allows the media to be secured from prying eyes and fingers while remaining in the same general vicinity as the PC. A fireproof safe is an even better idea, for obvious reasons. Just make sure you don't lose the combination. :^)

Depending on the type of backup media you are using, you want to make sure that the storage environment is appropriate. For magnetic media such as tapes and disks, you want to ensure that the storage area offers protection from the hazards that threaten them, including temperature, moisture, dirt, magnetic fields and the like. A plastic box on a sunny window sill is definitely not a good idea.

Finally, pay attention to the matter of off-site storage. It is a good idea to ensure that one or more of the backup media sets in the media rotation system you are using is always be stored off-site. This is important to allow for safeguarding against total disaster (tornado, hurricane, whatever).

Next: Boot Disks

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