Redundant Backup Workflow


Today’s Question: I appreciate your continuing advice on using various backup devices and services. I’m just starting out with a backup plan so up until now I’ve simply been copying files to an external drive. I’m looking for advice on how to back up that external drive that I have been using for a backup before I start doing anything else. What do you recommend?

Tim’s Quick Answer: To have two backup copies of the primary drive, I recommend creating both of those backups from the primary drive, rather than duplicating the first backup to the second. I also highly recommend using software such as GoodSync ( for this backup process.

More Detail: You could certainly create two backups of a primary drive by first backing up the primary drive to a backup drive, and then backing up the first backup drive to the second backup drive. In general there is no problem with this, but I prefer to create both backup copies based on the primary drive.

Part of the reason for this is that whenever possible, I recommend storing two backup drives in separate locations. So, for example, you might keep the first backup drive at home, and the second backup drive at the office or other location, swapping the two drives as needed to update the backup for each on a regular basis.

I also highly recommend using software specifically designed for backing up photos. My personal preference is to use GoodSync software for this purpose. One of the key benefits of GoodSync is that it creates a backup copy that is an exact match of the source data.

This makes it very easy to recover when the primary hard drive fails. You can simply use a backup drive in place of the primary drive (updating the drive letter on Windows or volume label on Macintosh to match the original primary drive). Of course, in this scenario you would also want to create an additional backup copy as soon as possible.

For a limited time you can get a discounted subscription rate on the GoodSync backup software I use and recommend by using this link to get started: