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HDD Backup Package?

Discussion in 'HD/HDR-FOX T2 Customised Firmware' started by Ubtree, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. Ubtree

    Ubtree Member

    I don't know whether it would be possible (and, unfortunately, I don't begin to have the knowledge to do this myself), but it would be wonderful if there were a package that automatically backup up to an attached USB HDD.

    I've just gone through the long and painful process of transferring files to a USB HDD ½TB of files on an HDR-FOX T2 drive that I am returning for repair. And it occurred to me that it would be a disaster (at least, for me personally) if I had lost all that material - which I would have done if the Hummy had failed completely (since the encryption coding is specific to individual machines).

    What I am envisaging is leaving a USB HDD permanently connected to the Hummy, and:
    • for all new files to be automatically transferred to the USB HDD at (say) 1 a.m
    • (optionally) for all files deleted during the previous day to be automatically deleted. Or something similar, along these lines.

    I know that this could be achieved manually, but it would be very time-consuming, and very few people would be disciplined enough to stick to it. The most effective backup methods are set-it-and-leave-it.
  2. Black Hole

    Black Hole Theloniuos Abbot

    I believe a syncing process for networked drives has already been mentioned. I guess the same would work for a USB drive.

    Personally I regard a complete backup of transient TV an unnecessary overhead. Surely it is not a disaster if the latest episode of Eastside Street & Away got lost in a (very rare) disk crash? Anything that is of real permanent interest can easily be selected and copied manually (the manual process makes one decide whether something really is so important it is worth spending archive space on).
  3. prpr

    prpr Well-Known Member

    Personally, it's none of your business what people do or don't want to backup.
    Why do you feel the need to inflict your views on others?
    The guy just asked a simple question and you inflict your opinion on him. Give it a rest please.
  4. Wallace

    Wallace Slightly Pickled

    I wish you two would bury the hatchet. You are becoming very tedious.

    You certainly know how to wind people up the wrong way prpr.

    And I don't care what you say about this comment either.

    Sent from my iPhone 5 using Tapatalk
    4291 likes this.
  5. Ezra Pound

    Ezra Pound Well-Known Member

    Maybe a way around this, would be to only answer a thread if you had a solution to the problem, rather than just an opinion, unless an opinion was requested obviously.
  6. prpr

    prpr Well-Known Member

    Indeed it is, but I felt it necessary, otherwise I wouldn't have said anything.

    You are moaning about me when you should be moaning about Black Hole. I haven't done anything wrong.
    He's the one who needs to change. His post #2 is a classic of just spouting for the sake of it - obvious likes the sound of his own voice or just like to keep his post count going up. He seems to be one of those people who has to stick his oar into almost every thread going.
    He added nothing of any substance and just ended up criticising a new member over what they wanted to do.
    Is is NONE of his business what they want to do with their machine and he's effectively bullying them.
    I find that despicable and I don't mind saying so.
    If he can't accept that others want to do different things then he should refrain from posting.
  7. fenlander

    fenlander Active Member

    I raised this idea in the forum a while back and it's fair to say it went down like a lead balloon. Nevertheless, having had a catastrophic failure of a 1TB drive (not in the Hummy) and having taken 10 days to recover/re-acquire the data, I like to have at least 2 copies of everything. I do now have a 1TB USB drive attached to my Hummy and I do a partial manual backup on a rather irregular basis. A few observations that might be worth considering:

    1) A lot of what you record is probably not worth backing up because it's essentially time-shifting. Save it, watch it, delete it.
    2) Sometimes I save a whole series but don't start watching any of it until it's complete. This is worth backing up. At present I have about 300GB of material like this on my system. The reason why my backups are irregular is that very little material actually comes in this category. I don't, personally, have any TV programmes that I feel need archiving for posterity. We're long past the age of producing material which is lost to the world until it turns up in someone's attic. I never keep anything once I've watched it, except music.
    3) The backup must be decrypted, otherwise it's worthless if the machine blows up. You need to be running auto-unprotect (who isn't?). If you use a physical USB drive, you can OPT+ copy to it, otherwise you also need to be running unencrypt on any folders you want to backup. It would be difficult to ensure that your drives are synched at a certain time without also being able to ensure that all outstanding decryptions had taken place.
    4) Manual backup is a pain, both because copying files to and from a Hummy is slooow, and also because when you've watched something you need to remember to delete the backup.
    5) Transcoding Hummy files, particularly HD on any sort of regular basis, is strictly for masochists.

    One idea I've been toying with, but only tried on a very small scale, is to use my standard Windows backup utility. For media files in Windows, I backup with SyncBack. With this, you define a task, i.e. backing up one source folder to a destination folder using certain rules. If I map a drive in Windows to my Humax's internal hard drive, I can use the mapping to set both source and destination, and run a backup just like any other. Clearly, if you do this, everything is being moved from the Hummy, over your home network to your Windows PC, and back. Up to you to decide whether this is a practical option (I nearly wrote 'whether this idea has any legs', but legs it certainly doesn't have - it's slow!). The source files would need to be decrypted and the process would have to run overnight, even for a couple of programmes.

    After all this, my verdict is that globally backing up the Hummy is probably not practical. Selectively copying material you do not expect to use for some time is possible, but you need to jump through some hoops.

    One suggestion - and I don't see that this is so difficult, but what do I know? If it was possible in setting up unencrypt to specify that the output should go to an external drive, the problem would be solved, and solved quite elegantly. Of course, you wouldn't get true synchronisation and would still have to remember to delete your used backup files, but for me it would do 90% of what I want.
  8. fenlander

    fenlander Active Member

    I can't remember if it was Asimov or Clarke who said that you only need two rules to make society run smoothly: don't annoy other people and don't get annoyed too easily at other people. You can fence with BH, but remember it's for the sport, not because you want to run him through.;)
  9. af123

    af123 Administrator Staff Member

    It's actually fairly simple to do this on the Humax itself. If all you want to do is back up all of your media onto an external hard disk and keep the two in sync then the rsync package and a cron entry is all you need.

    You just need to create a cron entry that runs rsync - something like:

    5 1 * * * /mod/bin/rsync --archive --delete-after --log-file=/mod/tmp/rsync.log /media/My\ Video/ /media/drive1/Video/
    which will run the synchronisation at 01:05 each day, keeping the internal and external disks in sync - you just need to ensure the box is on at that time via a reminder or other mechanism.

    If it gets interrupted, it will pick up on the next day. If anything has changed between the internal and external drive (e.g. it has been decrypted since the copy) then it will be re-copied. If all the copying completes then it will remove anything on the external drive which no longer exists on the internal (the --delete-after)

    As fenlander has said, to guard against device failure as well as disk failure you need to install unencrypt too and just have it decrypt everything on your disk automatically otherwise your backup will only work on the same Humax.
    DelftBlue, Andy Hurley and prpr like this.
  10. One option could be to rsync only one folder if you don't want the whole video folder backed up. This folder would have the webif decrypt option set and any recordings that are not record/see/delete could be moved to it.
  11. fenlander

    fenlander Active Member

    That might well work. At present I've got about 300GB of encrypted files on the main disk and 300GB of (manually) decrypted copies on the backup. Some reorganising is needed to get from where I am to where I'd like to be without re-decrypting and re-copying all that data. Thinking.....
  12. Ubtree

    Ubtree Member

    Thank you for the various extremely helpful replies, which I've been considering very carefully.

    Firstly, rsync should meet my needs very well.

    My ideal is for a totally set-it-and-leave-it solution, but if I use a 3.5" USB drive (with its own power source), there would be problems with:
    • noise - if the drive enclosure is fan-cooled
    • heat, causing reducing the life of the HDD - if the drive enclose isn't fan-cooled
    • 24/7 operation causing the drive to be worn out quickly
    • energy wastage
    (I don't think that putting the power to the drive on a timer - such that it ran for a few hours in the night whilst synchronizing - would work, since in my experience switching off the power to a USB drive connected to the Humax causes the Humax to freeze/crash.)

    But using a 2.5" drive, powered through the USB connection, might work, and I'm planning to order a Western Digital My Passport 2TB Portable Hard Drive, which includes software that enables a sleep setting to be implemented. (I'm assuming that this is a Windows program that changes settings in the HDD controller, and that these settings would still apply when the drive is connected to the Humax.)

    But to get this to work automatically on the Humax, I will still need to have my hand held! There are 2 further matters with which I am hoping someone will be able to help me.
    1. Might the Humax USB not have sufficient power to run an otherwise unpowered HDD?
    2. Might the Humax be unable to bring an external drive out of sleep mode (controlled by the drive's own controller)?
    3. I've got a basic understanding for Cron from the Wiki - I'm afraid that my limited PC knowledge is restricted to Windows, and I understand next to nothing about Linux!, but I've found a basic explanation of rsync that is helping me - but can someone explain to me:
    How to edit the file /mod/var/spool/cron/crontabs/root (to add new lines)​

    What Cron entries I need to make to wake up the Hummy before rsync is run, and to put the Hummy back to sleep (after allowing sufficient time for rsync to complete).​
  13. xyz321

    xyz321 Well-Known Member

    I use a Western Digital Elements 2TB drive connected to the Humax. It has an external power supply which has no fan but runs cool. The power saving works fine with the Humax, it goes into standby mode when the Humax goes into standby and also spins down if not accessed for about 10 minutes. It didn't require any setting up but I did reformat it from ntfs to ext3. It was bought about a year ago so it is only USB 2.0 but the Humax does not support USB 3.0 anyway.
  14. Ezra Pound

    Ezra Pound Well-Known Member

    It is possible to edit the above file from the Web-If, go to Diagnostics >> File Editor and select /mod/var/spool/cron/crontabs/root from the 'Commonly Edited Files' pick list, then add new lines and click save
    DelftBlue likes this.
  15. Ubtree

    Ubtree Member

    That's very reassuring.

    I'm opting for USB 3.0, despite the Humax only supporting USB 2.0, to provide future proofing and in case at some point I use the drive for another purpose.

    Thank you very much. I'll tackle this as soon as the drive arrives.

    And thank you, too, for all the fantastic work you put in.
  16. Black Hole

    Black Hole Theloniuos Abbot

    You might want to read THIS.
  17. Ubtree

    Ubtree Member

    Thank you for the link. Hmmmm.....

    I had already had similar thoughts, but most of the larger capacity USB drives are now USB 3.0. The one that I've selected claims USB2.0 compatibility, and this ought to include power compatibility (but possibly does not). Sadly, it does not have the option of supplementary power input, in case the bus power is inadequate. But I'm still leaning in favour of giving it a try, and reallocating it to some other use if it proves unsuitable.
  18. BrownEyes

    BrownEyes New Member

    I currently have two external HDDs connected to my HDR T2. One is an old external with Firewire and USB2, plug-top psu and is audible if sited in the open alonside the TV. This has done several years service previously connected directly to a Tevion flat screen TV, and prior to that was used as extra storage for a pc. The other is a relatively new Western Digital 1TB Caviar Green fitted into a Novatech external enclosure. The enclosure is for 3.5" SATA drives, gives USB2 connection, has its own plugtop psu and cost less than £8 ! They do an even cheaper enclosure for 2.5", but I think that may not have the psu. The WD unit is inaudible - you have to touch the enclosure to be able to detect if it's running - runs mostly 24/7 and is the coolest HDD I've used. Only snag was the bright blue led on the rear of the housing, which was easily masked with a bit of tape.

    WD do a "red" range (as opposed to the green,) which is even quieter and is specifically designed for 24/7 server use.

    Both drives are plugged into a cheap 4 port hub, which is plugged into the HDR.

    It would be nice if the HDR allowed the external storage to be renamed instead of calling all units USB-1. It doesn't seem to matter if he drives have been formatted and named elsewhere.

    Incidentally, a piece of bubble film under the old drive is excellent for noise reduction.
  19. oijonesey

    oijonesey Hummy.tv SEO Guru

    Moving stuff is what I'm after - there's stuff I've recorded for the kids and films I want to keep for the rare nanoseconds when I get a chance to watch them (oddly enough Mrs Oijonesey is not a fan of Chan!!). I have copied stuff over onto my NAS but it takes so long (which I don't mind waiting for) but then I forget what I've copied and/or forget to delete them off the Hummy blah blah etc etc.

    What options do we have for forcing something as a Move so that I can forget about deleting the orginal? I have the NAS set up as a USB drive using 'network share automount' but it only copies not moves. Last time I looked the webif didn't have anything on the OPT+ drop down and using Windows to do it means I've got to leave the laptop on as the go-between.
  20. Ezra Pound

    Ezra Pound Well-Known Member

    It look like you need something like af123's solution in #9 above