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Spanned Backups – An Added Security

Imagine having a hard drive filled with multiple gigabytes of data. In the event of an emergency, you would like to know that you can restore all the data that gets lost. The backup is the most important piece of property for most business, organizations or individuals. For a backup of that size unless you have a tape drive, it appears that the only other media would be a second hard drive big enough to hold that data or a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device. While using another hard drive is a good first step, hard drives fail also, for added security you may want to store your backups at another location possibly off site. One of the easiest solutions would be to move the data to removable media such as CD/DVD’s. They can withstand rough environments and rough treatment, better than a hard drive or tape. Backing up the original data onto CD/DVD is called creating a spanned media. This simply means using multiple disc as if it was one continuous disc. Although each single disk can be filled up at 4.7gb capacity, you can use multiple media disks to hold the full backup. This would require the correct software that allows you to create a spanned media. One such software is Creator Classic by Roxio.

Screen shot for Roxio's Creator Classic

Screen shot for Roxio’s Creator Classic

With Creator Classic, you can drag and drop the data right into the project space and it calculates how much media discs you will need based on your selection of CD or DVD. Once you start the Burn process the program starts to build the spanned set. Your prompted when to insert the next disc.

For the die-hard techies, you can go the way of the command prompt.


createspannedshares.cmd <Source> <Destination> [SKU Name]

This command was for computers that did not support DVD’s but it still is an interesting alternative after you install ImageX and the Windows OPK or AIT tool. Visit Microsoft’s Technet for specific details on the createspannedshares.cmd command.

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