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1) yes, but dang if I can remember it off the top of my head. I used it to recover a hard drive that had been badly mauled. Got back 95% of the files. I'll see if I can find the name. Depending on the type of drive failure, it might help.
Ha! Found it. I used R-Studio Data Recovery.
2) Cloud - well, if it's a big drive, then cloud can get pricey. If you only have some files than MS one drive and other options are useful. The useful thing about the cloud is that the data is elsewhere - so you are sort of disaster proof.
For me? I normally backup to an external drive and take it to my safety deposit box.
<italic>Stuck in a dysfunctional matrix from which I must escape...
"Where liberty dwells, there is my country." B. Franklin, 1783
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” BF, 1759
If your backup drive contains the only copy of a given set of files, you don't have a backup at all.
I buy my drives in sets of 3: The live instance my systems access all the time, an offline backup that gets updated regularly, and an off-site backup that gets replaced with the other drive once a month or so.
Depending on the application, the live instance drive may be mirrored through RAID, but that's keeping in mind that this is for redundancy - it's not a backup.
As for recovery software: Some people swear by GRC's Spin-Rite. Others are skeptical, but essentially this is their only for-sale product, and they've been living off of it for over 20 years, so if it was total snake oil, I have to believe someone would've called them out on it by now.
Pics and videos are usually the high ticket items when it comes to space. If you have a Google account you can store unlimited pics & videos on Google Photos. Pretty sure Amazon and a few others do the same.
I use a NAS that automatically backs up everything from my work computer even while I'm out of the office (given I have Internet access of course).
This NAS has two HDD's in RAID 1.
I have a physical external USB HDD connected to the NAS to back it's contents up.
I still have to buy another HDD to be able to cycle between them, but I'm still trying to figure out how to be able to ask the super back up application that runs in the NAS to cycle using more than one HDD.
I'm afraid of using remote cloud backup systems... Sensitive data...
I pay around £108 a year for 1TB of space together with a restore service.
The restore service allows me to restore any file to any point in time since it has been synced - which has come in very handy.
I consider £108 to be money very well spent considering the 1TB of space and peace of mind knowing that I can restore any file to any point in time.
It also means that if I am burgled, I can recover my data from online even if the thieves gain access and decide to delete everything(NAS is great until the building it is stored in goes up in flames or it is stolen, I cannot see any reason not to use cloud backup).
“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”