Keeping My Emergency Spare Backup Drive Up To Date In A Jiffy

In a previous post on the topic I’ve talked about the part of my backup strategy to keep an emergency spare hard drive up to date by copying data that has changed from a backup drive to it every now and then. This way I have a 1:1 copy of my system partition and all of my data at any time. A slight downside of this scheme is that in addition to a spare notebook and the emergency backup drive, I would have to take a backup drive with me when I travel to be prepared in case the unthinkable happens. After thinking about it a bit further I’ve now come up with a way to copy modified data directly from my notebook to the spare backup drive without the need for a separate backup disk in between.

Instead of using rsync to first copy the changed data to the backup disk and then connecting the backup disk to the backup notebook to perform the process in the other direction, I found a way to remove the intermediary drive. By using a SATA to USB interface I can connect the emergency spare system disk with the encrypted data partition directly to my notebook and use the same rsync command I described in my previous post with different paths to directly synchronize changes to the data partition of the emergency spare system disk. If done regularly the process only takes a few seconds. Quite painless. Once it becomes necessary I just insert the emergency spare system disk into the spare notebook and I’m up and running with an identical copy of the system and all data within a minute or two. It’s simple, it’s very quick and hard to optimize further.