Be Careful About Your Choice of Backup Storage (avoid USB3 memory sticks?)

The header is the result of bad experiences attempting to use USB3 memory sticks.

The library here is very large with over 15,000 albums, most 16/44 in FLAC format and few hi-rez files. Backups direct to a USB3 memory stick plugged into a PC port start off well but then slow down significantly as the backup progresses. Two completely different USB3 setups have behaved in similar ways - (i) a Patriot 128GB Supersonic Rage Series USB 3.0 Flash Drive With Up To 180MB/sec- PEF128GSRUSB and
(ii) a 64GB SanDisk microSDXC chip rated at speeds up to 48 mb/s set in an ANKOR card reader.
[Of passing interest is that (ii) was faster than (i) indicating that the nominal “speed” capability of data transfer is no indication about its effectiveness in the Roon backup situation. (ii) took 1 hour 20 minutes while I have never sucessfully made a backup with (i) despite hours of impatience]

The reason appears to be that these devices are not designed to cope with the rapid read/write involved in backing up Roon, something which generates over 111,000 files in this system although the total space used by the backup is only 5.17GB.

The simple answer is to direct backups to a folder in one of the HDDs in the PC. Doing that the backup here ran smoothly without hestitation and was completed in 18 minutes.

One potential problem with this is that any backup which resides in the main PC is vulnerable to virus attacks which can catch the user despite all due care and attention with protective software. The low life that gets pleasure from destroying our data or the criminals using ransomware are often a jump ahead of that protective software so the user can never be sure of 100% protection. I got caught last year with ransomware that I suspect came on board an attachment from a trusted source. It took a long time to reinstate the data from backups.

So, the answer to this is to use the USB memory stick to copy the internal backup file onto it and then have it offline to the system. Because of the large number of files generated by the backup that copying is not quick but does not tie up Roon or other resources so can chugg away in the background and its slow speed is of no concern.

Note that the above procedure complies with the recommendation to have more than one backup source.

I would never trust a USB memory stick as a backup device, I would store a copy of the backup on it as extra insurance.



As mentioned by @Ratbert I would never trust a usb mst for backups, With that said, I back up to my freenas which has snapshots enable just in case something hits the network, I can just roll back a data set and my data is back in no time. Works like a charm when somebody in your network gets infected with this crap…
On top of that I back up to the cloud whit rotations :slight_smile:

I would try this - Once you have the backup on your PC HDD, make an archived copy of the backup using WinRAR, WinZip, or similar. Then keep an archived version of the backup on the USB Stick. The benefit of using the Archiver software is that the end result can be copied from place to place easily as it is seen as just one file rather 100s of 1000s of files.

EDIT - I just remembered there is a file size limit with FAT32 formatted drives (which is the native format for a USB Stick). So that makes things a bit more awkward, in so far as the drive would need to be reformatted, or the backup needs to be split up so each archive is < 4 GByte.


For some odd reason the BU failed last night. Roon proclaimed it could not be done (at 2am) because Roon was playing files or had recently done so - not correct. Anyway I did a manual BU onto an internal HDD which only took around 5 minutes and for interest, started another on that 64GB card in the ANKOR card reader. It did the BU OK but took an hour and three quarters to complete.

Odd I’m having problems with the auto BU in the early hours. Any suggestions why this should occur?