This tutorial shows how to backup your data from a local computer to Blu-ray disc by using a backup software such as Backup4all. Once installed, Backup4all lets you define a backup job and either run the backup to Blu-ray manually or set it on automatic execution (to run automatically the Blu-ray disc should be loaded in the tray). The first step in backing your data to Blu-ray is to download and install Backup4all.
Blu-ray Disc (also known as Blu-ray or BD-R/RE) is the most advanced optical disc storage medium used today. The Blu-ray Disc has the same physical dimensions as standard DVDs and CDs, but it has considerably much more storage space, as a single layer Blu-ray Disc can store up to 25 GB of data (50 GB of data for dual layer Blu-ray Discs). Since Blu-ray burning devices and storage discs will gradually get cheaper, backing-up to Bly-ray discs will increase in popularity to the point where it will surpass other backup methods, such as online back-up, because it is a convenient method and in the same time it can offer offsite protection (after you backup to Blu-ray discs, you can store those on a remote location).
A Blu-ray disc can have up to 16 layers, each of them being able to store 25 GB of data. If right now the most common Blu-ray discs only have one or two layers (meaning 25 or 50 GB), important players have announced that Blu-ray discs with capacities of 400 GB might be available to the public as soon as 2010. As capacity rises and prices will go down, the backup to Blu-ray method will become one of the most popular backup solutions.
Using Backup4all you can easily backup to Blu-ray by selecting your files and choosing what Blu-ray disc to store them on. You can define particular Blu-ray configurations and once finished your data can be backed up onto the Blu-ray.
How to back-up to Blu-ray using Backup4all (hdd to blu-ray)
There are a few simple steps to configure Backup4all to back-up to Blu-ray using the internal burner:
- Open File -> New (or "Backup Job Properties" and go to the "Destination" page)
- In the New Backup Wizard press CD, DVD or Blu-ray option and select the burner device you want to use. Press Next.
- On the What do you want to backup page, add the backup sources. Press Next.
- On the Filter the backup sources page, you can set include/exclude filters for backup sources. Then press Next.
- On the How do you want to backup page, you can choose the backup type and the encryption.
- On the When do you want to backup page, you can set the backup job to automatically run on the specified time and days. Press Next.
- On the Personalize your backup job page, enter a name for the backup in the Backup name field.
- Press Save and run.
Backup4all has two built-in Blu-ray burning engines, so optionally you can select which one to use from the CD/DVD or Blu-ray section in File -> Options -> CD, DVD or Blu-ray.
The backup catalog (.bkc file) is stored on the destination Blu-ray and locally too (if the option "Rotate disks" is unchecked). When the backup process starts, Backup4all searches for the .bkc file locally (if this option was set) and in the destination (if it didn't find it locally). If the Blu-ray is empty or if it does not contain the catalog file, Backup4all will start with a new full backup. If the catalog file is found, Backup4all will make a new version for the backup job.
Typically, a backup to Blu-ray performs additional steps shown in the status bar at the bottom of the Backup4all window application: erasing (when this option is set), burning, finalizing, loading. During "Loading", the disk is ejected and reloaded. After this step the backup is tested (if this option is set).
If the backup does not fit to one Blu-ray, Backup4all will automatically span the backup over multiple media. Each disc is assigned a different label for future identification. We recommend marking the Blu-ray with this label.
In the split process, Backup4all creates independant zip archives, meaning that even if you lose one Blu-ray, you will still be able to recover the rest of your data from the other ones.
Backup4all's specific Blu-ray backup features
The "Options" window contains other options related to the burn process.
- Use SCSI Pass Through Direct layer (SPTD). Selected by default. Backup4all uses an internal burning engine to write the Blu-ray disc. It has integrated two burning engines in case that one of them does not recognize your burner. If your Blu-ray burner is recognized and you have no problem at all backing up to Blu-ray then you don't have to change this option.
- Use native Win32 interface (SPTI). If you have problems backing up to Blu-ray or your burner is not recognized when using the primary burning engine, select this option to make Backup4all switch to the secondary integrated burning engine. Also, if you are making mirror backups, it is recommended to choose this burning engine even if the burner is recognized when using primary burning engine.
- Load CD, DVD or Blu-ray before backup. You can leave the Blu-ray in the tray as Backup4all will load it when running the backup.
- Eject CD or DVD after backup. You can leave the Blu-ray ejected after the backup is finished (and tested). To do so, open the "Options" window, go to the "CD, DVD or Blu-ray" page and set the "Eject CD/DVD after backup" option.
Recommendations for Blu-ray backups
Please consider our recommendations when you do a backup to Blu-ray:
- Do not use the same Blu-ray to store consecutive backup versions. Better use different Blu-ray media for each backup version (change the Blu-ray at each backup run). Use a set of Blu-ray media and rotate them periodically (eg: take 7 Blu-ray media, one for each week day; start with the first disc again every 7 days). The reason for this is that in case the burn process fails, you still have the previous backup version on a different media.
- Blu-ray media can be burned only a limited number of times. When strange errors happen first check if the Blu-ray disc is not overburned (worn out).
- Always test the backed up data after burn. Backup4all has a special option to automatize the test after back-up.