Stories by W. Curtis Preston

The Windows archive bit is evil and must be stopped

I have a major problem with the Windows archive bit, and so should you. At the very least, backup product vendors should give us the option of not using it - without penalty. Here's why: If the "ready for archiving" bit is set on a file in Windows, it indicates that a file is new or changed, and that it should be backed up in an incremental backup. Once this happens, the archive bit is cleared. Therefore, the first problem with the archive bit is that it should be called the backup bit, because backups are not archives.

Slow down those streaming tape drives

If you have more than one state-of-the-art tape drive behind your LAN-based backup server, chances are you have too many. That's right. If you've got a LAN-based backup server, and behind it is more than one tape drive capable of 45 MB to 50 MB, then you should probably rethink your design. Let me explain.