I have been editing for several years on 6.5 and more recently CS3. I have typically finished the project, done an edit export and master of the video, then blown everything on the hard drives away.
I have come to a point where I'd prefer to save something/everything that would allow me to restore and re-edit should it be needed. Has anyone else done this? Is an EDL the answer? Appreciate any feedback and instruction you can offer about this.
Here is what I have done. You should have a dedicated internal drive for your production files. Mine is and always will be drive 'P'. Before I start a project I go to the computer store and buy two HDD. One 500gb internal and on 500gb external usb (I use My Book). I label and store the existing internal drive and replace that with a clean one for the new project. I also replace the My Book drive used to back it up each day with the new My Book.
Each day I use SyncToy to freshen the backup of the internal production drive on the external usb drive. It takes very little time once you are only copying daily changes.
When the project is over I archive the project to a third location (my documents) using the project manager and replace both of the drives with fresh drives for the next project. I label finished project drives and put one in my fireproof save (the internal HDD) and store the My Book one at an offsite location. This costs about $225 per project.
This seems to me to be a small price to pay.
One caution: Make sure that all of your assets are stored an accessed from that internal drive or you may find them missing when you try to reload.
Just my two cents.