Computer backup (1 Viewer)

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Thanks a lot, hank solo! - It looks like some of the pics are on Roni's server. Maybe he could get persuaded to open the server again for a short while (are you listening, Roni? ;)).
Anyway, some of the pics are posted in the thread, so that's great (I lost all my Buk pics, which I collect, when my old computer died two months ago, so now I'm back to square one)!
 
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hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Reaper Crew
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Founding member
(I lost all my Buk pics, which I collect, when my old computer died two months ago, so now I'm back to square one)!

I lost a hard drive a couple of months ago too. Finally decided to buy an external drive - just need to get into the habit of backing-up.

stinking_age2.png
 
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Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
I need to get into that habit too, hank solo! I need an external drive, or I need to at least make regular back-ups on discs.
I still have my old hard drive and it looks okay, but I need to find somebody who can get my stuff out of there and into my new computer. Maybe a computer repair shop can do it for me.
 

mjp

Founding member
There are a lot of programs out there that will automatically back up your files. I like Almer backup, but it's not free. I run it every night from my computer and it backs up all the computers on our network (okay, all two of them) to an external 1tb drive.

Edit: I don't use Almer anymore, but it was still a good program last time I did use it.

You know how people ask, "If your house was on fire and you could only take one thing..." That's easy. I'd pop that drive out of the little slot and stick it in my pocket. All my writing, all our web sites, pictures, music - everything - is on that fucker.

Sorry books, you're going to burn.
 
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Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
There are a lot of programs out there that will automatically back up your files. I like Almer backup, but it's not free. I run it every night from my computer and it backs up all the computers on our network (okay, all two of them) to an external 1tb drive.

Thanks, mjp! - So, first I need an external drive, and then a program like for instance, Almer, to back up my files. I believe there's a back up program in Windows 7, but I don't know how good or reliable it is.
 
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mjp

Founding member
I just use this dock that you stick a raw hard drive into, rather than a typical "external hard drive". You pay a lot for the nice plastic box when you buy an external hard drive. This thing is good because you can use any SATA hard drive you have lying around, and they pop out when you want to switch to a different one.
ir


Though I don't pop drives in and out of it, come to think of it. It just kind of sits there with the same hard drive in it.

It connects via USB, so it's easy.

thermaltake-blacx-esata-hard-drive-usb-docking-station.jpg
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
I just use this dock that you stick a raw hard drive into, rather than a typical "external hard drive".

That dock looks interesting. You see, I still have my old hard drive and if my computer did'nt die due to any faults in the hard drive, then it must be possible to put it in such a dock and get access to the content. I would still need to get the content transferred to my new computer though.

I've been using Cobian for a couple of years now. It's good and free

Thanks for the tip, cirerita!
 
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hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Reaper Crew
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I picked up a cheap cable from eb*y for a similar purpose. It supports SATA and older IDE drives to, and connect via USB. Mine was about £8 including an AC power supply. It's called a 'USB 2.0 to IDE & SATA Cable Kit with PSU'. Not as cool as a dock I guess, but very flexible supporting 2.5 (notebook style) and 3.5 IDE as well as SATA drives. Perhaps you can find something similar from a local seller.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
I believe I've seen such a cable at work. When my very first computer died in 2005 and I got myself a new one, an acquaintance of mine used a cable to get my stuff out of my old hard drive and into my new computer.
Good idea, hank solo! If I could get hold of such a cable for such a low price, that would probably be the cheapest way to get hold of my stuff. After that, I would of course have to look into docs or external hard drives so I can make back ups of my stuff on a regular basis in the future.
 
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hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
Anyone looking for a back-up utility might want to try today's 'Giveawayoftheday' - this is a site that offers a free software package (legally) each day.

Today's is "Paragon Backup & Recovery 10 Home".

I haven't tried it personally, so 'caveat emptor' or whatever the freebie version would be :)

Anyway - its available for about another 16 hours.
 

mjp

Founding member
I just use this dock that you stick a raw hard drive into, rather than a typical "external hard drive".
I still use that dock (there's a dual version now which is super cool), but I recently started using Amazon S3 along with this to do remote backups. It's pretty cool, and S3 is dirt cheap at $0.14/GB/mo. (and the first 5 GB is free).
ir


I was never concerned with doing "off site" backups, but Carol wanted it, and now I have to say that I kind of like having it. It's easy to set up and cheap. For anyone who needs backup that wont blow up when their house blows up. Or something.
 

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
I lost a hard drive a couple of months ago too. Finally decided to buy an external drive - just need to get into the habit of backing-up.
Same here! I have bought an external one too, that connects with a USB key. Can't you leave it plugged in for the back ups?
 

mjp

Founding member
I recently started using Amazon S3...
...and then not long after I posted that, I stopped using Amazon S3.

And now one of my 1TB external backup drives failed, so I'm trying to do recovery. No fun.

So even if you do back up to an external drive, you've got to be careful. I always told myself I'd replace the external drives every couple of years, but I never did. I will now.
 
Geez; I've been lazy, but lucky so far. But I need a couple of backup hard drives, and I know I've asked you in the past about good ones; has your opinion changed? What's the best for music from Windows Media Player, in particular? I currently have 350 GB of music on my PC and that's close to my limit in terms of having enough storage to use for work, etc.
 

mjp

Founding member
I bought a couple of these Western Digital red drives. I used the green ones in the past, but the red ones are for storage, and since that's what back ups are, I went with red this time. They're slower but they run cooler. Heat is the enemy. I already put it in my calendar to replace them in 3 years, so whether they last longer than that won't matter. 3TB each. If you would have told me 10 years ago (or even 5 years ago) that I'd be buying 6TB of back up storage one day, I would have laughed.
ir


The file recovery program is pretty cool. The imaginatively named, RecoverMyFiles. It was able to access the disk that Windows couldn't read, so that's good. I should be able to get 80-90% of the files back, which is better than the 0% I could see last night. It's slow as shit though, the restoration, so I won't really know until it's done.
 

mjp

Founding member
The disk recovery software found 1,624,637 files. 31,548 of those were "zero length," and couldn't be recovered. 3,756 files were renamed (why, I have no idea). So I got back 98% of the files. The whole thing took a little over 12 hours. Pretty good for a $50 program when a disk recovery company charges $500 - $2500 (or more) and takes weeks to do the same thing.
 
One of my external HDs crashed last year around this time literally from one minute to the other. It was my active drive for work! About 10 months of non-backupped recent work on it (among older stuff, that I had backupped). A friend of mine, who's computer-savvy as hell, was able to recover the lot.

If I had the $$, I'd buy a huge NAS to backup all my external HDDs on one single box.
 

mjp

Founding member
I'd buy a huge NAS...
Some of those are nice, but they're mainly used for RAID 5 (or even RAID 1) storage, which isn't the same as a backup. Most of the stuff on my external drives is just there as backups - cold storage - I don't access them unless I need them, so the little two slot drive bay that I use works okay.

Any backup is better than not doing anything. And most people don't do anything.
 
Forgive my ignorance, but are these backup drives connected to your computer at all times? I would think that you would keep the music files on your computer and simply have two hard drives in storage as backup In that case, operating temperature issues should be minimized as one would only be using them to reload my main computer in the event of a crash or replacement. That's how I envisioned doing this. Of course, if your collection exceeds your main hard drive limit, then you'd need to have them connected at all times.
 

mjp

Founding member
Well, they're connected, but they're not powered on. That drive bay has a power switch. But that's how I use them, yeah, as a backup, so they're only on when I'm transferring files for safekeeping (or backing up my computer files). For a time though I did leave them on, because I backed up the computer every night. That's not really necessary though, for me anyway. Once a week is enough.

People who use external drives as RAID storage have to leave them on all the time because the RAID is always mirroring. RAID is an acronym for redundant array of independent disks.

Heat is still the enemy in any case. And if you're using the drives as archives you may as well use a drive designed for that. Like the WD reds (and many others, I'm sure).
 
So, these HDs are installed into the tower in an otherwise empty bay. Is there such thing as an external hard drive or other storage entity (such as a flash drive, but more reliable) that I can connect to the computer, download all my ripped files, then box up and put in my closet? I suppose I could get a couple of large flash drives and save files in duplicate or triplicate, but my experience is that these aren't terribly reliable in the long term. I don't need more storage, I need true backups that live in a box in case of a computer crash just so I don't have to re-rip all the CDs I have on there.
 

mjp

Founding member
No tower, no bay.

This thing (that I linked to above) sits on the desk:

Untitled-1.jpg


It connects to your computer via USB cable. You stick one or two hard drives into it, and your computer recognizes them as separate drive letters (of course you usually have to format the drives first).

If you hit that button with the two blue lights on it, the power to the drives turns off, and your computer just doesn't show those two drive letters anymore. Turn the power on, they come back.

Push those two black buttons on the side, the drives pop out and you can put them in your closet or your safe or the glove compartment of your car. About as easy as it gets.

It sounds like you're looking for something like a box with a USB cable coming out of it, and the box is a hard drive? They do make such things, yes. But they're essentially the same thing as this hard drive dock. Only you can't replace the drive. When it fails you just throw the whole thing away.
 

mjp

Founding member
I still use the external drives, but I've started using cloud (Internet) backup. I'm mentioning this because I tried 4 different cloud backup services (so you don't have to) and found the best one: Backblaze.

First I was on CrashPlan, then I tried Carbonite, then iDrive, but none of them was a good as Backblaze. CrashPlan discontinued their "home" service, but their upload speed sucked anyway. Carbonite: intrusive (it sticks an icon on all of your files and shortcuts) and slow upload. iDrive: upload would stall every hour or so and lock up, I'd have to restart everything. Bah.

Backblaze: I set it up, turned it on, and it works fast and flawlessly. Very fast, in fact. I uploaded 1.2 million files - including all of my music files - in less than 2 days. I had run CrashPlan for two weeks when they told me they were pulling the plug, and I ran Carbonite for more than a week...neither of them got past 20% of my files (though I started with those on a slower connection, and we've recently upgraded - but I tried Carbonite and iDrive with the faster connection and they still sucked).

So there you go. If you're looking for off-site backup, anyway. Oh, Backblaze is $50 a year. All of the different services are priced pretty similarly.

Like I mentioned, I still have the local backups, but I probably won't keep doing them if the cloud backup continues to work for me.
 

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