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#991848 - 06/25/08 01:13 PM OT: Keep your computer backup updated
Boira Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/07
Posts: 472
Loc: Barcelona
I know this is an absolute off-topic, and besides most of you already have your system & docs backup perfectly updated.

This is for those who always forget to save periodically a security copy of the contens of their PC's.
Just 3 words: do it now!

Some days ago, the hard disk drive of a friend's PC crashed so bad that none of its contens could be saved. Loading again the software to the new HD was no problem, he has all the original cd's. The great pain were the other files. Not for their monetary value, but for the sentimental loss. Hundreds of pictures of his parents, holiday trips and family gatherings. Several videos too. Miscellaneous files from work, scans. All lost.
He used to say "One of these days I should save all of my parents' pics into dvds and store them in a safe place. I don't have time today. I'll do it this week, yes. Next one. Yes I have to do it..." But he never did it in the end.

After talking to him, I realized this can happen to anyone and checked my last backup copy's date: October 2007. Nine months!
Nine months worth of files could get lost in a moment!
Last night I made a complete backup of all the contens of my PC on an external HD, plus additional copies on (several) dvds.

Do it too, it may save you (and others) some tears!

[EDIT to check some spelling.]

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#991849 - 06/25/08 01:18 PM Re: OT: Keep your computer backup updated
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Timely reminder.... literally just yesterday I received an external hard drive I had ordered in the mail. Now that I have iPod and iTunes I realized that there WAS stuff on my home computer I'd hate to lose, so I went ahead and bought a 500 gig hard drive for something like $130. Not bad for peace of mind.

[resolves to go home tonight and actually take the new external HD out of the box... \:D ]
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#991850 - 06/25/08 01:52 PM Re: OT: Keep your computer backup updated
Lisztener Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 921
Boira,

Excellent advice!

Recently, I had a scare with my computer not booting correctly. I called tech support and the first recommendation was a format of the hard drive and complete re-installation of the OS and software. I told the tech that we needed to try other things before resorting to such drastic steps. Fortunately, we found the problem without me having to lose all my personal "stuff" that is so important. As soon as the problem was resolved, I backed up all my personal sentimental and sensitive data.

Listen to Boira, folks. The "glitch" monster can grab your computer by the throat when least expected.

Thank you for the important reminder, Boira.

How are things in Glockamora?...oops...sorry. \:o

I meant to ask, how are things in Barthelona? ;\)

Going great for you, I hope. \:D

Best regards,

Lisztener
_________________________


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#991851 - 06/25/08 10:51 PM Re: OT: Keep your computer backup updated
Triryche Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 1451
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Yes, great reminder!!
In the past I would hypocritically tell people how important it was to back-up your files when I myself had no back-up plan in action. Needless to say after a HD biting it, I was no longer a hypocrite!!
Many times when a HD crashes, much of the data can be recovered, but it can cost lots of $$$ if it is beyond a typical crash.
I am currently researching external HD’s, even when I do get one, I will still back up to DVD’s also. For now I am sharing my son’s 1 terabyte Mybook, but he’s moving out in July. \:\(

Monica, what did you end up with?

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#991852 - 06/25/08 11:25 PM Re: OT: Keep your computer backup updated
TX-Dennis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 4126
Loc: Texas
Yes, it will happen to YOU sooner or later. I recently lost 2 hard drives. One in my wife's computer, and the other in my son's machine only days apart. Fortunately, I do backup important and irreplaceable files on a regular basis, so very little was lost.

If you have more than one computer copy all important files and photos to both computers at the very least. An external hard drive and/or dvds are even better. Of course, the BEST solution is off site backup where you backup your data to a computer in a different location. If you have a fire this may be the only way you'll ever recover important files. I just keep my DVD backups in a fire safe and hope for the best. \:D
_________________________
Dennis

flickr


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#991853 - 06/25/08 11:48 PM Re: OT: Keep your computer backup updated
Triryche Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 1451
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Dennis,

Great piont regarding fire.

That is something we pray never happens to us, therefore often gets overlooked. So, I guess I am off to purchase a fire-safe safe this weekend.

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#991854 - 06/26/08 10:47 AM Re: OT: Keep your computer backup updated
Jamie147 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 212
Loc: England, UK
Another piece of advice is don't use registry cleaning software.

I did and it deleted about 30 gig of data. Luckily it didn't affect the C drive where the starup folders are or remove any .DLL files which can happen. So I was lucky it even loaded. Glass always half full with me. Recently I've been moving folders from C to D to free up space so that made it worse. \:D

When data is deleted its not actually removed from the drive the space is just flagged as free space so it can be possible to get it back as I discovered with some software called GetDataBack. It scanned my D drive and showed all the data that had been deleted and gave me the option of restoring it. Some folders are beyond being restored but most of it is there.

Boira, get your friend to download the free tiral of GetDataBack (either FAT or NTFS) download both to be sure and run it with the scenario of hard drive crash. It should allow him to restore most of the lost data. The free trial just allows you to see what fils you can restore but you need to upgrade to actually restore it. Oddly though in the free trial you can view the files, videos etc and 'save as' in to another location. This would take forever though for each individual file.

For any data retrieval software to work effectively its crucial NOT TO INSTALL ANY SOFTWARE OR FILES/FOLDERS ON TO THE AFFECTED DRIVE after the error.

I think he has a good chance of getting back some precious files. Maybe not all but at least some. You have no idea how relieved I was when I saw folders containing irreplaceable contents in front of me when I thought I never would never see them again. Especially my beloved Mozart folder. \:\)
_________________________
We are the melodies and the notes of your opus. We are the music of your life.

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#991855 - 06/26/08 11:31 AM Re: OT: Keep your computer backup updated
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by Triryche:


Monica, what did you end up with? [/b]
This Western Digital 500 Gig external drive, on the recommendation of my dept. IT guy, who likes Western Digital products. [O.T. rant: When I went to amazon to get this link, I saw that it now costs $98. When I ordered it JUST LAST WEEK it cost $123. Grrrr.]

I fired it up last night. My IT guy said that even a technologically clueless person could work it, as it was just click and drag. But he obviously did not know the depths of my technological cluelessness, which are deep indeed. \:D The instructions that came with it were absolutely worthless[/b], as it consisted of exactly 3 pictures and no words: A picture showing connecting the power plug to the WD unit; a picture showing connecting the WD unit to the computer; and then a picture of the computer screen. :rolleyes:

Once I connected everything, a bunch of stuff popped up on the screen and I just followed the defaults, which ended up installing several programs with names like autobackup and autosync and google desktop. Not really sure how useful they are. The backup itself took quite a bit of time, maybe 20-30 minutes. Hope I did it correctly. Maybe it goes faster on subsequent times if it just copies new or changed files.

Fortunately, at work the university does everything for us. We are all connected to university servers which do automatic backups (at least daily, probably more often) to several sites, both internal and external sites several states away.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#991856 - 06/26/08 12:11 PM Re: OT: Keep your computer backup updated
Mike White Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 518
Loc: 90 miles West of New Orleans
Thanks, Boira. I have an internal backup HD, but I hadn't backed my sheet music in a while. Yes, I heard a podcast the other day and the guy said that it's not if your HD is going to crash, but when.
_________________________
My Recordings. Please feel free to comment or to ask a question.

Yamaha G3 & P-80 Digital

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#991857 - 06/26/08 12:26 PM Re: OT: Keep your computer backup updated
Eternal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/21/06
Posts: 1285
Loc: Posts: 80,372
 Quote:
Originally posted by Boira:

Some days ago, the hard disk drive of a friend's PC crashed so bad that none of its contens could be saved. [/b]
There's almost always a way to get the data back. If the drive just got corrupted, but still spins, you can use one of the recovery programs mentioned earlier. I actually quick-formatted my drive by accident in the past, and was still able to recover 99% of the stuff I had on it.

If the drive is just completely dead, it's also not the end of the world. As long as you have another drive with the same model number, you can attempt exchanging driver board between the two. A lot of times it will take care of the issue.

Finally, worst case scenario, where nothing seems to work - there are places specializing in data recovery. It can cost you a few thousand dollars, but in some cases it may be worth it.

Nevertheless, it's still a good idea to back up your data. Better yet - make the process automated, so you don't have to worry about doing it yourself. I for example have my home network set up so every night at 4 am, all the data from specific folders gets backed up on two dedicated drives.

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#991858 - 06/26/08 12:57 PM Re: OT: Keep your computer backup updated
Boira Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/07
Posts: 472
Loc: Barcelona
 Quote:
Originally posted by Eternal:

Finally, worst case scenario, where nothing seems to work - there are places specializing in data recovery. It can cost you a few thousand dollars, but in some cases it may be worth it.
[/b]
Unfortunately, that was the case. When he called me, he had a complete new HD drive already.
(He almost fainted when was told about the data recovery bill)

 Quote:
Originally posted by Lisztener:

I meant to ask, how are things in Barthelona? ;\)

[/b]
Great pronunciation Lisztener! \:D Ever been here?

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#991859 - 06/27/08 01:33 PM Re: OT: Keep your computer backup updated
TX-Dennis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 4126
Loc: Texas
Data recovery services are extremely expensive; many thousands of dollars. It would not be worth considering unless the data is truly priceless. Eternal makes valid suggestions of things to try if you don't have good backups. In addition, sometimes freezing a hard drive (wrap it in plastic first) will allow it to function long enough to retrieve some of the data.

When you replace a hard drive, don't just throw it in the bin. Some one could conceivably retrieve data from it including your personal information, passwords, etc. If the drive is functional, use one of the data erasing programs to write it full of random characters thus really erasing your data. Ir it's not functional, open the case and use a hammer to destroy the platters before you toss it out. Don't forget your eye protection. \:D
_________________________
Dennis

flickr


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#991860 - 06/27/08 02:08 PM Re: OT: Keep your computer backup updated
Erus Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Mexico
Cheap cable kits like this can be useful in backup or recovery scenarios:

http://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-USB-DSC5-3-5-Inch-Converter-Adapter/dp/B000HJ99DI

Example: you can connect your laptop's HD to a desktop, even when your laptop is not booting.

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#991861 - 06/27/08 02:26 PM Re: OT: Keep your computer backup updated
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
Yesterday I received a beautiful 1950s Agfa Isolette 6 x 6cm folding camera which looked almost like new. I also ordered some Ilford b&w film. Since going digital a few years ago I am sorry to say I have taken very few serious photographs. I simply joined the craze of digital snapping and deleting. I 'captured' some great family 'images' that I really should get printed up before the hard-disk and CD back ups fail but I'm now looking forward to getting back into film. I have to blame all the simple things in life such as digital photography, PCs, mobile phones and email for contributing to the stressful life we all now lead - everything must be done in a hurry. I look forward to taking some nice photographs and using the post office again to snail mail my stuff off to the photolab.

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#991862 - 06/27/08 03:10 PM Re: OT: Keep your computer backup updated
Boira Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/07
Posts: 472
Loc: Barcelona
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jamie147:

Boira, get your friend to download the free tiral of GetDataBack (either FAT or NTFS) download both to be sure and run it
[/b]
Thanks Jamie147,
let's see if his parents' pics can be saved or if he has to send them (the parents) back to their holiday trip to France to take the same pictures again. (uhmm, not a bad idea!)

I'm saving the GetDataBack tip for myself too, one never knows when may it be useful \:\)

Ah, the wonderful world of computers.... :rolleyes: you can't live with them nor without them...

[EDIT a hundred times (and counting) for spelling]

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#991863 - 06/27/08 04:22 PM Re: OT: Keep your computer backup updated
Lisztener Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 921
Hi Boira,

This is my first message on the forum since Wednesday evening. The "Glitch Monster" hit my cable modem and router knocking me offline. My Internet Service Provider technician just left my home after installing a new modem.

I'm happy to report that there was no damage to the internal workings of my computer.

I've never been to "Barthelona", but if you invite me I'll try to make the trip. ;\)

I took a couple years of Spanish instruction in high school. Strangely enough, I remember the Castilian pronunciation of a few Spanish words.

I'll bet it's beautiful where you are, yes?

"Fe fi fo fum, I am the blood of an American." \:D

Regards,

Lisztener
_________________________


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