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The other day our computer started to "fritz" It would not boot up. I have no idea why, it just would not. So I spent all day on my son's computer and finally found a boot disk program to bypass Windows and get the machine running. Eventually fixed the problem and now it runs fine.


All day I was in a panic that years of photos, files, links, programs etc were lost. That night we went to the store and got one of those 250GB USB external drives.


The moral of the story: Back up your stuff, often. Just do it.


Bob
 

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And then make sure you know what it takes to actually recover from a disaster using your "back-up" drive. I was very disappointed ( read that, really P*ss*d) when I found out how mine worked. Files were backed up, but had to reinstall and setup every program from scratch, twice.
 

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i use 'acronis true image'.

backup files, partitions, complete hard drives. recovery is as easy as model railroading ;-)
if your drive crashes, then install a new one, boot from cd, restore your backup and you're back into business within minutes/hours (depending on amount of data). no need to reinstall software drivers and such.
 

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Posted By Del Tapparo on 03/16/2009 8:42 PM
And then make sure you know what it takes to actually recover from a disaster using your "back-up" drive. I was very disappointed ( read that, really P*ss*d) when I found out how mine worked. Files were backed up, but had to reinstall and setup every program from scratch, twice.

The kind of backup you want is an 'image' of the drive, like acronis mentioned above.



When you get a new machine, especially Acer and Dell, I do not have so much experience with the others, you are urged time and time again to make a backup disc.
Now on Acer you can make a recovery disc with the programs installed, you can use this one to recover your computer. It woun't work on any other computer though.
And usually users just click 'do not remind me again' as it's mighty annoying, but well worth the effort as you have experienced...

Then when you have the discs, make an image of them on your backup drive with 'magiciso' (or similar) so that you can burn them out when you need them. Because by then the cheap DVD-R will be long gone by age or just lost/tossed.


For your files you can use a program like 'everyday auto backup' (it's free) to copy your files to an external harddrive or other computer on a schedule. Make sure you always have your stuff in two places, preferably in another building. So that if one of the devices crap out you still have your stuff.


This has helped me tremendously, as I have teens reinstalls happen frequently, so having 'the stuff' somewhere else is well worth the money.
The ultimate sollution is ofcourse running some kind of server in the shed, but then we are back to the money issue.

Windows home server has a range of good functionalities, and it's easy to set up.
 

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Use raid with 2 drives mirrored and if one crashes, the other has identical information. Of course this does not help viruses as both drives will have the virus.
 

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Buy one from Ralph Brades
 

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Files were backed up, but had to reinstall and setup every program from scratch


This is true when you buy a new computer anyway, so you need to keep those program CDs or back up downloaded install files.

I have a 360GB external drive for video and stuff, plus a 75GB portable that I carry my files around on (except the movies!) The big one came with an incremental backup software package, but it puts the files in some wierd format. Every six months or so I copy all my files to another folder on the same disk.
 

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Posted By Pete Thornton on 03/17/2009 10:16 AM
Files were backed up, but had to reinstall and setup every program from scratch


This is true when you buy a new computer anyway, so you need to keep those program CDs or back up downloaded install files.

I have a 360GB external drive for video and stuff, plus a 75GB portable that I carry my files around on (except the movies!) The big one came with an incremental backup software package, but it puts the files in some wierd format. Every six months or so I copy all my files to another folder on the same disk.

Check out everyday autobackup, incremental back up, but no weird format, stores files in 1/1, great for copying to another computer in the shed (like I do), some ways better than Raid
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Posted By Pete Thornton on 03/17/2009 10:16 AM
Files were backed up, but had to reinstall and setup every program from scratch


This is true when you buy a new computer anyway, so you need to keep those program CDs or back up downloaded install files.

I have a 360GB external drive for video and stuff, plus a 75GB portable that I carry my files around on (except the movies!) The big one came with an incremental backup software package, but it puts the files in some wierd format. Every six months or so I copy all my files to another folder on the same disk.

That's what we are doing now. In fact the C: drive is off limits in this family. Everything goes on the 250GB external.

My son's High School requires students to have a 2Gb or 4GB travel drive. All his school stuff is on that drive. He backs up frequently to another drive in case.


All the stuff folks store on computers now-a-days, tax records, banking records, other family paperwork. Having a driver crash is as bad as a house fire in that respect.

Learned my lesson


Bob
 

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It's no good though if the 250GB external goes dead tough...
Always keep your stuff in, at least, two places...
 

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It's also a good idea to check the backup/image whatever, after it's created and make sure that it's readable and accurate. It's a heck of a time to find out that your safety net isn't, when you are in dire need of it.
 

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While we are on the subject ...

If you have a disc camcorder with all that footage of your kiddies from year dot ...
You will drop it. It will bugger up. You will lose it all. No recovery. No one to blame !

BACK UP !

Andrew
 

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I back up to my basement server every night. I wrote a little cmd file to only backup stuff that changed since last backup. My basement server then backs up to an off-site server using a secure VPN. It's pretty crude, but it works. No compression, no encryption.
 

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On Rush Limbaugh they advertise a site called 'Kryptonite' or somesuch (you can tell how avidly I pay attention) but the attractive feature to me is, for ~$5/mo, everything's automatically backed up at the end of every day (Or however long.) As klutzy and wary of pressing buttons on my computer as I am, that sounds like a winner to me. Been debating it. Pros? Cons? It appears to be idiot proof, thus meant specifically for me.


How much do these external drives cost, and--well, never mind, I'd hire a guy to put it in. Screwing with this stuff makes me want a few beers before starting--and need several more after finishing. But it's my wife's computer that's got all the good stuff on it.

Or if some kind soul would detail what I'd need, so I could tell the guy what I wanted, I'd sorta appreciate it. External drive? Comes in its own housing w. own power supply? How could a virus that got into my main HD fail to slip right into the extra one? Or the same lightning bolt fail to zap both of 'em?

I always have the kids back up my yarns, but they're busy and I forget for far too long a time. They apparently write 'em onto a CD. Somehow, they don't overwrite one version with a later one.

Stuff like this upsets me. I will not go into a computer store and try to explain to those smirking youngsters what I want. I send a kid or my wife. Or get her to call the guy that built both our computers. He's a real pro, and his prices are just fine. He makes housecalls.
 

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Tom, I fixed your link to Mozy.. You spelled it wrong.. I know because they are based out of here and have billboards on the freeway looking to hire people... :)" align="absmiddle" border="0" /> I've also been looking at using them as a vehicle for offsite storage for MLS backups. It's actually quite affordable for a home user.. Up to 2 GB for free, then $.95 per month for unlimited... Business plans are priced based on the amount of storage you need.
 
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