Monday, June 11, 2012

Backing up isn't so very hard to do....

[photo credit: cell105 via photo pin cc]

We've all been there....
  1. You forgot to save a file and your computer crashed or the power failed.
  2. Your hard drive failed and the last time you backed anything up was on floppies 5 years ago.
  3. You accidentally deleted a file or wrote over the original.

Those are just a few of the things that can happen. You try to remember to back up to CDs, DVDs, flash drives, smart cards and external drives. But if it isn't automated....yup, you're going to forget. And it will always be at a crucial time.

So what can you do? Well, there are external drives with software that automates your backups. That's a great start. I picked up a 600GB Maxtor One Touch drive at Sam's Club almost four years ago. It's automated and has saved my butt several times. But there are two downsides to this.

First, I've already run into an upgrade issue. When I installed the software on my new laptop, I found out Maxtor has been bought out by Seagate. Okay, that's not a bad thing, is it? Well, for this drive it is....they no longer support it and I can't get any updates (even though the website tells me there is one). I'll continue to use it until it fails.

Second, what happens if your home is destroyed - fire, tornado, hurricane, flood - you get the idea. What good is your on-site backup when both it and your computer are lost? None at all....

What I have done is sign up for on-line backups with Carbonite. I looked into several services,  , but liked the pricing and ease of use I found at Carbonite. You can try it free for 15 days, no credit card required. It's easy, painless and backups are done automatically in the background. [NOTE: If you use my link to sign up, you get an extra month FREE and I do, too!]

I've used it for over a year and wouldn't be without it. Oh, and the amount of data you want backed up? Unlimited. There are plans for faster backup speeds but for me, with about 100GB to be backed up, the basic $59/year plan is perfect. And yes, I have had to recover data....LOL!

Got any horror stories about losing data? How do you handle backups?


  1. I have backups on CDs and thumbdrives that are scattered throughout, left at the homes of friends and family (and even my locker at my day job) because I figure that not every place can burn down all at once.

    I also use a service called Dropbox that's online storage that I can access from any computer.

  2. We were just talking about Carbonite. Lots of folks have recommended it. I also ran into incompatibility issues with my external drive going to Win7. With my older Droid smartphone I used Backup Assistant for contacts. Backup Assistant Plus now adds data, music, documents, and photos but the cost sure adds up fast. Tomorrow's to do list -- change passwords and security content (see the link I posted on Facebook about avoiding hackers) and registering for Carbomite. Thanks!

  3. I copy everything important onto a pen drive.

  4. You bet!

    My wake-up call came when our family computer's hard drive crashed and we lost a gazillion bytes worth of precious family photos and correspondence. I took the hard drive to one of those data recovery services, but they wanted over TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS to extract the data. Didn't seem like it should be that hard since they diagnosed it as the controller card in the drive had gone out: no damage to the disk itself.

    I've always been good about saving my work as I go (always have auto-save turned on when available, but I manually save too) and it's in my weekly schedule to back up our entire home network (5 computers on a mixed Ethernet/wireless network) every week to a 1 terabyte external drive.

    I have considered using one of these on-line services, but have wondered about security for my business and financial records and bandwidth consumption. It IS a concern that the back-up drive is local and could be destroyed in a fire. The cost of a good fireproof safe would pay several years worth of on-line back-ups.

    Thanks for your advice... I'm more motivated now to actually try Carbonite.

  5. I always keep a back-up drive. That being said, a few years ago I still lost tons of photos when a system fried.

    These days I'm mostly concerned with keeping my unfinished manuscripts safe. At any given time I usually make it a point to have 3 to 4 copies saved using;

    2)Thumb drive
    3) cloud storage like Dropbox
    4) a (password protected) copy on my phone

  6. I totally love carbonite! I swear by it, it gives me real piece of mind :D

  7. How topical for me! Last week my laptop got dropped and the hard drive crashed. Thankfully most of my documents have been backed up on my flash drive...I re-backed up my entire 'My Documents' about a month ago...however I hadn't noticed the back up stop earlier this time (it was full), at the beginning of 2011's folder of family photographs, so everything after that is gone.
    I scoured Facebook and my Blog and retrieved copies of my most important pictures (phew) but a good 600 are still gone, as are three weeks of edits that didn't make it.
    Right now my daughter is trying to recover anything from the hard drive via a caddy (the drive is still firing and the files still appear on another computer, but we can't open them yet...)
    This is definitely making me think of all the options out there. Cloud, Dropbox, external drives, etc. I've bought an external hard drive as a first measure which I will transfer everything from my flash drive onto. But something online sounds useful. Hubby uses dropbox. I worry, like Doug, though about security...I like to have a something physical...but after this loss I will prob go for physical and ethereal (pun intended)!
    PS. Any advice on hard drive recovery is much appreciated!

  8. I forgot to mention (I just added it to the post), if you use my link to sign up for Carbonite we both get an extra month added on! Thank you... ;-)

    Another note, I use (like Dropbox) and it's great for sharing between computers and other people and a good backup for on the road. But I wouldn't put all my photos, music, writing, etc up there, even if I had the space. It's great for what its intended use though.

    The best approach to backing up is a multi-level approach, just like virus protection.

  9. I have a 64G flash drive that resides in my pocket so, if I'm not home, it isn't either. When the funnies say it is Sunday, I back up all my data to it. I don't backup my apps because I can re-download those. We also have a backup drive that resides in our car. The first of every month we back up everything to it. We've just started using the cloud and Drop Box as off site storage as well but we haven't gotten fully into that yet. I suspect I will before I head out on the road again, though.

  10. Data recovery service is the place where you can resolve from the physical creepiness into the media. Under this, the data recovery experts into manually check slate, replace the damaged parts & eventually lead the recovery.
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