Thursday, 19 November 2009

Backup, Backup, Backup

I have just rescued the Family's computer from an untimely demise.  It had managed to contract a virus and the hard drive refused to boot up.  Fortunately the music database was far to large at 110 Gb for the relatively small hard drive on the computer so it had been transferred to the backup hard drive (which had a trojan horse!).  There was nothing else on the hard drive that mattered which was lucky.  I had backed up all the old photos last year and the rest were on the external hard drive.  It is not the first computer I've had to rescue recently - only one could perhaps have had the data retrieved by slaving the hard drive.  Others might have had the data rescued by an (expensive) specialist but perhaps not even then.
Dawn Treader is having computer problems and I was delighted to read that she has not lost her wonderful photos because they were all backed up.

Asking around some friends recently I realised that virtually none had their data backed up.  I know I'm a bit OTT when it comes to backing up my photos and there are three backups - one kept off site with Pat, and two here with me.  There is also a copy on Palin (my laptop here) and Henry (the PC in Eagleton).

So can I remind all of you who have anti-virus software and think you are safe and who haven't backed up your data that  there are only three pieces of advice that matter: backup, backup and backup.


  1. And my computer also reminds me...I say, not now...not now...not now...but maybe I shall listen to this wonderful reminder from a human friend and do it immediately :)

  2. Thanks for the reminder. I've checked and I haven't done a back up since August - yikes! How time flies when you're having fun!

  3. Being an Edwards mine too is backed up thrice - one of them is held off-site like you. If the house burns down at least my photos will be safe. Similarly, Helen's photos up to October are backed up at my house.

  4. Well done GB, reorganised mine yesterday but back up daily to a memory stick and weekly to an external hard drive....The only problem.....Whereisit? Whatdidicallthefolder?

  5. In my worst ever example of data loss I simultaneously lost 5 copies of the data...

    My laptop (which I intentionally formatted)

    Two copies on a single external hard disc (The hard disc died when I was restoring the data to my laptop and I lost both copies - it could not be professionally recovered)

    I had a backup on DVD (which I have still not found to this day)

    and... A DVD with the customer (which they had lost)

    Backing up is essential, and the more reliable copies you have the better (none of my backups above were reliable).

    Syncback is a little complicated to set up, but it is an excellent tool for synchronising (making copies of) your data (and it is free)

    A simpler version is Microsoft's Sync Toy (also free), although if you have a lot of nested folders it sometimes fails - let me know if you need more details.

    Plug in your external hard disc, tell it to sync (or echo) the files and every change will be backed up - note that even changes where you have deleted files are synchronised. If you need to protect against this you may need some good backup software too.

  6. Yes, I'm very glad I've at least taken it as habit to always back up photos immediately (on a USB drive) in connection with transferring them from the camera. Still irritated with myself for being more lazy about also taking regular backup of PSP-edited photos and word documents. I do it every now and then but it was too long ago! But the photos already used on the blogs + a few more are also stored in my Picasa web album.

    I now also have all my digital photos on the laptop (and the older ones also on CD-R) + yesterday I copied them onto yet another USB flash drive so no I have two of those...

    Happy to say I also have all my music and audio books mp3-files on CD-R:s.

  7. Thanks for all the information Ian. I am going to explore the suggestions. I just uses plain Windows backup at the moment and also copy my photo files.

    I would expect nothing less from an Edwards, Scriptor, and Monica, you seem very organised too.