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Back your data up folks!

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Sinister Angel, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. annielulu

    annielulu StraightShooter

    Mar 10, 2007
    Las Vegas
    I subscribe to For $55.00 per year they will back up your entire system and then continue to do so on a daily basis without you ever doing anything.

    If you lose your data you just go online with your new or fixed computer and download all your files to your new system.

    Cheap insurance.
  2. I use poor man's backup (which works pretty nice, actually). A simple batch file scheduled to run once a day, creating incremental backup on an external disk using RAR archiver:

    rar a -ao -ac -agYYYY-MM-DD -dh -hp1234567890 -k -m5 -r -t -ts -v1000000000b -ilogD:\backuplog.txt "Z:\Backup\Incremental .rar" "D:\Documents"

    Before that, I tried numerous commercial products such as Genie-Soft and Veritas. Some of them did not work at all, some of them worked unreliably, some of them contained annoying bugs making them useless, and none of them worked as good as the simple one-line batch file I quoted above.

  3. P.S. Another aspect of backup is data verification, which means making sure your files have not been modified by a hardware failure, a virus, or your mother-in-law. There is software that calculates the checksum of each file and warns you when a file has been modified or corrupted. The program I personally use is FastSum (
  4. pkn.glock23


    Apr 7, 2009

    Or having a Gun with no bullets? :whistling:
  5. bdc

    bdc Former Member

    Oct 12, 2003
    The best solution for me is to save entire images of my C: drive.

    Always try to save your data on a HDD NOT containing your operating system. That is where damage to your data is likely to happen.

    Programs that copy only the data you assign it to has always proved temperamental and undependable on my machines.

    I have used various versions of Ghost with varying satisfaction, however, Acronis True Image is exceptionally easy to use and (so far) bulletproof. Acronis creates a small partition running Linix to save your Windows systems, so if there are virus or Malware problems with Windows, Acronis is unaffected to correct the problem. Acronis can also work from you optical drive if you can't get your damaged machine into Windows.

    Although capable of saving data and your operating system on optical disk, the far superior method is to save images to an external HDD via USB or Firewire.

    I see 1.5TB Symantec external HDD at Fry's for $130 now days. That is a great deal to store both data and complete images of your computer. I have a couple 500GB units and like them very well.

    My best solution (which has saved my behind many a time) are the FREE versions of Acronis True Image, available from and known as DiskWizard or MaxBlast. You do have to have a Symantec or Maxtor drive somewhere on your system to operate this free software. If you double click on My Computer and a Maxtor or Symantec drive is listed anywhere, you can save images anywhere on the system. (Optical drives, external or internal HDDs of ANY manufacturer.)
  6. MavsX

    MavsX The Dude Abides

    Jan 19, 2009
    Arlington, VA

    I know this is an old thread. But i also subscribe to carbonite. I started doing it a few months ago. I just thought i'd mention that i've seen carbonite advertise christmas specials where you can get 3 year unlimited storage for like 100 bucks. 3 years! That's insane!

    Good work.
  7. MavsX

    MavsX The Dude Abides

    Jan 19, 2009
    Arlington, VA
    So I just thought i would add this. There is now a carbonite iPhone App. looks pretty sweet. I just downloaded it. Basically, you log into your account from the mobile device and you can access your backed up files(they are on carbonites servers), so you can just accessing a copy of the file. But, still...very sweet. access to any of your stuff from anywhere. great job carbonite!
  8. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001
    Heh.. Who needs backups... Live on the edge! :)
  9. glockfan5


    Jan 25, 2009
    I'm on Mac OS X, so I use Time Machine as my primary backup.

    Once a month, I clone my entire hard drive (around 500 GB of stuff) to 2 different hard drives. One of those drives is stored off-site and the other in my fire safe.
  10. anxietycoachjohn


    Nov 24, 2010
    Yeah. I have tried losing all my data and it was so frustrating. I have learned my lesson and I have always makes it a habit to backup any important files.
  11. hamster

    hamster NRA Life Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    I do a number of things to keep backed up. My primary machine is a Mac with a Time machine backup. Time machine uses my External Raid 1 enclosure... so everything is cloned across two disks.

    On the computer being backed up, I save all my files to my Dropbox folder. So every document, photo and video, Java code etc I work on goes into the dropbox folder. Dropbox not only syncs the contents of this folder, it also keeps a copy online and even keeps old versions in case I need to go back.

    Finally, I've just begun to use Crashplan, which is a service I can install on all my computers and my friends's/family computers to keep off-site backups. I'll be installing an external hard drive on my Dad's mac this weekend as an off-site target for my backups. In turn I'll be installing a drive for his backups on my machine as well.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  12. Fitch


    Nov 7, 2010
    My wife and I both have data it would be quite expensive to recreate on our PCs. Losing it isn't an option.

    I subscribed to CrashPlan a year ago after a close call with my DIY backup system using an external USB drive. CrashPlan allows me to back up any PC at this location, and my laptop where ever it is. My wife and I both have PC's with twin 500Gb drives connected as the C: drive in RAID 1. We also have an external USB drive. CrashPlan backs up the PC's to both their central server and to the USB connected drives. The CrashPlan SW is easy to set up (couple of minutes) and so far works perfectly. It is amazingly flexible. I can back up any PC to any other PC here or offsite or to any HD connected to any other PC here or offsite.

    The RAID 1 connection covers us for disk failures and prevents related data corruption. I've had 2 disk crashes in 5 years - the second one was what prompted the subscription to CrashPlan. I have a spare drive on the shelf ready to swap out. The disk controller SW takes care of updating the new drive to match the one that didn't fail over night. The USB drive covers us for op system issues or a virus. The off site backup covers us for things like lightening strikes or fires.

    Any backup scheme that doesn't automatically store a copy of the data off site is not complete coverage. The off site restore is slow, but it's a lot faster than trying to recreate the data and much more efficient that losing the data.

  13. gemeinschaft

    gemeinschaft AKA Fluffy316

    Feb 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I wrote a Batch File that I scheduled to run every night on my PC using the XCOPY command.

    Here is a sample that you can change to your liking
    REM Copies files from Laptop to Backup drive

    xcopy "C:\users\david\documents\work\*.*" "G:\Backup\work" /D/S/V/I/R/Y/J
    xcopy "C:\users\david\documents\personal\*.*" "G:\Backup\personal" /D/S/V/I/R/Y/J

    Simply write in the location of the data that you want to backup, in this case "C:\users\david\documents\work\*.*" and then edit the destination for the data, in this case "G:\Backup\work" with the command switches /D/S/V/I/R/Y/J

    For an explanation of what the command switches are, refer to

    It is important to make sure that your filepath to your backup never changes, otherwise your backup will fail.

    I have a shared storage device on my local network, so my destination looks more like "\\\c$\Backup\work"

    My backup server at home has a static IP address assigned from the router, to eliminate issues with duplicate IPs being handed out.

    Once you have edited your file to include the proper filepaths using Notepad, save the file as a .BAT and run it manually from the CMD prompt. This way, you can watch to see if there are any errors when you run it. Once you tweak your Bat file to run correctly, you should see the files being copied one by one. Run it again to make sure that the Bat file is skipping those files that already exist without changes since the last backup.

    After verifying that the Bat file is good to go, go to your task Scheduler and set a time when you want this bat file to run. This will allow you have your backups automatically.

    I hope this helps some of you. If you are like me, your data is very important to you.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  14. JJJJr Shabadoo

    JJJJr Shabadoo Doc

    Jan 23, 2011
    I use Carbonite as well. Local backup (external hard drives etc) are all good and well, but if there is some disaster (house fire etc) or theft, you're screwed. At least one backup solution MUST be off site. Whether that is an external hard drive you keep outside the home or an online backup solution.

    I've found carbonite to be an easy solution. After the initial backup (which can take a long time, just designate what directories you want backed up and everything is done in the background from then on
  15. I can't handle wires anymore. I am wireless all the way (well, mostly). I finally gave up using an external drive and subscribed to Carbonite for three years. There are downsides -- it took a week to do the first backup and presumably it will take another week should I lose everything and do it back in the other direction. But I sleep better at night and that's what counts.

    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  16. Gen4 Fan

    Gen4 Fan

    Aug 3, 2012
    Jumping in here -

    I use a program called "Casper". It makes an exact, bootable clone. You can even take files off the clone if you need to.

    Only the changes are added/deleted upon each backup.

    There are many options, but I can just plug a backup drive in and go - there is no difference.

    Note - Not ready for GPT disks yet.
  17. tech7311


    Nov 2, 2009
    I know this is an old thread, but I just wanted to mention that Glary Undelete is a great free file recovery program. You can also get external drives that have free backup and syncing tools, but because DVDs have such a longer shelf life I usually backup the really important stuff that way, too.
  18. W4CNG


    Sep 19, 2002
    In the Gun Room
    I also use Time Machine on my 2 Macs. No Windows machines in the house.
  19. Swampfox762


    Aug 11, 2014
    For me, the best "backup" has always been Norton Ghost, with the backup files stored on a External Hard Drive. In my case, it's a Seagate 1 TB Drive.
    Can't count how many times Ghost has saved my butt!! Bad Virus or Trojan? Literally, 25 minutes to back to complete normal.
  20. Gun Shark

    Gun Shark

    Aug 25, 2005
    I use shadow protect desktop 5 which backs up to my 3TB NAS.

    Sent from my iPhone using Ohub Campfire