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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Any data "Back Up" suggestions please?


steve fuller

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Hey all

I often read about those unfortunate souls who have experienced crashes and loss of data & last summer I joined the gang when lost my entire PC to a burn out / crash, as well as a fair bit of data, so reorganised the way I back up etc. Apparently it did not cover ALL deficiences as something similar has just happened again, wen the disc caddy I use for my WW1 data was knocked over; although it only fell literally a few inches onto its side, it has killed it :( . As my back ups from the last two months do not appear to have taken, I only lost three months of updates but thats between 4-500 hours of effort which im not best pleased about ...

Hence, I am very open to alternatives to my current back up routines.

At the moment, I work on a Laptop for ease and flexibility, store all my WW1 data on a seperate Hard Drive within a disk caddy that carries JUST data and no programs, and back up onto CD's. The back ups take forever to do so I have been doing them monthly BUT the last two months have not taken for some reason, hence I have been transported back in time to January 2007.

Some of the data is not changed / updated so is OK on CD's as once its on there, that sit. However, some is updated as I go along, which is what I am thinking about backing up onto a Memory Stickf rom now on, as I am told they are quicker data transfer gadgets than CD burning.

Are there any preferrably inexpensive alternatives to using a USB Memory Stick, especially if the data transfer is quicker?

Oh .... damn and blast and other such stronger words <_<

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I find memory sticks pretty useless when storing photographs - they simply dont store enough. Also how do you store (and label!) memory sticks? I too would welcome some advice from an experienced computer guru as I too lost everything! some months ago :wacko:

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Buy an external hard drive of similar size to your PC or laptop: my FREECOM 120gbyte cost well less than £90, and comes with an excellent semi-automatic back up with lots of options.

As near instananeous as makes no diiference.

There is a marvellous range of sizes available.

No bigger than a cigarette packete, and needs no separate electricity: draws what it needs from USB port.

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Having lost most of my hard drive a year or so ago, my friendly local 'PC man' fitted my PC with two identical new hard drives linked by a 'Raid Card'. I am no expert, but apparently the entire contents of your working drive are continuously copied onto the other. The chances of both drives giving up the ghost at the same time are low (but knowing my luck...). The idea is that you can retrieve the lot from the secondary drive but I haven't got a clue how you do that!

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Raid is all very well but it does not address the backing up of data. An external hard drive or tape drive should be used, and media kept completely seperate from your pc (car boot, office at work) to negate the risk of data loss due to fire or theft of your PC.

Andy

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Having lost most of my hard drive a year or so ago, my friendly local 'PC man' fitted my PC with two identical new hard drives linked by a 'Raid Card'. I am no expert, but apparently the entire contents of your working drive are continuously copied onto the other. The chances of both drives giving up the ghost at the same time are low (but knowing my luck...). The idea is that you can retrieve the lot from the secondary drive but I haven't got a clue how you do that!

A proper raid setup in conjunction with a good backup discipline would cover you against most problems . As Max has said, it won't help if you have a fire or somebody nicks the box. In addition, you need a pair of SATA drives, so it requires an initial purchase of a pair of drives. I use an external hard drive which is connected whenever I feel I have something worth saving then disconnected and put away. In effect, I use it like a very big floppy disk.

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Buy an external hard drive of similar size to your PC or laptop: my FREECOM 120gbyte cost well less than £90, and comes with an excellent semi-automatic back up with lots of options.

That is the method I use although the Maxtor drive I have (seriously considering buying another one or two - to back up laptop and have one for data files only) came with something called Retrospect for backing up an entire disc with file structure. Windows, in theory could be restored from this and it gives one full control over which files are restored.

Retrospect I found none intuitive at first but having got to grips it seems a fair attempt at what can be a thorny issue.

Of course, one can eschew using a prog like that and just back up data files to it treating it like any other storage media such as CD or DVD.

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I have had two computer system crashes in two years. Each time I was able to re-acquire my data by my regular backup to a portable UBS hard drive and/or taking the hard drive to a computer company and having the data re-captured and re-installed on a new hard drive.

However, I did loose my email messages each time. The first time I did not have things set to archive my messages. Most recently (March 2007) the new MS email program on Vista would not permit my computer company to access my slightly older MS-Outlook files. This was a nice surprise.

Regarding computers and computer hard drives ... follow "Murphy's Law" with the proviso that Murphy was also an optimist.

Borden Battery

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With regard to storing data on CDs andDVDs.They appear to have a finite storage life. I myself have CDs which no longer work. These are about 10-12 years old. The jury is still out on the actual cause but it would appear sensible to transfer any vital stuff like holiday snaps every 5 years or so. Just to be on the safe side.

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Guest geoff501
With regard to storing data on CDs andDVDs.They appear to have a finite storage life. I myself have CDs which no longer work. These are about 10-12 years old. The jury is still out on the actual cause but it would appear sensible to transfer any vital stuff like holiday snaps every 5 years or so. Just to be on the safe side.

I would agree with this. There is a website somewhere that has this sort of advice (which seems to be ignored by the BBC who are burning DVDs at a great rate). Below is an especially bad example. The top CD is about 15 years old, but still plays. In this case the CD plant was using metal silver as the recording layer. Wrong place to get patina! The recording surface is near the UPPER surface of the disc, protected by a thin (10-20 micron) layer of laquer. A scratch on this surface is fatal. I have some data discs, not silver, that are also going yellow but generally there is no visible sign on an unplayable disc. They do seem to fail suddenly.

Chris's suggestion to use a website is not a bad idea. My ISP does daily backups of data. Ideally store your data on several devices. I would guess that CD and DVDs will be readable with difficulty in several decades as they will be old technology, so at least keep a paper record. Low tech and reliable if you don't have a flood , theft or fire.

post-4982-1176661102.jpg
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Store things wherever you want to.

However, as another back up, also open an account with something like googlemail.

This is free, holds a lot, and is not actually held on your computer.

Fix your computer/buy a new one and download your pics, info etc from gmail.

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Further to using an External Drive (&/or Raid connected twin Drives), you can also get get 'Pocket Storage Devices' (I have one that is 1.5Gb[1.2gb usable], that is only 21/4x25/8x3/8" (56x68x12mm) came in it's own Leather Wallet!

It is great for 'saving on the fly' & connects via USB (same as a Memory Stick).

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With regard to storing data on CDs andDVDs.They appear to have a finite storage life. I myself have CDs which no longer work. These are about 10-12 years old. The jury is still out on the actual cause but it would appear sensible to transfer any vital stuff like holiday snaps every 5 years or so. Just to be on the safe side.

This is absolutely correct and raises a disturbing issue for future generations.

Most of us have colections of old photographs as print, negative or transparency which will survive much longer than most of the digital images taken today. To be sure not all photographs from the past have been preserved but I would put money on fewer of today's images surviving 100 years or more as have many in the past.

Another issue, apart from CDs failing is the distinct probability of having workable CDs but no working kit to play them on as standards shift and technology is no longer supported. How many have Zip or SyQuest cartridges that can no longer be accessed?

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Thanks one and all :)

Looks like I will split my five or six Gigs of data into seperate "groups" and store it in various locations (external drives, CD's and any spare web space I have left) and as different levels, which is probably what I should have done in the first place :angry:

Again, thanks to all for your time. B)

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Steve.

I have just consulted My Brother (IT Techy, who have a similar problem to You a few months ago!).

He said that what He did was 'Open the Case' of the External Drive, and He found that it was the just a normal Hard disk!

So, He Installed it in one of His Shuttle Racks, And It Works! :rolleyes:;)

P.S.

He said Not All External Drives are made like this, so it will not Work for Everyone! (worth a Try though!)

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I run a "LACIE"250 gb self contained hard drive has it's own power supply cost 299 AUD conects thru usb

I drop the main h.d. on it weekly

Mike

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Thanks guys. I too have a techy brother who installed the HD into his monsterous desktop but it was dead as a do-do. He's looking at master something's and internal components for me in the next few days to see if anything is retreivable but is not holding his breath apparently. Thanks anyway! :D

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Steve.

If all else fails, (and You have Deep Pockets!) :rolleyes:

There are a few Data Recovery firms that could try & recover Your Data (for a Price)!

Data Recovery

This one(like most of them) has a 'NO-DATA NO-FEE POLICY', but charges @£190 If/When they are Successfull!

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Steve,

After suffering a crash a little while ago I now use an external hard drive. Easy to use and no more loss of then information stored.

Andy

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Steve,

With 5-6Gb of data this would comfortably fit on two (4.7Gb) standard DVDs which should not take too long to write (an external DVD writer?). Do this two or three times and store copies off site. I guess this is something you should repeat periodically. In between full back-ups you can take incremental backups by selecting only those files which have been created or modified since the last full back up. Windows explorer search should help identify the files concerned and such a partial back-up will not take so long (you might easily do this with a couple of memory sticks. Again, do not rely upon a single copy in a single location.

Good luck if you go down the data-recovery route.

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