Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/school/pc-maintenance-for-beginners/lesson5/
Imagine your home goes up in flames and all those memories and important moments are suddenly gone. You may mourn the loss of your house’s actual physical structure, but it’s the stuff that was inside of it that really mattered.
That said, I'd love some data backup advice. Reading the article now.
EDIT: Is it possible to access Google Drive via FTP? I find that more convenient than a separate client.
Should be noted that Google Drive has lowered their prices to $2/month per 100GB (as of yesterday!).
Can't go wrong with 10$/month/TB
Thanks, we meant to update that and forgot.
That's not bad. I've thought about using Google or Dropbox as a backup mechanism, but so far, I've been satisfied with my current solution.
My online backup (CrashPlan) costs me around $8/mo for unlimited storage, on which I have about 200GB. (Edit: there IS a smartphone app now to let me pull files remotely. Shiny!)
I've got a free 6-month sub to PogoPlug that I want to try out, but I'm not eager to do the weeks-long upload process again.
Speaking of which: Carbonite is bad news. It skips anything executable, doesn't upload ISO's by default, and will not upload some files under any circumstances. I think it's a way to prevent piracy, but their support dept is cagey about it, and the process to select those files for uploading is a pain. Having to manually select thousands of files for backup is not a sound strategy.
BT Sync is AWESOME! Free (if you've got a friend or two), although you can also use it to push files around your own machines if you've got multiple.
Install it on one machine and point it at a directory or two. You'll get a "secret" - essentially a long string of characters. Install it on another machine somewhere else (remember that friend?) and use the "secret" from the earlier step. Presto! All of your data starts copying across the internet. Bandwidth usage is configurable. You can install on multiple machines for multiple backups.
Runs in one of two modes "sync" or "read-only". In sync mode, if a file is changed on EITHER (or - if multiple - any) machine, it changes on all. Delete a file, it deletes on all. This is the best mode for keeping a folder in sync across multiple machines, like "My Documents" on a laptop and a desktop. The "read-only" mode means that one machine pushes changes, and the other can only get them (but not push changes back).
It also comes with Android, iOS, Mac, and NAS versions. On my phone, when I take a picture, it's backed up immediately at full quality back at home. My next step is to install copies on my distant relatives' computers and make a read-only backup on my machine.
Note that if you accidentally delete or corrupt a file (e.g., if MS Word crashes), the online backup application will automatically wipe out the backup copy. You need to do some manual backups to protect yourself.
Actually, keeping multiple versions of files is a common feature of proper online backup tools.
Here's Crashplan's page related to that:
To think that photos--memories--are kept on something as fragile as a flash-drive, or as small as memory card is truly horrendous. I remember when film was the medium and people had shoe boxes filled with photos and rolls of negatives.. Course, only a few of these pictures ended up in albums. I don't know that the medium for archiving photographs has improved with the computer. One still has to label the photo--Aunt Sally, aged 90, Bar Harbor-- But retrieveing those photos is still something of a task--no different than the proverbial shoe box. An external 1 terabyte hard drive seems best for long term storage. Not only for the present, but when the photographer has died and those pictures are of interest to relatives or descendents. If anything, the computer has made the memories even more fragile for there is no telling whether that hard drive will be accesible in 20 years, much less 50 years or 100 years.
I would suggest using at least 2 drives for this purpose. Remember that if there's only one copy, it's not a backup.
That's one reason I use the backup to hard drive feture on my backup software; it goes to a cloud service and to a local drive. This makes it much eaiser to recover a backup in case of a system failure, but still gives me the offsite storage in case my house burns down or my computer gets stolen. (Both have happened to my immediate family.)
I was interested to note that you moved Desktop to the D: drive.
That reminded me of an old, but in my mind unanswered, question.
If the system fails and we recover via an image restore of the C: drive -- what happens when Win7 attempts to boot and finds no Desktop for the default user?
The context of the question has to do with the well established notion of separating the OS and The Data for backup purposes. Then backing up the OS via System Image and the user Data with a file oriented regimen -- clearly the Desktop files are Data and should be handled with the rest of The Data.
There are pros and cons to doing that; the real problem I have with it is that a lot of people use partitions on the same drive to split out their data and OS... and then end up in trouble when one partition gets full; they have to then play the "space juggling game" and end up making a lot more work for themselves than they save by splitting the drive. It's also important to consider that your registry and some programs are actually part of your user profile; Chrome, for example, installs entirely in the User Data directory, not in Program Files. So really, the User Data directory on your PC is coupled enough to your OS that it should be considered part of that OS instance.
So back to the actual question: if you start your PC and there's no user profile for an account, the OS creates a default user profile. This is the same thing that happens when you create a new user account and log in for the first time.
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