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sunward

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Just got through one bad experience. Had a local power failure (raining all day - no snow) and everything went dark for about 10 minutes. Small flash lights came in handy.

When the power came back on, my main computer didn't. Just kept rebooting. Nothing worked. Panic! :y: And it seemed as if the hard drive was either fried or damaged. Couldn't get into safe mode, or do a recovery. Drive seemed blank.

After about 5 hours, finally was able to use the recovery but do a scan disk. Alive again.

Just the thought of having to rebuild the system, load everything, and get it working right drove me into a panic. And on Christmas day when everything is closed, everyone is off, and on Saturday, sales everywhere. Same for Monday.

Just the thought.

Feel better now.

Microsoft still makes crap.
 

Donaldsrockets

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Do you have a UPS (uninterruptible power supply)???

If not, you might want to look into one. They can be a real life saver. While they can be expensive depending on model but if you have to rebuild a system, that can be even more expensive.

I have an APC 1300 XS rated at 765 watts IIRC. It kicks in immediately during an outage and has saved my bacon a few times.;)

APC makes excellent UPS units and from reviews I read in the past, Cyberpower is good too.
 

gary7

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Now knowing first hand what can happen, you should be committing yourself to backing up your computer. You can do it your self or you can pay about $5/month for an online commercial site like Mozy or Carbonite to do it for you. Believe me, it's worth the money for my sanity and I have no fear of losing any thing.
 

sunward

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Donald - UPS - not the shipping company? :santa-smile: I did have one but the battery died and it kept shutting off the system. I think it is a good time to upgrade it.

gary7 - I do have a backup. I have a large Select Drive that I back up to. But just the thought of spending hours and hours to reformat the system, load windows, updates, then all the applications, and their updates, then transfer all the files over, and then customize it to what I like the system to look like would give you a panic attack.

But I think it is time to set up a dual hard drive with a raid ( setting it to act like a mirror ) for extra security.

I do feel better now.
 

m85476585

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The hard drive might not be dead.

I was working on a hard drive (trying to clean off a virus) in an external enclosure when the power flickered slightly. My desktop stayed on, but the drive in the enclosure lost power for a second. The drive was corrupted so bad that trying to format it on my Windows or Mac computer caused the computer to freeze or crash. I had to download the manufacturer's low-level format tool on a bootable CD and format with that. It also had a diagnostic tool that said the drive was still OK.

After a low-level format, the drive works fine and I am still using it now. Obviously the data was erased, but I had made a backup just before I started working on the drive.

I've though about modifying an ATX power supply to run all my external devices. It would be nice not to have individual power bricks for two hard drives, my router, my USB hub, my cellphone charger, and whatever else I have on my desk. I could also add some big capacitors to help with reliability and filtering. one of the reasons I haven't done this yet is because the hard drives use special power supply connectors, but I just discovered that one of them is S-video and one of them is PS/2, so I can cut up cheap cables instead of having to cut the ends off the power bricks.
 
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dragon_rider10

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Just an FYI about Carbonite, which I use to backup rocket videos and RockSim files (amongst more important stuff). I use them and just had an issue last month where HP formatted my laptop to repair a bad power adapter (??). I discovered after restoring all the rocket files and photos that the VIDEO is not backed up automatically. All rocket video (as well as much more important family video) was lost. You have to specifically tell Carbonite to back up each video file. They don't make this blaringly obvious when you set it up, so if you use Carbonite, make sure you tell it about your video. Otherwise it is a good service. All my photos and other information were restored beautifully.
 

Sandy H.

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Just a thought, as its what we do here.

Use your main drive only for computer related software etc. Use a physically separate drive for any and all data, whether business, pleasure, e-mail etc. Make sure no data at all is on the main drive. Once a week, day, month or whatever, mirror that data drive to a third drive. Also, whenever you do a major upgrade to software (i.e. add a new application, upgrade anything etc) backup the main drive, preferably to a fourth physical drive. With modern sata/esata drives, it is fast and relatively cheap. It has the advantage that you can be back at 99% of where you were by literally plugging in another drive and literally have minutes of downtime.

We are on this system due to my wife's (wow, still getting used to that word) business. We routinely spin 6 drives (up to 10) at a time for her video editing work and that is redundantly backed up on different physical media. for example, original raw footage is on a working drive, duplicated on the same brand/size of another drive and duplicated once more on a different brand drive which is stored off site. Once key edits are made, that is duplicated in the same way. In addition to this, the software basically has a 'script' where the script can be used to regenerate (render) the files again from the raw footage and the script (if I understand that part correctly, which may not be 100% true).

The bottom line is that we are covered from computer failure, theft, fire and most other concerns 99+%. True, if the raw footage gets damaged prior to transfer, we are in trouble (has happened also). In her business, the data is really important, so spending the extra hundreds of dollars is obviously worth it. It also makes it really easy to go back to a project from years before with a few drive swaps. Ours are hot swappable in quick change holders, but for a home application a couple of esata enclosures would be just fine. Also esata is fast enough to really work with, unlike USB, firewire etc.

We did research the RAID options, but for the best bang for the buck, just plain redundancy seemed to be the best solution.

Here are example components. Make your own decisions if you go this route and don't blindly follow what I'm linking to necessarily. These are just examples of what could be needed or used. Your system may vary. (Enough disclaimers???)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815342001&cm_re=esata-_-15-342-001-_-Product

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817173042&cm_re=esata-_-17-173-042-_-Product

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136320&cm_re=sata-_-22-136-320-_-Product

You'll also need some cables and screws etc, but you may already have some of that stuff.

FYI in case you hadn't thought about it.

Sandy.
 

sunward

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Everything is now running fine.

Looking at the problem and suggestions, I will do more than one thing to protect the data.

I will keep the current external backup and do regular backups to it. This will allow fast access on any computer without having to worry about hardware.

RAID system and a UPS.

I am also looking at a NAS (Network Attached Storage) or a server to act solely as a storage point.

Hopefully, everything should be protected or backed up in more than one location.
 

JRThro

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Just a thought, as its what we do here.

Use your main drive only for computer related software etc. Use a physically separate drive for any and all data, whether business, pleasure, e-mail etc. Make sure no data at all is on the main drive. Once a week, day, month or whatever, mirror that data drive to a third drive. Also, whenever you do a major upgrade to software (i.e. add a new application, upgrade anything etc) backup the main drive, preferably to a fourth physical drive. With modern sata/esata drives, it is fast and relatively cheap. It has the advantage that you can be back at 99% of where you were by literally plugging in another drive and literally have minutes of downtime.

We are on this system due to my wife's (wow, still getting used to that word) business. We routinely spin 6 drives (up to 10) at a time for her video editing work and that is redundantly backed up on different physical media. for example, original raw footage is on a working drive, duplicated on the same brand/size of another drive and duplicated once more on a different brand drive which is stored off site. Once key edits are made, that is duplicated in the same way. In addition to this, the software basically has a 'script' where the script can be used to regenerate (render) the files again from the raw footage and the script (if I understand that part correctly, which may not be 100% true).

The bottom line is that we are covered from computer failure, theft, fire and most other concerns 99+%. True, if the raw footage gets damaged prior to transfer, we are in trouble (has happened also). In her business, the data is really important, so spending the extra hundreds of dollars is obviously worth it. It also makes it really easy to go back to a project from years before with a few drive swaps. Ours are hot swappable in quick change holders, but for a home application a couple of esata enclosures would be just fine. Also esata is fast enough to really work with, unlike USB, firewire etc.

We did research the RAID options, but for the best bang for the buck, just plain redundancy seemed to be the best solution.

Here are example components. Make your own decisions if you go this route and don't blindly follow what I'm linking to necessarily. These are just examples of what could be needed or used. Your system may vary. (Enough disclaimers???)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815342001&cm_re=esata-_-15-342-001-_-Product

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817173042&cm_re=esata-_-17-173-042-_-Product

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136320&cm_re=sata-_-22-136-320-_-Product

You'll also need some cables and screws etc, but you may already have some of that stuff.

FYI in case you hadn't thought about it.

Sandy.
Sandy,

I don't run a business, so I don't use all of the backup/protection schemes that you suggest, but I do have all of our family's music and video files on two external Western Digital USB 2.0 hard drives (one 640 GB and 1 TB). Once in a while, I copy the 640 GB drive to the 1 TB drive to make sure we have two current copies of everything. I also keep all of my rocketry and space-related files on both of those drives. I've also got a 320 GB external USB 2.0 drive at work that contains a subset of the data that's on the two drives at home.

The only hard drive failure I've ever had on one of my personal computers was recently, on a several-year-old eMachines T3604 desktop that ran Windows Vista Home Basic. I lost all of the data on the drive, and fortunately it wasn't anything of any importance. I replaced that drive with a new 500 GB SATA drive and installed Ubuntu 9.10 on it. That's the computer that I'm using right now, in fact.

For a business, I would definitely be more rigorous about making backups, and more importantly, would make sure the backups were good and could be restored if needed. I used to work for a computer service company, and one of our clients needed to restore a backup at some point, but... there was nothing on the backup tape. :y: Not a good situation for a business to be in, to put it mildly.

Oh, and Sandy, congratulations on your recent marriage!
 

Peartree

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Just a thought, as its what we do here.

Use your main drive only for computer related software etc. Use a physically separate drive for any and all data, whether business, pleasure, e-mail etc. Make sure no data at all is on the main drive. Once a week, day, month or whatever, mirror that data drive to a third drive. Also, whenever you do a major upgrade to software (i.e. add a new application, upgrade anything etc) backup the main drive, preferably to a fourth physical drive. With modern sata/esata drives, it is fast and relatively cheap. It has the advantage that you can be back at 99% of where you were by literally plugging in another drive and literally have minutes of downtime.


FYI in case you hadn't thought about it.

Sandy.
Do you have a software product that schedules the backups for you? Does anyone know any good ones that aren't too expensive?
 

Sandy H.

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We don't do a 'backup' in the conventional sense where the data is compressed to another media. We literally duplicate the drive to another drive. Its done on Mac OSX and I don't think any special software was needed. I think there is a built in utility that allows an image to be created. She's the Mac guru, not me, though.

I bet there is something similar available on CNET or a similar site. The only place I use a tape backup is at my day job and it came with proprietary software with the 'benefit' of sometime not being able to restore. . .

Sandy.
 

rocket9005

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I use a program called SyncBack.

http://www.2brightsparks.com/freeware/freeware-hub.html

There is a free version that is not crippled. It backs up new files, or modified files to external drives, network drives or remote drives via FTP. It can zip the files into an archive, or mirror them as they are in the directories. It is very customizable, and so far it hasn't failed me yet.
 

JRThro

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I use a program called SyncBack.

http://www.2brightsparks.com/freeware/freeware-hub.html

There is a free version that is not crippled. It backs up new files, or modified files to external drives, network drives or remote drives via FTP. It can zip the files into an archive, or mirror them as they are in the directories. It is very customizable, and so far it hasn't failed me yet.
That sounds like something that almost all Windows users could use, no matter what setup they have.

Thanks for the link!
 
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