Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Not Good

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    361

    Not Good

    It has not been a good week. My hard drive crashed on Thursday. Took it to a tech service place & they tried everything they could but to no avail. I could send it out to one of those data recovery firms but the cost would be $2-3K. That's no guarantee they'll recover, either. I was in the process of updating my backup procedures so I don't have recent backups of everything. I've got two businesses worth of data on there but I'm having trouble retrieving a lot of the files from my backups. The DVD they're on may be corrupt. One thing that I know is gone is all of the construction pictures of my shop and all of the pictures of my boy Sam since he was born. That hurts. I do have a backup of all photos as of August so that's good. All other personal stuff is gone. I can't even get my mind around all the stuff I've lost.

    Not looking for any advice here. Don't even know why I posted. If you depend on your PC as much as I do, be sure to have a good backup plan. And test your recovery process.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    The Heart of Dixie
    Posts
    4,265
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Bodenschatz View Post
    Not looking for any advice here. Don't even know why I posted. If you depend on your PC as much as I do, be sure to have a good backup plan. And test your recovery process.
    I can relate Rob. I did that once and I have read so many times of it happening to others. And I didn't think it cost anywhere near that to have data recovered?? Obviously they have gone way up in price then.

    OK, I hope that didn't mean you don't want any advice! Cause I have a little about backups. Maybe this will help someone else. I am extremely careful when it comes to backups. And I am extremely bad at remembering to do them. Then I found a way to that is painless and best of all, IT WORKS!

    Here is my method. First you need to download a program called Syncback. It's freeware. Second, since HD are so cheap, install a second drive in your computer. I use this disk for nothing but backup data on. (OK thats not exactly true but pretend it is so.)

    Syncback is a program that runs all the time on your computer. It is made for synchronizing two or more HD's and you can do many things with it, it is very customizable. I have it setup so that is creates an exact copy of the DATA ONLY on my main HD to the AUX HD. It does not contain the OS or any programs. Just my data/work files. Just so you know, it cannot make an exact copy of the drive. So you can not back up you OS and Programs with it.

    You can set the program to back up as often as you like. I think I have mine set to run every 15 minutes. After you run it the first time and copied all the data, it only looks for files that have changed since the last backup. So it's really quick and doesn't slow down the computer. I actually have several different backups scheduled to run at different times. Again the program is very customizable.

    The second part of my back up is my shop computer. I use it for surfing the internet and streaming music to my shop. It too has a large AUX HD in it. Syncback will work over a network so I have it set up to back up all the data to the AUX drive in the shop computer too. Now I have my data on three hard drives with two being strictly backups. If I loose my main drive, I still have to reinstall everything but I have all my data safety backed up. The odds of loosing all 3 drives at one time is very remote! And it's simply a matter of copying it back on the computer once bad drive is replaced and up and running again.

    As for a second computer there are lots of cheap slow computer out there. I was given this one cause it was old and had a problem. Most of us probably have a second one in the closet of kids room or something. Wireless networks are more and more common and it's not that hard to network two computers to share files.

    Yes, the second computer is probably overkill. But with HD prices at around $100-$120 for a 20 Gig drive and since you can probably pick up a comptuer for next to nothing I think the piece of mind is well worth it. If your in business like myself I think it a near perfect solution.

    Another solution that is ever better is RAID. I have never set up one up but as I understad it, you install two identical HD's in your computer. Connect them a RAID controller card you install and it will keep the two HD identical. If one crashes, you can still run off the second one because it is indentical to the one that crashed. With virtually no down time!

    Hope this helps someone.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  3. #3
    Hope all works out for you! I have a very good friend who is a tech I could ask him for help if you want.
    Beauty is only a light switch away!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    3,367
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post
    ... Yes, the second computer is probably overkill. But with HD prices at around $100-$120 for a 20 Gig drive and since you can probably pick up a comptuer for next to nothing I think the piece of mind is well worth it. If your in business like myself I think it a near perfect solution.

    Another solution that is ever better is RAID. I have never set up one up but as I understad it, you install two identical HD's in your computer. Connect them a RAID controller card you install and it will keep the two HD identical. If one crashes, you can still run off the second one because it is indentical to the one that crashed....
    (fair warning, this response is going geeky, techie, and probably rather non-Tod-friendly... )

    Jeff,

    1) This is NOT overkill. This is a sound plan.

    Having TWO methods of backup is a good thing. I personally know a fellow who lost about two months of work when his hard drive crashed. Did he back up stuff? Sure he did. He backed up to CD regularly. He even checked the directories on those CD's. But the CD drive was actually malfunctioning, and not writing any data, just writing the directory entries. He now has at least two, and maybe three, different ways of backing things up.

    2) RAID is NOT a backup method!!!

    Don't get me wrong. RAID systems are great, and I use them all over the place at work. But a RAID system is NOT a backup system. When you have RAID'ed or Mirrored hard drives, yes you can lose a drive without losing data. However, it does NOTHING to protect you against "oops I deleted the wrong file" or "oops I screwed up this document and I want yesterday's version" or "oops, this database has gotten corrupted". In a mirrored system you would now just have TWO copies of the messed up files.

    A RAID or Mirror system protects you against drive failure, it does not protect you against data loss.


    Me? I'm rather geeky. I have a homemade Unix shell script that runs on my work computer (A Mac, so it is running Unix). It backs up my personal files from my work computer to my home computer (using rsync) over the internet. It then backs up my personal files from my home computer to my work computer. Bingo. off-site backup. It is still not the best, as it is only one backup method. I still need to get a DVD burner at home sometime so I can burn discs there once in a while.

  5. #5
    Steve Clardy Guest
    I have double hard drives, and use X-copy to copy the first drive.

    I also have an external drive, with software, that backs up the whole system when I push the button.

    I've had so many crashes over the years I can't count them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Monroe, MI
    Posts
    470
    Some friends of us had a house fire which ruined their computer. I tried to recover the data from the hard drive, but it only worked for a couple minutes and their insurance wouldn't pay for data recovery.

    Since then I set my shop computer as the backup. Since it is in a separte building that helps if something bad would happen. I have a batch file that uses xcopy to make a complete copy of each of our "My Documents" folders as well as several other important folders. It also copies all of the new files from one folder that contains all our music, photos, downloaded software, etc. The batch file runs once a week, automatically.

    This saved me a few months ago when our hard drive crashed. I had the new one up and running with all our data restored in an evening.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    The Heart of Dixie
    Posts
    4,265
    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mulder View Post

    2) RAID is NOT a backup method!!!
    Good point! I have not used RAID and had not thought about those 'minor' details.

    Of course my system has a draw back too, if I mess up a file and don't catch it before the back up is made (10-15 minute intervals) I have a three bad copies. Of course my system is just really set up for a HD failure. I have recovered deleted file though. I did set it up so that deleted files are not removed from the backup disks just in case.

    One thing I do and I didn't go into is partition my HD's. Virtually none of my data is on the C drive. What is there is not something I cry over if it goes away.

    All my work files go onto one drive/partition and the personal stuff goes on another drive/partition. Then I can just back up the whole drive/partition at one time and not have to hunt out the files I want to save. Also make it simple to have the same files on say a laptop if I want to take it with me on a job.

    It takes some time to set up each program to save where I want but I have done this for so many years it just second nature to me.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    29,215
    Rob, is the bad drive visible to your computer, or is it so far gone that it's not showing up? If the drive's visible, but the files aren't, I can send you an undelete utility to see if you can get anything off the drive. No guarantees it'll be able to find anything, but it can't hurt to try. Let me know if you'd like to try it.

    My own backup strategy is better than nothing, but could use improvement. I use Drive Image to create images of various drives, so I can roll back to various points in time pretty easily.

    Like others have mentioned, I keep my operating system on one volume, and my data files on another. Both are on separate physical drives, and images of both are kept on multiple other separate drives. Disk drives are cheap. I think Jeff missed about 200GB when he was talking about $100 - $120 for 20GB. I was seeing prices of $0.50 to $0.85 per GB last I looked.

    My biggest shortcoming is that I have no off-site storage of backups (even in another room), but this thread has planted the seed in my mind as to the importance of doing that.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    361
    It's gone, Vaughn. I attached it to another PC as a slave & run some diagnostics on it but it's not readable. I took it to a tech service outfit and they said they tried everything they could but to no avail. They didn't open the drive up, though, so that may be my only option at this point. I need to decide if it's worth the money though. The good thing is that I was able to recover a backup from August so my Quickbooks files are back. From August. That's good because I need to do payroll for about 12 employees & it would suck if anything were to delay that. It won't, though. I'll get it done. My most recent backup was Thursday but it appears that the DVD it's on is corrupt. I have been able to get some stuff off of there. Like copies of all of my employees' paychecks. That'll help in the recovery.

    This has been extremely stressful. The stupid thing is, I know exactly what needs to be done to have a successful backup strategy. I am an application developer so I should know better. Problem is, I've been so busy lately that I figured it could wait. Apparently I was wrong. All the photos of my boy Sam are gone. At least I have video. The only shop construction photos I have are the ones I posted here. Can you guys keep an eye on them for me for a while?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    33.8736N, 117.7627W
    Posts
    435
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Disk drives are cheap. I think Jeff missed about 200GB when he was talking about $100 - $120 for 20GB. I was seeing prices of $0.50 to $0.85 per GB last I looked.
    Yup, looks like a zero got lost somewhere. My last disk purchase was about $90 after rebates for 300GB...and that was a year ago.
    Where are we going? And what am I doing in this handbasket?

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-10-2015, 03:38 AM
  2. bad for them good for me
    By Stephen Bellinger in forum General Woodturning Q&A
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 04-28-2011, 12:09 AM
  3. Good or Bad I did it!!!
    By Dustin Cranford in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 04-01-2009, 03:57 AM
  4. Any good uses?
    By larry merlau in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-29-2008, 12:40 PM
  5. good dog
    By Frank Fusco in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-23-2007, 07:26 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •