Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening  

Go Back   Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening > Welcome To The Wildlife Gardeners Forum! > Forum Feedback > Tips For New Members

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-21-2010, 02:08 AM   #1
Mentor
 
midwesternerr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: STLOUIS USA
Default Backing up Pictures

If you're interested in gardening or wildlife, chances are you care about your pictures. When you combine the two, chances are you'll acquire a lot of them! Backing up data is not quite as simple as it should seem. I'll go over a few things I've learned over the past few years.

1) You can never have too many backups!

You just never know when you'll notice a folder is not there anymore, and which backup was the last one that contained it, anyway? Just like hard disks fail, backup media fails too! I like to do regular DVD backups in addition to keeping a USB hard drive backup. I have had DVDs last for years and DVDs that failed after months despite being stored identically.

2) Is the backup software storing the data in a compressed format?

Compression allows you to store more in less space, but the problem is if it uses a proprietary format, you may have trouble restoring the data later if you should find you cannot reinstall the program that wrote the data due to losing the CD or it just won't load on a new computer with an updated version of Windows. Zip files have disadvantages too. A corrupt zip file can cause you to loose all your data, while perhaps a corrupt picture of two might not have been a total loss if the pictures were not stored in a container file. Windows XP's NTBACKUP utility creates files that will not restore on a new computer without first recalculating the index. This can cause people to think their backup is corrupt. I find simpler is often better, and store most my files uncompressed and as is on backup media.

3) Verify the data

Does the DVD or other media show up fine on another computer? In other words, wIll you be able to restore it if you need to? Another important step is to verify the number of files and size of the data you copied. By highlighting the folder(s) you backed up and hitting properties you can see this information and compare it to the backed up data. Try to open a couple of files on a different computer and verify everything comes up OK.

4) Label the backups and organize a storage area

Ops! Where'd those backups go again? A sharpie is good to label DVDs with. They can be stored in old spindles or specially made CD/DVD storage boxes. It's best to have one offsite backup in a relatives safe or somewhere in case of a fire.

5) Online backup services

In addition, some people like to have an online backup system such as Carbonite running. Make sure you know how to tell which folders it has backed up. Some are ommited by default.

Some other online or network applications may have quirks such as only backing up so many folders deep. I ran into this unexpected problem with a certain build of ssh. As a result I now use fairly short file names (so I don't run into problems with DVD burning) and keep the maximum depth of subdirectories down pretty low.
midwesternerr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2010, 02:17 AM   #2
Fox
 
Calliandra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Default

Good summary, and timely considering that storm season is starting (for some of us at least). Thanks for posting!
Calliandra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2010, 10:52 AM   #3
WG Staff
 
Staff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Default

What about that seagate replica product?
__________________
The tendency of man's nature to good is like the tendency of water to flow downwards.
-Mencius
Staff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2010, 07:32 PM   #4
Mentor
 
midwesternerr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: STLOUIS USA
Default

I've never used it. From the ad it seems like a good way to do a base backup of a PC. The thing I dislike about it seems like you are then relying on a single backup of the system on a single backup media. Perhaps, the system allows you to have multiple backups stored by date or something, I couldn't really tell. I'm also not sure how it stores the data. If it stores it in a properietary container file or compression system, then you could possibly have problems restoring the data to a different machine later if the software doesn't load on that system or those things could mean a small corruption ruins the entire data set. It's something I look into before I implement any backup system now.

I like to have various backups from different times say a backup from a year ago, from 6 months ago, and from 3 months ago in case I notice something is missing and I am not sure when it went mia. I also like to have multiple media (say two usb drives or a usb drive and DVD) rather than relying on a single media. I don't really worry too much about backing up the system itself, although it is certainly handy to do so, but I focus more on the data.

Specifically, here are some applications I've used:

Second Copy: This does a good copy of doing exactly what it says... it makes a copy of your information wherever you tell it too... to another machine, to a usb hard drive, etc.

SSH: I've had some issues with certain fedora build of this. It's great because you can transfer data over an encrypted, passwordless channel but like I said I had some issues with it not keeping everything sync'd quite right.

NTBACKUP: Works pretty well but it does store files in a container file. If the container becomes corrupt, you may lose everything. Also when you restore to a different machine you will get an error and it will refuse to restore your data unless you recalculate the index. It comes with all versions of XP I believe.

Veritas Backup: This is usually used for tape drives. As far as I can tell it works pretty well, but I think I've only done one restore with it.

Copy and Paste: This is really an overlooked method. It's pretty easy to copy and paste something and then check the properties to make sure it all copied successfully. There is also a command line copy command.

Clonezilla: I had some issues with this. If the hard drive has bad sectors, this program just cannot deal with it. I personally do not trust this software.

Acronis: This program is similar to clonezilla in that it copies an entire hard disk or partition. However, I find acronis will usually work even if the drive has some bad sectores and that its backups are more reliable.

Hardware Disk Mirroring: This works pretty good because when a hard drive goes out, you can just replace it and all the data is still there (hard disk failures are common). Unfortunately, it's not a total backup system because it doesnt keep a series of data copies in case something got deleted or modified a while back and you need to retrieve it. I also never trust all my data in a single spot.
midwesternerr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2010, 11:38 PM   #5
Official Plant Nerd
 
Equilibrium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Default

I ended up liking Mozy better than Carbonite. We had Carbonite and swore by it until we tried a test run "restoring" data and found out that they weren't automatically backing up everything like we thought they were. We were supposed to be making filesets or something for what they didn't pick up. That's a problem when you're not computer literate and can't figure out what they're not backing up and don't know how to tell Carbonite what they missed. That Mozy goes in and saves everything. I don't know about the replica. We bought it but it's sitting here in a box just like the bamboo is. One thing's a for sure problem.... no back up is good sitting in a box.
__________________
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
Equilibrium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2010, 09:16 AM   #6
Mentor
 
midwesternerr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: STLOUIS USA
Default

I noticed Carbonite doing that also. I know by default it was skipping any files it thought were not important like files in the music folder and office temp files. I don't remember what it looks like but it does put some kind of color or something on files to let you know if they are being backed up. I'll have to check out Mozy.
midwesternerr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2010, 10:35 AM   #7
WG's Mr. Tomato Head
 
WG Admin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Default

The replica does one thing- it backs up your entire Windows PC. Register the product and you'll have free tech support for 30 days. My wife did it on her own.
__________________
"If gardening isn't a pleasure for you, chances are the work will merely give you a rotten disposition. If you'd rather be golfing or fishing, get a bumper sticker that says so, and forget gardening."
Elsa Bakalar
WG Admin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2010, 07:14 PM   #8
Unicellular Fungi
 
TheLorax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Default

It is indeed encouraging to learn that even women are able to use this product.
__________________
"In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; we will understand only what we have been taught."
-Baba Dioum, Senegalese ecologist
TheLorax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 12:49 AM   #9
Official Plant Nerd
 
Equilibrium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Default

Yes!!! Even wives can use them!!! This replica works. I can't believe they don't sell millions of them. If you have a lot of photos it's going to take at least a day for it to run and longer if you want to use your computer while it's backing up. We started it then took off for the weekend. We came back and popped in a new hard drive then popped in the cd and let it rip for a day and a half. We took it out and my jaw dropped. I turned on the computer and it was a double of everything on the other hard drive. We're talking a double. All the programs all the e-mails all the photos all the passwords all my favorites.... EVERYTHING. This isn't only data like what carbonite and mozy do. If your house burns down this isn't the best type of back up but.... it's a good back up for somebody who wants a shake n bake approach to backing up a whole computer. I put the old hard drive back in. The new one goes into another computer. All I wanted to know is if this seagate thing worked since I saw some mixed reviews from experts. The people like me using it are loving it. The experts have better ways that are probably cheaper. Only a couple problems with it. You can only buy a 250 or a 500. One of our computers is a 1T. They're gonna have to come out with a 1T and they don't have one yet. The other thing is there are a few questions after you plug it in that were confusing to me but straight forward after I thought about it. Call them up... they tell you how to answer the questions.... then let it rip. It does it's own thing without you and then when it's done you call them back and they tell you what to do and then you let it rip again. You could use your computer while it's backing up the first time but you can't use it until it's done transferring to a new hard drive. Once you all done... it backs up while you use it so you never have to go through that again.
__________________
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
Equilibrium is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
backing, pictures

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:43 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2