Fundraising complete, next renewal is August 2022. Paypal Donation Links US dollars CDN Dollars

I need a backup solution!

For general computer discussion & help, come here

Moderators: EvilHomer3k, Bakhtosh

User avatar
Holman
Posts: 26398
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: Between the Schuylkill and the Wissahickon

I need a backup solution!

Post by Holman »

All the time I've been on computers, the only backup I've ever used has been loose floppies or CD-ROMS. Now I think I need a solution for regular, full backups of everything I've got going, but I don't know the first thing about it. Please advise!

Questions I have:

1) This is for a Desktop Win 7 PC. What should I buy?
2) How does it work? Is it like an external hard drive or what?
3) How does it know what to copy over? Do I have to manually tell it what to preserve, or does it keep a whole copy of my internal hard drives, or what? (As you see, I know nothing.)

The Crisis:

Besides realizing for a long time that I really should have better data protection, I just had the experience of my computer not recognizing my second hard drive (where I keep games and everything else important) when it booted up. On a reboot everything is fine, but should I take this as a sign that my second hard drive is about to fail?

Thanks!
Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.
User avatar
Zaxxon
Forum Moderator
Posts: 25610
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:11 am
Location: Surrounded by Mountains

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Zaxxon »

I would get an external drive and set Windows Backup up to back your junk up to that drive, and I'd also highly [highly] (very highly) recommend an online backup. I use BackBlaze and have been happy with them. It's $5/mo for unlimited data coming from one PC, and the backup agent is lightweight and doesn't impact your system's performance significantly.

Carbonite and Mozy are other options that have solid followings. I also like JungleDisk if you have a relatively small amount of data--more control but you pay by the GB.
User avatar
Jag
Posts: 14402
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:24 pm
Location: SoFla

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Jag »

Crashplan user here. The only data I am truly worried about is my 30+GB of kid's pics/movies. My concern with an external HD is if something happened to my house (fire, theft, etc). I bit the bullet and installed crashplan and it's been fairly seamless and easy to use. Realtime and unlimited backups. Cost is about $50/year. With everything else stored, I currently have 61GB stored and I NEVER give backups a second thought or mess around with hardware.
User avatar
Zaxxon
Forum Moderator
Posts: 25610
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:11 am
Location: Surrounded by Mountains

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Zaxxon »

Yep, I can't imagine not having an online component to my backups. External HD only protects you from a small subset of the problems you can hit. I've got 105 GB on BackBlaze with no issues.
User avatar
Kasey Chang
Posts: 19644
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 4:20 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA
Contact:

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Kasey Chang »

I personally have a WD MyBook sitting on my desk. It's USB3, but backwards compatible with USB2. It's 1.5TB, so it'll backup multiple PCs, and it has its own backup program, the WD Smartware, which backs up by file type.

You can always use your own backup app. With something like Box.net's 50 GB offer (to all Android users) you can backup a lot of stuff there too.
My game FAQs | Playing: She Will Punish Them, Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius, The Outer Worlds
User avatar
RunningMn9
Posts: 23868
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:55 pm
Location: The Sword Coast
Contact:

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by RunningMn9 »

I was a long time Mozy customer but had to jettison them when they tried to increase their rates by 500% for me. Since then, I've been using Crashplan. For a basic scenario, where you want to back up everything in one system, the Crashplan software is free.

You get an external HD that holds more data than is in your PC, install Crashplan, select all your internal drives, and tell it to use the external drive, and you're done.

If you want to get more selective with your backups (defining multiple backup sets that get backed up to different locations), or if you want to backup to the cloud, you pay. I've got about 400GB of data that is being pushed to their servers at the moment.

The other handy feature of Crashplan is that if you want offsite protection, and you don't want to pay for it - you can do that. You just need a friend that uses Crashplan, and you can then backup to each other's system. A friend of mine backed up his PC to an external HD and then just gave me the HD. I hooked it up, and now his computer automatically backs up to mine. Much more convenient (and cheaper) than backing up to the cloud, although not quite as reliable.
And in banks across the world
Christians, Moslems, Hindus, Jews
And every other race, creed, colour, tint or hue
Get down on their knees and pray
The raccoon and the groundhog neatly
Make up bags of change
But the monkey in the corner
Well he's slowly drifting out of range
User avatar
Ariana_FFD
Posts: 222
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:30 pm

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Ariana_FFD »

I use externals, i have 5. But most of my programs i have on disk. Just in case i have to reload windows. In the 3D world of rendering piracy is and always has been an ongoing issue, so going to an outside company for data storage i honestly never considered. I just might check these out.

Although not the best technical person here i am sure, have you tried to do scandisk with the repair features checked? I use Win XP Pro at this moment, so i don't know if Win 7 has the same type tools for disk clean up. But my tera-byte drive did just this as yours is doing, and scan disk fixed whatever it was. Then i put it on an external. Sounds simple but often the simple things slip our minds.

However it goes i wish you luck.

Ariana
poof!
User avatar
Holman
Posts: 26398
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: Between the Schuylkill and the Wissahickon

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Holman »

Thanks for the advice, everyone! I am investigating.
Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.
User avatar
RunningMn9
Posts: 23868
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:55 pm
Location: The Sword Coast
Contact:

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by RunningMn9 »

Ariana_FFD wrote:I use externals, i have 5. But most of my programs i have on disk. Just in case i have to reload windows. In the 3D world of rendering piracy is and always has been an ongoing issue, so going to an outside company for data storage i honestly never considered. I just might check these out.
In the services I've used, the data is heavily encrypted on your machine before it hits the intertubes. If you use a private decryption key, the service you are using can't decrypt the data, even if they wanted to. 256-bit encryption is no joke.
And in banks across the world
Christians, Moslems, Hindus, Jews
And every other race, creed, colour, tint or hue
Get down on their knees and pray
The raccoon and the groundhog neatly
Make up bags of change
But the monkey in the corner
Well he's slowly drifting out of range
User avatar
Carpet_pissr
Posts: 16206
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:32 pm
Location: Columbia, SC

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Carpet_pissr »

This is one area where I have really failed in the past few years. I used to back up to CDR's. Then I tried Acronis software, to an external.

Currently I back up to an external solely dedicated to backups. As a back up to that (fire, theft, flood, etc), I back up to a WD Passport drive (extremely small and portable) which I take to my office. Problem is I don't do this NEARLY often enough, and long for something completely automatic and lazy proof. I even considered creating a Windows Home Server box for that very reason, but never got around to it.

Shoot me, I'm lazy. :coffee:
User avatar
Zaxxon
Forum Moderator
Posts: 25610
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:11 am
Location: Surrounded by Mountains

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Zaxxon »

Carpet_pissr wrote:I back up to a WD Passport drive (extremely small and portable) which I take to my office. Problem is I don't do this NEARLY often enough, and long for something completely automatic and lazy proof. I even considered creating a Windows Home Server box for that very reason, but never got around to it.
This is exactly why you need an automatic online backup. There's just no substitute.
User avatar
Carpet_pissr
Posts: 16206
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:32 pm
Location: Columbia, SC

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Carpet_pissr »

Zaxxon wrote:
Carpet_pissr wrote:I back up to a WD Passport drive (extremely small and portable) which I take to my office. Problem is I don't do this NEARLY often enough, and long for something completely automatic and lazy proof. I even considered creating a Windows Home Server box for that very reason, but never got around to it.
This is exactly why you need an automatic online backup. There's just no substitute.
Agreed...for me. I am sure the at-home external back up + off site external system works for Type A people, or the very organized/sensible.

So I am looking at the Backblaze site. Are you concerned about the company being around in 5 years? Just wondering if it would be better to go with the largest player in the space (I have no idea who that is...Carbonite maybe?), but I would imagine that should any of the smaller companies fail, their client base/assets/accounts would be bought up by one of the bigger companies. One would hope.
User avatar
Zaxxon
Forum Moderator
Posts: 25610
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:11 am
Location: Surrounded by Mountains

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Zaxxon »

Carpet_pissr wrote:Agreed...for me. I am sure the at-home external back up + off site external system works for Type A people, or the very organized/sensible.
Sure, it can work OK. But it's never going to be a replacement for something like BackBlaze--you're not going to get every previous version of files for X days, immediate off-site backup right after creating a file, etc with a simple off-site HDthat you manually create yourself every X days.
So I am looking at the Backblaze site. Are you concerned about the company being around in 5 years?
Not particularly. I use them just as a backup--if they go belly-up, I'll have my data on a competing platform in a matter of days (and would immediately have a local backup in the meantime).
User avatar
Carpet_pissr
Posts: 16206
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:32 pm
Location: Columbia, SC

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Carpet_pissr »

Zaxxon wrote:
Carpet_pissr wrote:Agreed...for me. I am sure the at-home external back up + off site external system works for Type A people, or the very organized/sensible.
Sure, it can work OK. But it's never going to be a replacement for something like BackBlaze--you're not going to get every previous version of files for X days, immediate off-site backup right after creating a file, etc with a simple off-site HDthat you manually create yourself every X days.
So I am looking at the Backblaze site. Are you concerned about the company being around in 5 years?
Not particularly. I use them just as a backup--if they go belly-up, I'll have my data on a competing platform in a matter of days (and would immediately have a local backup in the meantime).
Good points, both. I am convinced. Online it is.

Way to blow $200 on unnecessary external drives recently, CP!
User avatar
Zaxxon
Forum Moderator
Posts: 25610
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:11 am
Location: Surrounded by Mountains

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Zaxxon »

Carpet_pissr wrote:Way to blow $200 on unnecessary external drives recently, CP!
You can never have too many backups. :)
User avatar
Ariana_FFD
Posts: 222
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:30 pm

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Ariana_FFD »

RunningMn9 wrote:
Ariana_FFD wrote:I use externals, i have 5. But most of my programs i have on disk. Just in case i have to reload windows. In the 3D world of rendering piracy is and always has been an ongoing issue, so going to an outside company for data storage i honestly never considered. I just might check these out.
In the services I've used, the data is heavily encrypted on your machine before it hits the intertubes. If you use a private decryption key, the service you are using can't decrypt the data, even if they wanted to. 256-bit encryption is no joke.
OK, so there is no way my programs will be compromised by a hacker, or hi-jacker? Not being too familiar with this, if this is the case i would feel very secure then.

ThanX for the info!
Ariana
poof!
User avatar
Enigma
Posts: 401
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2004 8:02 pm

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Enigma »

To those using crashplan, can you answer a question?

On the crashplan site, it says that you can store UNLIMITED data from 1 Computer for $3/month. Is that the total price? Are there other fees? It seems like a great price. Almost hard to believe. I'm looking for the catch.
Now Playing:
XCOM, Huge backlog in the wings thanks a lot Steam!
User avatar
Jag
Posts: 14402
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:24 pm
Location: SoFla

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Jag »

Yes and no. The price is under $3 if you buy a 4 year plan. For a 1 year to year it's $49 which is what I did.

Check out the pricing options.
User avatar
RunningMn9
Posts: 23868
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:55 pm
Location: The Sword Coast
Contact:

I need a backup solution!

Post by RunningMn9 »

I haven't seen any hidden fees. I have the family unlimited plan, and the price they list is what I pay.
And in banks across the world
Christians, Moslems, Hindus, Jews
And every other race, creed, colour, tint or hue
Get down on their knees and pray
The raccoon and the groundhog neatly
Make up bags of change
But the monkey in the corner
Well he's slowly drifting out of range
User avatar
Carpet_pissr
Posts: 16206
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:32 pm
Location: Columbia, SC

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Carpet_pissr »

I just signed up for Crashplan because I like the upload to cloud PLUS backup to external drive option (although to be honest, not sure how much I will be doing that now)

Signed up for the 2 year plan for some savings.

Should have done this 2 years ago...I can't tell you the weight that has been lifted from my mind, knowing that all my shit is in a constant state of backup protection. It's been weighing on my mind for a long time, the more pictures and videos of my family I store.

Thanks, all in this thread, not only for suggestions, but also for the impetus to get me to go ahead and do it.
User avatar
RunningMn9
Posts: 23868
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:55 pm
Location: The Sword Coast
Contact:

I need a backup solution!

Post by RunningMn9 »

Speaking for me, I have about 400 GB to push to the cloud (or to retrieve if my pc goes belly up). You'll find that a local backup really speeds that up. Locally I can backup/restore that data overnight. It takes months to move that much data to/from the cloud (without paying for drive seeding).
And in banks across the world
Christians, Moslems, Hindus, Jews
And every other race, creed, colour, tint or hue
Get down on their knees and pray
The raccoon and the groundhog neatly
Make up bags of change
But the monkey in the corner
Well he's slowly drifting out of range
User avatar
FishPants
Server WhOOre
Posts: 4581
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 1:38 pm
Location: Canada

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by FishPants »

Can you throttle crashplan on the upload like Mozy? I ditched Mozy because of their ridiculous cost increases, but really should get a family plan going.. I'm ok with a 2-3 month seed to the cloud, but if I can't throttle it I'll have my ISP up my ass in no time.
No.
User avatar
Carpet_pissr
Posts: 16206
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:32 pm
Location: Columbia, SC

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Carpet_pissr »

FishPants wrote:Can you throttle crashplan on the upload like Mozy? I ditched Mozy because of their ridiculous cost increases, but really should get a family plan going.. I'm ok with a 2-3 month seed to the cloud, but if I can't throttle it I'll have my ISP up my ass in no time.
Yes...I adjusted my upload speed to be painfully slow. It took about 2 or 3 days to upload...but now I am feeling mighty fine, as now it just needs to do minimal, incremental uploads as I add files.
Last edited by Carpet_pissr on Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
FishPants
Server WhOOre
Posts: 4581
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 1:38 pm
Location: Canada

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by FishPants »

I think my wife has around 300gb of RAW photos she needs backed up.. With Mozy my ISP put me in the penalty box for letting it rip after a week or so. I think I'm looking at a 2-3 month windup without anyone getting pissy.

In the meantime I'll shove one of my many external drives on her PC for a local backup.
No.
User avatar
Exodor
Posts: 16834
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:10 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Exodor »

Zaxxon wrote: Sure, it can work OK. But it's never going to be a replacement for something like BackBlaze--you're not going to get every previous version of files for X days, immediate off-site backup right after creating a file, etc with a simple off-site HDthat you manually create yourself every X days.
Backblaze offers unlimited storage for ~$4 a month?

I assume that's a for a single PC?

Right now I've got a "media pc" that has ~200 GB of video and backups of all my music and photos. I presume I could throw Backblaze on it and it would backup everything?

Seems...cheap.
User avatar
YellowKing
Posts: 27978
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 2:02 pm

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by YellowKing »

I recently signed up with CrashPlan as well. I like it. The peace of mind is well worth it. I had stuff backed up to an external drive but I've had two previous bad experiences with external drives so I was always very nervous about it.

I just cranked the upload to unlimited. If my ISP screams I'll tell them to drop my prices and then I'll drop my bandwidth usage. Until then, suck it Trebek.
Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+ Ally
User avatar
Carpet_pissr
Posts: 16206
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:32 pm
Location: Columbia, SC

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Carpet_pissr »

Exodor wrote:
Zaxxon wrote: Sure, it can work OK. But it's never going to be a replacement for something like BackBlaze--you're not going to get every previous version of files for X days, immediate off-site backup right after creating a file, etc with a simple off-site HDthat you manually create yourself every X days.
Backblaze offers unlimited storage for ~$4 a month?

I assume that's a for a single PC?

Right now I've got a "media pc" that has ~200 GB of video and backups of all my music and photos. I presume I could throw Backblaze on it and it would backup everything?

Seems...cheap.
Actually, after I did some shopping around, most of the online solutions, if you factor in a year or so, come out to about that same rate (within the $50-$60 window. I was surprised at the consistency of the pricing considering the number of vendors.
User avatar
coopasonic
Posts: 18826
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:43 pm
Location: Dallas-ish

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by coopasonic »

Before I sign up is there some referral benefit for crashplan? I'll be trying it out.
-Coop
Black Lives Matter
User avatar
Zaxxon
Forum Moderator
Posts: 25610
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:11 am
Location: Surrounded by Mountains

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Zaxxon »

Carpet_pissr wrote:
Exodor wrote:
Zaxxon wrote: Sure, it can work OK. But it's never going to be a replacement for something like BackBlaze--you're not going to get every previous version of files for X days, immediate off-site backup right after creating a file, etc with a simple off-site HDthat you manually create yourself every X days.
Backblaze offers unlimited storage for ~$4 a month?

I assume that's a for a single PC?

Right now I've got a "media pc" that has ~200 GB of video and backups of all my music and photos. I presume I could throw Backblaze on it and it would backup everything?

Seems...cheap.
Yep, they're all in the same ballpark. It is cheap for geeks like us that have hundreds of GB of stuff. I think they're hedging on the fact that the overall average will be much (much) lower than that. Also, if you need to restore that huge amount of stuff in a hurry, they make a pretty penny providing it on an external hard drive.
Actually, after I did some shopping around, most of the online solutions, if you factor in a year or so, come out to about that same rate (within the $50-$60 window. I was surprised at the consistency of the pricing considering the number of vendors.
User avatar
coopasonic
Posts: 18826
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:43 pm
Location: Dallas-ish

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by coopasonic »

I'm now a crashplan customer.

Conundrum for the nerds on password. I use KeePass for password management so my passwords are basically unrememberable (is that a word). In case of a data loss, I won't have my password. Where can I back up my KeePass database so I can find it when I need it? I think I'll start a new topic about KeePass smartphone apps...
-Coop
Black Lives Matter
User avatar
Anonymous Bosch
Posts: 9547
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:09 pm
Location: Northern California [originally from the UK]

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

coopasonic wrote:I'm now a crashplan customer.

Conundrum for the nerds on password. I use KeePass for password management so my passwords are basically unrememberable (is that a word). In case of a data loss, I won't have my password. Where can I back up my KeePass database so I can find it when I need it? I think I'll start a new topic about KeePass smartphone apps...
I use Keepass with a free Dropbox acct, that I have set up with a diceware password (which is very secure, yet pretty easy to remember).
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster
User avatar
RunningMn9
Posts: 23868
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:55 pm
Location: The Sword Coast
Contact:

I need a backup solution!

Post by RunningMn9 »

I use keepass and store the file in Dropbox. I also use the KyPass app on iOS, which syncs to my Dropbox account, so that I have cut and paste access on my phone.
And in banks across the world
Christians, Moslems, Hindus, Jews
And every other race, creed, colour, tint or hue
Get down on their knees and pray
The raccoon and the groundhog neatly
Make up bags of change
But the monkey in the corner
Well he's slowly drifting out of range
User avatar
coopasonic
Posts: 18826
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:43 pm
Location: Dallas-ish

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by coopasonic »

RunningMn9 wrote:I use keepass and store the file in Dropbox. I also use the KyPass app on iOS, which syncs to my Dropbox account, so that I have cut and paste access on my phone.
OK, that is almost too easy. Thanks!
-Coop
Black Lives Matter
User avatar
Carpet_pissr
Posts: 16206
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:32 pm
Location: Columbia, SC

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Carpet_pissr »

How does Keepass compare to LastPass?
User avatar
RunningMn9
Posts: 23868
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:55 pm
Location: The Sword Coast
Contact:

I need a backup solution!

Post by RunningMn9 »

Carpet_pissr wrote:How does Keepass compare to LastPass?
I don't know. Years ago, when I looked for a password manager, KeePass was the first open source utility that popped up. It's the only one I use.
And in banks across the world
Christians, Moslems, Hindus, Jews
And every other race, creed, colour, tint or hue
Get down on their knees and pray
The raccoon and the groundhog neatly
Make up bags of change
But the monkey in the corner
Well he's slowly drifting out of range
User avatar
Jag
Posts: 14402
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:24 pm
Location: SoFla

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Jag »

I use Lastpass because of xmarks which was acquired by Lastpass and removed the password functionality. Lastpass is free and works fine.
User avatar
Carpet_pissr
Posts: 16206
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:32 pm
Location: Columbia, SC

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Carpet_pissr »

Jag wrote:I use Lastpass because of xmarks which was acquired by Lastpass and removed the password functionality. Lastpass is free and works fine.
Lastpass Premium is not free though, and AFAIK, is the only way to use it on iOS. I believe they do have a package deal if you buy both Xmarks and LastPass premium though.
User avatar
Jag
Posts: 14402
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:24 pm
Location: SoFla

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Jag »

Yeah, I don't use it on ios because I'm terrified of losing my phone with a global password manager on it. I use Lastpass free right now, but I'll probably switch to premium to support xmarks which i love.
User avatar
RunningMn9
Posts: 23868
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:55 pm
Location: The Sword Coast
Contact:

I need a backup solution!

Post by RunningMn9 »

To anyone that finds my iPhone, good luck cracking the password to get in the encrypted KeePass file.
And in banks across the world
Christians, Moslems, Hindus, Jews
And every other race, creed, colour, tint or hue
Get down on their knees and pray
The raccoon and the groundhog neatly
Make up bags of change
But the monkey in the corner
Well he's slowly drifting out of range
User avatar
Jag
Posts: 14402
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:24 pm
Location: SoFla

Re: I need a backup solution!

Post by Jag »

Is it 54321?
Post Reply