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Old 5th October 2010
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How is your backup? eh?

Well. I had my PC lock up this evening which is unusual. It turns out it has locked up because drive E: has failed.

(Drive C: has Windows XP on it and all the applications, Drive E: has all my pictures, Drive J: has a backup of most of my pictures. The external USB drive hopefully has a backup of all my pictures, and I have DVDs of the pictures as well)

So: Bottom line - if I reconnect drive E: it prevents Drive C: booting XP, so the drive looks dead. I don't recall what else was on it, but its a bit of a blow.

Hmm. This is the second time I have had a hard drive go down with no warning and no reason. I will take it to work and see if it is really dead.

Meanwhile - just be aware that hard disks do just die with no warning... How is your backup status eh?

Pete
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Old 5th October 2010
ChrisG ChrisG is offline
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Re: How is your backup? eh?

It is said that ...

'On average, 100% of all hard disks die'

We all need to bear this in mind .

Hope you have done enough to not have a problem.

Chris
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Old 5th October 2010
PaulE PaulE is offline
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Re: How is your backup? eh?

A very similar occurrence happened to me a while ago. Everything was backed up onto several HDs and I had an alternative OS already installed on another HD ready to go so nothing was lost and I was back up and running in seconds. Interestingly though the HD (that all flavours of windows refuses to read) is perfectly operational on a Linux OS - though for how long I don't know - clearly It's not worth the risk of using it for anything important. But it's handy to be able to recover the little bits like photoshop actions etc that might not neccessarily have been backed up.

If you do find you are missing anything Pete download a Ubuntu install CD burn it, re-connect the duff HD and boot off the CD, use the "try it" feature and I wouldn't be at all surprised if find that you will be able to read and copy files to another HD / pen drive etc as if there is nothing wrong with the HD... It's perculiar but well worth trying...
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Old 5th October 2010
j.baker j.baker is offline
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Re: How is your backup? eh?

I lost 67GB of data about 5 years ago. Since then I take backing my system/data up seriously.

I have a Windows Home Server (HP EX 490) which acts as my file server, but with folder duplication. This means that I have two copies of my data. This also backups my workstations incase I need to rebuild. I also backup my data from my server to an external hard drive. I then send a copy of this data off site (to my fathers house) once every 2-3 months.

I also rotate my external backups as well.









I also use a cloud backup service to backup my important file, which are encrypted and compressed befure uploading (as I dont trust external companies with cleartext data)









I also backup data to BluRay and DVD, but not very often.








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Old 5th October 2010
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Re: How is your backup? eh?

No your not sad john, just very well organised, nothing wrong with that I have a similar server setup and it works well for me. Thing is if you have an old pc lying around it can be put to good use as a server and needn't cost the earth.
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Old 5th October 2010
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Re: How is your backup? eh?

Sadness here also

Lightroom catalog is on drive D: not the system drive.
Lightroom catalog is backed up to NAS 2 (3TB)
Images are on NAS 1 (3TB) as are all my personal files.
Images are backed up to NAS 2 direct from NAS 1 direct each night.
Also all 2010 images are backed up from NAS 2 to NAS 3 each night.
Then every few months I buy another 2TB external USB drive and copy all my photos.
So that means I have multiple backups and multiple online sources.

Plus all the images go from memory card to 320M usb 2.5" disk so I have a year's worth of special events on that drive. As well as enough memory cards to last a week of racing.

Oh and the 3 NAS are all the same manufacturer/model so that I can move drives from one to another (as a group of 4 in raid5 set) if the hardware fails.

I think I'm covered
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Old 6th October 2010
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Re: How is your backup? eh?

I've got an internal backup drive, which contains a complete disk image.

I've got two 3.5" external drives which contains backups of all my documents, pictures, and music.

I've got a 2.5" external drive, which contains the same as the other two external drives, but which comes with me whenever I leave the house for more than one day.

I don't trust "cloud" backups as the companies are beyond my control.

I don't bother with DVD backups as it would take too long to make them, and there's a doubt over longevity.

Whenever I buy or build a new computer I cycle the hard disks - and throw away the oldest (after putting an axe through it!).

Touch wood I've never had a hard drive collapse completely on me, they've always given warning. But it could happen.
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Old 6th October 2010
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Re: How is your backup? eh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulE View Post
Interestingly though the HD (that all flavours of windows refuses to read) is perfectly operational on a Linux OS
If you do find you are missing anything Pete download a Ubuntu install CD
Interesting... I do have an Ubuntu PC lurking in the garage here, and I will try the disk on there after I've tried it a work..
TNX

Pete

PS. There is a lesson here. When I have bought a new disk, I generally keep the old drive on the computer until I am happy the new one works reliably. At that point I start to regard the old disk as the "backup drive". Problem is, the Backup drive is inevitably smaller than the new active drive (in this case its 40Gb as opposed to the 160Gb that just failed) so eventually you can't back everything up because the drive isn't big enough.

I have backed up the failed drive fairly recently onto my external USB disk using the windows backup tool. I don't think I have ever attempted to recover stuff from that backup.
Now that will be the acid test...
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Old 6th October 2010
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Re: How is your backup? eh?

Pete,

Good luck with the recovery. It is a pain in the whatnot losing data and recovering it. I really need to sort that out from a location point of view given that all my external backup hard disks are in my home and not fireproof.

A couple of thoughts on the failed boot/disk are:

(1) Can you take it to a data recovery person locally - there are people who do this for a living. It sounds like you are okay on the backup front, though.
(2) Have you physically accessed the computer for a while? i.e. could you have changed the jumper settings/knocked one off somehow and changed it to be the main drive. Or could you have plugged the data cables between the drives in the wrong order? I remember these being a problem back when I could build a PC from bits.

Nick
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Re: How is your backup? eh?

Well I plugged it into the only remaining PC here at work with a PATA port and it reads fine. I did a disk check and it checks OK, so I have set it off defragmenting itself. That should give it something to think about. I think I will have to buy a SATA drive to try on one of the ports on the motherboard next. PATA is old hat these days...

I read somewhere that most disk fails are down to the electronics board, not the spinning bit. I'll bet a lot of the electronics failures are down to the connectors. The main read/write head connections seem to be done by pressing the board against some spikes out of sight these days. It wouldn't surprise me if that were the culprit.

(I did wriggle all the connections last night and it made no difference..)

Pete


Quote:
Originally Posted by Who's_E View Post
Pete,

Good luck with the recovery. It is a pain in the whatnot losing data and recovering it. I really need to sort that out from a location point of view given that all my external backup hard disks are in my home and not fireproof.

A couple of thoughts on the failed boot/disk are:

(1) Can you take it to a data recovery person locally - there are people who do this for a living. It sounds like you are okay on the backup front, though.
(2) Have you physically accessed the computer for a while? i.e. could you have changed the jumper settings/knocked one off somehow and changed it to be the main drive. Or could you have plugged the data cables between the drives in the wrong order? I remember these being a problem back when I could build a PC from bits.

Nick
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Old 6th October 2010
Dick Bowman Dick Bowman is offline
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Re: How is your backup? eh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by snaarman View Post
[... deleted ...] I don't think I have ever attempted to recover stuff from that backup.
Now that will be the acid test...
You don't have a working backup system unless you are absolutely certain that you can do recovery (which is one reason I use simple file copying utilities like SyncBack rather than rely on artsy stuff integrated into the OS).
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Old 6th October 2010
Jim Ford Jim Ford is offline
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Re: How is your backup? eh?

Concerning 'cloud backup', this looks interesting:

http://www.turnkeylinux.org/

It's claimed to be "The easiest, most powerful, automated backup and restore system you've ever used."

The main problem for me is that it's only for Linux. My main system is Windows XP (only because of Photoshop), but I'm currently using Linux in a VM.

I'm wondering if I can work it so that I can continue to use Photoshop in XP, but save my files in a Linux setup and backup with 'TKLBAM'. Perhaps I can run 'TKLBAM' in a VM and mount and backup the XP directories with it?

Jim
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Old 6th October 2010
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Re: How is your backup? eh?

Well, I plugged the suspect disk into a different machine and it seemed fine, so disk checked and defragmented it, and that went OK, so it is back here in this machine working OK again. It may have been the power connector going intermittent.

However, the writing is on the wall, so I ordered myself a new 320Gb Sata drive.

Huh! Computers eh!

Pete
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Old 11th October 2010
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Re: How is your backup? eh?

Postscript:

My theory is my locked up drive was caused by a loose power connector. However I bought and installed a nice new 320Gb Sata drive today - and I could convince myself the machine is slightly faster now.

Anyway, the new disk certainly produces nice pictures. Here's a test image I did this evening:



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Old 12th October 2010
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Re: How is your backup? eh?

That is a nice panorama. You must have an expensive disk!
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