ckw
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Have You Backed Up Today?

Tue Jun 08, 2004 7:50 pm

Just a warning to the "it'll never happen to me" people - on Saturday my C drive failed ... no warning. Despite having access to some very clever people, the drive (and contents) were not economically recoverable.

Fortunately, I DO have all my images and data residing on other disks backed up, so nothing irreplacable was lost, but I am faced with rebuilding the O/S and programe suite from scratch.

So point number one - have everything backed up unless you are prepared to lose it ... goes without saying perhaps, but is it everyone's highest priority when they get back from a shoot?

Assuming you have done this, and only have the programs to worry about ...

1 - Do you know where your O/S disk(s) are?

2 - Your original disks will not have the latest patches/security updates on them. Download these NOW and have them available on a CD ... repeat as necessary with each major release.

3 - Anti-virus - do you have something on disk you can install BEFORE reconnecting to the 'net? I didn't. After installing XP and broadband software, I went to the 'net to download the AVG antivirus program ... before I could complete the download, my machine was infected by Sasser and shut down.
(and yes, I did have the XP firewall enabled)

4 - All those nice little apps you can buy and download from the 'net - do you have the original install files? Do you have the various authorisation codes you'll need?

I'm fairly lucky - with easy access to resources at work, and the fact I manged to find all but one of my install CDs, I should get everything working as before (perhaps better - a disk crash is a great way to remove unwanted clutter  Smile) ... but even so it will take me a few days of tedious effort.

Were I not able to lay my hands quickly on some key resources, the consequences could have been much more serious and expensive.

So, my suggestion for today is take a quick inventory of what you have on your system and check that you have all the necessary means to restore it to its present state from scratch. And look out for hidden problems - eg. if you bought a Photoshop CS upgrade licence, you will need to pre-install an older version of PS before reinstalling the upgrade.

Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
LGW
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RE: Have You Backed Up Today?

Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:17 pm

Colin,

Wise words, I have backed 'most' up but this I shall take note of this post and do a complete list/backup...not just now though, relaxing in the hot sun is more important, shall do it tonight  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Cheers Colin, glad you got mostly sorted again now

Ben Pritchard
 
Stefan
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RE: Have You Backed Up Today?

Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:25 pm

12/24 GB Streamer with all relevant data backed up on a regular basis, all discs + drivers in a bag next to my pc  Big grin i´m prepared for hardware failure Big grin
 
UTA_flyinghigh
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RE: Have You Backed Up Today?

Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:32 pm

Not only is all my data backed up on two computers but I also regularly backup by burning a DVD. Also, one of my computers is running a RAID 5 configuration, which proved useful when 1 disk crashed.
Ah, the joys of having free computers  Smile

Will
Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
 
Joge
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RE: Have You Backed Up Today?

Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:42 pm

Sad to hear that, Colin.

On the other hand... That's how one learns! I've had already two times a total HDD crash, so I've learned from that and I back up all the most important things ASAP. Of course, I'm nowadays using two HDDs on my desktop PC and having my laptop PC and also a CD-burner and a bunch of CD-RW disks. You may think that is enough, but then you have older version of one file on one place and never one on another which happens to be the wrong one and at the wrong moment, when the failure happens!

and yes, I did have the XP firewall enabled

Well, that is better than nothing, but not too far away from it...

I would say, have always backups of the newest anti-virus and firewall programs (for instance on a CD-RW disk so it can be easily updated). Then, of course, you install those before getting online.

I've seen people mentioning they backup their photos on CDs and DVDs, but at least myself, I also make 10x15 prints of the most interesting/important pictures, no matter what the original is. Just to avoid a total lost.

-Joge
Bula!
 
thomasphoto60
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RE: Have You Backed Up Today?

Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:44 pm

While I have been using Macs since the late 80s, I have been very fortunate to have never had any lost data on the 6 Macs that I have owned in all that time (knock wood). Still, I do not take chances as every image, document and other critical data is burned on to a CD promptly. Frankly, you just do not know when your luck will run out.

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
MerC
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RE: Have You Backed Up Today?

Tue Jun 08, 2004 9:23 pm

I should have thought of that last October when my C: disk said byebye. Lost several hundreds, maybe thousands, of photos. Mostly photos that me and my friends had taken; on parties, LAN et cetera, also from my vacation in Turkey last year. Luckily I had not been doing aviation photography for so long so I only lost an insignificant amount of photos.

But, I also lost a lot of school work; essays, reviews and such. That I know have to do again..  Sad

The only backup I had back then was the OS, drivers and some programs, they were on my second HDD together with my music and movies. *phew*

Now I have all my photos and important documents saved on a CD-RW, that I rewrite when I have something to add.

Marcus
It's Scandinavian
 
Granite
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RE: Have You Backed Up Today?

Tue Jun 08, 2004 9:44 pm

Hi all

Thanks for reminding us again Colin.

While I am pretty good at backing up my images (CD's and spare PC) there was a time that I didn't and lost a few good images including my twin trailing jet's pic and the first A330 to visit ABZ  Sad

Luckily, I have the trailing jet's pic on Photobox so can easily get prints if needed.

Regards

Gary
 
futterman
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RE: Have You Backed Up Today?

Tue Jun 08, 2004 10:37 pm

Just a few weeks ago, I was forced to reformat my computer. I did it a good two or three times before, and each time I either had to grin, bear it, and delete everything, or spend an outrageous amount of time burning CDs upon CDs of homework, photos, programs, and the like.

This last time, though, my computer techie urged me to pick up an external hard drive, and mirror my PC onto that every week or so. So, we picked up an 80GB AcomData external hard drive, hooked that up, ran my computer in 'Safe Mode' to transfer all of my files. I reformatted the PC, and moved the files back.

Stupidly, I forgot to save the display driver I needed for my video card, so when I would start up after reformattng the display would not be that appealing. I needed to sort out my internet connection to get the driver, so in theory, I was screwed either way. If I had no internet, I had no driver, so I really would not have had any use for the computer.

So, now I simply have to run Norton Ghost to copy my hard drive onto the external one. My PC is 40GB, so I have plenty of space to copy my hard drive AND store 40GB worth of photos--not even on my PC. Saves time and effort in knowing that my shots are never really are on my PC.


Thanks for the heads up, Colin and everyone else. I'll try to apply some of these to further back up my back up.


Brian
What the FUTT?
 
Sukhoi
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RE: Have You Backed Up Today?

Tue Jun 08, 2004 11:17 pm

Yep its happened to me too lost about 500 images or so. Now i make sure everything is downloaded to the PC then burnt to disc, then checked to make sure its okay and then finally the original media can be uesed again.

I learnt my lesson so have all installed programs and updates on disc ready to go.

cheers

Paul
 
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Bruce
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RE: Have You Backed Up Today?

Wed Jun 09, 2004 1:38 am

Those are wise words, Colin.

Very similar here to Futterman.... but I have 2 internal drives and one the main one, the O/S resides in a seperate partition than all the data and the data partition is what is mirrored on the other drive. In theory if my O/S got corrupted then i could simply wipe it out and re-load without touching any data.

bruce
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
Craigy
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RE: Have You Backed Up Today?

Wed Jun 09, 2004 2:21 am

Don't forget the offsite backups too.

Twin disks or RAID 5 are totally useless when someone walks away with your PC, or you get a small fire in your computer room. Copy your installation disks too, and save them offsite with a photocopy of the licenses.

Craig.
 
Airplanepics
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RE: Have You Backed Up Today?

Wed Jun 09, 2004 3:07 am

This happened to me too, luckily it only happened just after I got my camera - so only lost a few trips worth of photos. But it is a pain in the arse when It happens.

From then on, I have burned all of my images onto CD or DVD, where I know they are safe.

Cheers,

Simon
Simon - London-Aviation.com
 
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apuneger
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RE: Have You Backed Up Today?

Wed Jun 09, 2004 5:25 am

Ever since I had some strange smoke coming out of my PC just before it said 'bye bye', I always back up my photos ASAP.

Also, like Jorgos I always make prints just because it's nice to watch some photos without having to watch a PC monitor.

Thanks for the good adivce Colin. I'm sure your bad experience will prevent many other mishaps from happening to other photographers.

Ivan
Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
 
syncmaster
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RE: Have You Backed Up Today?

Wed Jun 09, 2004 12:13 pm

Did you try putting the drive in the freezer for a while, as odd as it's sounds it does help. At work when we have a drive fail in any of our workstations we can stick them in the food service (I work for the school) freezer and normally get the drive working again. There are a lot of things you can do to get it to work to a point where you can at least backup your data even if you do need to get a new drive. Good luck!  Big thumbs up
 
willo
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RE: Have You Backed Up Today?

Thu Jun 10, 2004 12:26 am

Also worth checking that cdr's that you have backed up onto actually work. I thought I had backed everything up, only later to find that when I actually needed it, the disc itself was corrupted and couldn't be read by any of the machines I had access to.
 
ckw
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RE: Have You Backed Up Today?

Thu Jun 10, 2004 12:33 am

Also worth checking that cdr's that you have backed up onto actually work

Very good point - I make two copies, one for home, one to be stored at work ... the work copy I then read back to my work PC as a check. I'd say maybe 1 in 25 fail this, despite having been verified at time of writing.

Charlie - had the failed drive contained data, I would have gone to more trouble to recover it. As it only held the O/S and apps, there was a cost/benefit of trying to recover the drive vs reinstalling. Anyway, now that's all done, business as usual  Smile

Cheers,

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
kaddyuk
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RE: Have You Backed Up Today?

Thu Jun 10, 2004 12:40 am

I had a disk bomb out on me a few years back. Was the worst thing that happened to me because I didnt have a clue what went wrong and PC world conned my parents into purchasing a new one. I realised a year later that I could replace the hard drive and get it working again... :/
Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
 
Joge
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RE: Have You Backed Up Today?

Thu Jun 10, 2004 12:51 am

I'd say maybe 1 in 25 fail this

Colin, what kind of CD's you're using?

I always get myself of those TDK Silver disks. Also, burning at the half speed of max. supported (or, why not at 1x) can reduce dramatically the amount or read/write errors.

Just a tip: If you have valuable data, don't use cheapo-CDs! And of course, make a backup of the backup's backup.  Smile

-Joge
Bula!
 
willo
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RE: Have You Backed Up Today?

Thu Jun 10, 2004 11:56 pm

The CD-R that failed WAS a TDK (I won't but cheepies)!! Worth noting about burning on 1/2 max speed - I will give that a try next time, thanks.
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
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RE: Have You Backed Up Today?

Fri Jun 11, 2004 1:33 am

I've tried many brands over the years - there does not seem to be a direct correlation between costs, brand names and quality. Also, some CD-writers will favour one brand over another.

I tend to bulk buy from an online supplier - but always check to allow for problems - either on the CD or with my software/hardware.

Cheers

Colin
Colin K. Work, Pixstel
 
LGW
Posts: 4281
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2000 6:07 pm

RE: Have You Backed Up Today?

Fri Jun 11, 2004 2:43 am

Colin,

Thanks for your e-mail, very useful.

All,

I have used a range fo CDR's over the last few years. I have personally found Memorex to do a pretty good job but the worst I have used where Packard Bell, what a load of tosh they where!

I have got a good deal on some Sony CDR's so will see how they go.

I have to agree with reducing the write speed, this has reduced the amount of errors I have experianced.

No good for DSLR images I know but the small 8cm CDR's I find are the most reliable, I use them a lot for files such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc anything that isnt a large file size and I have never (touch wood) had a problem with them.

Ben Pritchard

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