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Old 12-28-2012, 12:46 AM
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djstar djstar is offline
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Archive, Backup... how many drives do I need???

A few months ago, I think I clicked DELETE on the My Documents folder in Picasa because suddenly there were NO pictures. NONE! I save all of my reference and paintings and progress shots and everything... so I panicked!
I found them (not really sure how) by doing a RESTORE and now I have Documents IN the Documents folder... they are all there, but confusing.

So... I try to save copies on an external 1 TB which is cool. Just click, copy paste folders every 6 moths or so... of course I had not done it when I lost them... but in my freak, I set up a backup. In just a month or two I apparently filled up my external. It was just over half and my computer 1.5TB was under 250GB. Still is. So for Christmas I got a 3TB external. I want to copy all the files I KNOW what they are on to it, but would not mind figuring out how to make a backup on the smaller drive ONLY. I already find I seem to have triplicates of some things, as I still don't know where those lost files were or how I got them back.

As I want to USE my archives and do a lot, I can't seem to figure out that back up thing. How come it just keeps eating up space but I am not adding that much storage?

Can I find a way to back up AND use the info or is it locked in one of those odd files I don't know what they are on the external???

Can you tell it must be for the total dummy? Although I am the most computer literate of anyone I KNOW, I just can't seem to understand this wacko differentiation.

help!!! thank you....
dj*
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:02 AM
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Yorky Yorky is offline
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Re: Archive, Backup... how many drives do I need???

I have a NAS disk connected to my router. Every so often I copy my files over to the NAS which can be accessed just as another disk in My Computer.

I also have copies of my photos on Skydrive and Dropbox.

Doug

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Old 12-28-2012, 02:47 PM
sandman_us sandman_us is offline
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Re: Archive, Backup... how many drives do I need???

Hi DJ,

I've read your original post about 10 times so far and I'm a little confused as to what your describing, but I think I might know what's happening. I personally don't have Picasa but I am familiar with it.

I believe you have Picasa loaded on your PC(version 2 or 3?) and a few months ago you accidentally hit delete from within Picasa and your photos disappeared. You then did a 'RESTORE' within Picasa and your photos magically reappeared.

Picasa is an image/photo organizer, viewer, and editor. Picasa automatically makes a backup of your original photos, and places them in either a separate folder called 'Originals' in version 2, or in a hidden file titled .picasaoriginals in version 3. In version 2 of Picasa, and in addition to the backup of the originals, a second copy of the image is saved after editing the image, and then subsequent edits overwrite that second copy. In version 3, separate copies of each edit are maintained by Picasa within a hidden file, picasa.ini.

My guess is that when you accidentally deleted your photos in Picasa, you deleted that 'second' copy of the photos. By clicking RESTORE (and depending on version 2 or 3) you were able to restore the originals. Version 2 would be the true original, and version 3 (of this I'm not 100% sure) would possibly be an earlier edited version of the original, or maybe just the original. But that is why they 'magically' reappeared. Keep in mind that this is all as a result of Picasa, and not simply cutting or pasting as done through Windows.

With regards to doing backups(not from within Picasa, but through cutting and pasting through Windows), you have a different situation occurring. The reason your disk growth on your backup drive is so high is because you're copying the same files over and over. Each time you do a copy new files are being created and not overwritten. In addition, there is no file compression occurring through this copy mechanism. Again I'm assuming that you are doing this through Windows in a cut and paste fashion.

What you need (I think) is a backup utility that does a differential backup of your directories. A differential backup creates an initial baseline backup of your files, and then provides a backup of only the files that have changed from that baseline since the last backup. So depending on the number of changes/edits to the files, the actual number of files that are then backed-up is much smaller. It also does some form of file compression.

Some of these backup utilities do much more than just a few directories. They can backup entire drive sectors or even an entire OS should you need to do major restore due to a system or drive crash.

You might want to take a look at http://download.cnet.com/windows/backup-software/ to get an idea as to what's available. In looking at some of the utilities, Easus Todo Backup Free looks promising with good reviews by both Cnet and users.

Hope this helps!
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:31 PM
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djstar djstar is offline
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Re: Archive, Backup... how many drives do I need???

SANDMAN! You have used words that make perfect sense. I just couldn't get my head around the differences in Back-ups. Differential makes sense as I have read about it. I think it may be an option in the one I have...
Does it basically ADD to one set of files the changes since the first or make an additional file (whatever they are called in back-ups...!?!?) to add just those changes? I see in the set on the drive a stack of program specific folders that I don't want to touch for fear they would restore the computer without the newer changes, but don't quite understand what need I have for ALL of them....

I have a better concept now.

I lost all of my mail and a small cache of files when my old drive crashed, but I was just archiving pictures.. most critical. Lost my contacts and dates of billing etc done through Outlook (Express, that is how old) but now I have most of my mailing on yahoo, so it is there for me. I don't really care about programs, which I have either disks or are downloaded but the files in the programs I don't often use, but still might need... that is all I would probably want to back up.

I know. I am confusing because I am confused!
I think I have a grasp though now. Thank you.
dj*
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:42 PM
sandman_us sandman_us is offline
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Re: Archive, Backup... how many drives do I need???

Quote:
Does it basically ADD to one set of files the changes since the first or make an additional file (whatever they are called in back-ups...!?!?) to add just those changes?

Correct.

Glad I could help.
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Old 01-22-2018, 12:11 PM
anngrant anngrant is offline
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Re: Archive, Backup... how many drives do I need???

When it comes to data backing up and recovery, I always use this resource -
https://www.cleverfiles.com/hard-drive-backup.html . Always works fine for me. Hope you find it useful too.
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Old 01-23-2018, 07:41 PM
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WFMartin WFMartin is offline
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Re: Archive, Backup... how many drives do I need???

Well, I may be naive', and a bit feeble in my old age, but......I just back my "computer stuff" onto CD's, and I store them, identified, and labeled, on a shelf in my studio. I do that whenever my computer begins to be filled with images.

I primarily back up images, but every time I do, I also back up documents which don't require much space.....such things ad medical documents, and important emails.

My filing system usually allows me to locate nearly any image I've deemed "important", and within no more than 30 minutes (usually less), I am able to find nearly any image that I wish to locate.
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Old 01-29-2018, 02:23 PM
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rabbitone rabbitone is offline
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Re: Archive, Backup... how many drives do I need???

There are no end of options to store and restore our precious data today. But as a retired IT database manager I prefer old school - an eternal hard drive attached to the computer and regular backups.

I use a Lacie similar to the current LaCie 2big Quadra USB 3.0 6TB External Hard Drive. This unit has a RAID unit inside of it. Along with that I use Acronis True Image 2018 as the Backup Software.

As a retired DBA I know most people get too busy working and playing and forget to back things up. So my first rule is keep your precious data on the external drive. What? That way you are forcing yourself to turn on the external drive to get to the that data. Then my second rule is the external data source must be RAID which means it is an array of disk drives which uses a pattern (raid types) to write every piece of data across all disks. In this case the Lacie has 2 drives which are the mirror of each other. So if one disk drive fails I yank it out. Put in the identical and the software re-writes the new drive to be a duplicate of the other. This is my first fails safe level.

So as not to keep the Lacie on day and night I pull the current projects off the Lacie on to the main computer. There I work on the projects (e.g. reference photos I use for my painting). There multiple times per week I do a incremental back up (only data that has changed) to the Lacie. And once a month do a new full backup of the whole drive. This is my second fail safe.

The next level is Windows back up and restore. You access this from your local disk properties under tools to back up now or from the control panel - back up and restore.
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Last edited by rabbitone : 01-29-2018 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 01-29-2018, 02:30 PM
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Yorky Yorky is offline
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Re: Archive, Backup... how many drives do I need???

Since my last post in 2012, I have acquired a 1TB external disk on which I copy my data files onto as a regular exercise. I also back up my photos by using Google Photos and my documents on Microsoft Onedrive.

Doug
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:30 PM
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bvanevery bvanevery is offline
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Re: Archive, Backup... how many drives do I need???

"Professional level", serious, "this is worth tens of thousands of dollars of lost work" backup, is a bit of a learning curve to do it right. External hard drives are not enough. Hard drives are not particularly robust pieces of equipment and can be destroyed. A fall off of a desk, a passing magnet, a bad power surge, or a static discharge in winter can do it.

Nothing can help you if your home or office catches on fire and your equipment is physically destroyed. Or if your basement is flooded, or a tornado or hurricane hits. SEPARATION is an important principle in serious backup. You need to get your stuff out of the same physical location, into different locations. Some people recommend a safe deposit box in the bank. Others use Cloud storage, but that has some security caveats depending on what you're working on.

Consumer grade CDs and DVDs are not safe as a long term storage medium. They are composed of chemical dyes that shift around over time, eventually becoming unreadable. I've heard a consumer grade CD can go bad in as few as 7 years, although I've never actually experienced that tragedy. I've also learned that you can't trust anyone's brand of CDs / DVDs, because the vast majority are outsourced to third party factories anyways. The factories change all the time and you will never hear which factory they were actually made at. Even if they came from the same factory, the conditions and practices at the factory can change over time and you will never know what those changes are.

I haven't researched "archival quality" CDs / DVDs lately, as to be honest, for the past several years I've managed to avoid having any important bits or bytes to store. One reason these media are of interest, is they survive lightning strikes better than other things. Like those hard drives.

I have learned that when I do backups manually, like for a software project, it often doesn't get done. In particular, the logical time to do the backup, is when you've just finished working. That's when I'm exhausted and want to get away from the computer. A long time ago, in the stone ages, I had a backup ritual that took 15 minutes of manual labor on my part. Well guess what, those 15 minutes don't happen when you're exhausted on "real" computer problems.

I think some kind of automated backup system is what people need in the real world. Problem is, they have tradeoffs. How much do they slow down your work? How easy is it to get your work back again? How quickly can you recover from a disaster? If it's just you, maybe you don't care if it takes a few days to get everything back to normal again. But if you've got a client and you're expected to provide Product X by such-and-such date, time may be of the essence. The client may expect to be interacting with you in hours, not days.

It has been a long time since I learned the basics of all this stuff. I implemented some of it. Others of it, I didn't end up with work valuable enough to apply "the full sledgehammer" of backup to it. I learned a lot of this from 1 particular website that is surely dust by now. Maybe there's a modern equivalent out there somewhere. "Backup 101" or something.

Last edited by bvanevery : 01-31-2018 at 03:36 PM.
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