Monday, June 16, 2014

And Now for Some (Sorta) Good News

The past five days have been swallowed by the fun (snark) process of setting up a new computer (and a new printer when I realized my old workhorse was no longer supported by anyone) and loading and sorting data from my woefully out-of-date backups.

I'd been meaning to get a new computer for some time now. But it's always such a hassle that I kept putting it off. Bad idea. Last Wednesday, my old faithful started making funny noises and then (while I was still scrambling around for my external hard drive to back it up as I've been meaning to do forever) went white except for the Dreaded Spinning Ball of Doom.

According to the Rent-a-Nerd guy, they were able to recover about 25/26 of my data, although I've yet to load it on my new computer to see exactly what was lost and how it compares to my old backed up files. The good news (and there is some!) is that I do have the first 140 pages of Sebastian Book #11 printed out, so while I may need to retype it if it isn't part of that 25/26, it isn't completely lost.

As you can see from the photo, I now have an external hard drive permanently hooked up and set to back up every hour. I feel like I'm closing the barn door after all the horses are gone, but better late than never, right? I'm also looking into someplace in the Cloud to back up to as well (suggestions are welcome).

The funny thing is, I used to be fairly good about backing up. But somehow in the past year I let it slide--along with everything else. Lesson learned.

Oh, and you can also see my new mouse pad! He doesn't look like my vision of Sebastian, but I do love that cover.

19 comments:

mk said...

We've got Norton 360, and you can set it to auto backup so that every day if will back up any new files of whatever file type you specify, and will back them up online
so you can set it up and essentially forget about it (although check it occasionally to make sure its backing up as it should- somehow my parents have managed to shut their auto backup off twice, even though they shouldn't be able to figure out how to do so

Anonymous said...

c- well sometimes starting this fresh is a good thing - although i would hope for more recovery than 25%. i don't use my PC at home much - just really my music for my iPod. i spend so much time on my work PC - i hardly look at my iPhone on the wknd let alone the PC. but i also have an external hard drive that i set to back up on a regular basis. and using the cloud is probably another good idea. people do swear by that. and i too like that cover but i find i'm more partial to the newest cover - who buries the dead. maybe i just cant wait to read it!!
best, Ali

Beth said...

You haven't locked the barn door after the horse has gone -- you can still have a machine crash again. I've done a restore from time machine (mac) twice. It took a while, but was fairly painless otherwise.

I'm glad to hear you didn't lose more than you did.

Beth

JustWingingIt said...

I'm not tech savvy at (just walking into Best Buy makes my anxiety level go up) so I have no suggestions to give. Perhaps chanting around on full moon nights and offering up the occasional sacrifice of rotten cheese would help.

In any event, I'm glad that Sebastian #11 was saved. Whew!

Veronica

Suzanne said...

Personally I don't like the idea of Cloud at all. I worry about security too much and if it is out there it is vulnerable. I backup onto 2 memory sticks and DVD. One of the sticks and my DVD sit near my PC and the I have the other hanging on my key ring so it goes everywhere with me, in case the house is burgled or burns down. That sounds rather drastic but I have heard stories of people having their PC stolen and losing entire thesis's, which is horrible.

Helena said...

You really have been having a bad time! I think that backing up to a cloud is a very good thing, but I'm afraid I don't have any specific recommendation. What does your computer expert suggest?

Charles Gramlich said...

I kind of like getting a new computer, though its' been quite a while now. transferring files is certainly a hassle but I first transfer all folders to a detachable hard drive, then transfer them to the new computer that way.

Sam Thomas said...

I use two on-line services. GoogleDrive (which we have through my day job) and Mozy, for which I pay $200 per year for three computers.

Mozy will back up everything as often as you like (hourly? daily? you got it!), and it's dead easy to recover documents.

Anonymous said...

We just use OneDrive which comes free with out Microsoft account. Also, for our small business we use Office365, which gives you access to the cloud and multiple other things Microsoft for I think it is like $10 a month or something pretty low. Sabena

cs harris said...

mk, yeah, that's one of the reasons I want another backup!

ALi, he claimed he saved 25 out of 26 gigs of data, but I'm not so sure. A huge chunk of what is gone is my thousands of photos, but I did have quite a few of those backed up. Also gone is the file labeled "completed books"! Well, I guess my publisher has them...

Beth, yes, I know. And I envy you; this has been very painful

Veronica, the older I get the more tech-phobic I seem to be becoming.

Suzanne, yeah, that worries me, too. But I would like someplace to store my photos out of my house.

Helena, I didn't actually deal with him, just a receptionist. I am asking around.

Charles, I always enjoyed it in the past, but this time except for it being faster on the internet it doesn't feel like an upgrade.

Sam, thanks. I hadn't heard of them.

Sabena, yes, a friend said to me, "People are always offering me free Cloud access," but it must be a reflection of what I don't do, because no one has ever offered it to me.

Suzanne said...

When I bought my new PC this year I had to admit defeat in setting it all up on Windows 2013, it was all just too different from XP and I couldn't find anything. I ended up getting a PC guru to come here and do it for me. Yes, it cost $100 an hour, but in 2 hours he had it all set up, everything transferred, including my emails, email directories, internet favourites, and taught me how to use Windows 2013. Ever since I have been cruising and he was worth every penny.

paz said...

Well, while loosing a computer is a pain. And lets face it: since I don't really know all that I have stored in the thing in the fist place, I can never know what I lost, until I need it. UGH.

However, I must admit that I LOVE getting new things. And I really like new gadgets that come with all kinds of fun and fancy stuff. I end up spending way to much time trying to set everything up juuussst right (otherwise known as playing). Guilty pleasures...

Helena said...

Returning to recommend an article which I just read on backups. Although it is written for Mac users, there is a good section on Off-site backups. Dropbox sounds particularly useful for you, because it constantly backs-up.

http://www.tuaw.com/2014/06/18/the-novice-s-guide-to-excellent-mac-backups/

cs harris said...

Suzanne, I've always done my own setup in the past, but this time it was really frustrating, and I must say a lot of it was stupidity not on my part but on Microsoft, etc. I Googled my problems and found thousands of people complaining about the same issues, some saying they'd been trying to fix it for WEEKS. At that point I really would have called someone!

Paz, I've spent the past week organizing my iPhotos, hunting down what I lost, asking family for downloads, checking the cards of old cameras and old CDs, and in the process I've discovered some great photos I didn't even know we had.

Helena, thank you for that. I had seen BackBlaze when I Googled "Cloud storage", but I haven't found anyone who actually uses it, so it was nice to see it recommended. I'd never heard of their first recommendation, and it sounds waaaaay too complicated for me!

Maureen said...

Kind of late to the party, but I also use BackBlaze and find it very easy to use. I'll admit that I haven't had to use my BackBlaze backup. Also, I backup everything to BackBlaze in the cloud, Time Machine local, and to two external hard drives manually, especially my photos, ebooks, and financial records (one of the two goes in our safe deposit box). It really doesn't take all that much time to do any of this, just consistency.

Lillian Walker said...

It was really quite a bummer that a fraction won't make it, but at least you've got most of your files back, plus a new computer. Ultimately, there are always ways and means, in which you can salvage the material you have built for quite some time, whether it is online or offline. All the best!

Lillian Walker @ TaylorWorks

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