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What's your reason for not backing up your computer data?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / February 14, 2014 9:20 AM PST

What's your reason for not backing up your computer data?

Hi, I'm interested in finding out why people do or don't back their computers up. Personally, I have mine backed up automatically at regular intervals, but I've seen a lot of sad stories in the CNET forums here from folks who don't.

So if you would, please select one of the following for a poll and explain your reasons for not doing it, I'd appreciate it:

What's your reason for not backing up your computer data?

- Backup? Why would I need to do that?
- I don't have anything on my computer it would hurt to lose.
- Occasionally I copy some data to a flash or external drive, but not often.
- I back up my data regularly.
- I back up my whole system regularly to an external hard drive with third-party software.
- Other (Please explain.)

Click here to submit your poll votes here!

--Submitted by: Walter G.
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I'm backed up !!
by DF. / February 14, 2014 10:34 AM PST

Since I discovered Crashplan five years ago, I've had all my files backed up in the cloud. I pay a reasonable yearly fee and it works great. I've had to retrieve my files once, and it was flawless. I'd recommend it to anyone.

Don F.

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Data Rights
by Flatworm / February 14, 2014 8:49 PM PST
In reply to: I'm backed up !!

You are of course aware that it is long-settled law that the data on any given storage unit is the property of the owner of that hardware. This is why I do not trust cloud storage.

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If they could read it...
by Whiskey_Mike / February 21, 2014 12:27 PM PST
In reply to: Data Rights

Citation or you are just trolling. Most reputable backup providers state clearly that your data is yours.

However I encrypt everything of importance before it ever goes out to the cloud. So they can't use any of the data let alone figure out what it is without an extraordinary amount of effort on their part and the value would be far less than the cost to hack the data.

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Do you believe what the car salesman tells you?
by gslrider / February 21, 2014 1:36 PM PST

Have you ever read one of these Cloud services EULA...completely? I haven't. But I have read enough (over and over), to know that I can't trust Cloud services. It's always in the fine print, between a bunch of legal jargon. They tell you in plain english your data is yours. No one else has access to it. Meaning no one but the people running the Cloud service. The fine prints says, that they reserve the right to access your info/data for any legal reasons. But they will tell you. You just won't have a say in the matter. Perfect example is Facebook. Any info you put on Facebook is yours. But Facebook controls it. Yes, they do sell your info to third party companies. Nothing wrong with Cloud storage, just don't assume it's all private, and don't assume that their servers won't get hacked or go down with your data.

Backup of a backup. Wink

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by monsieurms / February 21, 2014 9:14 PM PST

Could you please specifically the language you're talking about. Cut and paste it here. The hacking and what not that you mention is quite possible, but that's a completely different issue, and let's not confuse the two. Let's see the privacy language you're talking about.

Because nothing about what you are saying seems correct. The data, first of all, is encrypted. Second, I have never heard of a cloud provider claiming the data is theirs. What they might say is that they have a right to store it, etc. They have to be able to do that to function and serve their purpose.

I just looked at one for instance and emblazoned at the top is: "This is your private storage for personal files. Anything here is private unless you share it." In some of the fine print they say; "With enterprise-level security, proprietary data control....." I see no fine print contradicting that in any way. Actually, if the fine print did contradict that, they would have some problems legally. But instead, the fine print says: "When doing so, you retain full ownership to your things. These Terms do not grant us any rights or intellectual property to your things apart from the limited rights we use to deliver the Copy service, which are explained here and in our Privacy Policy."

I next went to another I have used. That one said (note the somewhat sarcastic "for the avoidance of doubt," i.e., assuming this should be pretty clear): "You may transmit, store and or share certain data, information, files, etc. (altogether "Service Data"). For the avoidance of doubt, You retain full ownership of Your Service Data. LMI does not own any of Your Service Data and specifically disclaims any responsibility for any data that You or any other user posts or produces while using the Service. LMI agrees that these Terms do not grant LMI any ownership rights to Your Service Data "

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data back up
by ahg / February 21, 2014 3:18 PM PST

<<Most reputable backup providers state clearly that your data is yours. >>
so did Facebook... but it was just window dressing.
I backup to a second HD but it is not as safe as I thought either. I will get an external drive and feel really safe.
" For me, to be "in the clouds" is for the birds.

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WD " My Cloud " with Memeo Autosync
by mabocc / February 21, 2014 9:34 PM PST
In reply to: data back up

I too do not trust internet cloud storage. The external hard drive is a great idea. I have used WD external drives for years. I now have a 2 TB " My Cloud " which I have on my network. Even though WD has their own back-up built into this hard drive for some reason my Xp computer has trouble with it , probably because I set up my own folders as needed and not back-up the entire internal hard drive. I use Memeo Autosync to back-up folder to folder from 3 different computers. One XP and 2 Windows 7 which I bought recently to avoid Windows 8. That's a whole different discussion. Any way, I can use Memeo for as many folder to folder back-ups as I please such as My documents, My videos etc. Every time I add a new document Memeo automatically sends it to the WD " My Cloud " or to a separate internal drive if you wish. Memeo is available on line . They also offer more extensive back-up progams. Why not put your on line storage fees into your own personal cloud storage as I have. It will give you better control over your data as well as peace of mind.

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Where is the cloud?
by jcrobso / February 22, 2014 2:50 AM PST
In reply to: Data Rights

The problem with the cloud, where is it, who owns the hardware and who manages it?
With all the NSA spying my guess that the cloud is really in that big NSA data base.

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by sydoz / February 25, 2014 3:51 AM PST
In reply to: Data Rights

you say in your above response that "data on any given storage unit is the property of the owner of that hardware. " but the cloud is not considered hardware is it??

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by 4Denise / February 25, 2014 8:09 AM PST
In reply to: datarights

...the cloud consists of servers that store information. So, technically, the cloud is hardware. However, if you store data in the cloud, and the company that is storing your data for you has entered into an agreement with you that prevents them from accessing your data (be sure to read all of the agreement before you pay or upload your data), then they cannot legally access it. The contract is higher than the general principles of law in this case. This does not mean that they must guarantee you access to your data, though, since they do not have the ability to make such guarantees. Cloud backups are not a one-stop solution to backup needs. For one thing, cloud backups do not generally back up your entire hard drive. For another thing, it is possible for the servers to be damaged and lose the data. Cloud backups are convenient. They keep a constant backup that allows you to go back and retrieve, for example, data you accidentally deleted. They may allow you to access your data from multiple computers in multiple locations. For data that really means a lot to you, it is still necessary to make some kind of backup on site. You still need to have that external hard drive or DVD drive to make sure that you have multiple copies of your precious photos or music.

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back up /cloud
by sydoz / February 27, 2014 2:00 PM PST
In reply to: Actually...

thanks for that , i now have a little more understanding lol

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Me too..
by JCitizen / February 21, 2014 2:42 PM PST
In reply to: I'm backed up !!

Its so dirt bag easy it's pitiful! I use the regualr Windows file backup set to incremental to another hard drive in my PC, and occasionally make an image with Macrium Reflect.

Major crash! NO PROBLEMO! Just recover the image, and restore the files - PIECE OF CAKE! May take me all of 30 minutes to totally recover. If it is malware related, maybe just long enough to scan the file backup to clean it out before recovery. VOILA! Cool

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It's not safe to backup to the same computer.
by tbone69069 / February 25, 2014 3:06 PM PST
In reply to: Me too..

Backing up one computer to a hard drive in the same computer is not the safest way to do backups. If you pick up malware. It'll effect both your C drive and your back up drive.

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That is not necessarily true
by 4Denise / February 26, 2014 3:58 AM PST

It can happen. I have had it happen. However, the beauty of a program that makes a single file, compressed backup of your drive is that malware doesn't infect that file. It may reside on other drives besides your C drive, but it won't be in your backup. I use Acronis. I have no problems, if I catch the infection quickly enough to keep it from propagating into my data drives (I always do).

Even with this kind of protection, though, it is important to make a backup that is not kept on the computer periodically. If something happened to both drives (unlikely, but possible), there is still a way to get the computer up and running again.

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The key point is catching it in time
by tbone69069 / February 26, 2014 1:08 PM PST

Your subject title is baffling. You say not necessary true if you catch it on time. If you don't catch it in time it WILL end up in your backup. I just read my tech news letter on the main different types of backup. He said NEVER back up your computer to the same computer different hard drive. He said if you have a virus. You will infect both drives.

There is no sense in making a backup if you keep them in the same location. Never mind the same computer. Fire and floods would wipe out any backup you have if they are kept in the same place.

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No, it will never end up in my backup
by 4Denise / February 26, 2014 3:08 PM PST

It might end up on a data drive, but it can never end up in my backup. In order to do that, it would need to completely alter the file, rendering it useless. Don't you understand that Acronis places the entire backup in one file? You did not read the post correctly.

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Never say neverq
by tbone69069 / February 27, 2014 4:52 PM PST

So you are trying to tell me that if your AV program doesn't catch a virus. No virus programs catch all virus out there. Or one like I read the other day that not one single virus program detected. Then you did a back up. You are telling me that once it does the backup. It creates one big file. That Acronis will not back up the virus into that file but will grab all the other data? There is no backup that can't be infected by a virus on a computer if your virus protection doesn't find it. It will get put in the backup. Remember. Not all virus' are programs. Some Virus' are data files.

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Image backup
by CNETMurren / February 21, 2014 6:33 PM PST
In reply to: I'm backed up !!

Using Microsoft windows 7 so easy to run a image backup. I schedule every 7 days.. I have had to recover to fix a fault rather than a crash and it works as said.

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what is " a reasonable fee"
by Frenchman_RI / February 21, 2014 11:50 PM PST
In reply to: I'm backed up !!

Again, what is " a reasonable fee"??
$10 or $15/year ??? or $150/year ??

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reasonable depends on...
by monsieurms / February 22, 2014 10:54 PM PST

How much money you have
How valuable your data is to you
How much data that you have.

There are providers, Google Drive is one, offering up to 15gb of data storage FREE. That's enough for most people to at least put their critical files up for free. You can use 2 step verification for security. Critical files get automatically backed up with every save.

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p.s. on pricing
by monsieurms / February 22, 2014 10:58 PM PST

Obviously, you need to spend a few minutes and check some major providers for their prices--Dropbox, SkyDrive, Copy, Cubby, Google Drive.

But here's one example; Google gives 15gb free. Then if you want more another 100 costs you $5 a month.

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I image my hard drives once a month
by ihfwt / February 14, 2014 10:36 AM PST

I use Acronis to image my hard drives once a month. It takes a lot less time to reload an image then to rebuild your computer from scratch. If you had a hard drive failure, virus or worse (Cryptolocker malware) an image would save you many hours of installing windows, programs, windows updates etc.

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I do something similar
by giggles / February 21, 2014 11:53 AM PST

I use Norton Ghost to make an image of my system in a clean state: Windows and all applications installed and WITHOUT data (files such as Word, PDF, XLS, etc.). I keep all of my files on my machine AND backed up on Carbonite (not my favorite) AND on a Western Digital 1TB drive.

I keep my data separate from my image on the off chance that there is ever a virus in a document. Rebuilding my system takes only 90 or so minutes, and it reinstalls all of my apps. It works well for me.

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upgrade to SSR
by monsieurms / February 21, 2014 9:15 PM PST
In reply to: I do something similar

Used to love Ghost. Recently upgraded to Symantic System Restore. It's basically Ghost...with some under the hood improvements. It dramatically increased my backup speeds--cutting them more than in half. You should really upgrade. It's well worth it.

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Reason for not being backedup
by netsiu / February 14, 2014 10:54 AM PST

Just lazy.
Have thought about a backup server box but the expense...

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I used to think the same thing until...
by sharee100 / February 21, 2014 10:13 AM PST

My external hard drive with all my photos and family history documents crashed. When I choose to have the data retrieved it will cost a minimum of $600. Compared to $150 per year through Carbonite (one c drive and one external hard drive, both unlimited data), backups sound like a much more economical deal.

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reduce the cost using cryptsync.
by AwarenessForex / February 21, 2014 11:45 AM PST

You could accomplish the same with a cloud storage like dropbox + crypt sync, but cheaper (nearly free) and you control the encryption depending on how much you are backing up. The assumption here is that you are backing up only important files that you "need".

But yes, physical hard drive recovery is very expensive. Much cheaper to buy hard drive in pairs and use the 2nd one as a backup to the first, if you choose not to use cloud storage.

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Did you try this?
by tbone69069 / February 25, 2014 3:17 PM PST

Take the hard drive out of the case and install it in an open drive bay in your pc and use it as an internal hard drive. I had that happen to me. I cracked the case and put it in my computer. It worked fine and I lost nothing.

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Reason for not being backed up
by cbhillman1 / February 21, 2014 10:51 AM PST

I am lazy, too. I think about backing everything up but don't do it! I did luck out when my old laptop crashed; I was able to put the old hard drive in an external container and retrieve all the files. Still, I know I should be better!

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Procrastination (Was: Lazy)
by andy_the_CIRCUIT_RIDER / February 21, 2014 12:13 PM PST

Procrastination is one of my stronger traits. After loosing all my data (several times), i purchased a 3 TB backup drive along with the POGO backup but it is still wanting to be set-up untill the next crash!

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