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Poll: Be honest, do you back up your important data?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / July 8, 2010 12:16 PM PDT

Be honest, do you back up your important data?

-- Absolutely.
-- Yes, but not often enough.
-- Sometimes.
-- When I feel like it.
-- No, I live on the edge.
-- No, because I have nothing important.
-- No, because I don't know how.

Discuss this topic below. Share some of your lesson learned or horror stories from not backup your data. And if you have sometime please tell us your methods of backup your data. The more you share the more we all can learn from it. We are all ears!

Cheers and thanks for sharing!

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(NT) I clone my drives once a month.
by Coryphaeus / July 8, 2010 10:54 PM PDT
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Another reason for no backups
by kuncne / July 9, 2010 8:59 AM PDT

I suspect many of the 73% claiming disciplined backups at my time of writing are not entirely to be trusted. People naturally protect themselves and often value self-image beyond veracity -- as auto, plumbing, electrical, dry cleaning and other service personnel have known for generations. This ain't just an IT issue. I cite Brendan L of Sydney Australia, who last week sought help for an "accidentally unplugged" flash drive that, he explained, was really a deliberately unplugged drive.

I take issue with your list of suggested (i.e., mandated) responses to your question. I think lots of people don't backup their data because they're totally convinced their equipment will never let them down. I wish some suggestion of that thought mode had been in your list.

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Yepppers - now I do
by jbert / July 9, 2010 9:25 AM PDT

After loosing all my data due to my stupidity. I now use a Web service called BackBlaze. Cost me $50.00 for a year an B/U is continuous. No more worries.

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you betcha, but...
by tfarney / July 9, 2010 9:37 AM PDT

Saved my bacon with external FreeAgent from Seagate. when a backed up internal drive siezed up.
It then worked automatically for about a month then quit, though I still can copy directly to drive, which I do (manual backup = copy).
Debugging this has been no help, nor has Seagate. I have gone so far as to reinstall entire OS on new HD..
I then copied all my stuff from that drive...
I get no response from them, though have tried.

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Seagate Hard Drives
by Ron Geiken / July 9, 2010 9:52 AM PDT
In reply to: you betcha, but...

I will never buy another Seagate hard drive. I had two of their external hard drives quit working and so far have not been able to retrieve data on them. Not sure if it is the interface or the drive itself. I returned the drive to Seagate and it was supposed to be replaced, which they have failed to do. Stay away from Seagate is my advice.

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i suspect
by tfarney / January 25, 2011 11:00 AM PST
In reply to: Seagate Hard Drives

it is the software.
I too got mad at seagate, but before I returned it, bout another brand. It had Nero on it, and that program looked and asked to b/u on the Seagate. It works fine.

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by wilsonpop1 / July 9, 2010 9:42 AM PDT

I responded to an ad for, and I feel great knowing that all my docs, thesis, photos, etc. (and my MS Outlook folders, etc.) are secure.

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Ditto Carbonite
by ancresse / July 9, 2010 10:46 AM PDT
In reply to: Carbonite

After buying an external hard drive (which didn't work with my system), then backing up to about 50 CD's, I decided to spring for Carbonite, too. One less thing to worry about.

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by Mom70x7 / July 9, 2010 3:44 PM PDT
In reply to: Carbonite

I tried several off-site back-up systems and have used Carbonite for several years - both at work and home. I love it! I've needed to recover some old files and it has always worked wonderfully.

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Backing up Data
by Ron Geiken / July 9, 2010 9:49 AM PDT

If you have ever lost data from a crash, you become a little more dedicated. I have an 1 Gig HP Simple Save back up hard drive that continuously backs up data through out the day. That is only backing up data, but I also do a full back up of the whole computer itself to an eSATA external Hard Drive about once a month. My Data should be pretty safe which is important, since that is the information that you have created. You have to ask yourself how important is the data that I have created, and what is the effect if it is lost. Any company will have to back up data, since losing it is not an option. With the HP Hard Drive, all the software for the back up is on the drive itself. All you have to add is a link to turn it on when the computer turns itself on at boot up, and it will automatically do back ups during the period that the computer is on. You just have to add this to your msconfig file.

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by Steven Haninger / July 9, 2010 9:54 AM PDT

but I can honestly say there's nothing I have that I electronically stored that I can't live without if my scheme doesn't work.

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Here's how I keep my data
by thljcl / July 9, 2010 10:07 AM PDT

25 GB of storage may not much for the storage of multimedia files. That?s why I specifically purchased a 1TB of external hard drive to store multimedia files. In addition, I use a bunch of DVDs to store software and media files. I have another 320GB hard drive to store my software. Understanding that hard drive may spoil in the future, I?m looking forward to replace them, possibly after the next version of Windows is released.
My important documents, software and music files are stored both locally and in Windows Live SkyDrive. I register for four Windows Live IDs. Microsoft makes switching back and forth between Windows Live IDs really easy, especially in Internet Explorer 8. Currently, most of the storages in my SkyDrive are not used. I?m actually hoping Microsoft will give more storage for free. But it seems like it doesn?t happen in this update (wave 4). It?s interesting to see how Microsoft will continue to improve its online services.

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Backup sometimes
by mal_aus / July 9, 2010 10:49 AM PDT

I run both a laptop and desktop PC. Most files are duplicated so I therefore do not worry about backups but I also use a free on-line backup for my most important files. This does automatic backups relieving me of the necessity.
So in answer to the question - No, I don't backup data, my system does.

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Back Up Data
by PRJJohnson / July 9, 2010 12:27 PM PDT

I have an external hard drive which automatically backs up my computer once a day in the morning. I can do a manual back up if I put in a lot of data

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Data Back Up
by PRJJohnson / July 9, 2010 12:29 PM PDT
In reply to: Back Up Data

I forgot to mention that I used my back up when mycomputer crashed. All my data was there!

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Do you back up your important data?
by fosterb28 / July 9, 2010 12:30 PM PDT

I use Windows Home Server and it is GREAT.I had a hard drive fail and when it was replaced I put the restore disk in and it asked which of the backups for the correct machine would I like to use. It could not be easer, when it rebooted every thing was there, no resetup it was just like it was before it failed.

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Expensive but it works & I wish I could remember there name.
by MaD_HaCkER / July 10, 2010 2:43 PM PDT

There is only one type of person who backs up on a daily basis. The person who has lost data allready Wink

If you must have your data on site, (your house or office) consider a RAID system, this is a set of harddrives, 2 or 4 who mirror each other so anything that gets written to one gets written to all; great system but you are buying 2 or 4 times as much harddrive space as you are able to use, if you are on a LAN this makes sense, for a single user, not so much. If you are using carbonite or other off site backup I have heard good things about them, One of them and I wish I could remember there name bought an old government underground bunker rated to survive an atomic blast! But if the big boys start throwing nukes around I might have more to worry about than my data Wink
But then again I heard about a U.S. army laptop that is suppost to be able to keep working after it has been within 600 yards of an atomic blast; I wonder how they tested this; and weather the user was able to get a refund if it stopped working? Wink

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Do you back up your important data?
by KWOII / July 9, 2010 1:47 PM PDT

Yes, I have an extra drive and I back up my whole primary drive each
night with Shadow Protect Desktop Version 4. I love it. It does a great job!

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I've Learned My Lesson
by AllenDunn / July 9, 2010 3:02 PM PDT

I'm old, slow, stubborn, and tend toward procrastination. But a couple of years ago, after two hard drives on two different computers failed within a six month period, I finally learned my lesson and bought an external hard drive to which I've set my Windows 7 computer to automatically back up everything on its root directory ?EVERY DAY.

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by tfarney / July 10, 2010 1:06 AM PDT
In reply to: I've Learned My Lesson

My XP pro system insists on disabling backup service, won't let me enable it...
I reinstalled OS on new HD to subvert this but, no.

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I live on the edge
by korndog.korn / July 9, 2010 3:05 PM PDT

I dont backup my data nearly enough mabye once every time i expect my laptop to crash, but i have learned even a new drive could die any minute. My girlfriends dell computer had a 320 gig hd and it stopped registering in the bios after about 3 months and dell wouldnt cover it they said it was " act of god" even tho it just quit. My server however has been running non stop for 5 years never turned off and its just been chugging along fine. but if it ever does crash im out 4tb of data Sad

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How can they say that?
by tfarney / July 10, 2010 1:03 AM PDT
In reply to: I live on the edge


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What's so hard?
by Crash2100 / July 10, 2010 3:57 AM PDT

Using a NAS drive and some drive imaging software, I Backing things up every day. My computers are setup to backup the Documents and Settings folder, and a few other things, on a daily basis, and it backs up the system partitions once a month, saving everything to a NAS drive.

This way, if anything goes wrong, I have a copy of my crucial documents that's no more than a day old, and a copy of that and my system that's no more than a month old. The backups save my butt time and time again, it's well worth the effort and cost.

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i dont do backup because i dont know how!
by sunshinedeb24 / July 10, 2010 3:29 PM PDT

I dont backup my data because i dont know how! can anyone tell me how to do it so that it is not overwhelming? thanks:)

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What do you want to backup?
by Crash2100 / July 12, 2010 2:45 AM PDT

What are you trying to backup? Everything on your computer? Or just your documents and other personal stuff?

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How to clone a hard disk
by otr_man / July 29, 2010 12:45 AM PDT

1. Buy a second hard disk, one that is at least as big as your existing hard disk.

2. Get your local computer repairs store to fit it inside your desktop PC. This will probably be where you buy the second hard disk, so they shopuld be willing to do this for a small extra charge. (All desktop PC's have space inside for at least two hard disks!)

3. Copy the files that you want to keep from your main disk to the second disk, using Windows Explorer (if you're using Windows). It's as easy as that!

Or there are lots of so-called "cloning" programs (including some free ones!) that you can download, e.g. HD Clone or HD Clone Professional, any of which will copy your entire main disk onto the new disk, creating an identical copy of it on the new disk (called "making a clone").

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I always back up after that incident.

My old PC's hard disk had crashed some 2 years ago. And I know the trouble I faced of losing all the data. From then on I keep 2 backups of all files.
After I got my new PC this April, I always clone the drive(especially the D:\ drive where I have the most important files) every month. Furthermore I use the Smart Recovery tool provided along with my Gigabyte motherboard.

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do NOT use USB HDD for backups!!!1!
by Practical-Mac / July 12, 2010 2:35 AM PDT

I find USB2 too slow and unreliable to do backups with (USB was made for keyboards, mice, and printers, not mass storage). FireWire is excellent and a large number of PC's have FireWire/1394 built in and the drives are easy to fine. eSATA is getting popular and that is also a great choice.

I use a RAID 1 FireWire 800 drive as primary backup. I also have 2 more FireWire drives to backup, one as backup of stored files on the computer drive (like photos and home movies). I also burn some photo libraries to DVD-R (portable), and even use small USB-Flash drives for critical documents to put in safe.

***Don't backup without a plan!!***
As you may notice, I use a few different types of media to back up key items, not just bulk backups.

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Do it the easy way: Buy a USB pen drive
by otr_man / July 29, 2010 12:35 AM PDT

I have two backup strategies.

Once a month I clone all my drives onto a removeable 500GB e-SATA hard disk, as a thorough back-up. I only have two 80GB internal IDE hard disks in my system, so this is easy, as they only total 160GB.

But I also keep a handful of 8GB USB 1.1 pen drives on my desk, which I copy important files to all the time.

I run Windows 98SE and Windows ME. So I can only use FAT32 partitions not exceeding 126 GB each; but in practice this doesn't present any drawbacks, and makes me immune to Windows XP/Vista viruses.

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by thljcl / July 29, 2010 12:43 AM PDT

It?s good to know that there are some people who still run Windows 9x. People are reluctant to adopt changes, aren?t they?

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