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Question about portable hard drive used for backing up data.

by wjroberts / February 27, 2007 6:52 AM PST

I recently purchased an 80G I/O Magic portable hard drive. My intention was (and still is) to use it for backing up my important data files, photos, Itunes, etc. It opened as soon as I plugged it in right out of the box and I could copy files to it. However, I had to download a MS back up utility to properly set up the computer to routinely back up the file. I'm using an HP Pavilion notebook (dv4000)with Windows XP Home Edition, 1.73 GHz processor, 100G hard drive, 1G ram. The portable is in FTFS format.

My question is this: Why can't I copy files to the portable drive now and use it to transport files to other computers in addition to using it for backing up files? When I copy/paste or use the Send To command, the files appear in the portable drive, but they won't open. In fact, when I try to open a file, I get the hour glass for a while then a Not Responding message.

Any help will be much appreciated.

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The key seems to be your statement...
by Edward ODaniel / February 28, 2007 6:27 AM PST
However, I had to download a MS back up utility to properly set up the computer to routinely back up the file.

What was the name of this MS Back up utility and where did you get it?

Most backup apps archive the files and the files can only be restored by restoring them through the back up utility.

Give us some SPECIFICS and we can give you some guidance.

For instance, YOU can write a simple batch file to copy files you want backed up to another drive and YOU can then also make use of the Windows scheduler to schedule use of that batch file.
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The key seems to be your statement...
by wjroberts / February 28, 2007 7:11 AM PST

Thanks for the response. I "believe" I have the problem fixed. I spent some time this morning in a live chat with a tech from the portable drive vendor, I/O Magic. He walked me through a number of diagnoses and it turns out there was a conflict between my scanner and the portable drive, probably because I had not updated the scanner driver when I moved to Windows XP from Win 2000 Pro. When I downloaded and installed the updated driver, the problem with the portable drive seems to be fixed.

I've copied/pasted a file to the portable drive and it opened OK. I'm assuming the files I backed-up will restore, if necessary. To get the back-up software, I Googled "Free back-up utility". The first on the list seemed most appropriate. I don't remember the name, but it was specifically for Windows XP Home Edition, my OS. Any idea how I can test the backed-up files?

Thanks for your help.

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Wise move.
by Bob__B / March 1, 2007 12:08 AM PST

Testing the backup files I mean.

Some folks will run backups for months on end and never test the restore.

One day they have a crisis and find the restore function does not work...Ouch.

It's a heck of a time to find out the backup util compressed the files better than anyone expected...double Ouch.

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Between the scanner driver and the...
by Edward ODaniel / March 1, 2007 1:30 AM PST

proper apps for the file format that should solve the problem.

For testing the backups you try to restore it so test it on some test data in case it doesn't work. I would simply create a directory named test_bak and fill it with copies of other files then back it up then delete several of the files in that test_bak directory and try to restore them with the backup software you opt to use. If it works, it works and if it doesn't you find one that does.

Personally, for data backup I find it easiest and quickest to just use a batch file (using XCOPY) to back up updated files and WinZip's command line zipper to compress them. That way I can restore all at once or any individual file quite simply through using any of many "unzip" utilities. That actually gives me a second copy of the data on different media and is done on an hourly schedule. I then use Acronis True Image in conjunction with the batch files to back up that and other data to CD or DVD daily with the removable media stored offsite.

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Between the scanner driver and the...
by wjroberts / March 1, 2007 2:51 AM PST

I created a folder containing copies of various types of files (Excel, Access, Word, PDF, etc.) as you suggested to test the back-up app I downloaded. After backing it up, I then deleted several of the files in the folder. When I ran the Restore function of the Back-up utility, it worked perfectly.

I appreciate the help everyone has given on this "project". I will rest esaier knowing my important information will be protected in the future. Thanks again.

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