collapse

* Member Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Like Us on Facebook

The blues come from a woman wanting to see her man, and a man wanting to see his woman - Furry Lewis

Author Topic: Backup your backup  (Read 962 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Rivers

  • Tech Support
  • Member
  • Posts: 6920
  • I like chicken pie
Backup your backup
« on: April 25, 2018, 05:50:58 AM »
but that little USB drive contains just sooo much great stuff

Just a word to the wise... make sure you have at least one back up of the drive. I lost a USB flash drive just this week and it cost me a lot of time. They are extremely prone to irrecoverable data corruption.

Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2581
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: Third Man / Paramount Box Set Sale
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2018, 09:41:39 AM »
Just a word to the wise... make sure you have at least one back up of the drive. I lost a USB flash drive just this week and it cost me a lot of time. They are extremely prone to irrecoverable data corruption.

Ain't that the truth. We all  know how to backup our files, folders, drives, etc., but doing it on a regular basis is another matter. Sometime ago I stumbled on DSyncronize, which is a simple free program that works for me:

http://dimio.altervista.org/eng/dsynchronize/dsynchronize.html

There are plenty of other utilities like it out there, but its simplicity is what appeals to me.

Offline Rivers

  • Tech Support
  • Member
  • Posts: 6920
  • I like chicken pie
Re: Backup your backup
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2018, 12:02:06 PM »
This is a good topic for the Unwound Third so I'll split it off to there.

The reason I lost a lot of time over a USB stick was having to reformat the hard drive on my macbook due to long-existing minor corruption in the system partition. This was causing no real problems until attempting to install the new macOS High Sierra, which puked when it saw the bad SSD and wouldn't unmount the drive.

I tried everything I could google to fix it without disturbing the 6 years of apps and data sitting on it but no dice, time to initialize the disk. Did some cleanup prep, more backups, and made a bootable version of Sierra and High Sierra on USB flash drives.

I keep mission critical stuff replicated on iCloud and use automated Time Machine for hourly incremental backups to a Synology NAS with terabytes of space on it, fabulous. So I'm all set. To cut a long story short, I blitzed the drive (scary) and successfully reinstalled the OS from the Sierra USB stick. I had a brand new macOS Sierra m/c with nothing on it but Apple apps. Checked I could get to iCloud files and the NAS Time Machine backups, AOK

Time to run the installer on the second USB stick to get it to High Sierra. Phut! Completely unreadable. No problem, I'll just grab the installer from the Time Machine backup, thinks I. But... Time Machine doesn't back up installer files since they're so big. I learned something the hard way.

Next frustration was right on cue, our internet connection started running at about 12% of its normal speed. It's slow at the best of times since we're rural but 0.5 Mbps is ridiculous. When I started downloading High Sierra from the App Store estimated completion times were like 2 or 3 days...

Next day I was telling Cheryl about the High Sierra USB stick crash and the still-running download from the App Store. She says "No problem, I've got the installer on my machine". Phew. So I cancel the download, she puts the installer on the NAS, I grab it and run it. 40 minutes later my mac's at High Sierra without a squeak of protest.

Now I just have to reinstall Office 365, Adobe Illustrator + Photoshop + Light Room + Acro Reader, Sketchup... onwards and upwards.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 12:25:46 PM by Rivers »

Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2581
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: Backup your backup
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2018, 01:52:44 PM »
Several years ago (perhaps closer to ten--I searched and couldn't find anything) I believe I posted something about DiskWarrior, a program my son uses:

https://www.alsoft.com/DiskWarrior/

He said it was the best and had to use it several times to whip things back into shape on the ol' HDD. It might be worth checking out.

Offline Rivers

  • Tech Support
  • Member
  • Posts: 6920
  • I like chicken pie
Re: Backup your backup
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2018, 02:29:51 PM »
That looks like a useful tool to have handy for both crisis situations and for regular maintenance and monitoring. The error I was getting when running Disk Utility > First Aid indicated corruption. I did not see that one listed on their website of system errors it can handle. I think I was probably doomed to initializing it. Now it's all done, bar reinstalling apps, I feel pretty good about it. Touch wood.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 02:30:57 PM by Rivers »

Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2581
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: Backup your backup
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2018, 04:00:25 PM »
Now that the crisis passed... (Famous last words...) --But seriously, now might be the time to give the DW tech support people a call and describe the problems while they are fresh in your mind. --And ask if DW could have saved you some time and trouble. They've probably heard it all by now and just might give you honest and accurate information about whether or not their product would have been useful in your specific circumstances. It wouldn't hurt to ask.

I don't know what it costs these days, but it was somewhat pricey when my son first bought it. I thought it was a video game given the name, but he set me straight.


Offline Rivers

  • Tech Support
  • Member
  • Posts: 6920
  • I like chicken pie
Re: Backup your backup
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2018, 04:53:55 AM »
DW is $120 from their site.

Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2581
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: Backup your backup
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2018, 03:34:13 PM »
That sounds about right. I think my son paid $99, but that was perhaps close to ten years ago. $120 is not exactly small change, but if it saves you  the time and headaches involved in rebuilding your system from the ground up, then it's worth it.

I'm on the PC side and use Acronis TI to create backup images of my HDD as well as clone my primary drives so I can just pop in a spare if one goes south on me. It's like what Dave Barry said when asked why he always packs a couple of spare aquarium filters whenever he summits Everest: "Better to have 'em and not need 'em than to need 'em and not have 'em."  ;)

Offline DerZauberer

  • Member
  • Posts: 40
  • I woke up this morning... (well I hope I did)
Re: Backup your backup
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2018, 09:57:09 AM »
Here's my process:
1) Paranoid me keeps all his data on a NAS drive with RAID to prevent against hardware failure.
2) This NAS is then regularly - about every three months, I don't gather that much new data really - backed up onto external USB hard drives.
3) I copy the actual files - using a program to mirror, but the actual usable files are on the external drive (=no backup archive, it's MP3s and JPGs, etc.)
4) Each of those hard drives is then copied again.
5) One backup I keep, the other backup lives in my dad's house.
6) For anything short-term, I rely on DropBox, Google Drive, iCloud.
7) 100% separation between work stuff and private stuff.

In my case, I'm not worried about the system as such, if that needs to be rebuilt so be it. I'm worried about 20+ years of digital music collecting and tons of photos and videos. I have had a laptop die on me, I have had a NAS harddisk die on me, I have had a backup drive sitting for too long and being corrupted... I have always had a relatively recent backup.
"The blues is not a plaything like some people think they are." - Son House

Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2581
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: Backup your backup
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2018, 01:40:24 PM »
Definitely a good strategy and plan for data preservation, DerZauberer. Being aware that the backup hardware (HDD) can age out and fail, and that keeping one's backups only in one location--"keeping all your cookies in one jar"--doesn't provide adequate protection, is great advice as well. Thanks for the thoughtful post.


Offline Rivers

  • Tech Support
  • Member
  • Posts: 6920
  • I like chicken pie
Re: Backup your backup
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2018, 05:50:03 AM »
Exemplary data backup strategy you have there, DerZauberer. I need to get an offsite physical backup schedule in place. If we had more bandwidth available here I'd just shove everything up to the cloud.

It's worth considering how you're going to restore apps as well. This can be tricky depending on their history, and/or the documentation you have on them.

Mac apps downloaded from the the app store are a breeze to reinstall, just log in and they're sitting there ready to download. Sketchup etc was likewise grab and go from the web.

Since I use the cloud subscription version of Adobe Illustrator, restoring it wasn't a problem, just had to remember my Adobe CC sign-on and download it again. MS Office was also an easy re-download from the Office 365 site, just log-in and go.

Legacy apps are where problems arise. Lightroom 5 I had to find the box it came in and re-enter the key/serial number. Photoshop CS6 I'm still stuck on at this point, being unable to find the original box, but I mostly just use Lightroom for tweaking photos these days.

Offline Rivers

  • Tech Support
  • Member
  • Posts: 6920
  • I like chicken pie
Re: Backup your backup
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2018, 05:38:07 PM »
Unbelievably, considering we live way out beyond the black stump, they're running fiber optic cable up our road as we speak. I need an emoticon for "shaking my head in gleeful disbelief".

Maybe Frontier got tired of us reporting outages / slowdowns and stirring up the neighbors to do the same and figured it would be more cost effective to just run several miles of fiber optic cable. I'll believe it when I see it, in other words 30 Mbps here we come... maybe. If it happens we'll be loyal customers for life. Scheduled cutover September 19th

Offline harriet

  • Member
  • Posts: 488
    • www.harrietgoldenslide.com
Re: Backup your backup
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2018, 01:40:38 AM »
Congratulations, Rivers.

Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2581
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: Backup your backup
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2018, 08:42:43 AM »
Here in Shoreline, WA, we have Frontier as well. Over the years I've had to contact tech support numerous times, usually for disconnects but also for slowdowns. Tech support can range from virtually useless to better than excellent. Our service is over the telephone landline, so the problems have almost always been with the DSLAM (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer) router upstream. The local hub is about 1/2 mile up the road, so it's usually just a matter of having the field technician re-configuring or replacing the DSLAM router.

One of the most knowledgeable tech support people I spoke with (the fellow was retired military with a tech background in the service) said that basically the problem is trying to run 2018 technology over 1950s and 1960s infrastructure (the decades when most of the phone lines were installed or last replaced). Some lines date back to the 30s and 40s--and even earlier. He said that the original lines were solid and built to last, and given the nature of landline phone technology--and the fact that people are dropping their landline service in favor of cell (mobile) only service--, the incentive to rebuild equipment that still serves its original intended purpose just wasn't there.

Enter the demands of high speed internet. He went on to say that the internet has gone from primarily text and some graphics to where high def video and audio are by default part of the home page of many websites. Add in streaming media content by multiple users at one residence along with subscriber saturation in one geographical area and you have system overload. It's amazing that anything works at all in some places.

He said that the strategy was to rebuild and upgrade the infrastructure using the latest technology, both as circumstances dictate and as an overall plan, but that obviously it all can't be done at once. 

Subscriber saturation and system overload probably aren't problems where you live, but Frontier might have just looked at things and decided that a rebuild was required and fiber optic cable was the best choice. The labor cost is about the same so why not use fiber optic?

(BTW, if you haven't read it, Michael Lewis' Flash Boys has a few interesting stories about fiber optic cable being run as part as a dedicated trading line in an area of the financial sector where every nanosecond counts big time.)

So as Harriet says, Congratulations! Welcome to the early 21st century!

(I'm going back to a couple of tin cans and a tight string--or if that doesn't work, maybe semaphore.) And years ago when AT&T called and tried to sell me a fancy long distance plan, I declined but told the poor unsuspecting soul that I would be interested in the service that the second "T" in AT&T stood for. Needless to say, it was no longer offered.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2018, 08:46:05 AM by Stuart »

Offline eric

  • Member
  • Posts: 533
Re: Backup your backup
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2018, 12:22:05 PM »
I am old enough that I have sent telegrams  ::)

I'm not sure things have improved much since then, except I can now listen to lots of country blues online, and gripe about politicians face-to-face with my Brit cousin in the style of Statler and Waldorf.
--
Eric

Tags: