Backup / cloud storage chat

wmrcomputers

Stafford PC & laptop repair specialist
@Mikinton it sounds like you are storing multiple backups of the same files to me. Like you, I also only use a 1TB external drive these days, but mine is around 800Gb of single files. If you only total around 215Gb then you certainly don't need a bigger drive. You need to simply format the external drive and start again with a full backup so that you just have 215Gb on there. I don't even use a backup program to do it. I just manually make a copy of all my important folders such as Documents, Pictures etc.

EDITED just to say make sure you don't format it unless you know for certain that everything important is still on the PC's own hard drive first. Should go without saying but I don't want to feel responsible for an easy mistake :up:
 

Mikinton

Well-Known Forumite
@Mikinton it sounds like you are storing multiple backups of the same files to me. Like you, I also only use a 1TB external drive these days, but mine is around 800Gb of single files. If you only total around 215Gb then you certainly don't need a bigger drive. You need to simply format the external drive and start again with a full backup so that you just have 215Gb on there. I don't even use a backup program to do it. I just manually make a copy of all my important folders such as Documents, Pictures etc.

EDITED just to say make sure you don't format it unless you know for certain that everything important is still on the PC's own hard drive first. Should go without saying but I don't want to feel responsible for an easy mistake :up:
Thanks for your reply, @wmrcomputers - I've been using the Backup/Restore software that comes with Windows 10, though I'm not too clear on what this gives me over and above selecting the folders I want to back up and copying them to my external drive. I don't believe I've ever restored a file on my current laptop so I'm not really aware of what features are available - presumably some catalogues to help me locate the file(s) I'm after rather than having to wade through the filing structure the hard way.

Anyway, what I shall probably do is delete the oldest backup (or two) taken from this laptop ready for when I next run a backup .... and then just carry on doing that.

And I should just add that the external drive also has the My Documents etc folders from a few hard discs from previous laptops - about 15 year's worth of work.

Anyway, thanks again.
 

Mikinton

Well-Known Forumite
owl_photo4.jpg
 

Thehooperman

Well-Known Forumite
I had planned to interrogate Ecker about the best way to tackle all my old slides, negatives and prints, but I never did get round to it.

I've got a slide/negative scanner somewhere if you want to borrow it.

It takes a lot of time to align and scan the slides but i think it was worth it as I had a lot of photos of my childhood and also of my parents who are sadly no longer with us.
 

wmrcomputers

Stafford PC & laptop repair specialist
I've just this week had a customer bring a computer to me with a failed hard drive which has prompted me to return to this thread again. I'm absolutely mortified that on this occassion it is looking highly unlikely that I'll be able to help them get anything back. All I know is that there was "several years worth of work", and that the approximate usage is around 400Gb.

I have contacted a few data recovery labs, that for obvious reasons don't like to quote prices. After explaining my position and that I could potentially send work their way, and very accurately telling them the fault type, I eventually managed to get a couple of quotes. One of an estimated £1150 + VAT, and another of "upwards of £1000.

It upsets me as I've lost valuable data myself before so I know how it feels - but I still know that a HUGE percentage of computer users don't back up at all. I've had customers admit that they don't really know how, others that simply forget and find it a chore and of course there are plenty that just think it will never happen to them!

As most of my work is slowly drawing to a close, I'd consider offering a backup service (NOT cloud as I learned the hard way before that people just don't trust it), but a physical & complete backup. I could run it in one of two ways. 1 - Provide the backup media and software install with admin notifications to myself via email in order for me to know if their backup is failing for any reason. 2 - A physical weekly or monthly visit whereby I take a full backup image which is encrypted and stored on my own media for them so that they have an off-site backup. In either situation I could assist customers in getting back up and running rapidly if they suffered hard drive failure / theft / fire etc. However, I have so many unanswered questions.

A. How difficult would it be to sell
B. How much would be a reasonable fee per month and would it then be worth doing allowing for expenses & travel
C. Which method would people be most likely to trust

As much as this is something I would love to be doing I just have too many doubts. Backup should be essential for around 90% of computer users, but 90% of them won't be told until it's too late. I just hate not being able to make people realise it's importance, and then hate even more not being able to help them by the time it IS too late.
 

Cue

Well-Known Forumite
Data recovery labs are a joke, they charge extortionate prices. I had a Seagate fail on me due to a known board issue and they have the cheek to quote me £1000+VAT to recover data that was lost by their own fault.

I assume you've tried the usual filesystem recovery tricks like GetDataBack for NTFS, etc?
 

tek-monkey

wanna see my snake?
I've fixed drives in the past by swapping out boards, been while though. I even once opened a drive and ran it open and poked it to unstick a head, worked for nearly 5 minutes!
 

wmrcomputers

Stafford PC & laptop repair specialist
@Cue yes I have. Staff at PC World sometimes send their customers to me for data recovery as they know I'm usually quite succesful, however this is one of those occasions when it just can't happen. If your seagate drive was genuinely a board fault then that quote would have been extremely ridiculous as it wouldn't have even required the drive to be opened. Swapping the board over is super simple providing that you can find a board from an identical drive and firmware version.
Whilst I totally agree with you that it was a cheek, the thing to remember is that they don't guarantee your DATA, only the hardware. Again it is the responsibility of the user to ensure that a backup is in place - and most of us are guilty of either not backing up at all, or becoming lazy and not backing up regularly enough.

@tek-monkey - likewise mate, however on this occasion I know from the behaviour that the head isn't stuck but instead it is failing to read. I'll be doing a board swap just to make certain (on order) but I don't hold out much hope.
 

Mikinton

Well-Known Forumite
Not backing up is a colossal error...
Indeed, but I don't believe in over-egging it.

The files I would miss are those which I have produced, namely my documents/spreadsheets, photos and videos - and they don't take up much space. My Documents is 14gb and grows at probably less than .5gb per month. My Pictures is 45gb and grows at maybe 1.2gb per holiday/event. My videos folder is quite big, but I don't think I'd ever miss the stuff that's in it (I've got around 25 3-hour VHS tapes upstairs that I never watch).

I'll probably move to doing day-to-day work on Google Drive, and back-up my photos (and everything else) after each holiday, as soon as I've edited the photos.
 

Cue

Well-Known Forumite
@Cue yes I have. Staff at PC World sometimes send their customers to me for data recovery as they know I'm usually quite succesful, however this is one of those occasions when it just can't happen. If your seagate drive was genuinely a board fault then that quote would have been extremely ridiculous as it wouldn't have even required the drive to be opened. Swapping the board over is super simple providing that you can find a board from an identical drive and firmware version.
Whilst I totally agree with you that it was a cheek, the thing to remember is that they don't guarantee your DATA, only the hardware. Again it is the responsibility of the user to ensure that a backup is in place - and most of us are guilty of either not backing up at all, or becoming lazy and not backing up regularly enough.

@tek-monkey - likewise mate, however on this occasion I know from the behaviour that the head isn't stuck but instead it is failing to read. I'll be doing a board swap just to make certain (on order) but I don't hold out much hope.

Yeah I was like, 12 at the time. It wasn't important, just annoying. Not sure if it was a board fault or the firmware had actually corrupted something.

I run backups now.
 

tek-monkey

wanna see my snake?
I back up my backups, but only to cloud. Not that I have much I care about anymore, just photos and google has copies of all those.
 

Gramaisc

Forum O. G.
All I couldn't easily replace is the pictures. I have them in two machines, recent ones are still in the two cameras, one of which is rarely in the house - every now and then, I make a disc copy and leave it 200 miles away.

Most "records" that I might need are in emails, the stuff that I had in downloads and documents is now largely irrelevant, and I've cleared a lot of it out, anyway.

I have, in both cameras, got the first saved picture carrying the means to contact me, should they ever get lost.
 

Mikinton

Well-Known Forumite
All I couldn't easily replace is the pictures. I have them in two machines, recent ones are still in the two cameras, one of which is rarely in the house - every now and then, I make a disc copy and leave it 200 miles away.
This is really quite important and something that has prompted me to move my backup drive from the house to one of the outside rooms.
 

Gramaisc

Forum O. G.
This is really quite important and something that has prompted me to move my backup drive from the house to one of the outside rooms.
Yeah, it's not just equipment failure that needs to be considered - theft and destruction are also potential issues.
 

tek-monkey

wanna see my snake?
I once worked at a place that kept the backup tapes on top of the server they were backing up, didn't even have a fire safe!
 

Jonah

Spouting nonsense since the day I learned to talk
I once worked at a place that kept the backup tapes on top of the server they were backing up, didn't even have a fire safe!
Same for a place I used to work. Back up was run overnight and then the tapes were taken out in the morning and left next to the tape drive. The tapes never left the premises.
 
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