PLEASE PLEASE, do yourself a favor

46 replies
If you don't backup everything important from your PC regarding your business or anything else important, then you should start.

My laptop crashed yesterday and I soon realized how much stuff I didn't backup that was very important. I lost so much stuff and programs, it is going to take me a long time to get everything back and figure out what I lost. I am still running into things and slapping myself thinking, oh no, not that too.

I honestly thought I was keeping everything important backed up, but sometimes you do so much in one day you just forget. I am not that familiar with backup programs and was just manually copying and pasting the things I wanted backed up to my external hard drive.

So my question is.... Is there a program that is a one click solution to backing up the things you want? I had over 200GB of movies and other stuff I didn't really want to backup, so it is not efficient for me to just backup the whole drive.

Obviously now I am thinking of re-organizing my hardrives and will only be using my new laptop (when I get it) for my online biz only and am purchasing a new extrernal drive for backup purposes for just my online biz as well.

I didn't realize how much stuff I would collect and everything, including movies, music, online biz stuff, programs and apps, just ended up being mixed together between my 2 external drives and my laptop.

I will never make the mistake of being that unorganized again.

EDIT: Thank god my brother has a laptop he doesn't use very much, he has agreed to lend it to me until I get another or finish upgrading my main pc.
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  • Profile picture of the author bethparker
    I don't have any recommendations about what to use, but it sure is a bummer to lose your files. I hope you're able to recover them somehow.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tashi Mortier
      I can recommend yourself a service and a product.

      Easiest Online Backup Service - Backblaze is a great service - For $5 a month you can do unlimited backups of one pc online. That means every file on your pc will be backed up. (You can specify a password so all data will be transferred encrypted)

      If you want to keep your things off-line you can use Norton Ghost together with an external Hard Drive.

      I use both services and tried restoring files and it works. I didn't lose any data yet but as I said I tried to restore data and it works so I feel confident.
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    • Profile picture of the author Apollo77
      Thanks Brian

      My head has been spinning about all the stuff I lost, I didn't even think to bring it to a tech guy who might be able to recover what I lost.

      We'll see what happens.
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  • Profile picture of the author cindybidar
    I use an online service. For $5 a month my backups happen automatically, and I don't have to worry about it. I also keep business stuff in a DropBox folder, so (a) it's accessible everywhere I go, and (b) it's always backed up, even if my backup fails.

    Is there any chance of recovering in the data on your hard drive?
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  • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
    Backups?

    Ah, who need 'em? This PC is bomb-proof, it's never going t
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  • Profile picture of the author powerspike
    If you can't afford to buy some commercial backup software, windows vista/7 comes with some free backup software (it might be in xp as well - but don't use that anymore).

    Start-> type in "backup your computer", you'll see the program there.

    You can set up daily or weekly automated backups as well.

    This is a great feature and i use it myself. haven't had an issue with it yet.
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  • Profile picture of the author BlondieWrites
    I feel for you. I learned this lesson the hard way a few years ago. I got careless about backing up my files. Then my computer crashed, and I lost a lot of important files.

    Now I use an external drive as my regular drive and don't use the drive on my computer much at all. I also back up on another external drive and put the super important stuff on CDs and DVDs. I probably overdo it, but after losing important files in the past, I just feel better overdoing it.

    Lesson learned: Back up files that you can't afford to lose.. and do it now, don't wait!


    Cindy
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    • Profile picture of the author Success With Dany
      Banned
      Originally Posted by BlondieWrites View Post

      I feel for you. I learned this lesson the hard way a few years ago. I got careless about backing up my files. Then my computer crashed, and I lost a lot of important files.

      Now I use an external drive as my regular drive and don't use the drive on my computer much at all. I also back up on another external drive and put the super important stuff on CDs and DVDs. I probably overdo it, but after losing important files in the past, I just feel better overdoing it.

      Lesson learned: Back up files that you can't afford to lose.. and do it now, don't wait!


      Cindy
      Same here. If it has to be saved, external hard drive it goes. For trinkets such as add-ons, laptop drive.
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  • Profile picture of the author DivaOnline
    Thanks for this tid bit of info. I'm starting to really build an online biz and that would be devastating right now, I can only imagine how you feel.

    All the technology out today....there should be a way to get at least some of your data back.

    I dont know if this will help but I email myself files alot of times so I can retrieve them from my yahoo mailbox. I started doing that to be able to work on things on different computers when I didnt save to zip drives.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    A lot of times they can still recover the data from the drive. I know two people who both had their computer crash on them but both were given all their data on a portable hard drive. The information is usually still there somewhere - go to a techie and hopefully you will be saved. Good lesson learnt though.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Atkins
    Good advice. About 2 years ago the server that I was hosting my
    important website on crashed, and I lost everything. From that they
    on I learned to back up of everything I have frequently.

    Losing important stuff is a real pain.
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    • Profile picture of the author eQuus
      Retrieving files from a crashed drive is quite costly -- $$$$.
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      • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
        Originally Posted by eQuus View Post

        Retrieving files from a crashed drive is quite costly -- $$$$.
        So is losing everything on your hard drive. Either way, you pay.
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        • Profile picture of the author ormes21
          That sucks!!

          I use a mac and have time machine setup with my external hard drive.

          I know this might not help the OP but a couple of weeks ago we had a virus on the family pc and it deleted the whole my documents folder.....but using a program called winundelete we managed to retrieve 90% percent of the files.
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          • Profile picture of the author DrMeg
            Carbonite is the service I use and I back up manually to an external hard drive about once a month. But Carbonite is backing up everything all the time in the background. Worth every penny.
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  • Profile picture of the author reapr
    Yup this redneck warrior can attest that while losing weight may be a good thing losing bytes is not so good.

    I had a backup drive that slowed the computer to a crawl. So much for A WD backup drive.

    I finally went with carbonite. It is reasonable and it is off site.

    And should I go oh cr@p I just deleted that file I can get it back right away. Nothing special but it is reasonable.
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  • Profile picture of the author MKBridge
    Yes I use Carbonite also. It is an excellent product and only costs about $55 per year.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
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    • Profile picture of the author Apollo77
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      I had a PC crash hard once, I still saved most of the drive.

      1) Remove the drive from your laptop.

      2) Set the crashed drive to Slave.

      3) Daisy chain the crashed drive to a working PC, then copy all the contents into the good drive.

      I think I saved about 90% of the drive.

      Before I did all of the above, I had to open the crashed drive case (I had nothing more to lose ). The little arm inside the crashed drive kept getting stuck everytime it tried to read data on the disk.

      Try it, you have nothing to lose.

      Worked for me,

      Now I backup with an external 500GB USB drive ($65 at Walmart).
      I actually did take out the hard drive and hooked it up with external wires to my brothers comp, but nothing, just asks if I want to format, forget that, I'll loose everything, if anything is still there that is. I actually have 2 500GB externals that I use and was backing things up to both, but over time I forgot to back some things up and it wasn't until my laptop crashed that I realized all the stuff that I hadn't backed up.

      From the recommendations of this post I think I will definitely invest in Carbonite, sounds like an easy and hands off back up process so if I forget to manually back stuff up (which I do with my external drives sometimes) and this happens again, at least I won't have to worry about what I forgot to back up like this time.
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      • Profile picture of the author dpepper
        Hi,

        I'm sorry to hear about your computer troubles, I had my computer stolen a couple years ago it was horrible. I had an external hard drive that I backed up files too, however I hadn't done it in a while.

        You know what the worst part of the story was that day I told a coworker I needed to back up my computer files when I got home from work. A little while later my son called and told me when he came home the computer and his Playstation was gone.

        I use Carbonite now and like the other posters it can back files up everyday or on a schedule. I hope they can recover your information, if you haven't done it before print out all our receipts so you know what programs you bought and consider getting DAM it's a product from Big Mike at Incan Soft he offers specials for nearly any holiday.

        You can add all your products you buy and separate them into categories with download info and serial numbers then back up to a CD that way if something happens again you will have two sources to find your missing information.

        Dolores
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  • Profile picture of the author Bicycle Cat
    Just last week, my backup drive crashed!

    Unfortunately, I would have to pay a lot of money to recover the contents, possibly not every single thing in it.

    Sure, it's great to backup your contents, but when that solution fails, what happens?

    I've been using Dropbox and it's great. Not only is it cheap, but it's also free for a certain amount of space.
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    • Profile picture of the author djemerald
      Oh boy, thats terrible . I had that happen to me , lost absolutely everything including the computer. I use disks to save a lot of files on because it's easier for me to sort and find too. I also now use Kapersky on the recommendation of my new computer installer. I have an external drive just for saving system and complete backup. Pretty cheap security for all your internet marketing arsonal we tend to keep here . I sleep a lot better knowing that if the computer dies I can still recover . ( pun intended!) .
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  • Profile picture of the author CMCarlin
    I use mozyhome for about 5 bucks a month. Can anyone compare carbonite to mozyhome? I'd like to know the difference. I also use drop box, but only for syncing files between my PC and my VPS.
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  • Profile picture of the author ExRat
    Hi,

    I use GoodSync from the roboform makers, for backing up to a local hard drive.

    33% off in today's sales, I see.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrea Wilson
    I only use dropbox for backing up my important files. But hearing your comments about carbonite made me curious if it is way better than dropbox.


    Andrea
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  • Profile picture of the author AdmiralGloom
    Thanks for reminding me, I am very good at making things just stop working and for some reason backing up my info is always the last thing on my mind!
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  • Profile picture of the author TheNightOwl
    Highly recommended:

    FreeAgent Desk: External USB 2.0 Hard Drive (500GB-640GB-1TB-1.5TB-2TB) | Seagate

    (Sorry, Windows only)

    If you don't like the idea of storing your entire hard drive on some third-party site, buy two of these FreeAgent puppies. Schedule a back-up twice a week. Keep one in a safety deposit box and rotate them every week/fortnight/month.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I just bought this
    Acer Official Site: Acer Aspire One 533

    And transferred all my work files to it as a backup to my desktop computer. If anything happens to the desktop, I have another computer already set up and ready to go. This is a great little computer. Got it at Walmart for $250.
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    • Profile picture of the author Intrepreneur
      Backup early, backup often

      Best to do a whole drive image, and not just onto one external drive, as they have a tendency to burn out.
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      • Profile picture of the author Apollo77
        Originally Posted by Intrepreneur View Post

        Best to do a whole drive image, and not just onto one external drive, as they have a tendency to burn out.
        Precisely the reason I bought 2 500GB externals, and for extra storage (movies and games takes up a lot of space). I guess I just got lazy with backing up and forgot to sometimes. I'm just glad I didn't loose everything, but I am still running into things, thinking SH*T, not that too, lol.

        No, don't format!

        You have to set the jumper switch on the crashed drive to slave.
        Sorry, I should have mentioned that in the other post. I did make sure that little plastic piece was in the the slave slot. Not sure if that matters as I was hooking it up externally, it just pops up like a USB stick when you do that, cause the wires are usb, it doesn't even show that drive in the bios boot sequence when I hook it up like that. BUT I also tried opening up my brothers comp and hooking it directly to main board, plastic piece in slave position and I still get the same result. The drive seems to boot fine (no noises) but I still can't access it, just wants me to format, and as I said I won't do that just in case a tech guy can recover some stuff from it.

        Because the drive still boots fine, it's making me think it was my main mother board in laptop and somehow when it crashed, it either reset my hard drive or did something to it. I even tried putting in another 3.5inch hard drive into the laptop but still get the blue screen of death. I really don't care about the laptop, I can get another, it's just all the info on the hard drive I want.
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    • Profile picture of the author Apollo77
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      I just bought this
      Acer Official Site: Acer Aspire One 533

      And transferred all my work files to it as a backup to my desktop computer. If anything happens to the desktop, I have another computer already set up and ready to go. This is a great little computer. Got it at Walmart for $250.
      I've actually been thinking of that for a while, I wanted to get a small second comp that could act like a personal server of sorts. I only wish I had done it already......yeesh, what a mess. lol

      I actually have another main pc, but it hasn't been running for a while cause I am upgrading from the pentium 4 chip to a quad core and replacing ram, video cards etc.... So I have been using my dual core laptop for a while now as my main pc......well...not anymore, lol
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    Dan, sorry to hear about your laptop crashing. There is one thing you can try which has saved my bacon in the past. Pick up an external hard drive enclosure and insert your crashed hard drive in there, and see if you can access any of the data on your hard drive by doing this.

    You can pick up an inexpensive hard drive enclosure at amazon or elsewhere online. Here's an example of what I'm talking about - Newegg.com - VANTEC NexStar TX NST-210S2-BK Aluminum 2.5" USB 2.0 External Enclosure

    Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author Apollo77
      Originally Posted by paulie888 View Post

      Dan, sorry to hear about your laptop crashing. There is one thing you can try which has saved my bacon in the past. Pick up an external hard drive enclosure and insert your crashed hard drive in there, and see if you can access any of the data on your hard drive by doing this.

      You can pick up an inexpensive hard drive enclosure at amazon or elsewhere online. Here's an example of what I'm talking about - Newegg.com - VANTEC NexStar TX NST-210S2-BK Aluminum 2.5" USB 2.0 External Enclosure

      Paul
      Did that too, lol. I swear I tried everything. My brother is a computer junkie (but unfortunately not familiar with this kind of stuff..ie: data recovery) and he has this HD case that holds 5 externals and another for the 3.5inch drives that holds 3 of them. So I popped it in and I still get a blank drive, asking me to format.

      THANK YOU GUYS FOR ALL YOUR HELP AND SUGGESTIONS, so many caring people on this forum.
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      • Profile picture of the author Apollo77
        @ Yukon

        When that little arm on the drive is stuck, it will keep trying to boot for a few times, shut down, then just keep repeating & never boots. A friend of mine said he stuck the hard drive in his freezer for a few min. then daisy chained again & the damaged hard drive booted up. I havn't tried that, If it did work I would copy the contents of the damaged drive ASAP, & not shut down the PC until you are finished.
        Interesting solution, even though it doesn't apply to my situation, as I said my drive isn't making noise and boots ok. BUT I have had similar problems in the past with drives over heating, which is why I bought one of those fan plates to set your laptop on top of and a cooler pad for the external drives. It really makes a world of difference, the drives never get too hot, most of the time they actually feel cool, except for when I've been running them hard for hours, then the laptop heats up a little, but with the fan it doesn't get critical anymore.

        Funny, I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about computers (not software and programs though) and can put one together from scratch but I wasn't smart enough to keep a good back up system. I guarantee I won't be making that mistake again.
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        • Profile picture of the author Dital
          As they say, 'Prevention is better than Cure'...
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  • Profile picture of the author flta2020
    Thanks for this tid bit of info
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    A good tip for your Wordpress Sites is to use this free plugin:

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  • Profile picture of the author raradra
    For the next 11 hours from the time of this post Giveaway of the Day - free licensed software daily. Today: Ocster Backup Pro 5 - Ocster Backup Pro 5 is the successor to the highly regarded Ocster Backup Pro 4. It continues the focus on ... is giving away free backup software. This site frequently has nifty programs for download and they stay free for 23 hours each. The catch is no support if you can't figure it out yourself hehe but I've downloaded a few things from them over the years and never had a problem with any.
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  • Profile picture of the author pr5931
    WOW most of this is way over my head but I will buy 2 external hard drives and start backing up. What about purchased downloaded softwares? Could I save the zipped folders as a back up?
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    • Profile picture of the author Apollo77
      Originally Posted by pr5931 View Post

      WOW most of this is way over my head but I will buy 2 external hard drives and start backing up. What about purchased downloaded softwares? Could I save the zipped folders as a back up?
      Absolutely....anything you can copy and paste, you can backup (even other stuff too like program settings, computer setup and configuration, although I have no idea how to do that stuff and effectively recover it and re-install when necessary). Just copy it from main computer, go to your back up drive and paste it into a folder there. But as some of these nice warriors have mentioned, carbonite is a online system that will do it for you (once a day I think) for like $5 a month. Also, as Raradra was really nice to point out, if you read this post before it's too late, CLICK HERE, they are giving away what looks like a good back up software program. It is a "giveaway of the day" promotion but is only available for the next 2 hours. If you don't get it in time, PM me your email address and I will send you the .zip file. It might be overkill, but after this experience I am doing all of these options.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ralph Moore
        Greetings,

        Losing data is always a bummer. I also use and recommend that you sign up for Carbonite or a similar automated online backup service. BTW, I think you can get a couple of months free if you go through certain affiliate or sponsor sites.

        It has been a while since I signed up, but I think it was through Kim Komando's site and her offer code is probably either kim or komando for the discount.

        The reason most people lose data is because they forget, or just don't get around to backing it up, before the inevitable hardware failure or power surge. It will happen.

        If you do use Carbonite, be aware that it will NOT automatically back up everything on your pc, such as music and program files, like those found in your Program Files folder(s).

        If you want those backed up, right-click on the folder or file and select Carbonite / Backup asap or whatever.

        Whichever program you choose, spend some time getting familiar with it and check it from time to make sure your data is being backed up properly.

        And the way you do that is to test by accessing some of the files to see that they are intact and usable.

        You also need to make sure you are operating your plugged-in pc through an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) as many (probably most) hard drives are damaged due to power surges and brown-outs.

        Now as far as why your hard drive is not being seen by Windows, there could be a few reasons including damage to the drive itself.

        Try the following:

        Set the jumper to master and connect it, by itself to a KNOWN GOOD pc, without any other drives present and, boot the pc and go into the bios or setup program to see if the drive is being seen by the bios.

        If so, then you should be able to get the drive to be recognized on another bootable pc.

        If you do attach the drive as a slave to a Windows 7 or Vista pc, remember you will need to go into Control Panel or right-click on the Computer icon and select Manage. Then you will need to designate the drive as an active partition so Windows can assign it a drive letter. DO NOT format the drive, of course.

        If you get this far, hard reboot the pc ans see if you can access the data.

        If none of this works, freezing the drive does in fact sometimes help.

        Also (and I do NOT recommend this) but a soft even rap on a hard surface, like a table, has worked from time to time. But at this point, you are looking at either a very hefty data recovery bill, or a paper weight.

        I hope this helps.
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