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Confessions of a Lazy and Sloppy Computer Owner

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Confessions of a Lazy and Sloppy Computer Owner

Post by CheenaGringo on Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:59 pm

I have never claimed to be a computer genius and I am now paying the price for assuming nothing negative would ever happen to me. In hindsight, I have been receiving warning signs for months when certain programs started acting "hinkey". On the first day of our recent Mexico trip, I had issues trying to connect to a wireless network I had been on before and the owner tried to help me out. While after a good deal of tinkering, he managed to get me connected, but I started having trouble with my portable external drive (500GB). My main concern wasn't so much backups but rather moving photos and videos from my camera to the computer to the external. It got to the stage that my computer wouldn't recognize the external hard drive and I suspected the external was failing. With my internal laptop memory (160GB) getting close to max, I was moving and not copying files to the external. Since I had 160GB of photos and 185GB of video on my external and those were my only copies, I went into a state of panic. I was talking to tech support at Seagate and finally a tech suggested I have my local trusted tech do a diagnostic. Turned out that it wasn't the external but rather the internal that was failing. While it hadn't totally failed, it was corrupted enough that they couldn't get a clean "clone" of the drive. After installing a new hard drive that is double the size of the original (320GB), they were able to copy over certain info BUT!

I am now discovering that I have hours & days of reinstalling programs and resetting programs. While my biggest worry was my photo and video files which couldn't be replaced, I quickly learned that not having my bookmarks saved anywhere is going to be a real headache. While I don't have an exact number, I am guessing that I had between 250 and 300 Mexico Bookmarks alone that were collected through the years.

I have also learned that because so much of my file volume is comprised of large photo files and video files, offsite cloud storage would be cost prohibitive and very time consuming to upload at this stage. I have now decided that a non-portable 3TB external storage hard drive is my best option from a cost and time management standpoint.

For all of you computer users (everyone on this forum), I would highly recommend having a Plan B for all of that info that would cause you a great deal of stress to lose!!!!

CheenaGringo
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Re: Confessions of a Lazy and Sloppy Computer Owner

Post by peteben on Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:08 pm

Absolutely true.
I too, have started buying the 3TB drives. I have several of them, and they are large enough to hold ALL my stuff. I usually keep one online, if I ever erase something, one in the safe, and one offsite.

For the bookmarks, you can try Google Chrome. In addition to being a good browser, your bookmarks are stored in your Google account. That makes moving to a new computer a piece of cake.

Sorry that you have to reinstall all your stuff, but at least, you still have your pics.

Pete


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Re: Confessions of a Lazy and Sloppy Computer Owner

Post by CheenaGringo on Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:27 pm

Pete: I absolutely owe you big time! In fact, it is your call on how I can repay you during our net Mexico trip!

While Chrome isn't my preferred browner since I have become a Firefox addicted user, I did have it on my computer prior to the troubles. Just downloaded it again and sure enough my bookmarks are there. You just saved me many many hours of trying to remember and then research bookmarks.

THANKS AGAIN!

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Re: Confessions of a Lazy and Sloppy Computer Owner

Post by ferret on Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:01 pm

Damn, I love happy endings!
I only have one TB of external backup but, so far, it is more than enough. But, like most things...if you don't use it, you lose it. With all the downloaded shows and movies that we have, I would freak if I lost them.
Thanks also to Pete for the heads up on Google Chrome and its ability to save bookmarks.
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Re: Confessions of a Lazy and Sloppy Computer Owner

Post by peteben on Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:44 pm

Wow, you were lucky! Chrome must have imported your bookmarks when you installed it.
Glad to hear you got them back.

Pete

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Re: Confessions of a Lazy and Sloppy Computer Owner

Post by Zedinmexico on Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:14 pm

If you don't want to manage a backup yourself. Try one of the online backup
companies. Also understand while doubtful you will every use it you should
keep a copy of your data outside your house if you have computer and backup
in same house.

Z

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Re: Confessions of a Lazy and Sloppy Computer Owner

Post by CheenaGringo on Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:42 pm

I just did a re-calculation and between internal HD, external HD and DVD storage, my 40,000+ photos plus videos total a bit over 600GB. I haven't looked into the exact annual cost but just uploading this much data would probably take weeks with an upload speed of 0.79 Mbps?

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Re: Confessions of a Lazy and Sloppy Computer Owner

Post by Zedinmexico on Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:45 pm

CheenaGringo wrote:I just did a re-calculation and between internal HD, external HD and DVD storage, my 40,000+ photos plus videos total a bit over 600GB. I haven't looked into the exact annual cost but just uploading this much data would probably take weeks with an upload speed of 0.79 Mbps?

So burn some DVD's and put them at a friends house for backup. Lots of ways to backup.
Make an extra copy onto another hard drive and store the hard drive somewhere else. Yes
you have lots of data.

Z

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Re: Confessions of a Lazy and Sloppy Computer Owner

Post by CheenaGringo on Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:22 pm

Zed:

Can you give me an estimate of how long it would take to burn that much data to DVD's?

Seems to me that a 3TB external hard drive would solve both short and long term needs?

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Re: Confessions of a Lazy and Sloppy Computer Owner

Post by peteben on Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:43 pm

Yes, optical media is a good idea... but, I would use Blu-ray disks, 25GB instead of 4GB. Even then, you are looking at 24 or so disks. The good thing about these is they are 'permanent', at least in the sense that they cannot be erased. I am not sure, though, how long they can be trusted. Five years, maybe ten?

I like the 3TB hard drives. I have one of those docking stations that will accept a bare drive. I do incremental backups, so they're pretty quick.

Pete

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Re: Confessions of a Lazy and Sloppy Computer Owner

Post by HelperGuy on Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:03 am

If your old drive, containing your bookmarks, was not available when Chrome was installed, it's more likely you had GBookmarks or XMarks or some other bookmark-backup tool installed, or GMail, and Chrome being a a Google company, had direct access.

The time to backup 600 GB of stuff to disks is certainly prohibitive. A better answer is to have two copies: one on your PC, and one on an external drive. There are programs for continually backing up changes made to your computer, so you have duplicates of all your important files.

If either of your drives start to fail, you can be confident that one copy will always be safe, until the repair is done.

These programs can be set up to backup your bookmarks/favorites, photos, documents, desktop, even email clients.

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Re: Confessions of a Lazy and Sloppy Computer Owner

Post by CheenaGringo on Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:22 am

HelperGuy:

I am trying to take this last setback as a learning experience and a jab in the hindside to clean up my act. While I did upgrade the size of my internal hard drive from 160 to 320GB and still have my 500GB external hard drive, I did the math on my photo and video storage requirements. Prior to this, I was moving rather than copying photos/videos to the 500GB drive to free up space on my 160GB internal. When I first thought that my external was failing, I was in a state of panic since that was my only storage for most of my photo/video files and when the "data recovery department" at Seagate quoted me up to $3299 to recover my files, I really went nuts!

As this point, I believe that a 3TB external storage unit may be overkill but it certainly should provide adequate storage for future needs?

Thank you for your comments and suggestions!

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Re: Confessions of a Lazy and Sloppy Computer Owner

Post by HelperGuy on Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:30 am

Not sure what the prices are for a 3TB external up north, but pretty hefty here in Mexico. Plus there is this problem of formatting drives larger than 2TB that keeps popping up. I have a new 3TB interal, and for the life of me I cannot get Windows to recognize more than 2TB, and I've tried all kinds of solutions.

In any case, moving vs. copying: I don't do that anymore for large groups of files. If anything happens during the transfer (power outage, Windows crash, etc.), you will probably lose something. So I copy the files, then delete them from the source. Not only that, moving files takes so much longer than copying and then deleting.

Recovering files from drives that are physically inaccessible by the user, means the recovery company actually takes the disk(s) out of the damaged unit and builds a new one. This requires a "clean room". However, many many "damaged" drives are not physically broken and recovery tools can often be used to get data back.

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Re: Confessions of a Lazy and Sloppy Computer Owner

Post by CheenaGringo on Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:41 am

Thank you for the warning on 2TB vs 3TB! I will look into that before I jump into ordering one this week.

This is one of the units I was looking at: http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Desktop-External-Hard-Drive/dp/B004SH5VQ4/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1363019762&sr=8-8&keywords=3tb+external+hard+drive+USB+2.0
At $124.54 and free shipping - I was thinking it to be a reasonable solution.

You are correct about copying versus moving. In a continuation of my sloppy habits, I have done it both ways without thinking of the possible negatives.

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Re: Confessions of a Lazy and Sloppy Computer Owner

Post by HelperGuy on Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:00 pm

Well, in terms of copying and moving, you wouldn't really know until it happened to you... school of hard knocks, right?

The WD drive is a great price, and if they are selling it at 3TB, then they have formatted it properly for 3TB, so not to worry.


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Re: Confessions of a Lazy and Sloppy Computer Owner

Post by peteben on Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:32 pm

Being somewhat paranoid, I would recommend at least two backups. Even a pair of 1.5 or 2TB drives should be sufficient. Keep one of the two in a safe location, preferably offsite. If, heaven forbid, some disaster were to strike, like fire, theft, etc. your data would still be safe.

3TB drives are not a problem with Windows 7. I think only the 32 bit version of XP cannot handle the GUID partitions that are required to format a 3TB drive correctly.

Also, if your computer is a less than about one year old, it probably has some USB 3.0 ports. If so, make sure to get a USB 3.0 drive, that should make your backups faster.

Pete



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Re: Confessions of a Lazy and Sloppy Computer Owner

Post by Zedinmexico on Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:52 pm

peteben wrote:Being somewhat paranoid, I would recommend at least two backups. Even a pair of 1.5 or 2TB drives should be sufficient. Keep one of the two in a safe location, preferably offsite. If, heaven forbid, some disaster were to strike, like fire, theft, etc. your data would still be safe.



Pete



You are not paranoid just experienced LOL.

Z

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Re: Confessions of a Lazy and Sloppy Computer Owner

Post by HelperGuy on Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:48 pm

peteben wrote:3TB drives are not a problem with Windows 7. I think only the 32 bit version of XP cannot handle the GUID partitions that are required to format a 3TB drive correctly.Pete
The problem with 3TB is on [i]internal/i] drives.

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Re: Confessions of a Lazy and Sloppy Computer Owner

Post by peteben on Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:27 pm

The problem with 3TB is on [i]internal/i] drives.

I have never had any problems with 3TB internal drives when used as secondary drives (non-boot). I think the problem is when you want to boot from a 3TB drive. Aparently, only the latest UEFI bioses will do that,

Pete


Last edited by peteben on Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:28 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Quote corrected)

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