Warning. Honest.

Started Mar 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
John King
John King Forum Pro • Posts: 14,941
Re: Warning. Honest.

Gidday Dwight

I have been in the computer industry for over 30 years.

Most people do not understand the importance of backup until about 30 seconds (roughly ... ) after they suddenly discover a need for it.

dwight3 wrote:

I back up my photos regularly.

However, I don't back up automatically.

I've been looking around for a program that will do that. I'm open to suggestions. How do you like the Acronis? Why did you chose that one? Are there some to avoid? Anyone else have favorites? (Windows here, not Apple or Unix).

Syncback is freeware (or more capable if you get a paid version - thie latter will backup open files such as Outlook .PST files ... ).

Even the free version does:
 - It is capable of doing binary comparions, if you want it to (takes a very long time ... ).
 - Data verification; safe copies; verified copies;
 - It can easily be scheduled to do backups as often as you like.
 - Extremely configurable.
 - ABSOLUTELY non-proprietary ... 
 - Can do backups; synchronisation; include/exclude files and folders, etc.

Available here:

I currently download my photos, do the initial processing, then back everything up. I won't reformat the card until all the photos have been put onto at least two drives.

I don't wipe the card until I have the images on my internal HDD, at least one external HDD, and a DVDR that is readable on the flakiest DVD drive amongst my computers. I also use Nero s/w; have the verify after write switch set (an unverified b/u is not worth anything ... ); and then I run Nero SCANDISK on the DVD to check for flaky sectors/files. Any yellow bits, that one goes in the bin, and I burn another. I have never had a failure with reading any of my archive DVDs.

At least one HDD is kept in a safe at all times.

I never leave external HDDs connected to my computers with either power or data cables unless actually in use.

One set of DVDs lives in a local bank safety deposit box ...

When I started digital photography I backed stuff up on CD's. After not too long a period of time the pile of CD's got to be a management problem. Finding things was difficult. And after about 3 years I found some CD's that were unreadable. I quit backing up on CD.

When I had a paying job I had some software on the work computer that would backup everything daily. However, it compressed the data using a proprietary format. I can't read the files now. Fortunately I did my own manual backups so I didn't lose anything.

I have a bias against using the cloud. (1) I don't know how reliable it is; (2) it's not under my direct control; (3) there times when I'm not online.

I feel the same. Any guarantee that the cloud company will be there tomorrow?

I currently back up using several external hard drives. One is on the computer all the time. Another is stored in a cabinet in the basement. A third is in my barn a mile away. That one is not online so I can't mirror it. I have to pick it up, bring it home, update it, and return it to its safe hiding spot.

For the laptop I have a 2 TByte USB drive that I can carry along.

Although I'm pretty good about backing up my photos, my other data don't fare so well. My wife shares the desktop computer and her files, along with my word processing files and email and other useful files get backed up manually once every month or two. An automated system would really be useful there.

Hope the above is of some use to you.

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Regards, john from Melbourne, Australia.
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