We used to have jokes which goes like this.
Answer to smart question is free and welcome.
Answer to dumb question will cost you.
Most annoying thing in my working days was people lie
to cover their a*&, machine never lies. I wasted lot of
valuable time because of lying people.
Partitioning a big drive does not make much sense.
If it crashes everything on it is lost and it has
only one moving head arm creating bottle neck for I/O.
Instead of 1 TB drive, better idea is to have two 500GB
drive. Running system needs strict dicipline. Some day it'll
pay a big dividend. Over and Out.
Just don't waste too much money on a box nearing it's obsolescence.
Do you know what kinda motherboard you have? Quickest recovery is
possible running Raid 1 with two identical HDD. Is your HD controller
Raid capable? What brand motherboard? No backup utility will give you a
recovery in 10 mins.
On Thu, 20 Jan 2011 19:53:34 -0800 (PST), Higgs Boson
Simply to secure the data.
A lightening strike can wipe out every hard drive in your computer,
and externals connected to it, and so can a fire.
Just talking about where you store it. Unplug it and put it elsewhere
if you're using it for backups and want to be safe about it.
Grrrr...I've been asking people (not on this NG) for YEARS about this
subject! At present my 160 GB HD is what I am using for backup. It
is on the same desk as my computer. How can I back up if they are not
connected? Are you saying that I should disconnect it, haul it
somewhere else, and reconnect it every time I want to back up???
Also: When Norton Ghost says it's doing period backup, WHERE IS IT
STORING THE DATA????
On Sat, 22 Jan 2011 14:39:38 -0800 (PST), Higgs Boson
Depends on how serious you are about not losing the data.
I don't use an external HD, but their big advantage is portability.
Sometimes my kid leaves me his external with a bunch of stuff on it.
I plug in the power cord, plug in the USB cable, and that's it.
What's the big deal?
Not telling you what to do.
Just pointing out that a lightening hit or a fire will get all your
Maybe you don't care enough about it move backups away from your desk.
I don't do it myself.
When there's thunderstorms around I do usually unplug my PCs and
peripherals connected to them.
Just one plug, since I use a plug strips.
Of course they say you never see the one with your name on it.
You should learn something about file structures on your PC.
If you don't even know where the data is, there's no sense in backing
You don't even need book nowadays.
If you don't learn some basics, you might as well have somebody else
take care of your PC for you.
So that whatever happens in the vicinity of your computer does not affect
So, what could happen?
* A burglar breaks in and carries off everything in sight. I had this happen
to one of my customers THREE TIMES in ten days. If not for backups that were
completely out of the building, he'd have been more screwed. Computers and
software are easily replaced; it's the data that's valuable.
* A small fire, perhaps started by a cheap computer built in Bangladesh.
* A user has a fit and smashes everything on the counter.
The best backup is one that is completely out of the building, since the
whole building could burn down (or be covered in a mud slide, blown away by
a tornado, collapsed in an earthquake, etc.).
One easy way to get your backups out of the building is to send them as an
email attachement to your Gmail address. Google now allows almost 8 gigs of
Now THAT sounds like a keeper. I'm assuming we are talking only about
DATA files, not programs, etc. that can be reinstalled (though a
Question #1: If I have more than one Gmail address, can I send
"almost 8 gigs" to EACH of those addresses? Or only a total to ALL
Question #2: How do I back up the backups? IOW, I send, say 7 gigs
of data files today. What happens when I have new data next week?
Does the new batch override the existing, or supplement it?
I know these are pitiful questions, so be kind <g>
Each. Gmail has no (easy) way of knowing that multiple email addresses
belong to the same person or company. Nor do they care.
The attachement is part of a specific email. Subsequent emails will not
overwrite existing emails, so you'll have sequential backups. Of course with
a 7gig backup and an 8gig limit, the second email will fail with a "mailbox
full" (or similar), so you'll have to delete the previous email (and its
attachement) before you can send the current backup (usually a bad move
inasmuch as its prudent to maintain several "generations" of backups).
You could establish, say, five Gmail addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org,
Then, each Monday, delete all your emails from the corresponding account -
thereby freeing up space in the mailbox - before firing off the latest
In the alternative, there are companies that will automate the entire
process for you (at a cost). Here's a chart:
In passing, I must say that 7gigs worth of backups is a LOT. It's an
ENORMOUS amount! I suspect you're backing up stuff that exists on CD-ROMS or
the web that can be easily replaced - things such as programs, operating
systems, and the like. You may be able to reduce the size of the backup in
* Don't backup stuff that can be downloaded or restored from other media,
such as application programs.
* Copy never-used stuff (vacation pictures from 1998, etc.) to a CD or DVD
and put that in a fireproof box under the bed.
* Move your pictures to a free web-hosting service such as Photobucket or
Imageshack. Your photos are readily available to you, but take up zero space
on your hard drive.
* Use a backup method that compresses whatever is being backed up, rather
than a file-to-file technique. The gold standard is some ZIP utility. Word
processing documents can be compressed 90%, photos almost not at all. In
general, a ZIP file will occupy 20% or less of the total disk space of its
Work on these suggestions. Come back for more.
Best of luck.
Do you have access to a 12-year old male?
As far as backups go, most of us aren't nearly paranoid enough, given
we keep personal financial and other critical data on our computers.
What would you do if you had a fire that destroyed the room where the
computer (and back-up external drive) are kept, or the whole house?
One on-site solution is to make your backups to your external hard
drive, unplug it and put it in a small fireproof safe with the rest of
your irreplaceables like birth certificates, passports, deed to your
house, etc. (How many of you don't even have those protected?)
HeyBub's off-site suggestion with Gmail is one way to go.
One that Lifehacker.com recommended that I'm going to set up this week
(now that our church has handed off running the cold weather shelter
for the homeless to another church) is called Dropbox: www.dropbox.com,
tho' you only get 2GB storage for free, and pay monthly for more.
Another idea is something my brother-in-law uses called Carbonite
(www.carbonite.com). While you pay a yearly subscription of $55, it
gives you peace of mind in a lot of ways, with guarantees of never
losing your data, heavy-duty encryption to protect very private data,
and simply automation of the back-up process.
All these cloud solutions have one major drawback- they assume the
internet will be running. Major natural disaster, it could be weeks
before you have a good connection. I am guilty as most about no backups
or safe storage, especially considering that I sorta do computers for a
living, and have actual training on this stuff. Bought a fire safe five
years ago- it is still in the box.
For the REALLY critical stuff, 8gb thumb drives are down below 20 bucks.
Zip it to that, or to an alternating pair of them, Hide it at least at
the other end of the house, or if you have a lockable desk at work or a
nearby relative, hide it there.
VERY good idea. Used as a backup, thumb drives should work well in that it's
unlikely you'll hit the wall on dependibility. Thumb drives have only so
many read-write cycles (in the low thousands) before they crap out. Used as
backups, it should be many years before you hit the limit.
On 1/23/2011 8:25 PM, email@example.com wrote:
But what about the commercials? Surely they must be telling us the truth
when they tell us how absolutely safe and secure our data will be?
Oh wait, a principle rule of data security is that you always must
maintain physical control over your data.
How do they guarantee they will never loose your data? Do they guarantee
they can never go out of business or maybe that their system has no
How can you know the encryption is "heavy duty"? I will grant you that
they have great marketing but where is the peer review of their methods
so there is reasonable assurance a back door isn't built in?
The 160 GB is EXTERIOR.
My main HD is only 40 GB, of which about 80% is Used.
Yes, Norton Security, whole package. Bought few years ago and renewed
annually. BUT NOW WHOLE NG IS URGING ME TO DUMP IT AND GO TO AVAST OR
SOME OTHER ANTI-VIRUS.
or add memory, or both.
So, good idea to add memory to existing 40GB HD? In earlier posts on
this thread, I said that I started 6 years ago with a "big" 256 of
memory, then added another 512 a few years ago. (Stupid! I could
have bought a Gig for not much more!).
OMG I am losing what's left of my mind!!! Are you saying that Ghost
can be used independently of the whole Norton Security package???
IOW, when Norton renewal time comes up in a month or so, if I don't re-
up w/Norton, can I still use Ghost?
Please clarify on this; I am getting more & more confused. NOTE THAT
OTHERS ARE SAYING THAT THE (TO ME) VALUABLE BACKUP, ETC. FUNCTIONS OF
GHOST CAN BE PERFORMED INDEPENDENT OF GHOST BY EXISTING PROGRAMS
WITHIN WINDOWS, ETC.
Jikes. your system disk should be 40+ % free.
You are on the brink of disaster.
Mine is 80GB,25% used,since 2004, and about 150 programs/packs
When you get near 60%, get a new harddisk, and clone your old
disk onto it.
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