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Backing up computer online


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#1 Dan Coplan

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 10:41 AM

I'm looking for a simple service allowing me to backup my computer online. I backup to a hard drive religiously, but if something happens to the computer and hard drive (theft, fire, etc.), I'm screwed.

.mac sounds cool but it's got a bunch of features I don't need - just need the backup.

Dan
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#2 Afton Grant

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 11:02 AM

There are a number of data backup services available. I don't use any so I can't provide any reviews on those. GoDaddy offers server space - primarily it's for web hosting, but you can store anything on there. For $7/mo you can get 100G of space. Probably the tough part with something like that would be keeping track of what's new/modified/deleted so you're only transferring what's necessary, not your entire computer each time. I would imagine the dedicated backup services to have some sort of feature that makes things more automated.

The other option would just be to better protect your backup hard drive. Keep it at a friend's place, a relative's place, safety deposit box, or even in your car.
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#3 JimBartell

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 11:54 AM

Dan,

I heard about this place and was going to use it but it won't work with my Win2K OS.

http://www.carbonite.com/

Jim "font of wisdom I can't use" Bartell
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#4 Dan Coplan

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 01:37 PM

Jim! You do not use a PC, do you?! You seem like such a...Mac guy. Don't make me switch to Preston... ; )

Dan "You Can Have My Mac When You Rip It From My Cold Dead Fingers" Coplan
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#5 Dan Coplan

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 01:39 PM

carbonite.com - not Mac friendly. Yet. They expect to have the service running for the Mac in October.

Dan
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#6 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 02:13 PM

I'm looking for a simple service allowing me to backup my computer online


Hi Dan:

Take a look at Retrospect back up software. I use it on my Mac server and back up my other Macs to the server across the network to it. I'll bet you could configure it to back up to some other off-site storage. It's a bit complex to set up though but once you do it just runs the script for you.

Something I've been doing for a long time with my personal Mac laptop is to use the free program Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the drive to another drive. It is then a bootable drive. If I need back up, then it's just a matter of popping in a new drive and cloning the Clone back to the new drive. I recently helped Peter Abraham install a new larger drive in his old PB and when we cloned it back he was back to where he left off but now with a lot more space. CCC has some scheduling features too I think.

www.bombich.com

I've thought of .Mac too but have yet to commit to it.
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#7 Hugh Bell

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 08:10 PM

Hi Dan,

Here's a general overview of what's out there: http://mashable.com/.../online-storage

Hugh.
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#8 JimBartell

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 11:25 AM

Jim! You do not use a PC, do you?! You seem like such a...Mac guy. Don't make me switch to Preston... ; )

Dan "You Can Have My Mac When You Rip It From My Cold Dead Fingers" Coplan


Sorry buddy, but in the non-artsy-fartsy world of engineering we demand an operating system that is cryptic, unreliable and user-hostile. In other words, Windows.

Actually, all the engineering software I use is Windows only, so I don't really have a choice.

Jim "go ahead and switch, I've already got your money" Bartell
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#9 Dan Coplan

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 02:28 PM

Jim "go ahead and switch, I've already got your money" Bartell


: )

Nice! That gave me a great laugh.

I'm not switching and you're still a Mac guy to me (awwww.....)

Dan
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#10 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 04:01 PM

Hey, as long as you're talking Mac, my MacBook Pro just got dropped by someone who wasn't being very carefull. Still works but it's got a nasty dent in the corner and it's a bit deformed. :-( What do I do now?

Dan, I use .mac for online backup. Works well, but you have to purchase additional space. I also have an external clone hard drive.
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#11 Matt Petrosky

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 04:17 PM

Dan, I physically destroyed my laptop a few years ago... paid $1200 to have a hard drive rebuilt to recover the only existing copies of some photos. Spent countless hours/days/weeks trying to rebuild Quicken files, email accounts, address books, invoices, etc. from corrupt and incomplete backup drives. Since then I have been very backup-diligent.

I used to use CCC, which is a great program excepting the very bare-bones GUI (graphical user interface) which was developed by a programmer for techs and programmers. Then I came across SuperDuper!, which I now use and like, in a thread on MacOSXHints.com.
http://www.shirt-poc...escription.html

This program has a great user interface, allows smart updates so you don't have to recopy unchanged data (saves mucho time), and creates very reliable clones. I clone my laptop internal drive (with SuperDuper!) to two drives, one at home that's just a FW800 and another pocket drive that I can take with me or keep in my storage place. I also backup my documents folder (no large media), address book, palm desktop, Quicken, email, and some other personal settings to .Mac as a remote server. I figure the clone at home is always current within 1-7 days and would be my best bet if I had a total crash. The pocket clone is almost as current and would most likely cover me if my apartment had a fire or was robbed. If both clones and my laptop were destroyed I would still have CDs and DVDs (in my storage place) of my photos and most of my personal day-to-day data would be recoverable remotely from online.

This all seems really redundant, but as you know these machines are such a core of our lives now, both for work and play, this effort to backup is WAY less work, time, and money then trying to recover improperly prepared from a crash or loss. In trying to smooth this workflow I've used just about every backup utility for the Mac from CCC to SilverKeeper to Retrospect to Bounce Back Pro to Déjà Vu etc. For what I do, I have found SuperDuper! to be the best, most reliable, and easiest to use.

Here is an in-depth comparison of the avaliable Mac backup utilities, well worth a look:
http://blog.plastics...ftware-harmful/

.Mac now offers much more space (10-30GB) and higher monthly data transfer limits, I guess they are keeping up with the times. 10GB of remote storage is 100 bucks a year, which I think is worth it for the backup alone and as a bonus you get email accounts, web-hosting, etc.
http://www.mac.com/w...C918615515.html

I'm also looking into some other backup solutions, maybe a more comprehensive remote backup such as Crash Plan:

http://www.crashplan...es/features.vtl
http://www.crashplan...faq.vtl#pricing

This would be expensive to use their servers, but not much to use a friend's.
I'm also checking out Mirra from SeaGate:
http://www.seagate.c...ersonal_server/

And here's another thing to ponder--incremental backup systems. These would protect you against slow drive failures where files unknowingly become corrupt and no backup exists because the clones are all clones of the corrupt files. Utilities like System Optimizer X (now updated and replaced with Socks) help, but are not a cure-all, although Socks is another program that every serious Mac user should consider.
http://www.mkd.cc/socks/

Believe it or not, data tape is how many companies still do incremental backups--seems a bit much for my company, which is me and so I'm the IT guy that has to do all of this stuff. BLAHHhhhhhh! Time to get off-line. I need a beer.

-Matt


P.S. Jim your post is funny as hell!
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#12 Matt Petrosky

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 04:19 PM

Doc, that sucks about your MacBook. At least now you don't have to worry about scratching it. :(
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#13 irchamandy

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 08:29 AM

Utilities like System Optimizer X (now updated and replaced with Socks) help, but are not a cure-all, although Socks is another program that every serious Mac user should consider.
http://www.mkd.cc/socks/



I would caution anyone considering buying this software because when a problem arises with it, the developer stops responding to support requests. After I ran the new version of SOCKS, it wiped out my Mac's ability to use keychains properly. Requests to the developer on how to fix the problem created by SOCKS have been ignored. It still isn't working properly and I have no idea how to fix it.

It was suggested to me by a Mac journalist on another site that I might have to do a clean install of the OS. I suspect that the developer is panicking either because he doesn't know how to solve the problem or he doesn't want such a serious, intensive fix associated with his software.

Keep this in mind when considering buying any of his software, not just SOCKS.
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#14 Matt Petrosky

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 01:01 PM

Bummer that you're having a problem with it... I've been using SystemOptimizerX for years with no problems and I've been using SOCKS since it came out. Keep my PBG4 running smooth.

Good luck with it and welcome to the Steadicam Forum.
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#15 Charles Papert

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 02:23 PM

This was all quite useful and timely for me folks, thanks for the info and opinions. I had a rough week where 2 of my Firewire drives and my laptop went down (during the heat wave--hmmm!). My Mac fix-it guru replaced the hard drive in the Powerbook (which, like Matt's, had non-backed up irreplaceable photos) but the FW drives are probably gone for good. I got a quote of anywhere between $1000 to $4500 to try to recover them, but most likely the upper end if at all, and I can't really justify it for the garbled mess that will come back to me.

So let's just say that 4 new My Book Pro drives just arrived on my doorstep, all earmarked for backup duty and I'm in the midst of sorting out what software to use. I think that based on what I read elsewhere I was already heading towards Super Duper (the drives came with Retrospect incidentally) as I like easy and what's another $27 anyway.

For anyone who is plowing through this and isn't backing up regularly--we all hear the same story, "I never thought it would happen to me", but since it did just happen to me and I am suffering for the loss of my data in so many ways--get into backups, baby.
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