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Backup, Backup, Backup....Backup



Can’t stress this enough…Make backups regularly, if not daily.

I just lost a drive with many months worth of work on, and there was no way to recover. I lost all my NetMF projects and much more.

I tried swapping HD electronics and HD heads to no avail >:(

In fact, this is not the first time it happens to me, but for sure it’s gonna be the last one.

Anyone got a good recommendation for some syncing software? I want my data drive to be constantly/automatically synced on a network storage or USB Drive?

Greetings from a sad Eric


That is really bad. I am sorry

Using an online service with real time backup is the way to go. Again, real time and automated. Or you will forget to make a backup


You could use a NAS (Network Accessed Storage) drive. Or a FTP/SVN/File server. And what I use is:

*laptop HDD

However, manually syncing is needed.

If you would like to automate things a bit, synctoy (from microsoft, free) might help. Of course there will be similar software around.


I use Windows home server that regularly backs up my two laptops and my desktop. Critical data like pictures, music and documents are backed up (from WHS) externally by so even if my house burns down I should be able to recover all my data.
For my NETMF projects I use Dropbox so they are also available to me anywhere. This also works as a backup and you can even recover deleted files anytime

I absolutely love Windows home server. No more moving things around on different drives, if you need more space just add a hard drive and the volume expands. All data like pictures and music is available to all computers all the time.
I even had a meltdown of a laptop. So I booted it with the recovery CD and got it back exactly like it was a couple of days earlier.


Oh that’s really bad when you lose all your effort…
Well try Dropbox. I use it too.


Thanks for all the replies.

I’m trying M$ Synctoy 2.1 at the moment.

Keep the suggestions coming though…


I use SyncToy too, works great. But I might go with something similar to Geir, a NAS or WHS that backup my stuff and an online service that backup my backup. I also try to keep Ghost image of my PC in case of emergency.

I also had some horror story about that. I used to take a backup of my stuff each month, more than the average computer user, but they were telling me: “Don’t you take backups?”


I second using WHS. I love it, every PC is the house is automatically backed up, and like Geir I use an online service, IDrive, to do an offsite backup of the important data. I can also retrive files from the IDrive backup anywhere via the web. Now, not only can every PC have access to photos, movies, etc but so can the XBox360.

One warning about a cheap NAS. I have spent quite a bit of time the last two days trying to recover data from a WD ‘MyBook’ NAS. It died and would not respond via network or USB, I was able to connect to one of the drives with a USB/SATA converter and find out it was readable and was formatted as a EXT3 Raid array. Well then I built a Linux box and got lots of static from Ubuntu about not being able to start the Array. I finally changed the partition type for the main data partition to ‘Linux’ instead of ‘Array’ and was able to mount and read it. The current problem is that the embedded controller locked one of the files and the password is not known! Time to see if we can crack it. What a PITA for a cheap NAS. WHS is much better!


+1 on WHS. I bought an Acer WHS box about a year ago, and I’ll say it’s easily one of the best technology investments I’ve ever made. You not only get the peace of mind of automatic daily backups for multiple PCs, but you can also use it as a media streaming device, access your files remotely from IE, and plenty more. It runs a slightly modified version of Windows Server 2003, so you can also use it as a “normal” server and install anything you want on it.

Scott Hanselman had a good post a couple of weeks ago where he detailed his experience of having a hard drive fail and performing a restore using WHS.

The only thing to keep in mind about WHS is that MSFT is releasing a new version of it sometime in the spring, but it will have the Drive Extender feature removed (Drive Extender allows you to dynamically add more drives to the server without having to deal with RAID configurations). There’s a pretty big backlash about this in the WHS community. Still, dollar for dollar, I think WHS is far and away the best backup + restore + NAS solution I’ve ever used.


WHS is downloading as we speak or should i say type :smiley:


I have 4 Linux servers that all mirror each other at 2AM. Other than that, I have a strict rule of “NO personal documents on the workstations, ONLY on the NAS”.

The NAS is like 4 way redundant.


Holy crap, 4 servers?! do you have unlimited budget? :smiley:


For servers and other computer crap? Yes, my budget is fairly unlimited, partially because that’s how I make my money.

Technically, I guess I have more like 7 servers, because the 4th server runs VMWare ESXi and has Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7 (OpenVPN) and Ubuuunnnttuuu Linux (web/source control/etc) as guest OSes on it.


I do what Geir does, Windows Home Server with the important stuff going off-site. I don’t want to spend my ‘spare’ time running servers, so I keep the ‘production’ stuff at home pretty simple. I have a lab that’s always in various states of running, but nothing important lives there.


I don’t either. I’d imagine it would take at least a month to get the kind of setup I have going just with the hardware and software configuration, but I have added and removed things gradually through the years. The last time I touched the servers was when I moved them across the room to clean that carpet. Otherwise, I haven’t made any software changes (even reboots) in well over a year. Things run quite well by themselves.

I use it far, far more than the effort I put into maintaining the system.