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All posts tagged "backup"

Monday, March 5, 2012

Backup Alternatives - Something For Everyone

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Digital Home Talk" @ 06:30 PM

"If you've considered backing up your entire DVD collection, or duplicating your hard-drives-full of RAW photos in case of electromagnetic terrorism, then you've looked at your backup options before. The thing is, there is no one single best way to backup tons of data. But there are several ways to protect yourself from data loss disaster. The experts at Q&A network Stack Exchange weigh in."

I am sure all of our readers are the most conscientious backup creators around. But, I bet you know someone who could use a little advice as to which of the myriad of options available on the marketplace would work best for them. Fortunately, the folks at Lifehacker have put together a nice little piece on this subject matter. Amongst their advice is to avoid relying on one backup (technology and dataset). Particularly interesting is that some of the cloud-based options are pretty flexible and relatively cheap these days. Hit the Read link just to touch up your knowledge on this important issue, and then prepare to advise others on how you do it. Oh, if any of you use a cloud-based solution, I would be keen to hear your comments on how well it works.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Seagate Unveils the World's First 4 TB External Desktop Drive

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:32 AM

"Seagate (NASDAQ:STX) today announced it is shipping a new 4TBGoFlex® Desk external hard drive - the highest capacity hard drive in the industry. This latest addition to the GoFlex Family of external hard drives showcases Seagate's new desktop design. The streamlined industrial design delivers a smaller footprint and better reflects the aesthetic of today's modern offices while still providing all of the benefits of previous generations of the GoFlex drives. The new 4TB GoFlex Desk is now available from and will be available from select online retailers next month for a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $249.99 USD. The entire line of GoFlex Desk products will also adopt the new industrial design in the coming weeks. The GoFlex Desk for Mac featuring both Firewire 800 and USB 2.0 will be available in Apple stores by the end of the month."

And the march toward larger and larger storage goes on. It's impressive to see a 4 TB hard drive, though the number of end users that need that kind of storage can't be very big. I'm personally looking forward to 4 TB hard drives because I've been ripping my DVDs and Blu-ray discs to ISO format and space vanishes quickly when you've got 8 GB (DVD) and 50 GB (Blu-ray) ISO files. 99.999% of people aren't going to do that though, so how many of you need/want a 4 TB storage drive?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Network Hard Drives With Extra Cloud Goodness

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 09:00 PM

"It has long been a dream of mine to connect a hard drive at home to the Internet. This dream, of late, has been deferred by the rise of cloud services like SugarSync and Dropbox but two hard drive manufacturers, Buffalo and Iomega, have come out with compelling devices that seem to finally allow home and home office users to get the benefits of cloud hosting with the safety of complete control over your data."

Having network-attached storage for your data is a good thing. Having that data be easily accessible to the outside world, as long as it's done securely, it's a great thing. It's extremely handy to be able to grab files from anywhere in the world, as long as said files aren't too big and your upstream Internet connection at home isn't too slow. I don't use the remote file transfer feature on my Windows Home Server too often, but when I need it, it's a life saver!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Today is World Backup Day

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 04:30 PM

"Backing up your computer is important enough that you shouldn't need a day dedicated to it, or a collection of deals on online backup services and hard drives, but that is exactly what today is. March 31 is World Backup Day 2011, which should serve as a reminder to backup your computer, smartphone, iPad and even the hard copy pictures and documents you have around the house."

I'm not entirely sure who decided today was World Backup Day - oh, looks like a few people from Reddit - but it's a great idea! People simply don't pay enough attention to the importance of backing up their data. has a great collection of resources for the tools and services required for having a solid backup plan. Well worth the read!

I'm personally using Crashplan for my off-site backups now - what with Mozy jacking up my rates by 1309% and all - and a combination of a Windows Home Server, Windows Live Mesh, and a 2 TB external drive keep my data secure. How do you protect your precious data? Better yet, how do you protect the precious data of friends and family who don't know any better?

UPDATE: Yes, it's two World Backup Day posts in a row...what can I say, I really want you to all be backing up! :-)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Considerations Before Buying a Network Attached Storage Device

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 11:00 AM

"Having used a number of these digital media storage systems over the past several years I have had to go through the buying process; working through my own requirements, researching and evaluating the options in the market, and finally selecting the right system for my usage. In an attempt to make your purchase decision easier I wanted to share some thoughts on how to select the right product for your environment."

If you're thinking about buying a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device, it's not something you want to purchase blindly - you'll want to make sure it has all the features you'll need. The author of this article points out 13 different factors that you should consider before making a purchase. Some of them can be easily dismissed - who cares what it looks like if it's going to be in a back room? - but others, such as the device's capability to back up your systems, should be given careful consideration.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Windows Home Server 2011: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 05:00 PM

"This leaves Windows Home Server 2011 sorely lacking when it comes to fitting the needs of the average home consumer, the target market that was envisioned for the original Windows Home Server. While WHS 2011 is a polished improvement of Windows Home Server, storage management has become more complicated, storage growth is more complicated, and storage protection will either depend on what is likely to be complicated RAID from the OEMs or else Server Backup with its limitations."

Image via Engadget

Whoa boy. This has sure turned into an ugly situation! If I'm understanding what I'm reading correctly, when you add a hard drive to Windows Home Server 2011, it shows up as a distinct drive rather than a pool of storage - this is what the loss of the Drive Extender technology means. Further, libraries are locked to a single drive without any duplication of folders like we had before. Any duplication of the data will come via whatever hardware-based RAID solution an OEM wants to integrate into their product. This also means that the only way to back up the server itself is to an external hard drive.

I don't know about you, but I'm seeing a whole lot of ugliness here. I'll be keeping my current WHS running as long as I can, thank you very much.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Way To Safe Computing Is Backup, Backup, Backup

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 03:00 PM

"There is one unalienable truth about backing up your items, whether it's a digital photo collection, albums, videos or business documents: if it's not backed up, it can't be replaced if it goes missing. To that extent, vendors like Western Digital, Seagate, Norton and Carbonite and many more have stepped up to the plate, but which entry protects information best?"

At some point or another, most of us have suffered a catastrophic failure with a computer. Depending on what happened, your pictures, music and movies could be lost forever. So, having learned your lesson, you started a strict backup regimen. You feel safe and secure. But fear drives us all, and maybe you wonder just how good is your backup? Are your files really safely tucked away? Will you be able to access them in your time of need?

MaximumPC puts forth a good article on various backup methods. To that, I can only suggest that when you do your backups (we all do these days, right?) that you test it once in a while to make sure that your data is still there, and make sure that you also keep an offsite backup if possible. Computer failures are not the only way to lose your data. A robbery, fire or flood can easily part you and your data. And of course, always consider backing up your cloud data. One never knows when a company might go under, or decide to delete your account.

Tags: software, backup

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sabio Products Releases Small Dual-Drive RAID Enclosure

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 02:39 PM

"Sabio Products, a leading provider of external storage solutions for digital imaging, creative professionals, offices and ‘prosumers' who need large capacity, high speed, professional grade content protection, announced the availability of the DM2PT - an extremely small footprint, 2 drive, RAID enabled external storage solution with exceptional data transfer rates of more than a 115MBps. This all-in-one, high capacity, portable content backup and storage solution has been specifically designed for the studio, office, home or field environment and because of its built in RAID controller with RAID 0, 1, JBOD and span configurations is ideal for any data imaging, HD 1080 video editing, DSLR photography, JPEG/RAW imaging or straight forward media protection and back up application."

The design isn't quite as slick as Seagate's Data Lunchbox prototype, but the basic functions are all there and I'll take a real product that I can buy over one I can't any day. However, it's weird not to see USB 3.0 supported - and what's with the 115 MB/s data rate? What type of connection did they use that on? That's about half what the Seagate Data Lunchbox was doing over USB 3.0 in RAID 0, but 115 MB/s is more than you'd get over USB is that over eSATA? I'm also unsure of the price - I did a little hunting and couldn't come up with anything. I think Seagate's GoFlex solution is more elegant - there's no point having a drive with all those connectors if you don't need them.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

And When The Cloud Breaks, Your Data Will Fall...

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 08:00 AM

It's all about The Cloud these days - your data, you entertainment, your everything - stored on a service that you can access with any online connection. The benefits are many, but what you don't always hear about are the down-sides of everything being cloud-based. What if you get locked out of your account? I've heard of more than a few people that get locked out of their Gmail account or who can't access their Gmail calendar. It happens to Hotmail and Yahoo users as well. What if the company hosting your information deletes it, either accidentally or not, or goes out of business? That's not an uncommon problem. In terms of uptime most cloud services are fairly robust, when things go wrong, they can really ruin your day. Read more...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Segate Debuts GoFlex Home, A Network Storage System

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:00 AM

"Seagate today unveiled the newest addition to its GoFlexTM family of hard drives-the GoFlexTM Home network storage system. When this easy-to-use device is connected to a wireless router, an entire household can centrally store, easily access and continuously back up files wirelessly from both Windows® and Mac OS® X operating systems on the home[1] network. The new centralized storage system simplifies the backup process by being compatible with Apple® Time Machine®, as well as including a version of the backup application for both Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. With the GoFlex Home storage system, families can also wirelessly stream photos, movies and music to most network connected DLNA devices, such as game consoles or a GoFlexTM TV HD media player, from any room in the house. With just two cable connections and a simple, illustrated, step-by-step installation tool that gets the device up and running in minutes, the GoFlex Home system solves the household storage puzzle in a snap."

I have a Windows Home Server, and for the most part am quite fond of it, but despite Microsoft's best efforts, it's still too complex of a system for the average home user to implement. Seagate is entering the already very crowded NAS space, but they could be on to something here with the GoFlex Home. The price of the 1 TB model is only $159.99 USD, and the price of the 2 TB model is $229.99. I think $160 is quite affordable for network-level backup, and is much cheaper than even the least expensive Windows Home Server. We'll see if we can get our hands on one for review - stay tuned!

The remainder of the press release is after the break. Read more...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Seagate Unleashes Massive 3 Terabyte GoFlex Desk External Drive

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:30 PM

"The GoFlex Desk external drive gives you plenty of storage capacity and it's easy to upgrade to any interface you choose. Simply pair the desktop hard drive with a GoFlex USB 3.0 or FireWire 800/USB 2.0 adapter to increase your performance by up to 10 times. Works interchangeably between a PC or a Mac computer."

Sweet mother of megabytes! That's a crazy amount of storage right there - 3000 GB to be exact. Well, OK, not exactly because of the whole 1024 bytes thing, but close enough. The GoFlex Desk uses the GoFlex cable system, which means you can swap out the USB 2.0 cable for a USB 3.0 cable once you get a PC that has USB 3.0, or you can switch to an eSATA cable or Firewire 800 cable as well. Not bad! Another interesting thing is the Mac OS X compatibility - Seagate offers an NTFS driver on the drive, and once you install it on your Mac, it can read and write to the drive without trouble. I've tested this technology, and it works great. So, is there a 3 TB drive in your future?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

They Say That Backing Up Is Hard To Do

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 01:00 PM

"The team behind Redo Backup can't argue that their tool is the most comprehensive on the market, but they can argue that it's the easiest to use. Boot up with a Live CD or Live USB copy of Redo Backup and you're only a few clicks away from backing up your system—or restoring it if your hard drive went to the great data center in the sky."

Backing up should be a mandatory part of your computing regimen and there are a wide range of options available to do so. However, as easy as Redo sounds, I do have to question one major part of how it works: Using a Live CD or USB drive. Backups should be easy to do, and while a Live CD with a simple wizard sounds like a great idea, it means that a person has to either pop in a CD, or plug in a Flash drive and restart their computer. I know of very few people willing to go through that kind of a break in their routine in order to do backups. If they can provide a way for the backups to be done in the background while a person is still working away, and use the Live CD or USB drive for restoration purposes, they might just get a few more customers.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mozy 2.0 Adds "2xProtect": Local Hard Drive Backup

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 11:00 AM

"Mozy, the industry-leading online backup service from EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC), today announced general availability of MozyHome 2.0 and MozyPro 2.0 on Windows. New enhancements include faster upload speeds and decreased bandwidth usage, new convenience and access features, and Mozy 2xProtect - a new feature which allows Mozy users to back up to a local external drive in addition to Mozy's online data centres at no additional cost."

I'm a Mozy [Affiliate] user myself, and a relatively happy one, so this update impacts me directly - and for a full dot release, I have to admit I was a bit underwhelmed. Not many visible changes in the client software; it's not immediately apparent how the local back angle figures in, though I don't need to use that anyway (I use SyncbackSE). I'm very interested in the 25% faster backups - I'll have to do a little test and see if it's noticeable. What doesn't seem to be fixed yet is the most incredible flaw in the software/service I can imagine: confirmed for me by Mozy tech support agent Rovin Shukla a few weeks ago, if any metadata changes are made to a file, the entire file needs to be backed up again. That 800 MB video file that you added a single new keyword to? Mozy apparently needs to back up the whole thing again. Yeah, that sucks. That one big issue aside, I'm really happy I have 450+ GB of data backed up with Mozy - I do not fear the Data Loss Reaper!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Going Green With a New Windows Home Server

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:00 AM

Since first hearing about the Windows Home Server operating system a few years ago, I've been intrigued with Microsoft's efforts in this space. I was fortunate to be included in the first beta, for which I used my old software/hardware testing computer, cobbled together from an assortment of parts. I called this my "Frankenbox"; the machine was a standard mid-sized tower with a 400 watt power supply, a 3 Ghz Celeron CPU, and 2 GB of RAM. When I deployed it as my Windows Home Server, I added a few new parts to it: an Intel gigabit Ethernet card, a SATA card for installing extra hard drives, and of course a bunch of hard drives. It's easiest to show the hard drive arrangement with a screen shot. Read more...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Backing up the Backups With Windows Home Server

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 02:00 PM

"Using Windows Home Server to backup computers on your local network is a great tool for your backup strategy. But what about backing up the data on the server itself? Here we take a look at using an external drive to backup some of your important data."

Remember, always make a backup before you destroy anything. What? You thought that one backup was enough? How silly! You need backups of the backups! Actually, depending on how important your data is, it makes sense to have multiple backups of your data, with at least one copy offsite. How-To Geek shows you how Windows Home Server can backup the data that is on it so you can move it somewhere safe. Backups are a pain, but in the real world, anything can fail, and having an extra copy of your information (and lot more of our important information is digital) could save you an incredible amount of time, hassle, stress, money, and part of your eternal soul. And do not trust the safety of the cloud! Even with privacy issues aside, whether it is Apple, Google, Microsoft or your geeky friend who lives down the street, they are the ones that hold the keys to your data, not you. Take responsibility and own your data!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Acronis Online Backup Promotion

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Software" @ 04:00 PM online backup&gclid=CN_uwMjMxZ8CFQ4hDQodongOdg

"Protect your digital life and valuable information with the new Acronis Online Backup service featuring 250 GB storage space in a highly protected online vault! Now the backup and recovery process is much more convenient than ever before - you can backup your critical files to your online personal safety deposit box from up to 5 PCs or laptops and download any of those files remotely from any Internet-connected PC. We are happy to offer you the annual subscription to this new service only for $29.95.... This is a limited time special introductory promotion expiring February 15th."

Data backup is something that we all know we should do, but too often overlook. And gone are the days when a handful of floppies - or even CDROMs - are sufficient for the task. Acronis markets a number of products, for both business and home use, with an emphasis on data backup and recovery applications. Until Febraury 15 they are offering a nice discount on their Online Backup service, which appears to have a good feature set, as well as a 30-day Free Trial if you wish to try it out first. We have always done cross-system backups, along with burning the odd CD/DVDROM (or floppy!) for selected data, and recently added an automated external hard drive backup unit, but these are largely tied to a single physical location and thus open to possible simultaneous loss - something an online solution would avoid. What backup method(s) do you employ? And, does an online solution seem attractive, or not?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Seagate Replicates Apple Time Machine

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:00 AM

"Seagate's objective in designing its Replica backup kit was to make a replica of Time Machine, but for Windows PCs. It works exactly as promised, and in similar fashion to Apple's no-brainer backup system. Plugged in, its setup process was numbingly simple: agree to the TOS and you're about done. It then records a complete backup of your system and begins keeping track of changes you make. By cleverly journaling and organizing each sequential backup, the archive is unlikely to get substantially larger than the system it's attached to. As a result, you can dip into your machine's history, recover files, and restore the system in the event of disaster. It comes with a special boot CD to help in the event of the latter."

Backups are so very important. I'm really surprised Microsoft has not made more of an effort to publicize the tools already available. I've been using Microsoft Sync Toy for a while and been very happy with it. I have an automated daily job that syncs all my data to a second physical drive in my desktop. I've also got two manual jobs that I run less regularly, one syncs to a network drive and the other to a portable drive which I keep off-site. If you are looking for a turnkey solution, with very little setup on your part, this looks like the way to go.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Rip Your DVDs to ISO Files for Safe Keeping

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 01:47 PM

We've talked about the issue of old home-burnt CDs and DVDs no longer being readable before on this site, but I did something this week that you may want to emulate: if you have CDs or DVDs, especially ones that contain a fully produced end product (like a DVD with menus), use ImgBurn to rip ISO files of the discs. An ISO is basically just an image of the disc - a big file that, if burned back to a DVD or CD using the proper program, gives you an exact duplicate of the disc. ImgBurn is a free program (but do donate if you use it and like it - I did) that makes the task of both ripping and burning disc images wonderfully simple.

Over the past ten years or so, I've created a handful of wedding DVDs for friends, and last week I thought "You know, if I'm the keeper of the master copy, I should make sure these never fade away" and I ripped them all to ISO files. It's a good thing I did that, because the oldest of the DVDs (about eight years old) gave me a few read errors on one computer - which likely means it's starting to degrade. It's kind of mind-blowing how fragile home-burnt CDs and DVDs can be - you should trust nothing to them, always having a solid backup of the information on them (hopefully on a hard drive).

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sharpcast Launches SugarSync 1.5, Shared Folders Added

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 11:00 AM

"Today, I'm very happy to unveil SugarSync 1.5, now with the much-anticipated Shared Folders feature designed to enable super easy sharing and collaboration with friends, family and colleagues. You've been asking for it, and we heard you loud and clear. In the past, you had the ability to send files of any size and also to share folders containing photos as Web Albums. However, you wanted to work collaboratively with team members on projects or and share entire folders. Now, you can."

I've always thought that SugarSync was a cool concept, but two things have stopped me from using it: first, the price is too high. I'm paying less than $5/month to Mozy [Affiliate] to back up just under 200 GB of data. Mozy doesn't have any remote data access or any of the other cool things that SugarSync does, so I'd be willing to pay more for that. Maybe $10/month...but not $25/month. If SugarSync wants to compete with the online backup services, they'll need to be more competitive.

Secondly, I wouldn't need all that storage if SugarSync allowed me to specify what I stored on their servers. If it functioned like Live Sync, allowing me to keep folders in sync, but putting some of that data up in the cloud (say, photos), that's something I'd be willing to pay for. I'd still keep my Mozy account for backup, but I'd be interested in a $5/month account from SugarSync to give me what Mozy does not.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

HP Releases Two New MediaSmart Windows Home Servers

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 01:30 PM

"To meet the backup needs for consumers who feast on a glut of digital content, HP has introduced a pair of new home media servers called the HP MediaSmart ex485 and ex487. The two devices share many of the same features and both use an Intel Celeron 2GHz CPU and 2GB of DDR2 RAM. Other features include HP specific applications that make managing and sharing digital content easier. Bundles software includes HP Media collector to copy and centralize digital files from across the network, media streaming to stream photos and music to network computers, iTunes server to share music libraries, and HP photo view and Photo Publisher services among others."

I've always liked the HP MediaSmart product, but I'm still rocking the (comparatively) power-guzzling home-built frankenbox that I put together for this purpose in 2007. If/when that computer dies, or I outgrow it somehow, I'll definitely switch to the HP MediaSmart - or possibly sooner, who knows. The new models are noticeably different in that they have four times the RAM, and a slightly faster CPU. Celeron is still a dirty word in tech circles, but the newer Celeron CPUs have a surprising amount of kick. So why the hardware upgrade? New software services that are coming to the Windows Home Server in the form of another software update (remember Power Pack 1?). HP's product spec page lists Mac backup support (without an asterix), "media collector", and "remote streaming". I know some of what's coming but due to NDA can't say much more than I'll be happy when these mentioned features arrive, because they'll fix my #1 source of irritation with the current WHS software.

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