Time to celebrate World Backup Day 2011

Time to celebrate World Backup Day 2011

Summary: Today is April Fools Day eve, so to speak, but among techies, it's become known as World Backup Day. If you don't want to look like a fool when your computer crashes, keep reading.

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Today is April Fools Day eve, so to speak, but among techies, it's become known as World Backup Day. If you don't want to look like a fool when your computer crashes, keep reading.

It seems that many of us (myself included) have learned the importance of backing up one's hard drive the hard way: when the hard drive crashes and the data saved on it is lost forever. There is no excuse in this day and age of affordable backup options for such tragedies to continue.

There are several simple and easy solutions, ranging from a tiny USB drive that fits in a pocket for smaller quantities of data to external, portable hard drives that can copy the entire hard drive of a laptop or desktop computer.

Additionally, cloud computing solutions (i.e. Apple's MobileMe and Microsoft's Cloud Power) are becoming more abundant each day, and there are many websites that can be used to store and share particular types of files. For example, even though I backup all of my photos to an external HDD, I also upload everything to Flickr with a Flickr Pro account - $24.95 a year for unlimited storage space, and it doesn't diminish the resolution nor the quality of the images. Another, more comprehensive online solution would be Crash Plan, which also for $25 per year (and a free 30-day trial) allows hard drive data to be backed up online and to additional computers.

In case your backup plan some how fails (or you never bothered to back your files up), there are a few last-ditch efforts to recover at least some of your data. One solution is DriveSavers, which employees a team of technicians who will "perform microsurgery" on a hard drive in an ISO 5 cleanroom to recover what information they can.

In case you're undecided or having trouble deciding on an external hard drive and/or back-up source, check out some of ZDNet's recent coverage of portable storage media below to narrow down what is right for you and your computing needs:

Topics: Hardware, Data Management, Storage

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  • World Backup Day

    Hi! Thanks for writing about World Backup Day! You can visit us at http://www.worldbackupday.net

    Here is a little history:
    Last week a bunch of users on Reddit decided that there should be more awareness around backups and especially the upkeep of backup restores. This has resulted in designating March 31st as World Backup Day as a dig at April Fools. A fellow redditor helped design the website and we even managed to have snag some giveaways from CrashPlan, Backblaze, SpiderOak, & MiMedia to help spread the word.

    The holiday is a play off of April Fools and to "preempt" any pranks or backup failures. Currently, the site is just a single page but will hopefully expand soon to be more comprehensive.

    Please check out our our twitter feed @WorldBackupDay & our Facebook Page for more information on backing up.

    Thanks for joining us on March 31st!
    WorldBackupDay
  • Data backup and recovery

    Make sure your backup is automated!!! I have been working in the IT industry for 20 years and the single biggest point of failure is human caused! If your backup relies on you doing something every day or week or month, you will forget or put it off. You need an automated backup solution that takes you out of the picture. Cloud based backups are great and can be quite affordable, just be prepared for the long time it takes to push your initial batch of data out to the service. I like Carbonite.

    As far as Data Recovery goes, I recommend Seagate Data Recovery as a less expensive option to Drivesavers.
    Colorado_AL
  • For data recovery

    Gillware beats Drive Savers and Seagate Data Recovery for value based recovery hands down -- without diminshing the success rate -- Although your better off just backing your data up!
    seganhouse@...
  • RE: Time to celebrate World Backup Day 2011

    :)
    DigtalDude
  • RE: Time to celebrate World Backup Day 2011

    Awesome idea. I currently use FilesAnywhere.com for my backup needs. There's just so many options with them that I couldn't use any other service.
    Adam Blue
  • RE: Time to celebrate World Backup Day 2011

    Just in time for this event, my last PC finished backing up to my new CrashPlan account last night! I bought their family plan that lets me back up unlimited data for up to 10 computers and have 6 backing up online. The final computer had the most data and just finished. It actually made really good time - it backed up about 150 GB to their online servers in less than 2 weeks.

    Also, on the data recovery note, I have successfully used Data Recovery Wizard by EaseUs to recover all data on drives that the operating system saw as Raw format on several occasions - once on a personal PC, once on a friend's computer, and a couple of times on PCs at work. The first time I encountered that issue, I used the trial version of dozens of recovery programs, but DRW was affordable and preserved both the original file names and the directory structure. Not all of the programs I tried did that.
    nashjar
  • RE: Time to celebrate World Backup Day 2011

    A backup is only as good as a restore. Don't forget to TEST your backups.
    puterami@...
  • RE: Time to celebrate World Backup Day 2011

    I know all to well of backing up data. I work for a company that manufactures server backup solutions, such as tape autoloaders and disk based appliances. My job is to make sure that these devices is to play nicely with software, such as, Backup Exec, CA Arcserve, and Retrospect to name a few. The sad thing is getting a decent backup system is always low priority from the executive standpoint until a disaster hits. With that said, make sure you have a sufficient backup strategy with redundant storage locations.
    mgaul
  • People still don't know why they need a good backup

    I'm still amazed that we have to tell people over and over again that they need to be backing up their data. If we could convince everyone out there to get a good daily backup, then there wouldnt be a need for DriveSavers or Seagate Drive Recovery. How do you convince someone to do something that they can't see a quick ROI on?

    Dennis Edmondson Jr
    Computing Concepts LLC
    http://www.computingconceptsllc.com/why-backup
    comconcepts
  • Backups should never be an afterthought!

    The best defense is to use a backup program that detects changes to files and backs up just the changed file on the fly. backing up everything at one sitting takes too long, so it just won't get done. Real-time backups are available from a number of sources. I use a utility called SyncBackSE on my home PC to back up to an external hard drive. A better solution would be a real-time backup to a trusted off-site location (such as a network file server for business users).
    People are willing to spend all kinds of money on PCs, music downloads, photo equipment, etc. They need to spring for a few dollars to protect that investment. (e.g.: My daughter's laptop suffered a HDD failure and she lost hundreds of dollars of music downloads. On the other hand, I've digitized thousands of irreplaceable family photos and stored multiple copies all over the place, and sent copies to my kids.)
    alan.douglas@...
  • RE: Time to celebrate World Backup Day 2011

    <blockquote>"It seems that many of us (myself included) have learned the importance of backing up one?s hard drive the hard way: when the hard drive crashes and the data saved on it is lost forever."</blockquote>

    Or perhaps after boneheadedly wiping out many gigs of media files all by yourself.

    MiniTool Power Data Recovery (free for personal use) was able to recover the files from one partition - ten-plus years of collecting comic strips and webcomics on a daily basis, about a third of the borked data. \
    But the other partition (manymany gigs of music, much of which i no longer have the original CDs of - or have them, but somewhere in storage - or copied from LPs - many also in storage, and i don't currently have a working setup to copy LPs to the computer) was permanently lost - <i>because</i> i had a backup that backed up to that partition automatically and overwrote the directories before i realised.

    Now i automatically back up my comics and music directories daily (a partial backup if there have been any changes since the last full backup) and weekly (a full backup) ... to an external disk. (I use ASCOMP BackupMaker, also free for personal use.)
    fairportfan
  • If only the internet was faster,

    For a free solution that has many of the features of some commercial products, try Cobian Backup.<br>I use it at work all the time (just manually backup at home - I know what I'm doing :P)<br><br>As for the 'cloud' I'm in Australia. My ADSL2 line is 14mbits down/1mbit up. And I'm in the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to home internet speeds here. Aside from some crucial documents that I keep in my online email folders (gmail etc) I don't see any real use for anything else going on the internet. It'd take too bloody long.<br>USB sticks and extra HDD's all the way! Redundancy is key.
    nmgitdept
  • RE: Time to celebrate World Backup Day 2011

    After years of "doing nothing", I finally put an automated solution in place. Windows 7 creates a daily image backup of the system drive to a network connected RAID array. A daily running of Microsoft's "SyncToy" copies all important data files (photos, data) to the network RAID drive. In addition, I also use Carbonite to send irreplaceable files (my photos, 90gb at this writing, and other critical data) to the cloud. I have redundancy, and off site. I feel I'm covered.
    WindowWasher
  • Everyone needs to do this - today!

    Today is a great day to get your backup started. Backups should be more than once per year - doing nothing is not an option. Although there are free backup solutions out there, they aren't always the best option for businesses that want to rely on easy simple solutions where someone else manages and takes care of everything.

    We can help you celebrate World Backup Day - our service built on CrashPlan PRO Enterprise software is safe, reliable and completely automatic. No one has access to your data but we do help make sure everything is working properly. Check us out at http://www.sjcrashplan.com

    No more excuses - anything is better than taking a chance not backing up your files!
    bsietz@...