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Boxofit.com - View topic - Reasons to have a backup for your backup
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Thu Aug 11, 2022 11:33 pm



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 Reasons to have a backup for your backup 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:14 am
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This morning I find myself sunk into a pit of depression at the loss of my RAID0 array from my desktop, as it's death triggered the loss of Terabytes of irreplaceable content that had been created, painstakingly, by me and existed nowhere else.

Being financially limited, I didn't have a backup large enough to store everything on, so I ended up having to pick and choose what was most important to me, and manually backing it up -- a task which ended up becoming so time intensive I didn't stay on top of it as I should (having been spoiled in the workplace by full-image backups). From recovery console, I can pull a DIR command after loading the RAID drivers and mounting the drive -- so at minimal, my filesystem still appears to be somewhat intact, but I'm completely unable to load it into Ubuntu, DSL, or any of my LiveCDs for 7 or XP. So for the time being, I simply must morn the loss of my data.

I just dug out my backup a small (250GB to hold 4TB of information: Not happening) 2.5" external HDD only to find that it, too, is completely dead. I'm not sure what happened, save to say that it's received physical damage as the drive spinning up produces the "click of death" noise.

I'm hoping that all of this bad luck is the universe's way of balancing out the luck required for my Powerball Numbers to win tonight, but that seems unlikely. So as a sort of "making the best out of a bad situation" consolation prize, here's a list of reasons why you -- the computer user -- should have a sizeable automated backup - and a backup for that backup!

1) By having a full image backup of your primary drive -- you can just load that image onto a new drive, and pick up where you left off (no OS install, no driver hunting, no rebuilding of your steam library, etc).
2) Unless you're one of those people who posts every picture they take on their blog or facebook -- odds are you have some unique pictures that you value (convention pictures, images of people who are dear to you, pictures of/with people who've since passed away, etc) which simply don't exist anywhere else anymore.
3) Any multiplayer games you hosted (Minecraft, Terraria, WoW Private Servers, etc) contain not only your game time and efforts, but that of other players as well -- and convincing yourself (and others) to start all over is, well, difficult.
4) Perhaps you, like me, had over 40 GB of music.
5) Chalk this death up as yet another computer you can't Un-Authorize from your iTunes account. Once I get my computer up and running again, I'll have used 3 of my 5 available authorization slots.
6) My internet is absolute garbage: which is to say, my steam library is going to take FOREVER to repopulate.
7) I now have to dig through my email histories scavenging for attachments such as my Resume, all of my letters of recommendation (a good number of which are from high ranking DoD officials who I would hate to bother asking for a replacement), and important credentials with regards to various accounts.
8) Perhaps you, like me, dabble in various projects: Books, Game Design, Art, 3D Design, Engineering, etc... Perhaps you, like me, have invested hundreds, if not thousands, of hours over these past 6 years (carrying your data from computer to computer) developing these ideas and projects.
9) Perhaps you had hours of raw footage awaiting editing and submission to youtube.
10) Ultimately, the vast majority of content that you created yourself is gone to the wind.

...You know what the kicker is to all of this? That it's incredibly likely to happen again because I'm STUCK in a ridiculously hot, uninsulated, metal f***ing trailer in Florida -- and the whole reason my RAID0 bit the dust was because my computer overheated while it was writing data to the drive.

Fortunately, in anticipation of that, I'm forgoing the RAID entirely. I'll be using a single 4TB drive in GPT format (so I can have a C:/ larger than 2GB). Should it suffer damage, I can snatch it out of the computer, throw it into an external enclosure or use a USB-to-Sata interface (I've got two of them), and recover from it what I can. Atop that, Newegg and Google both stepped up and offered data recovery services on the drive for 2 years -- which gives me plenty of time to save up and buy a sufficient backup system (assuming, financially, I can ever level out enough to save up the money).

My "anticipated ship date" for the new drive is the 4th -- which is tomorrow. But realisticly, tomorrow is also Sunday, and not only is newegg closed Sunday (pretty sure), but nothing ships on Sunday. All of this (is anyone really surprised that I have bad luck by now?!?!) had to have happened after close of business day, Friday.


Sat Aug 03, 2013 5:19 pm
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I guess this is motivation for me to start a backup, but I'm not sure what I have that's irreplaceable.

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Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:51 am
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Well, that depends on you and how you use your computer. Things like game saves don't particularly matter to me, as if the game has replay value, I won't mind beating it again -- and if ti doesn't, I'll likely never fire it up to realize "Oh yeah, I lost my savegame." The things that are irreplaceable to me are typically:

• Anything that I created: Sure, I can create them again, but they'll never be exactly what they were before - and while it might be argued that "assuming one gets better over time, the recreations should be better than the originals", the real danger lies in human memory and the fact that my more complex projects will end up totally changing form, and dozens upon dozens of smaller projects risk being forgotten completely and never recreated.

• Anything collaborative: When I host a server of some kind or another, I'm making an unspoken agreement that the people who come and invest their time on it will have their efforts waiting there for them when they come back. And while the boxofit.com community is currently small enough to be understanding and empathetic/sympathetic of the situation, it doesn't change that fact that if you had invested hours upon hours into terraria or minecraft only to be forced to start all over, you're far more likely to revert to single player and assume responsibility for your own save game.

• Email Archives: Mail servers are small and in effort to keep them tidy, they require frequent purging of old information. Regrettably, just because information is old doesn't mean it's useless; especially when you do any level of work in contracting, record keeping, Information Technology, or Administration (and regrettably for my DoD-bonded ass, I've done ALL of those, so having that information on hand in the event I need it is kind of important -- especially knowing how often one needs to highlight a line within an email and say "No, no. You said right here that your company would supply blahblahblah for blurgleblurgle.")

• Anything work related: This is basically a combination of the "Anything that I created" and "Email Archives" reasoning, but with a sprinkle of offline organization stirred in. The folders where drafts, revisions, quotes, and everything else can be found sorted by job are handy to have, to say the least. Having kept my marked up copy of the EM 385-1-1 in PDF with all of my notes, book marks, and everything else would have kept me, yesterday, from having pull out this freaking giant book (I'll try to attach a picture later) and look stuff up like it's 1836. And god forbid I need my noted FAR Clause book (which I will, because even though I'm not actively working for any DoD Contractor -- that stuff STILL comes up ALL THE FREAKIN TIME!).

• Libraries: Granted, I'll recollect all of my comics, anime, and music as I remember and want them, but some things, such as my 40+ GB of music which came courtesy of two local DJs (combined libraries to accrue that much), will never be fully recalled or rebuilt. To which, one might say "well no loss, if you can't ever recall it, you weren't likely to use it anyway" and while there is truth in that statement, for the purposes of online streaming, more is more.

• Pictures: Assuming the person/place/thing captured in the photo is still around (not deceased, torn down, or broken), you can likely take another picture. But the sentimentality and nostalgia of the originals - should those mean anything to you - are gone. Additionally, any photographs of/with your significant other or family carry a sort of "personal historical significance" that can't be so easily replaced. And obviously, any pictures of people or places that are simply no longer around can't be replaced. I don't want to seem like some sort of overly sensitive or sentimental guy, by any means: I don't take a lot of photos or videos, but those that I do I squirrel away and catalog because they are important to me. Tangible memories of places I might (or simply can't) ever go again, people who matter(ed, assuming the past) to me, and events that I want to withstand the erosion of time better than my Alzheimer's-Destined mind (although right around the point that my mind can no longer divide my real past from the surplus amounts of comic book and video game BS that it stores in memory -- my old man ramblings are going to become pretty freakin awesome). I'm noting significant, when you look at the big picture. Hell, I probably don't even show up as a blip in the medium picture -- but I would like to preserve as much of my so-called "legacy" as I can, if for no reason beyond my own nostalgia later in life. I don't assume myself so important as to post my every waking moment on facebook or some image blog - but ultimately I'd like a record of who I am, so that if one day, my children or grandchildren should wonder who I was, they can know for themselves.

...Sorry to get all sagey there... Kind of rambled. Summary: Back stuff up!


Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:18 am
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