[bct] Backups

  • From: "Mary Emerson" <maryemerson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 19 May 2006 17:48:54 -0700

Kelly and list,

My backup strategy is a bit different. I have a couple Buslink 40-gig external drives. I keep all personal information, NLS web braille books, music, and other important files on one of these disks. That information never gets to the hard drive at all. Every so often, I use Synchromagic, a great backup program, to make a mirror image of the data to a second Buslink drive. This morning, for example, I backed up a half gig or so of data, since I had some new music downloaded from Magnatune.com and wanted to be sure it was safely backed up. It took about 20 minutes to back it all up to the second drive.

The advantage of keeping all your personal stuff on a separate external drive is that you can grab it in an emergency and not lose it. You can be assured that, if or when your main PC hard drive dies, you haven't lost anything, since you can re-install Windows and your software. And your old hard drive doesn't have personal stuff on it, although I know that, if you're not careful, passwords and other things can be stored there by default.

By the way, I have a folder on the external drive called Software, which contains all the (executable program) files and e-mail (.eml) files with the software's registration keys, user keys, access keys, activation keys, vendor contacts, and that sort of thing. I also have another folder called Diskettes, which contains the (admittedly, small) number of items on diskette that I need--one folder per diskette, and each diskette folder containing all the items on the diskette. I also keep braille lists of Skype ID's, podcast subscription addresses, e-mail contacts, e-mail list subscription instructions, and general Windows how-to instructions. Sounds like a lot, but, having installed a lot of stuff on a lot of PC's over the past 15 years, I can tell you that having this stuff on hand is vital if you expect to recover from a crash. Having worked in main frame system support, I've seen main frame systems die without warning, and it took weeks to get the systems back to normal, because, believe it or not, crashes really do happen, and people aren't ready, especially the users who are stuck with work to do and no way to do it.

Now I don't have to do a podcast, although there are some who listen to BCT who don't subscribe to the list. But then, they'd probably skip right past a podcast about making backups.

Mary Emerson
E-mail: maryemerson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Skype name: mkemerson
Podcast web site: http://www.emerson.libsyn.com
Podcast feed: emerson.libsyn.com/rss

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