Okay, be honest: who forgot to back up last week? Anyone?
That’s the “Does anyone actually need me?” question. Because if you’ve all got your backups automated by now, does it matter whether I actually write this reminder? Do people even notice if I don’t produce one?
Not that I’m trying to let myself off the hook for not producing a post last week, mind you, but no one on my less-than-enormous mailing list (backups are never going to win the e-zine popularity contest) wrote to ask where I was last week. (I was at the Podcast Expo in Ontario, California, having a great time but with scarcely time to check my e-mail, never mind compose a Backup Reminder.)
Just because I was on the road doesn’t mean I didn’t back up. I took my new FreeAgent Go drive with me in a pocket of my laptop case, and it worked just fine. The Ur-Guru took all six of his Western Digital XHDs–and a lot of pictures, which you can see on Flickr if you search under the tag “newmediaexpo2007.” We heard more than a few people mention what they did to back up their photos and their audio and video files, but mostly it came down to DVDs (which they were trying to get away from) and external hard drives. Nothing really new there.
Nothing new from Seagate about my dead Shared Storage II, either. Oh, I had a bit of back and forth with the tech support team, who were baffled by the serial number I gave them and asked for a photo of the label and a proof of purchase. Um, guys? My point was that I didn’t purchase it at all. After I explained that and sent them everything they asked for, they decided to pass the buck to another division and told me they’d get back to me, which they haven’t.
Suggestions for more reliable NAS drives to replace the late Teras are welcome.
I also did a comparison test of Norton Ghost 8 versus TrueImage 9. The Ur-Guru has been using TrueImage on all his systems (actual and virtual) for some time now, and he suggested I try it. First I did a Ghost backup of my hard drive. It worked the way it always does, and took a good while but performed as expected. The TrueImage backup projected that it would take somewhat less time, but I got a strange error message in the middle, even though everything thereafter appeared to work normally and TrueImage told me it had completed the backup successfully.
“I wouldn’t trust that backup,” the Ur-Guru said. Well, no, not if I had to try to restore my whole system from it. So I’ll stick to using Ghost 8 until I find something that works better.
But why TrueImage should work for him–and many others–and not for me, I haven’t a clue.
I’ll conclude on a humorous note. The Ur-Guru and I attended the Halo 3 launch party in Silicon Valley on September 23rd. The only game I play on my computer is Solitaire, but I knew the guy organizing the party from the National Youth Leadership Forum on Technology.
In addition to the gaming competitions, Microsoft was showing off some of its other projects, including the new improved Hotmail and the Silverlight/Popfly combination. We were talking to the Hotmail guy and I asked him what they did about backups.
There was a long, uncomfortable pause. “I know the answer to that question,” he said, “but I’m not sure I’m allowed to tell you.”