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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    I keep financial data iin excel files that I modify frequently as data changes. I prefer to keep the data off my C drive , as it might be accessible to others.
    I have been using floppy discs, and it is very handy to pull up the data file, modify it, and save it. Using the CD drive would be faster, as saving to a floppy engenders some clatter in the coputer, and takes longer to complete. However, I find that the data files on CD-RW discs respond to efforts to edit by saying "Read only". I could drag the file onto the hard drive and edit it, but that is time consuming. Is there a way to make files on CDs writable?

  2. #2
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    Why not use an external hard drive? They are relatively inexpensive these days. You can regularly find 1TB drives for less than $100 USD with smaller drives being less expensive. Additionally, hard drives are much more reliable than floppies and CDs.

    Joe
    Joe

  3. #3
    Gold Lounger
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    Another inexpensive choice is to use a flash drive. You can easily get a 2GB flash drive for <$15.

    Regardless of what you choose, you need to figure out how you will provide yourself with a backup. If I was using the flashdrive, I'd backup the flash drive by zipping it (with a password) and storing the zipped file on my C: drive.
    Mark Liquorman
    See my website for Tips & Downloads and for my Liquorman Utilities.

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Agree, floppies and CD's are just not ideal for primary storage purposes, maybe secondary, backup to the backup. A flash drive would seem the best for your type situation, and they can be overwritten several thousand times with no problem.

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by asteven1 View Post
    I keep financial data iin excel files that I modify frequently as data changes. I prefer to keep the data off my C drive , as it might be accessible to others.
    If it is convenient you may try using Truecrypt to secure your data on the C drive to stop prying eyes.
    You can then back up the container that stores your data when you feel like it to wherever.

  6. #6
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkLiquorman View Post
    Another inexpensive choice is to use a flash drive. You can easily get a 2GB flash drive for <$15.

    Regardless of what you choose, you need to figure out how you will provide yourself with a backup. If I was using the flashdrive, I'd backup the flash drive by zipping it (with a password) and storing the zipped file on my C: drive.
    You can find them for a lot less many places. I've seen 1 gig flash drives for sale at a big box stationary store for under $10. Also there are SDD cards for cameras and such. Same technology, re-writable semi-conductor memory. I have had flash drives fail. It is a strange failure, un-expectedly a file is corrupted. A one gig flash drive should hold over 700 floppies. Supposedly they are good for 100 thousand write operations. You can judge for yourself how many times you update a file on a flash drive to determine how long it will last you.

    There is another option regarding CDs. You can buy a CD marked RW. This will allow you to write to a CD more than once. What can be done there is you can save each version of the document with a slightly different name, ie make the date and time part of the file name, and that way you have all the versions of your document for each modification. If you had a 1 meg document, you would be able to update it 700 times before the disk would be full.

  7. #7
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    As a professional Computer Tech (retired, but still working) I have to share other peoples problems and their pain.
    The most traumatic circumstance I have to deal with is the retired gentleman who is writing his memoirs and saving
    them to his hard drive, with NO backup. (Like, what's he thinking?) and then the HD crashes or his .doc file becomes
    corrupted.

    Since home computers have not come with floppy drives for many years now, it's not surprising that people are not
    using floppy disks for backups. But for people with old pic's or data on floppy disks that they can't access on their
    new PC, a USB External Floppy drive is a solution to that problem.
    I just don't find RW CD's to be reliable enough for secure data backup.

    I recently had an old gentleman call me who was writing a novel and only saving his work to his hard drive. One day this
    .doc file got corrupted, deleted or some such. He was on the verge of a coronary when he called me for help.
    Knowing the seriousness of this situation, I took a friend with me on the service call. My friend is a data recovery specialist.
    It took almost an hour to finally recover the old man's novel.

    Now the old man saves his work in chapters, not just one big file and every days work is backed up to multiple flash drives.
    Word, for instance, will let you save a file and re-save a file as many times and to as many places (drives) as you wish.

    Any disk, hard drive or even flash drive will crash eventually. So don't keep all your data in one place.

    Now would be a very good time to sit down with a Data Management Specialist and set up a foolproof backup scheme,
    that will serve your needs. Let me give you a good example *.

    * I have customer records and important documents, going back 15 years. Over that time I've experienced
    many hard drive failures, but I have yet to loose the first bit of data. Since about 1980 I've built my own PC's and I always
    use a case large enough to accommodate multiple hard drives. So, one option I have for a fairly quick backup of C: is my
    second hard drive.

    Since its release in the mid 90's, "Ghost" has been my backup program of choice. I backup C: every week, using Ghost,
    to either the second partition on my main HD, or to my 'Storage' hard drive. I can also burn the Ghost image to a DVD,
    which I do every month. That DVD goes into a fireproof vault, about twenty miles away at a friend's office.

    A simple batch file is the quickest way to just backup data files.
    A click of a desktop icon runs a batch file which uses XCOPY to copy all of "My Documents" to a like directory on my backup HD.
    That also works equally well to backup files to a flash drive. Using XCOPY and the proper switches, I can back up only the files
    that have been changed or added to the 'My Documents' folder. Using this technique, my daily data backup only takes a few seconds.
    That backup batch file can also be coupled to my Quick Shutdown routine for an automatic daily backup.

    A typical XCOPY backup batch file can be a simple one-liner, like this:

    XCOPY "C:\My Documents\*.*" M:\ /s /M /V /F /H /R /Y

    This copies the contents of "My Documents" to my flash drive ( M: )
    and saves time by only copying data that is new or changed.

    A good rule of doing backups is to Keep It Simple, so you'll do it more often.

    Good Luck,
    The Doctor
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    I used to use tape drive backups and gave that up when the type of cartridge my drive used was no longer available....sad...it was a cassette-style backup and ran like the wind. After that I moved to CD and then DVD backups as our LAN grew, but optical media can be tricky and sooner or later you reach a point where the disc can no longer be written to, and Murphy's Law would tell you that that was the backup you really needed,right?

    So what I use now is a pair of SD cards (2Gb each) and an SD card USB reader. This really works well because the cards are small, cheap enough, last a long time, and all I have to do is yank the card reader, swap cards and it back in for the next backup. I found the SD cards on sale at KMart for $10 each, and I already had the card reader that came with a digital recorder I use with our band, so the total cost of this backup system was $20 and it should last quite a while. I don't know if there is a point you reach with SD cards where they become unusable, but I don't think so unless the card is physically damaged.

  9. #9
    New Lounger
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    For large/huge amounts of data to copy or backup, there's always the Microsoft Robocopy utility. It's designed for reliable mirroring of directories or directory trees and has features to ensure all NTFS attributes and properties are copied. You can throttle the copy as needed, and it has both a command line and GUI interface depending on your preference. I use it quite a lot for making backup copies of my FTP site.

  10. #10
    New Lounger
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    If you don't have a backup of important stuff off site, you don't have a backup. In California with earthquakes, floods, and fires a possibility, consider online storage sites. there are many free ones and inexpensive ones to choose from. They are as close as gmail drives or "sky drive".

    Otherwise, flash drives and camera cards are so easy, fast, and inexpensive that you could easily have an A and a B and keep one some where else and rotate.

    Cheers,

  11. #11
    New Lounger
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    I think automated, off site backup is the easiest and best. And if you're talking about using a floppy or CD for your backups, then off site backup can also be free. Dropbox gives you 2.5 GB for free (2GB free plus .5 GB in easy bonus space). It's saved my can't-lose files at least once because it syncs my files instantly and automatically. If you trust an off-site company with your files, it's sure convenient. You get an extra free 250MB if you use a referral link like this one.... https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTU4NjA1MDk

  12. #12
    New Lounger
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    Another option is DVD RAM which is rewriteable and may, I say may, be quite long lasting. Data shows them to provide more rewrites than flash memory.

  13. #13
    New Lounger
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    This may help you. Wiki

    I do have, and probably will still work, on old LS120 drive. Remember those? Now if I am ever in Canada again maybe I can drop it off to ya.

  14. #14
    3 Star Lounger
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    A couple of posts in this thread mentioned that backing up to CDs is unreliable. I've been backing up to CD-RW and DVD+RW for years without any trouble. Besides the quality of burners varying from brand to brand, what most people don't know is the quality of discs can also vary from brand to brand. So, to get a good backup, you must not only have a quality burner, but also a quality disc. Research by optical disc drive manufacturer Plextor (a division of Shinano Kenshi) found that discs manufactured by Mitsubishi Chemical under the brand name Verbatim (verbatim.com) tend to be the best choice for their burners (http://www.plextoramericas.com/index...-806sa?start=1). In testing by cdrinfo.com using Pioneer, LiteON, and Plextor burners, brands Maxell and Memorex also did well (http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/Revi...13934&PageId=0).

    When backing up to a disc, don't burn it at the highest rated speed, since that will probably produce errors. For example, when I back up to a Verbatim DVD+RW, the highest rated speed is 8x, but I get better results with 6x. Also, while running the backup (or erasure), do not use the computer for anything else; let it concentrate on that one function. Otherwise, using the computer for something else at the same time the optical drive is running might cause momentary breaks in the laser beam, which could result in recording errors. Verbatim optical discs are hard to find in retail stores, but they are available from online sources such as bhphotovideo.com, buy.com, and newegg.com. Stay away from unfamiliar brands of discs; you'll definitely get an unreliable backup from those.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I use a multi approach to backups; CD/DVD, Internal and external hard drives, and my personal favorite, for
    the moment, are the USB thumb drives for relatively small but critical data backups in the 1-8 GB range.
    This is data of a constant updated/edited/rewriten type & USB thumbs appear to be far more reliable than CD/DVD.
    I should also mention that the SD cards too are highly reliable as well. I have one for my digital SLR camara that's
    over 2 years old and sees some decent regular usage, it's seems very reliable & robust.

    For photos; DVD media backups when verified and checked regularly can also be very reliable form of
    backup and storage. As long as they are stored properly and regularly verified for fitness.

    Floppy & Zip drives are not among my considerations as they are too antiquated and small.

    I'm hopeful for the future use of encrypted online data backups for the above storage range, but I have not fully researched this.
    Reliability and security would be my main concerns with internet/on-line (secure servers) storage systems.

    Backups in the 1-2 TB range and higher are a tougher and more expensive proposition. I would go with multiple external hard drives
    with a combination of onsite and off storage. As long as they are not banged around or subject to dust and strong EM fields, they
    should be safe and reliable for a few years.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

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