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  1. #1
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    The importance of backups - I was needing a reminder

    To cut the story short, my laptop's Crucial M4 256 GB SSD died silently and definitively, tonight. My latest image is from the 5th. Now I am penalizing myself for having imaged my desktop twice since, but skipping the laptop backups.
    Loss is not that big. Working docs and dev source files are synced / or cloud based. Will lose a couple weeks of emails and some Windows 8 Metro apps. I told myself I should have backed up my laptop too, when I imaged my desktop...

    I am in the process of restoring my image to a magnetic disk and will return the SSD and have it replaced under warranty. The sudden, abrupt death is a dire reminder of the importance of imaging, even more so with SSDs. So never forget to backup, backup, backup.

    It's also handy to keep the original magnetic disk, if you replaced it by an SSD. It just allowed me to get my laptop back in about 2 hours from the original failure. Not too bad.

  2. #2
    Platinum Lounger
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    Schedule the backup with your backup software. If your backup software doesn't have a scheduler, find one that does - even if it costs money it's worth it.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I fully agree with those recommendations, as anyone reading any of my posts can see right in my signature. I have not started with SSD drives yet, but have heard you generally do not get the kinds of warnings that platter drives can sometimes provide.

    This also points out the very reason I always recommend a new Image when changes take place (added or deleted apps, new customizations and such). I'm not talking data changes. The data generally should be backed up more often than the system.

    In my case, most of my changes take place on Patch Tuesday, so after each Patch Tuesday, I create an Image. It sounds like in Rui's case changes take place more often than once per month so Imaging more often is his optimal solution. For those of you looking at the best way to protect your systems, take heed. Imaging is, I believe, the "Gold Standard" of whole system backups.
    Last edited by Medico; 2013-02-22 at 04:31.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
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  4. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    We can't say enough on the importance of performing an image based backup on a regular basis.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  5. #5
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    Actually, I managed to get the SSD to work, connected as an external drive (the laptop upgrade kit I bought when I got the SSD is quite helpful for that) and the drive seems to be working. I was able to get my email files back, so right now there are no losses.
    Need to see if the issue was only a boot issue. I am using HD Tune to test the drive, as Crucial's support advised. I will probably just image it from the now updated magnetic drive, if everything is ok.

    I switch my backup drives between the computers, Paul, which means automated backups are not that easy, unless I did it through the network, which would make it rather slow. I already setup a mechanism to ensure my Outlook files will be copied periodically and uploaded to my cloud backup, so even the email won't be lost in case this happens.
    I use True Image, which can be scheduled to run, but I do prefer to do it manually. I also have an extra layer, with Cubby syncing all my work files between my computers and the cloud.

    Quite often I fail to do something I know I should have done (like having imaged the laptop when I did the desktop) and I always tell myself that I know I am making a mistake. I just need to listen to the voice of reason more often, to follow best practices all the more often.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Yeah I know what you mean, I tend to image the laptop far less than my desktop.
    For me my laptop is like a watered down mirror version of my desktop. It gets me only what I need when I'm on the road.
    I never had a need for scheduled backups, especially on the laptop. That would mean I'd have to have it on and connected to an external drive.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  7. #7
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    Well, after a telephone contact with Crucial's support, I downloaded HD Tune which proved the SSD was ok, so it must have been a simple boot issue. Cloned the SSD from the magnetic disk, using Crucial's migration software and the laptop is again running on the SSD .

    I must say support was quite good. I knew Crucial had reliable products (have bought loads of RAM from them) and now I know their support is quite good too (and the SSD seems not to be flaky as a failure 5 months into being used could mean).

    This one ended well and I will be better prepared next time .

  8. #8
    5 Star Lounger
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    I probably misread Medico's idea, but I don't understand why we would image After applying patches on Patch Tuesday.
    I take an image before so that I can 'fall back" if I have to.

    Also, on a different note, echoing Clint's comment #4 above, I really don't understand why people don't take images regularly.
    I'm just an average home user, not a computer expert; and what I do is to image my OS partition daily. It takes me 9 minutes using Macrium reflect, and I run it while I go eat breakfast.

    Dick

  9. #9
    Silver Lounger
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    Probably not before because his current system image is perfectly adequate if something does happen. In general one would make an image only as often as needed to get the right balance between time spent making recovery media and time it would take to recover and at what acceptable loss. Even my 200+ gig system partition installs are stable once they are fully established, not that much change is going on and like Dr Who, I don't let updates run on a regular basis, so maybe if I get around to it, once every six months is more than adequate for me. Data backup is entirely different of course.

  10. #10
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Exactly right F.U.N. The Image I made after the last patch Tuesday is perfectly adequate for restoration until such time as I complete my next Image after applying the new set of patches. The only change to this scenario is when I change something between patch Tuesdays, say add an app, at which time I will create and intermediate Image, which then becomes my restoration Image, unless something is wrong with it in which case I can fall back to my last patch Tuesday Image. If for example the app I was trying screwed things up, I would delete the Image containing that app and restore to my last Image before the app was installed, simple.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  11. #11
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I switch my backup drives between the computers, Paul, which means automated backups are not that easy, unless I did it through the network, which would make it rather slow.
    Let it do the backup while you are asleep. It should be finished before you wake up the next morning. In that way, it won't matter even if it takes several hours.

    I find that a lot easier than physically switching the external hard drive, which is what I used to do.

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