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Backup, Backup, Backup!

backup back up backup

My Dell Inspiron 1720 Laptop recently was me giving trouble where by it started to hang for no apparent reason. One minute I’d be working away contently with very few applications running, next “Bang!” it would freeze with a constant (Vista) spinning icon and a screen that turned opaque white. Nothing I could do to rectify it only to wait… and wait… and wait… by running Windows Task Manager I noticed the CPU Usage was running at a near constant 90% all the time which was pretty high. I tried all sorts of tips from registry defrag to killing unnecessary startup processes even being suspect of Firefox sucking up resources but no luck to be had.

It finally ground to a halt and would not boot up so with the laptop still in warranty I called Dell to arrange a repair, strangely enough they sent out a repair tech a few days later who discovered the problem was a screwed up motherboard which was replaced. It was also recommended that I format my hard drive and re-install Windows (Bloody) Vista. At this point I decided to back up my laptop data to an external hard drive via USB. I left it transferring all files overnight and presumed all was ok with no error messages that anything went wrong with the transfer, having backed up I was happy to prepare for formatting the drive and re-installing.

Dell arranged a phone call and a talk through of the reinstall. All went well and at last the laptop is back to peak performance so tonight it was time to hook up my external drive and transfer my stuff back . BUMP! nothing there! yes there was a c: drive backed up with full windows directory etc. but no “My Music” – “My Videos” and worst of all no “My Pictures” aaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!!

No pictures!!!  over a years worth of photos… nowhere to be found. Family snaps, birthdays, events, creative pics… all gone… thank f**k I had uploaded a few of those pics to my flickr account…. and all for the sake of a couple of backup DVD’s!

Lesson learned? shit happens… (note to self)  from now on always check an test your Back Up, Back Up, Back Up!

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4 Comments

  1. Richard · May 28, 2009

    I have the same laptop and have a 59.99 250gb drive from aldi which does a scheduled back-up every week – a hard lesson as the last laptop sits dead with years of data on it. It had a new screen installed within warranty.

    • Kieran McCarthy · May 28, 2009

      Richard… thanks for the comment… funny enough the same laptop has been sent back to Dell since I put this post up. This is the third time it has been sent back for repair in warranty, it failed to boot up again this time. I will have to implement a similar backup procedure to yours when I get it back up an running. Cheers for the advice :)

      Kieran

  2. Donncha O Caoimh · June 4, 2009

    Ouch! I’ve lost photos in the past, but never a whole year’s worth. Argh. If it’s of any help, here’s how I do backups but I’m not sure if backuppc will run as a server on a Windows box.

    Actually, both 1TB drives are almost full now. I need to look at something bigger.

  3. Kieran McCarthy · June 16, 2009

    @ Donncha Thanks for advice… I will look into your solution, I like the idea of scynching 2 drives, you have two 1TB drives full … Phew! I sometimes get worried at the amount of data we store around our lifestyles.