Jump to content

How to keep your creations


Recommended Posts

Cipro

my exwife installed a thing called Deep Freze on my laptop, it erased the last 10 years of my life.

pissed off I can tell you

 

Returnil is a similar product, popular with libraries and other shared computer sites. It boots your PC from a "frozen" state and allows normal use, but on reboot the changes are not preserved and it reverts to the "frozen" state.

 

 

 

  • Physical loss: Always popular, works in the real world too. Either you stored your stuff on a service you didn't own, or the PC was stolen, or the house burned, or whatever. In short the data is fine and intact somewhere last you used it but you can't get to it anymore because you lost or never had physical control of the media. This also carries with it the fun possibility of someone ELSE now having your data.
  • Hardware failure: The disk crashed, or has bad sectors, or whatever. A storage malfunction has lost your data.

 

 

So if you follow the steps suggested in post 8 you now are retaining every revision of everything you create, in a separate place from where you edit them. That's pretty cool but it only protects against human error (the fumble finger delete) and to a degree from malicious removal since your stuff is stored in a separate location, the repository. It also simplifies the next few steps and allows some simple hardening of the data.

 

That was the good news, the bad news is that you need to start spending money now.

 

 

Hardware Failure

 

The first issue is that no protection against hardware failures such as disk crashes is provided by use of RCS software. If the disk that contains your repository is the same disk, or even conceivably in the same machine as the disk that contains your data then you are vulnerable to a failure that would wipe out your original data and the repository in one fell swoop. How to fix this?

 

Depends on your needs and your budget, let's go low cost first.

 

The cheapest thing to do is to get a external drive and use it to store backups on. My personal favorite is a simple hotswap external SATA drive mount device but any external drive of sufficient size will do. There are legitimate concerns with regard to longevity of hard drives mounted in low cost external enclosures, however there are a few mitigating facts here. First, drive reliability is computed in terms of mean hours between failures. This drive is (should be) only switched on while the backup is being saved, so the number of operational hours will be low compared to real elapsed time. So, periodically, preferably often, you will validate the repository (this ensures the integrity of the data inside) and then immediately back the repository up to the external drive.

 

Once this is verified, the drive will be deactivated and stored in a separate physical location. In fact I have multiple backups in multiple places for contingencies such as the unthinkable house fire scenario, but that is a story for later.

 

 

So now you have archived every revision of everything digital you've ever created in a revision control system and made a periodic backup of a verified good version of that RCS datastore to separate offline media. You are protected from most common forms of long term data loss. Congratulations. But there are still a few chinks in the armor plating.

 

A couple of the bigger holes still left are catastrophic system failures such as sudden power loss at exactly the wrong moment, and breaches in physical security such as a burglary of your computing equipment, or other loss or destruction.

 

 

Physical Loss

 

To protect against physical loss I apply a simple rule; don't put all my digital asset eggs in one basket. Make more than one backup while doing your scheduled backups and store the media in different places. At the minimum, make your one backup and once it is done, store it away from your PC. In the US I used to plonk the backup drive in my glove box. This opens up a new risk, the obvious "what happens if someone steals my car/boat/favorite jacket? Won't they get all my data?"

 

Not if you did it right.

 

If you are planning to go with something like this, I highly recommend using a disk encryption product to create a secured disk, and then use THAT as your backup. This will NOT protect your data from determined attackers after your data, that is a different subject for another thread. What it WILL do is prevent a casual or even somewhat skilled thief from casually browsing around in your data if they have incidentally stolen your backup drive from it's offsite location.

 

Another option is an online backup solution, but I would use that as a replacement for the far offsite backup, and not as a sole backup method. For instance, I have backups in the house squirreled away, that I would never consider replacing with a service, but I would use an online storage service t store an enciphered backup of my data rather than store a drive in my car.

 

 

Data Corruption

 

This is a big subject on its own, but (1) use a UPS (or a notebook), (2) verify all data BEFORE and after committing it to backup and (3) use a file system that makes use of journaling. This basically means in 2012, "don't use FAT" for your archives or system disks. The popular and default Linux and Windows file systems post DOS are journaling systems.

 

 

Remaining Issues

 

In my digital storage I do a few more things. First, in any periodic backup system there will be by definition some unprotected period between backup events. Second, I use many systems to generate a few bodies of content. A solution to both of these problems is not dirt cheap but not prohibitive either. I use a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device that supports RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) for my repository data store and frequent backup jobs. Thus I can reflect my data to any system I'm sitting at very quickly using the revision control software and the external repository, and the repository has a hot backup of the current data automatically.

 

The files on the NAS are then backed up to a single removable drive for offsite periodic backups. The NAS I use also has an option to automatically push encrypted backups up to a backup service for a fee but I have not availed myself of this yet.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
SkyMan

What I have seen more times that not. Windows will freeze up and not reboot. So people believe that there data is lost when in reality it is still there. So they take it in and reformat the computer (which does erase the data) and have windows installed. This is one reason I am against aggressive registry tools and tools that modify the computer to make it faster. That is unless you know what you are doing.

 

If windows does do that. You just need to reinstall windows. Do not format or anything. Windows is sorta smart. It will say you have a previous version of windows installed. Do you want to keep it.. You say yes and then that previous version is a folder called windows(old) on your c:drive. Then you can navigate to that folder and your documents are there.

I have Win7 on its own physical drive and have forced all the user and program directories to the D drive. I have no problem formatting C and reinstalling Windows.
Link to post
Share on other sites
USMC-Retired

Only if others were so smart.

 

 

I have Win7 on its own physical drive and have forced all the user and program directories to the D drive. I have no problem formatting C and reinstalling Windows.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul

my exwife installed a thing called Deep Freze on my laptop, it erased the last 10 years of my life.

pissed off I can tell you

 

Don, crazy question. But, how did your ex-wife get hold of your computer in the first place?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul
I myself have had three in the last 8 years and all have failed.

 

I have had many internal drives fail. But, I have yet to have a single one of my external drives do so. The oldest one is going on 3 years old, I guess? It's a 1 terabyte drive. Western Digital, My Book. Well, I bought it when they first came out, whenever that was. It has to be more than two years ago, for sure.

 

Anyway, I don't have many drive or computer failures, too often anyway. I keep laptops propped up with a 16" fan blowing on them and the external drives, 24 / 7. On desktop models, I typically fill the case with fans, as many as there are slots available. I also run higher capacity power supplies.

 

When I was storing a lot of information about the Philippines, while living in the Philippines, I used a RAID system, after I had a couple of Seagate drives fail on me, causing me to lose some very important information. I wasn't willing to pay something like $700 USD for them to retrieve the information.

Link to post
Share on other sites
KennyF

I have Win7 on its own physical drive and have forced all the user and program directories to the D drive. I have no problem formatting C and reinstalling Windows.

 

TIP:

Install Windows 7 and all the programs you regularly use and then "Ghost" the drive.

That way you can simply "Ghost" your system back in a few minutes.

All data as you say, should be on a second drive.

 

I'm using "Ghost" as a generic term here. Personally I use the excellent freeware program "Macrium Reflect".

 

KonGC

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Guidelines. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..

Capture.JPG

I Understand...