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How old is YOUR last backup? (215.2) - Mark's Journal
How old is YOUR last backup? (215.2)
Thanks to Apple and their automatic Time Machine backup feature, built into Mac OS X, my laptop is backed up every time it's on the same network as the 2TB hard drive that's hooked to my work desktop. That's why, when my hard drive died last week, I lost a few days' worth of files, not weeks or months or everything.

I wish I'd realized sooner the drive was dying; I could probably have hooked the laptop directly to the backup disk and gotten the weekend's photos from St. Patrick's Day and Atlantic City and the hockey tournament backed up. The good news is that I uploaded a lot of those to Flickr and/or Facebook over the weekend, and when I got home, so the real loss is minimal. And, because I've been using Gmail for 14850.com mail, the mail I'd downloaded since Thursday was still in the Gmail trash, and could be moved back to the inbox. Total loss? Negligible.

I'm also, once again, happy with Apple's warranty and AppleCare service. I called Wednesday, a box showed up Thursday, I sent the laptop out in the box Thursday afternoon, they got it Friday morning before I got to work, fixed it and sent it back Friday afternoon, and I had it Saturday. I'd have had it even earlier if I'd given them my home address, but as it is, I had to run out to FedEx to get it after they couldn't deliver it to a locked Cornell building in the morning. Now that I think about it, it's just as well; I was up late Friday night and would've been unhappy getting woken up by the doorbell!

So, how old is your last backup? If it's more than a few days old, do something about it, or take a last long look at all the files you're going to lose when your hard drive dies. Remember, it's not if, it's when.
9 comments or Leave a comment
allyson13 From: allyson13 Date: March 27th, 2011 10:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I use Carbonite which backs up all the time.

Haven't used it to restore but it does have an iPhone app so theoretically, I have access to my files when not at home.

For $50/year, it's nice peace of mind and I don't have to do anything, it works silently behind the scenes.
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: March 27th, 2011 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Time Machine would be fully automatic if I let it, but because Cornell has a threshold after which they charge for Internet traffic, I'm reluctant to let the laptop back up when it's not on the campus network. If I backed up constantly, there'd be a lot of traffic from home to office.
mfiveonline From: mfiveonline Date: March 28th, 2011 03:54 am (UTC) (Link)
You personally get a chargeback if you exceed your alloted bandwidth threshold? Kinda wish CSUF had that policy!
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: March 28th, 2011 03:56 am (UTC) (Link)

I personally don't. It's billed to the department. It's funny-money, but of course it's designed to keep WAN usage reasonable. All on-campus traffic is free.
queenmabwords From: queenmabwords Date: March 28th, 2011 11:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I really should do a backup soon.
kaitl From: kaitl Date: March 28th, 2011 01:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Gah! I hadn't set up time machine on my new macbookpro yet!
I last did a full-system back up on to an external hard drive last May and keep my most important files (dissertation drafts, etc) on Dropbox.com and on my research group's server...
But that means I haven't backed up my photos (other than to upload a lot of them to smugmug) since last May :(

Of course, I first have to delete a ton of stuff off the external hard drive b/c it's only 250GB...

mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: March 28th, 2011 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

That's not a big enough backup drive. Grab a new one from Best Buy or even Target. I just got a new 2TB drive at Target a couple of weeks ago for $85.
kaitl From: kaitl Date: March 28th, 2011 03:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Any brand recommendations?
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: March 28th, 2011 03:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

I like Western Digital. The backup drive I've been using has both USB2 and FireWire 800 connections; the one I just got cheap at Target is just USB2, but that's fine.
9 comments or Leave a comment