Posts Tagged ‘Backup’

Windows Woes

I’m not much of a fan of Windows, but a couple of applications that I use a lot (Quicken and Adobe Lightroom, for example) don’t run on Linux. Also, gaming on Windows is still much easier than gaming on Linux. As a result, I use Window 7 Ultimate as my main computer. Yesterday, when I was trying to tweak my backup processes, I ran into such bizarre problems with file permissions in Windows it drove me crazy.

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Backups and USB Flash Drive partitions

I’ve reminded people before how important it is to back up your data. Personally, I use Clonezilla for whole-disk or whole-partition backups periodically, in addition to my daily data backups. It’s pretty easy to use, and it gives you a lot of options as to how to store your data. For backing up my laptop, I had been using the save to SMB server option, which is sllllooooowwwww over your standard 802.11g network. So to speed things up, I bought a 128GB USB drive, which I would partition with a tiny Clonezilla boot partition, and my data partition for backups (it is temporary storage only, I have several backup locations I use, but backing up to USB and sneakernet is far faster than backing up over wireless by a factor of about ten).

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Computers break in strange ways

I’ve been incommunicado for a bit due to yet another computer malfunction. This was a truly bizarre one, and the diagnosis I made, strange and unlikely as I thought it was, turned out to be correct. It’s a reminder that computers can fail in rather odd ways.

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If I didn’t remind you before, back up your stuff!

Hey, is this blog still on? It appears that I haven’t updated it in quite a while. The end of session got in the way, then the MSST program started and then we moved to a new place. During the move, I had yet another example of how important it is to back everything up on your computer.


I moved my computer over, plugged everything back in, and turned it on. Windows 7 refused to boot, halting at a blue screen. When I tried to boot into safe mode, I could see that the problem was with a file called CLASSPNP.SYS. I found this thread with a similar problem, but unfortunately replacing the file didn’t help. All the other searches I did turned up people with the same problem, and no solution. Eventually, I had to reinstall Windows to get it working.

Fortunately, though, I had backups of all of my data, and so I didn’t lose anything, most importantly the paper I was working on for class. It did take several hours to reinstall all of my programs and get everything looking right again, but I didn’t have to spend many more hours recreating documents. Remember: always back up your files, and back them up to more than one place!

Computer Utility: SyncBack Freeware

If you have more than one computer, laptop, or external hard drive, and you want to keep files synchronized between them, one of the best tools out there is SyncBack Freeware. This free utility allows you to set up multiple syncing rules between different drives and network locations, such as full two-way synchronization, pushing data from one drive to another, or pulling data from one drive to another. It has a comprehensive filter system that lets you tweak everything to your heart’s delight, and a scheduler that lets you schedule when you want it to run. I use it not only to synchronize files between my desktop and laptop, but also to backup all of my data to my external hard drive. It’s a fantastic piece of software.