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Backing Up Your Files

While not video game related, this is something I was writing for another site, and figured I should post a similar topic here.

I work online. That means at any moment I have a few hundred (or more) hours of work saved on my PC, most of which I haven’t been paid for. This means that if I lose those files, I’m screwed. Website data, unposted blog entires, POP3 emails, proposal drafts, graphics design – the whole nine yards.

If I lose this stuff, I’m out money, and almost as importantly – weeks behind. Even worse, If I lost it, I really don’t know where I am and what I need to get done.

I’m sure there are a lot of reader here in similar boats. I know we have a lot of people who deal almost exclusively in dev stuff, protos and just about anything that wasn’t commercially available. an you imagine if you lost all your files? Rom dumps, contact info, internal files, etc. This would set a lot of collectors who keep most of their info PC based back months – or in cases where you’re desperately trying to track something down – years.

Problem is, despite all my data, I don’t do backups. I just buy a huge hard drive and let it fill up. When she’s full, I just unload some non important data onto an external drive. This means my main drive fills up with more and more important info.

Because of my laziness with making hard copies of vital stuff, I’ve been looking into Online Backup solutions. Since I leave my PC on at night, this is probably the best idea I can think of.

This basically means that all my important files, are backup via my internet collection to a site and are always updated. I don’t have to do anything once I set it up – it happens automatically.

IBackup is one of the sites I’m thinking of using, and they look great. PC World (2006) and PC Magazine editor’s choice awards, automated scheduled backups, drive letter access to backup data and anywhere access via browser.

One neat feature is that they supports open file backups, a key requirement for backing up ‘in use’ data such as Outlook files. This is vital to me, as outlook is never closed on my PC.

If you’re in a situation like me where losing your files is literally going to make you cry, you should look into it as well.

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  1. I’m currently using Mozy (http://mozy.com/). It’s $5 a month and will back up as much data as you need. I use it to back up all of my documents, web sites and applications I’m working on, and my entire music collection. The whole backup set is about 150GB.

    It also supports locked file backup, access by web browser, and access from inside Explorer. Additionally, in case of a catastrophe, they have an additional service where you can pay to have DVDs burned and mailed to you.

    The only drawback is that it’s been running for a couple months and only has the docs & code backed up (the first 60GB or so) but of course that’s mostly limited by my upstream connection. However, it only does differential backups once the initial one is done, so it will be much faster to keep the backups up to date. Also, it handles broken connections very well. If the power goes out or the connection goes down, it will just pick up where it left off when everything is back up again (this has happened to me several times).

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