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Backing- up

Posted on 2014-09-11
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Last Modified: 2014-09-24
I want to be fully functioning as far as backing-up is concerned.
This what I do. Please inform where I can do better . . . .
1. My Mac tells me when I need to back-up, and so I do!
- I plug in . . .
2. When I do the Mac back-up, I also plug in the Seagate. at the same time.
- how do I know that there is still room in the seagate?
- will it tell me . . ?
3. People are always talking about the iCloud.
- Do I need to pay for it too. Isn't that redundant?
4. I have Carbonite and Life Lock.
- I have had these for some years now, while with AOL,
- but I am changing to Gmail now, and the aol account ends in a few days.
- Do these accounts automatically apply to the new gmail?

Thanks
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Question by:beavoid
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13 Comments
 
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Assisted Solution

by:Joshua Grantom
Joshua Grantom earned 334 total points
ID: 40317196
If you are backing up using Time Machine and an External Seagate drive or the software that comes with the Seagate drive you should be fine. Carbonite is a cloud backup solution as well. If you are using both of these then I would say you have a redundant backup.

Gmail is online email unless you have it setup in Mail to download the messages. In that case, Time Machine and Carbonite should backup depending on what you have set to backup.
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by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
ID: 40317307
I would mostly agree with Joshua G.  But you should realize that neither of those is a true Bare metal backup (one where you can completely restore from after a reformat of your harddrive or to an exact duplicate of the hardware you are running on).  I was about to say you could use DriveImageXML, but it doesn't work on a MAC, as far as I know.  I know diskwarrior used to do that.

I am a little paranoid, but I make 2 local backups and 2 cloud backups.  All four include a baremetal backup, both using windows native tools and 3rd party tools (free and paid).
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Joshua Grantom earned 334 total points
ID: 40317326
The good thing about time machine is that as long as you can get the OS loaded back on, you can restore everything. If they has the original disks that came with it he should be ok even on a HDD failure.
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by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
ID: 40317374
I didn't know that about TM (I'm not a MAC person).  Thanks.
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by:SelfGovern
SelfGovern earned 166 total points
ID: 40319187
I think you're good as you are.  I would not stop doing the cloud backup.  Here's why.

You're happily doing your backup to your local disk.  Then one day there's a lightning strike that fries both your computer and that local disk.  Or, somebody comes in to steal your stuff -- he doesn't say, "Oh, that's his backup drive, I'll leave that"... no, he just takes your stuff.  Or, there's a fire or flood or earthquake or tornado or...

The only thing I'd recommend to you is that you also consider buying some archival quality DVD media (archival quality should last for 50+ years, as compared to the stuff you buy at WalMart, which may or may not last one or five or ten years) and copy the really important personal stuff (photos and documents) to it periodically.  Why?  Because there will come a time when that hard drive fills up, and hard drives are not designed to keep data integrity when stored on a shelf without power for long periods (i.e., years).

The cloud backup service is a good complement to your local backup (covering you if you've got a site disaster), but it's not perfect; if you delete a file locally (or it gets corrupted or infected), the cloud service will delete the file after a month on their side (or they'll mirror the corruption and the old, good version will get expired after a relatively short period of time).
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by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
ID: 40319319
Interesting - which cloud backup are you talking about?  Places like Spideroak, ones that do versioning, keep backups for as long as you have space (which could be forever).  And with versions even if you get your hard drive encrypted by the crypto virus strains, you can recover to a previous version (we've had to do this very thing at work where we use CrashPlanPROe).
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by:SelfGovern
ID: 40319583
Mr. Zucker-Scharff -- I was not familiar with Spideroak, but here's a quote from Carbonite on their personal plan:
>  If you remove any file from your hard drive, we wait 30 days for you to recover it,
>  and then we delete that file from our servers, too.

Explicitly stated is what happens when you delete a file.  I've not been able to find the cite on their site, but I believe that versions are treated similarly -- keep changes for 30 days, but after that, age the versions out, until at 30 days from the last change, they only keep the last change.  

Notes:
- Things may be different for other services, but I believe the age-out to be common.  
- Admittedly, Spideroak.com explicitly states that they keep every version forever.  Spideroak is also twice as much as Carbonite, and has a capacity limit of 100GB, while Carbonite is unlimited for the personal plan.
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by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
ID: 40319632
I have spideroak with no limit on storage for 125/year.  I have used their versioning and it works well.  The Crashplan versioning works well also, and if you use the ability in CP to backup to a local folder or another computer as well, you can have unlimited versions.

Look out for specials from these places (I purchased the unlimited storage plan from spideroak on world backup day when they were offering a special).

I don't use carbonite, but I also have unlimited space on the CrashPlan servers for one year for free (not sure what it will cost after that - it was a promo from work).  I have used the CrashPlan for Home versioning as well as the CrashPlanPROe versioning - both are excellent and I have not noticed if versions were deleted, since I tend not to delete files.
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Author Closing Comment

by:beavoid
ID: 40320183
No one addressed the question of knowing when the Seagate is full. [Bought at Costco  :) ]
Is this because, with the Carbonite and TimeMachine, the Seagate is not really significant as back-up, and so you all sort-of dismissed it?
It has 2Tbytes.
- Does the Seagate send a message?
- Do the lights stop coming on?
- or what?
Thanks
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by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
ID: 40320205
I will wait on someone more familiar with MACs.  On a windows based computer, it tells you by generating an error while backing up.
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by:SelfGovern
ID: 40320207
I don't use external drives as backup targets, so I don't know how the software works -- and I'm not familiar with Mac technology, so this is going to be a bit awkward to explain.    However, if you can view your hard drives in the GUI, you can probably right-click (or Mac equivalent) on the Seagate external and see 'properties' to determine how much space is available.  If your desktop system has a 1TB disk, I'd expect a 2TB external to last you a long time, because they normally store data very efficiently (i.e., they only store changes when you edit a file, not the entire old and entire edited file as two separate blobs of storage.

Also, I would expect that the backup software will tell you when it's getting close to full.  At that point, you can adjust what you're storing (i.e., perhaps instead of storing backups for three months, you only store them for two months), or get another backup disk and start over.  Since disks are relatively cheap these days, that shouldn't be much of a problem.
You might also be able to tell the software not to back up everything -- for instance, if you've moved a bunch of old photos off to archival DVD media as I'd suggested before, perhaps you can tell the external disk backup software not to back up files from that directory (or even just delete the directory from your hard drive once you've backed up the files you want to keep, but will access rarely).

To find out the details and learn how to use the product most effectively, I strongly encourage you to read the manual.  It may be available for download from Seagate in a more complete form than the "Quick Start" guide that so many manufacturers include with their products now.
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Author Comment

by:beavoid
ID: 40321849
I hadn't thought to read the manual. Will have to go on line. Thanks
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Author Comment

by:beavoid
ID: 40341622
Thank you for your efforts. Perhaps i should have been assigned people familiar with Macs and their back-up.
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