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Hello everyone!

I thought I would mention a few things that need to be said even though they're rule #1 for anyone who does work on their computer. But, let me just emphasize for dramatic effect:

Always always always *twenty minutes later* always always back up your work. Even if you're in the middle of working.

I'll try to sum it up in a bit of point form:


  • Save as a new file name every now and then just in case you accidentally save over your main project file. The reason is, if your computer crashes, or you lose power, or if the file becomes corrupt for whatever reason, you don't lose your project. I wrote an Impulse Tracker song a year ago and nearly lost it because I saved over top of it. This wouldn't have happened had I saved this file multiple times in different areas. (For those who are curious, I did manage to bring the file back using file recovery software. It corrupted the title info but luckily the notation was still good. I just had to re-import the samples. Let's just say I got very lucky.)
  • When the project is complete, always back your work up. (Yes, even the mixed down music). It's nice that it's in your local hard drive, but we live in a day in age of cloud storage, the likes of Google Drive and OneDrive. Very convenient! You may be worried about your privacy though, with good reason. But you can still save your work to DVDs, or external storage like Flash drives. This is great for archiving your work for years from now if you ever want to come back to it. This leads me to my next tip:
  • Back up your backups! Magnetic Hard Drives with heads are fragile. Nothing's more terrifying to me than when someone knocks over my external drive. Hard drives have moving parts and therefore are sensitive. Thumb drives fail. DVDs fail. Flash media like SD cards or CF cards. They all fail. Always back up your backups. Here's a great article on the average lifespans of digital media.


I know this goes without saying but one of the reasons I still have some of my old Impulse and Scream Tracker files from back in the 90's is because I've archived them on multiple drives. smile

I hope this has helped some people!

Last edited by Mat - PG Music; 10/05/16 10:50 AM.

Thanks,

Mathew
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Great tips Mat! This is one many people forget...

Originally Posted By: Mat - PG Music
Back up your backups!

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And clone your hard drives regular with apps like SuperDuper, Carbon Copy Cloner for Mac, Acronis True Image for Win

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Thanks pipeline. Btw, on Windows do you know of a backup all that just copies the files, and doesn't compress them or make an image of them?


Have Fun!
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Yes Acronis True Image will image as well as clone drive (no compression) to a bigger or smaller drive and it will be bootable, you just make the iso, burn it, boot it, clone it, or do it from windows.
see info & video
https://kb.acronis.com/content/56634

With Win7 if you want to clone the drive for another PC with different hardware
https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/kb/922976
use this fix for an automated reg change as above, before cloning, to change the sata mode so it boots on the new hardware.
http://download.microsoft.com/download/4/4/8/44839D4F-B210-4241-8C3F-374B71A39C29/MicrosoftFixit50470.msi
If you didn't do the above an it loops at boot, use Hiren's Boot CD - Tools - Registry -> “Fix hard disk"
there is another one called fix_7hdc.vbs that you boot with the win 7 dvd to CMD prompt and run the script form a usb thumb drive, fixes any incompatible sata drivers that prevent booting.

EaseUS has a free one http://www.todo-backup.com/products/home/free-backup-software-features.htm
http://www.todo-backup.com/products/features/backup-bootableCD.htm
EaseUS Todo Backup allows you to do disk to disk clone with simple steps for disk upgrade, data backup & transfter, SSD migration, etc.
Hard disk upgrade: disk clone can help to upgrade hard disk from old small disk to a new larger one without reinstallations of operating system and the applications.

Also for new hardware
http://www.acronis.com/en-au/business/universal-restore/






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Quote:
Btw, on Windows do you know of a backup all that just copies the files, and doesn't compress them or make an image of them


On my computer, I have a batch file (yep, just like in the old MS-DOS days) that uses the Windows "robocopy" command to back up all my files to an external hard drive. I've been using this method for many years and have never had an issue losing files. I also keep my data synced across my desktop and laptop computer by using robocopy.

I use the mirroring feature, which basically compares some sort of CRC for the file and only backs up files that have been changed. So the first time you run it, it will take the time it takes to copy the files, but on subsequent times, it screams through the folders where nothing changed. So while I may have 300 or 400 GB of data to back up (which takes quite awhile on a USB2 interface), subsequent backups usually happen in 5 or 10 minutes or so (depending on what changed).

So, I just attach the external drive, validate that it is still using the same drive letter as before (95% of the time it does, but occasionally, Windows gets squirrely. It's easy to change drive assignments, though). I then launch the batch file and let the backup run. Once done, I safely remove the USB drive and keep it disconnected from the computer.

Works for me. If anyone wants any help setting something like this up, just PM me. It's old school, but works great. The files are copied as is, are not compressed, are not part of an image, and are usable on the external drive as-is (but that's not the point here).

The mirroring function basically makes the destination drive folder (and its subfolders) contain exactly the same as the source folder. That means files not found on the source drive are deleted from the destination; new files on the source drive are added to the destination, and newer files on the source drive overwrite the older files on the destination.

If that makes you uncomfortable, you can also use the "exclude older" option instead of the "mirror" option. The "exclude older" does not delete any files from the destination, but does add new files from the source to the destination, and overwrites (refreshes) older files with their newer versions.

TMI?





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Awesome! I've been using an xcopy command .bat script to my USB external hard drive for years. I do an incremental backup only saving changed files so it doesn't take too long when I run it weekly.

I'll look at the robocopy commands in DOS to see if I can enhance my xcopy commands. Looks promising!




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I used to use xcopy, but robocopy is much more robust.


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Originally Posted By: jford
I used to use xcopy, but robocopy is much more robust.


I'm seeing that. That's been the one weakness of my method is I've got tons of old files I don't need on the backup. Will definitely check out purge or mirror.

EDIT: Tested a few command line switches and have switched to and run Robocopy. Thanks John!




Steve

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These suggestions are awesome! I only have so much room on this sheet of paper I have. smile

There are a number of open source options I would like to try, however I need to purchase a new drive as it's about time I backed up my backup.

Oh! Another couple tips for people:

If you can, back-up to multiple smaller drives. The reason for this is for larger drives, what happens if that drive has failed? You lost everything on it. Losing a 500 gig drive is definitely not as hard a hit on you as losing a 1.5TB drive.

Also, I hate to say it but they just don't make drives like they used to.

Second tip:

Drive Manufacturers matter! I don't want to post any information in regards to drive brands, but a quick internet search will show you which drives are the recommended ones for longevity. Just remember, like my father always said, you get what you pay for.


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Mathew
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Quote:
EDIT: Tested a few command line switches and have switched to and run Robocopy. Thanks John!


Your welcome. When I first heard about it, I thought it was a toy (come on, "robocopy"? Really!?!)

But then I used it and never looked back.

It's quick, it's easy, and gives you a lot of control over what you back up and how you do it.


John

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In additions to all of the good suggestions I will add always have at least two backup HDs with one stored off premises. I have one stored in a safe deposit box at my bank but a friend or family member's house also works.


Why is it that the people who tell me to calm down are the ones who tick me off in the first place!

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Does Win 7 (32) have Robocopy. Used Win Help and couldn't find such command.

DE


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Originally Posted By: DEddy
Does Win 7 (32) have Robocopy. Used Win Help and couldn't find such command.


Open a Command Prompt window and type in: robocopy /?

That's a slash and question mark.

If you have it, it will display a page of instructions.




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Originally Posted By: MarioD
I will add always have at least two backup HDs with one stored off premises.


Nice. I keep a USB external hard drive at my office in the desk. I bring it home once a week to do a refresh of my home PC and laptop.




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Yes, robocopy is a command line utility. I create a batch file to run the robocopy commands on the folders I wish to process.

I generally use two different forms of robocopy:

robocopy "source-folder" "destination-folder" /e /s /mir

(which means make the source folder the master folder and make the destination folder look just like it, even if it means deleting files, overwriting older files, or adding new files)

robocopy "source-folder" "destination-folder" /e /s /xo

(which means copy everything in the source folder to the destination folder, but only if the file in the destination folder is older or doesn't yet exist. This command does not delete anything in the destination folder, only update files and add new ones.

Another thing I do is the very first time I run Robocopy on a system is to include the flags:

/w:1 /r:1 /reg

(this says that if the file can't be written (which happens with some system files that are open by the O/S), then just "wait" 1 second and "retry" 1 time, and "reg" means to write that to the registry so it remembers it everytime you run robocopy. That's why you only have to do it the first time you run the program. If you don't do that, the default number of retries is one million and the default wait time is thirty seconds. That means that one file can pause your copy by 30,000,000 seconds (8,333 hours) before moving on. You really don't want that to happen. Another precaution is to include the /xj option, which can cause recursive copying and extremely deep folder structures. Usually only happens with system files, not data files, but just a warning.)

Hope this helps.


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I back up every day, every week, every month, and every quarter. I have 5 external backup drives, including the MASTER Back Up HD in the safe. I do a back up of a back up of a backup of a back up of a backup of a backup.

It took 24 hours to record Phoenix and Gargoyle. If I remember to back up 3,467 songs before I go to bed every once in a while, it's a no brainer.

Right on Mat!!!

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Originally Posted By: rodipoet
I use Synctoy for backing up all my work
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=15155


I also use SyncToy.

It's great for keeping files in two locations synchronised. It only copies those files that have changed. It's also free and works very efficiently.

My plan of attack is... "Back up your work ESPECIALLY when you've completed it."

Last edited by Noel96; 11/25/16 04:40 PM.

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Does SynToy 2.1 work with Win 10, 64? Does not say so on MS Web site.

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